Think is a daily, topic-driven interview and call-in program hosted by Krys Boyd covering a wide variety of topics ranging from history, politics, current events, science, technology and emerging trends to food and wine, travel, adventure, and entertainment.
Pakistani mangoes are prized for their taste and texture, but you have to be very internet savvy to find one. Food writer Ahmed Ali Akbar joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the backchannels of importing fruit, the lengths people will go to, and the customs bureaucracy that keeps foods from reaching American shores. His article “Inside the Secretive, Semi-Illicit, High Stakes World of WhatsApp Mango Importing” was published by Eater. This show originally aired on Sept. 16, 2021.
A man, a woman, and their 2.5 kids were considered the foundation of a solid family, but new research says diversity in parenting is actually good for the goose and the gander. Susan Golombok, director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge and a professional fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the outdated ideas we have about creating a happy home and the variety of parents out there who are thriving. Her new book is “We Are Family: The Modern Transformation of Parents and Children.” This show originally aired on Jan. 4 2021.
“The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Strangers on a Train” are just two of the classic works of fiction by Fort Worth-born author Patricia Highsmith – a writer of mysteries who was a mystery herself. Anna von Planta was Highsmith's primary editor for the later part of her life, and she joins guest host John McCaa to discuss Highsmith's literary legacy, as well as her private life, which was often marked by controversy. Von Planta is the author of “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.”
What if managing our diet is less about fads and more about just enjoying real foods? Mark Schatzker of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his journey into food production and eating habits around the world to discover secrets of health and happiness. His book is called “The End of Craving: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of Eating Well.”
By offering more and better-delivered services, tech companies are often much more efficient than government. Ian Bremmer is a political scientist and president of Eurasia Group, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how the well-oiled machines of big technology – with their influence and reach into every part of daily life – are challenging national governments in shaping society. His article “The Technopolar Moment” was published in Foreign Affairs.
When disasters strike, local officials rely on the expertise of those who unfortunately have seen it all. Robert A. Jensen is chairman of Kenyon International Emergency Services, a disaster management company, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the delicate art of balancing practical management of large-scale disasters while honoring the humanity of families affected and the lives lost. His new book is “Personal Effects: What Recovering the Dead Teaches Me About Caring for the Living.”
Maybe the way to change a prejudiced justice system is from the inside out? Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell is the first African American woman to sit on the Superior Court of Northern California, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how racism finds its way into courtrooms – and about her efforts to be fair in an imperfect system. Her book is called “Her Honor: My Life on the Bench …What Works, What's Broken, and How to Change It.”
On this week's episode: what transitioning genders can look like at two different stages of life. Revisit the full conversation with Marlo Mack: https://think.kera.org/2021/11/16/the-challenges-and-joys-of-raising-a-trans-child/ Revisit the full conversation with Deirdre Nansen McCloskey: https://think.kera.org/2020/01/06/a-trans-woman-reflects-on-what-it-took-to-transition/
It can seem impossible to put into words times when we're overcome with emotion. John Koenig joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his work coining new words and phrases that he hopes will perfectly capture the nuance and beauty of specific moments in our lives when the words we have at our disposal fail. His book is called “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.”
A major challenge in the field of robotics is figuring out how to get robots to better work together – without human help – to get things done. Washington Post reporter David Montgomery joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the Pentagon's simulated search-and-rescue competition that is stretching the limits of how robots process information and, ultimately, help the humans around them. His article in The Washington Post Magazine is headlined “The Pentagon's $82 Million Super Bowl of Robots.”
There is no fixed identity for those who practice Islam, it's as varied as its people. Omar Mouallem joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his travels to 13 mosques across the Americas trying to understand what it means to different people to be Muslim and what role the religion plays in the fabric of the places they live. His book is called “Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas.”
Baby Boomers vs. Millennials vs. Zoomers —what if the generational wars are all made up? Bobby Duffy is a social researcher and professor of public policy and director of the Policy Institute at King's College London. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why labels put on generations aren't as fixed as we're taught to believe and why that should make us rethink how we approach one another. His book is called “The Generation Myth: Why When You're Born Matters Less Than You Think.”
Obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other underlying conditions have a big impact on Covid-19 health outcomes. Maybe addressing them now will ease the next pandemic? Politico senior food and agriculture reporter Helena Bottemiller Evich joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the lack of political will to confront diseases related to diet, and why that's hindering the pandemic response. Her recent article is headlined “Diet-related diseases pose a major risk for Covid-19. But the U.S. overlooks them.”
As a toddler, Marlo Mack's child voiced that her gender didn't match the one assigned to her at birth. The writer and producer of the “How to Be a Girl” podcast joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the challenges and triumphs of raising a transgender child, and how she's grown in her approaches to gender and sexuality. Her book is called “How to Be a Girl: A Mother's Memoir of Raising Her Transgender Daughter.”
Even after service to the nation, thousands of veterans are in danger of being deported. Filmmaker John Valadez joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of Vietnam veterans Valente and Manuel Valenzuela, who were served with deportation papers for misdemeanor offenses, and the justice system that is barred from taking military service into consideration. The documentary “American Exile” is part of Latino Public Broadcasting's VOCES and airs tonight on PBS.
Jane Elliott was a schoolteacher in rural Iowa until her experiment about race propelled her to national stardom. Stephen G. Bloom joins host Krys Boyd to discuss Elliott's exercise of separating children by eye color to mimic racism, how that became the catalyst for today's diversity training and why we might now question the results. Bloom's book is called “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes: A Cautionary Tale of Race and Brutality.”
Reality TV has cashed in on popular shows with Black casts, but are these shows doing a service to Black people? Bethonie Butler covers television and pop culture for The Washington Post, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the stereotypes these shows often play into, and if progress is being made on television. Her recent article is headlined “What does reality TV owe Black women?”
On this week's episode: revisiting the fabric of U.S. history. The conversation with Leonard Moore, the George Littlefield Professor of American History at the University of Texas at Austin: https://think.kera.org/2021/11/08/black-history-is-not-just-for-black-people/ The conversation with Joe William Trotter, Jr., director of the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University: https://think.kera.org/2019/02/06/america-was-built-by-black-labor/
As a teenager she tried to pray being gay away; as an adult, she prays for more inclusion. Julie Rodgers joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how religion has shaped her life, from coming out in a conservative evangelical household, to now, as she works to bridge LGBTQ communities with the church. Her book is called “Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story.” This episode originally aired in July, 2021.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the failings of the American health care system. Dr. Sandro Galea is a physician, epidemiologist and Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how we can strengthen public health resources to not only respond to the next pandemic but strive for equity in the way we approach the health of the nation. His book is called “The Contagion Next Time.”
The process of cooking meth has gone from homemade batches to mass-produced, multi-million-dollar operations. Journalist Sam Quinones joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the rise in synthetic meth, the economic costs to the marketplace of illicit drugs, and the emotional and physical toll it's had on those addicted. His book is called “The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth.”
Ever wonder why some people just have that ability to successfully burn the candle at both ends? New Yorker staff writer Nick Paumgarten joins host Krys Boyd to discuss that ability to always get up and go, eschew the sweatpants, and succeed — and offers a look at the latest science explaining it. His recent article is headlined “Energy, and How to Get It.”
When a development project affects Indian land, tribal leadership is supposed to be brought into the conversation at the beginning. Nick Martin is the Indigenous affairs desk editor at High Country News and a contributing editor of The New Republic. He joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the process of consultation, which was designed as a negotiation tool but is more often used to notify Indigenous communities about pipelines, mines and other major projects adjacent to sacred lands – after it's too late for them to meaningfully voice their concerns. His article is headlined “Indian Country's Right to Say No.”
There's a difference between sensing something and feeling it, and the latter might be the key to consciousness. Antonio Damasio is a professor and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the latest science on what consciousness is and how it ties into human behavior. His book is called “Feeling and Knowing: Making Minds Conscious.”
The national dialogue about critical race theory often comes down to individual school districts grappling with questions of race in education. NBC News national investigative reporter Mike Hixenbaugh joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how these conversations are playing out in the North Texas suburb of Southlake, where accusations of racism spurred change from the school board, which was met with intense resistance. The podcast he hosts is called “Southlake.”
By the time she was a teen, Cheryl Diamond had lived in dozens of cities around the world under several assumed identities. She joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her family of fugitives, their globetrotting to outrun the law, and her reckoning with who she could love and, ultimately, trust. Her book is called “Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood.”
Leonard Moore has taught Black history for more than 25 years – often to white students. Moore is the George Littlefield Professor of American History at the University of Texas at Austin, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss asking students to consider uncomfortable questions about racism to move beyond words toward paths of reckoning and reconciliation. His book is called “Teaching Black History to White People.”
Brandon P. Fleming is a debate coach at Harvard and founder of the nationally acclaimed Harvard Diversity Project. That's a long way from the path he started out on as a teenage drug dealer more interested in basketball than books. Fleming joins host Krys Boyd to discuss his childhood surrounded by poverty and crime, his dreams shattered by injury, and his ultimate redemption, which he found in teaching himself and others to be express themselves. His book is called “Miseducated: A Memoir.” (This podcast originally aired on June 17, 2021)
Influencer moms seem perfect— that's part of the business model. Kathryn Jezer-Morton, author of the “Mothers Under the Influence” Substack, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the moms of TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms who have turned their lives into profitable enterprise. Her article “Did Moms Exist Before Social Media?” was published in The New York Times.
Many newspapers across the country are dying – and some of those deaths have been brought about by a deliberate financial strategy. McKay Coppins, a staff writer at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about a hedge fund that is buying up newspapers across the country and dismantling them at an alarming rate. His article is headlined “A Secretive Hedge Fund is Gutting Newsrooms.”
The pandemic brought economic burdens that, for many, have been too great to bear. Journalist Ray Suarez is host of “Going for Broke,” a podcast from The Nation magazine and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and he joins host Krys Boyd to talk about everyday Americans who have lost jobs and homes – and about the degree to which the economy is working for different sectors of the population.
After a childhood in foster homes, Sixto Cancel only found out about the family that would've taken him in after he aged out of care. The chief executive officer of Think of Us, a nonprofit focused on foster care, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the practice of kinship placement and the need for systemic change so that children aren't kept from loving homes. His recent essay published in The New York Times is headlined “I Will Never Forget That I Could Have Lived With People Who Loved Me.”
From freshly baked cookies to barnyard stalls, smell imprints places and people in our memories. Journalist Jude Stewart joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how this sense shapes our world from art to history and reveals the surprising science behind it. Her book is called “Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell.”
When the pandemic drove many Americans to work from home, it also opened the possibility for reimagining career success. Bill Burnett, executive director of the Design Program at Stanford, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss ways to access creativity and personal growth even as the workplace is radically changing. His book, co-written with Dave Evans, is called “Designing Your New Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work.”
Anita Hill's testimony during Clarence Thomas's 1991 Senate confirmation hearings nearly kept him from being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University joins host Krys Boyd to discuss her decades long fight for women's rights and gender equity, which she writes about in “Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence.”
Millions of Asians have immigrated to the U.S. since a restrictive 1965 law was lifted. Jay Caspian Kang, writer-at-large for The New York Times Magazine, joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the evolution of what it means to be Asian-American – and about his own family's story as they moved across the country to find their footings. His book is called “The Loneliest Americans.”
On this week's show: a mortician and a British journalist talk death and Halloween. Listen to the full conversation with mortician Caitlin Doughty here: https://think.kera.org/2019/09/24/anything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-death/ Listen to the full conversation with journalist and writer Oliver Burkeman here: https://think.kera.org/2013/10/31/halloween-minus-the-death/
In post-war America, building a nuclear family was paramount, which meant unmarried pregnant women were often pushed to give up children, whether they wanted to or not. Gabrielle Glaser joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of how a system of closed adoptions across the nation operated on shifty moral ground and separated mother from child in the name of a wholesome environment. Her book is “American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption.” This episode originally aired on March 17, 2021.
Suffering from an undiagnosed disease can motivate some to look for solutions that go beyond traditional medicine. Ross New York Times columnist Ross Douthat joins host Krys Boyd to talk about living with Lyme Disease, the pain and isolation he's felt, and his new understanding of why some patients seek solace in conspiracies. His book is called “The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery.”
Is our genetic makeup part of our civil rights? Jorge L. Contreras teaches intellectual property, science policy and the law and ethics of genetics at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a landmark case brought when the U.S. government issued patents to biotech companies to use human genes, and the field of human genetics law it created. His book is called “The Genome Defense: Inside the Epic Legal Battle to Determine Who Owns Your DNA.”
Cancel culture can be about consequences, but it can also damage the causes it attempts to champion. John McWhorter teaches linguistics, American studies and music history at Columbia University, and he joins host Krys Boyd to make the case that people of color are sometimes harmed by well-meaning antiracists who sometimes lose sight of the thing they are fighting against. His book is called “Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America.”
When tragedy struck a family, their deep knowledge of treating nervous-system injuries did little to help. Daniel Engber, senior editor at The Atlantic, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the parents – one a bioengineer in regenerative medicine and another a specialist in rehabilitation robotics – who found they had to rethink their life's work to help their young daughter after the accident. His article is called “A peer-reviewed portrait of suffering.”
More than 2 million people are incarcerated in American prisons – and their lives go on even when they are out of sight from much of the population. Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods are co-hosts of the podcast “Ear Hustle,” and they join host Krys Boyd to talk about what they've learned about life on the inside from the inmates who share their stories both on the podcast and in their new book, “This Is Ear Hustle: Unflinching Stories of Everyday Prison Life.”
Approximately half a million statues and monuments are maintained throughout America. And they honor some very different ideas. Paul M. Farber, co-director of the National Monument Audit, joins host Krys Boyd to discuss a recent study of 50,000 monuments across the U.S. and what the research shows about who we memorialize and who we leave out. The National Monument Audit was produced by Monument Lab in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Each night when we sleep, we dream. Have you ever wondered why? Sidarta Ribeiro is founder and vice director of the Brain Institute at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil, where he is also a professor of neuroscience. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss how dreams are connected to how we learn and even how we understand our existence. His book is called “The Oracle of Night: The History and Science of Dreams.”
Traditional therapy focuses on clinical issues; life coaching is more about encouragement and motivation. Journalist Rachel Monroe joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the for-profit Life Coach School, the students who chose that path, and the pitfalls they encountered upon entering the profession. Her article “I'm a life coach, you're a life coach: the rise of an unregulated industry” was published in The Guardian.
Be honest: How often do you seek out information that challenges your view of the world? Wharton School organizational psychologist Adam Grant joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how sometimes growth comes through unlearning ideas we've always thought to be true. His new book is “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know.” This podcast originally aired on February 25, 2021.
When Jaipreet Virdi was a child, illness left her with severe hearing loss – leaving her in limbo between the deaf community and those who had no trouble hearing. She's now an assistant history professor at the University of Delaware, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about her research into medicine's long legacy of promised hearing cures and why science has yet to achieve a universal solution. Her book is called “Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History.”
Forests naturally migrate about 1,600 feet each year, but to outrun climate change, they'd need to pick up the pace to 9,000 feet annually. Journalist Lauren Markham joins host Krys Boyd to discuss “assisted species migration,” or moving tree populations to save them from extinction. Her article in Mother Jones is called “Can We Move Our Forests in Time to Save Them?”
We often talk about the damage caused by shame, but how often do we explore the virtues of humiliation? Essayist and author Vivian Gornick joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why humiliation can be an embarrassment or a weapon, and why we often bring it on ourselves. Her article, published in Harper's Magazine, is called “Put on the Diamonds: Notes on humiliation.”