Story in the Public Square

  • American Crossroads: What’s Next with Norman Ornstein

    Air Dates: January 18-24, 2021 A lot of people believe our politics are broken.  Dr. Norman Ornstein says the fault lies squarely with one political party—and will likely shape the course of the Biden administration. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies politics, elections, and the U.S. Congress.  He is a cohost of AEI’s “Election Watch” series, a contributing editor and columnist for … Read More

  • Examining Animal Rights in Industrial America with Ernest Freeberg

    Air Dates: January 11-17, 2021 The end of the 19th Century in America, is often associated with the rise of profound social movements like the temperance movement; the women’s suffrage movement, and—more darkly—even the eugenics movement.  Ernest Freeberg tells the story of the birth of the animal rights movement. Freeberg is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of Tennessee and is the award-winning author of “A Traitor to … Read More

  • Grappling with Mental Illness in 20th-Century America with Robert Kolker

    Air Dates: January 4-10, 2020 Every family has its secrets. Robert Kolker tells the story of an all-American family in the middle of the 20th century forced to grapple with that era’s stigma and tragic consequences of serious mental illness. Kolker is the New York Times bestselling author of “Lost Girls,” named one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Ten Books of … Read More

  • Navigating Our Future with Big Tech with Alexis Wichowski

    Air Dates: December 28-January 3, 2020 Our nationality has long been a part of how we identify ourselves.  But Alexis Wichowski surveys the rise of “net states,” big tech companies that are, increasingly, taking on roles traditionally played by nation-states. Wichowski is a public servant, teacher, and writer.  She serves as Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Innovation and Acting Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Broadband for the City of New … Read More

  • Adapting to a Changing World with Jen Schwartz

    Change may be an essential part of human existence, but Jen Schwartz explores the dislocations in human society caused by the speed with which the world is changing around us. Schwartz is a senior features editor at Scientific American who produces stories on the intersection of technology and the human condition. She specializes in writing about how society is adapting—or not—to a rapidly changing world, with a focus on climate … Read More

  • 2020 Story of the Year: The Coronavirus Pandemic and Its Impact on American Life

    Air Dates: December 14-20, 2020 2020 is a year we won’t forget any time soon—though many of us might want to.  From the impeachment trial of the president, through the pandemic, and the 2020 election, this year has seen more than it’s fair share of important narratives.  Dr. Evelyn Farkas helps us make sense of them all and name our 2020 Story of the Year. Farkas is one of the … Read More

  • Artistic Resilience with Gayle Kabaker

    Air Dates: December 7-13, 2020 The uncertainty of a creative career—waiting for acceptance and dealing with rejection—can be an isolating experience. Gayle Kabaker turned artistic resilience into advice for coping through the pandemic. Kabaker is a graduate of the Academy of Art in San Francisco and has illustrated for various markets worldwide for over 35 years.  She illustrated her first New Yorker magazine cover, “June Brides,” in 2012, which celebrated … Read More

  • Harnessing the Power of Laughter with Gina Brillon

    Air Dates: November 30-December 6, 2020 There hasn’t been a lot to laugh about in 2020, but Gina Brillon reminds us of the power of laughter and good humor even amidst so much tragedy. Brillon is a standup comic, singer, published writer, and poet.  Her newest one-hour comedy special, “Gina Brillon: The Floor is Lava,” is now available on Amazon Prime Video, along with her first one-hour special, “Pacifically Speaking.”  … Read More

  • Making the Case for Multiparty Democracy with Lee Drutman

    Air Dates: November 23-29, 2020 America’s founders feared the rise of political factions that would pit Americans against Americans.  Lee Drutman warns that the founders’ greatest nightmares have come true and threaten the health and welfare of our republic. Dr. Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America.  He is the author of “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in … Read More

  • Extraterrestrial Exploration with Andrew Siemion

    Air Dates: November 16-22, 2020 Science fiction is full of stories about communication and contact with civilizations beyond the stars.  Andrew Siemion leads a multi-national effort to scan the heavens for indications of intelligent life. Dr. Andrew Siemion is an astrophysicist and director of the Berkeley Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research Center. His research interests include high-energy time-variable celestial phenomena, astronomical instrumentation and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Siemion … Read More