Institute at Brown for Environment and SocietyIBES

Robert Krulwich of Radiolab: My Life as a Happy Misfit

Feb 19, 2020
List Art Center 120

Robert Krulwich just retired after 16 years as co-host of Radiolab, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning program about ‘big ideas’ now one of public radio’s most popular shows. It is carried on more than 500 radio stations and its podcasts are downloaded over 9 million times each month.  

For 22 years, Krulwich worked on television covering science, economics, war and technology at ABC, CBS and PBS.  He is well known for his experimental style, pioneering animation on ABC’s Nightline and World News Tonight, using dancers to illustrate hard-to-fathom economic stories at CBS; he explored the structure of DNA using a banana on PBS’ Nova, and on NPR, he created an Italian opera, “Ratto Interesso” to explain how the Federal Reserve regulates interest rates; The New York Times described him a “a storied figure in public radio history.”  TV Guide described him as “the most inventive network reporter in television.”   

He has won 2 Peabody Awards, and Emmy awards for a cultural history of Barbie, the world famous doll, for a Frontline investigation of computers and privacy, a George Polk and an Emmy for a look at the Savings & Loan bailout, and the 2010 Essay Prize from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Krulwich also won the AAAS Science Journalism Award for a 2001 a NOVA Special, Cracking the Code of Life, The Extraordinary Communicator Award from the National Cancer Institute, and an Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award. He is currently working with a Ric Burns on a documentary on “The Hard Problem” of consciousness, also a multipart interactive series on climate change and, a n April 2020, will cohost a conference for YouTubers, podcasters, designers and filmmakers from around the world called ThinkerCon.

Krulwich earned a BA in history from Oberlin College, class of 1969 and a law degree from Columbia University in 1974. 

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