SciComm Summer #19: Latif Nasser on Making Radiolab

Latif Nasser is the current co-host of the WNYC show Radiolab. Radiolab is probably the first podcast I was ever really a fan of. I’ve been listening since 2007 when it was hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. It’s an amazing show that leans on the incredible audio production to convey the wonder of science. The show has branched out to tell all kinds of stories–not just about science–but it’s still one of the best science shows out there.

Latif came to Radiolab while working on his Ph.D. in the History of Science at Harvard. He eventually joined the show’s team to report stories and occupy the role of Director of Research. In 2020, he joined Lulu Miller as co-host of the show. Also in 2020, he hosted a 6-episode show for Netflix: Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything. And I think I first really learned about Latif through an incredible (although not super science-y) series he produced, The Other Latif. Seriously, you have to check it out.

In our conversation, we talk about the philosophy of science communication, the role of narrative, and how Radiolab works. We also break down an episode that Latif reported in 2021, “Of Bombs and Butterflies.”

You can find the rest of this summer’s science communication podcast series here.


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