Robert Krulwich

Robert Krulwich works on radio, podcasts, video, the blogosphere. He has been called "the most inventive network reporter in television" by TV Guide.

Krulwich is a Science Correspondent for NPR. His NPR blog, "Krulwich Wonders" features drawings, cartoons and videos that illustrate hard-to-see concepts in science.

He is the co-host of Radiolab, a nationally distributed radio/podcast series that explores new developments in science for people who are curious but not usually drawn to science shows. "There's nothing like it on the radio," says Ira Glass of This American Life, "It's a act of crazy genius." Radiolab won a Peabody Award in 2011.

His specialty is explaining complex subjects, science, technology, economics, in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining. On television he has explored the structure of DNA using a banana; on radio he created an Italian opera, "Ratto Interesso" to explain how the Federal Reserve regulates interest rates; he has pioneered the use of new animation on ABC's Nightline and World News Tonight.

For 22 years, Krulwich was a science, economics, general assignment and foreign correspondent at ABC and CBS News.

He won Emmy awards for a cultural history of the Barbie doll, for a Frontline investigation of computers and privacy, a George Polk and Emmy for a look at the Savings & Loan bailout online advertising and the 2010 Essay Prize from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Krulwich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Oberlin College and a law degree from Columbia University.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:25 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

When Numbers Bleed, Freeze, Starve And Die On A Battlefield: The Dark Poetry Of Data

Roger Viollet Collection Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 4:43 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:49 am
Thu May 15, 2014

How To Marry The Right Girl: A Mathematical Solution

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:34 pm

Poor Johannes Kepler. One of the greatest astronomers ever, the man who figured out the laws of planetary motion, a genius, scholar and mathematician — in 1611, he needed a wife. The previous Mrs. Kepler had died of Hungarian spotted fever, so, with kids to raise and a household to manage, he decided to line up some candidates — but it wasn't going very well.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:33 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Did Homer Simpson Actually Solve Fermat's Last Theorem? Take A Look

Numberphile YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:18 am

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Draw My Left! No, No, My Other Left! A Hidden Bias In Art History Revealed

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 9:48 am

Look at this guy.

He is half-smiley, half-frowny. I drew the mouth carefully to make it equal parts sad and happy.

But when you look at him — take him in whole — would you say he's having a good day or a bad day?

Most people would say: good day. He seems a little more smiley than not.

That's because, says science writer Sam Kean, when we look at somebody, the left side of that person's face is more emotionally powerful and "determines the overall emotional tenor."

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:05 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Listen To These Lovely Cats. No, Actually, Don't

John Pitcher iStockphoto

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:37 am
Fri May 2, 2014

'Wassup, Sheep?' He Asked

YouTube

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 2:39 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
2:33 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Plants Talk. Plants Listen. Here's How

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:06 am

They don't have eyes. Or ears. Or what we would call a nervous system. But plants can talk. And they listen. Let me show you how.

First, we'll need a plant eater. This one's perfect: It's an aphid, a hungry little critter who loves to munch on fresh, green leaves ...

Next, we arrange lunch. We choose a bunch of young, healthy bean plants with lots of broad, green leaves ...

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:03 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Come Dance With Me

Urban Dance Camp YouTube

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 12:34 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:32 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

'Don't Touch Me,' Said Canada. 'I Won't!' Said The U.S.A. So They Moved 20 Feet Apart

National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 6:55 pm

The U.S. and Canada may be as lovey-dovey as two neighbors can get, but according to this charming video history by CGP Grey, both countries agreed to tuck themselves a little bit in, 10 feet back for America, 10 feet back for Canada, creating a corridor of open, surveillable, clear space between them.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:33 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Music That Burns, Literally

Veritasium/YouTube

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:49 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:10 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Introducing A Divorce Rate For Birds, And Guess Which Bird Never, Ever Divorces?

Robert Krulwich/NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 7:06 pm

There is love. And then there's albatross love.

In his new book, The Thing With Feathers, Noah Strycker says albatrosses have a knack for coupling. "These globe trotters, who mate for life and are incredibly faithful to their partners, just might have the most intense love affairs of any animal on our planet," he writes.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:03 am
Sat April 19, 2014

So This Is How They Do It! Zebras Getting Stripes

Ricardo Solis

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 12:42 pm

How did it happen? How'd the zebra get its stripes?

In Rudyard Kipling's version, a gray, horsey-looking beast went into "a great forest 'sclusively full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-batchy shadows," stayed there awhile, and after a "long time"... got stripy.

OK. Not bad.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:50 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

'Why Am I Dead?' He Never Asked. Here's The Answer He Never Heard

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 1:57 pm

Shara Yurkiewicz is a med student. She's doing rounds now, moving from department to department. Much of what she sees, she's seeing for the first time. Not yet a doctor, there are moments, many moments when she has the eyes of a patient. She gets scared. She feels helpless. She's too involved. She's at that place in her training where everything is so sharp, so new, she feels the full, fresh stab of it, and sometimes, very privately, she bleeds.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:34 am
Wed April 16, 2014

The Ultimate Animal Experience? Losing A Memory Quiz To A Chimp

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 1:34 pm

Time to be embarrassed. You're about to be bested by a young chimpanzee in a memory test.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:39 am
Sat April 5, 2014

The Power Of Poop: A Whale Story

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 1:46 pm

This, I would think, should be self-evident: Generally speaking, big creatures eat smaller creatures that, in turn, eat even smaller creatures, like this ...

And just as obviously, one would expect the food chain to be pyramid-shaped: a few big creatures at the top eating more middle-sized creatures in the middle, that eat many, many, many little creatures at the bottom, like so:

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

'Oh, Hello,' Says Andrew, As He Suddenly Grabs You By The Leg Or Neck

Andrew Ucles YouTube

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 2:22 pm

Some people like a nice walk, some a gentle run, others a cup of tea. But not Andrew Ucles. There is nothing relaxed about Andrew. You can find him chasing after wild animals on his videos, grabbing them with his bare hands and then, while they squiggle, scratch and lunge, he tells them, "Settle, settle," shows them to the camera, brags a little and lets them go.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The List Of Animals Who Can Truly, Really Dance Is Very Short. Who's On It?

Courtesy of Irena Schulz/ Bird Lovers Only

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:05 pm

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:03 am
Sat March 22, 2014

I Can't Believe What I'm Seeing: A Springtime (Froggy) Miracle

NOVA scienceNOW

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:19 am

Two weeks ago this animal was frozen solid. If you found one in the woods, packed in the topsoil, hiding under a leaf, you could pull it from the ground and it would feel like an ashtray. You could bang it (lightly) on a table — it would go, "Konk!" like a rock. It doesn't seem to be breathing. It reacts to nothing. It's so dead. Or seems to be. And then, this (I want to call it a miracle) happens ...

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:43 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

An Imaginary Town Becomes Real, Then Not. True Story

Booklist American Library Association

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:38 pm

This is the story of a totally made-up place that suddenly became real — and then, strangely, undid itself and became a fantasy again. Imagine Pinocchio becoming a real boy and then going back to being a puppet. That's what happened here — but this is a true story.

It's about a place in upstate New York called Agloe. You can see it here, circled in blue ...

... just up the road from Roscoe and Rockland.

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Arts + Life
12:40 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Boy Meets Painting. Painting Grabs Boy. Boy Mystified

Stephen Sandoval Museum of Modern Art, New York City, Lillie P. Bliss Collection

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:23 am

Here's what I remember: The day it happened, I was around 8 years old, which puts me in the second grade. It was definitely a Sunday (because we never went anywhere on Saturdays). My dad had decided to take me to the Museum of Modern Art to see some paintings, and I always liked going places with my dad, it didn't matter where, so we arrived at the lobby, bought our tickets, handed them to a man who tore them in half, like at the movies. Then we took the escalator, walked into a big gallery, and as we were moving through — that's when it happened.

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