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Thinking Aloud

KBYU-FM Thinking Aloud
Thinking Aloud


KBYU-FM Thinking Aloud Podcast





Stephen Brusatte: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

Aug 20, 2018


Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte joins Marcus Smith for a lively conversation about the history of dinosaurs. 

Liam Heneghan: The Ecology of Bedtime Stories

Aug 17, 2018


Marcus talks the ecological side of bedtime stories with Liam Heneghan. Dr. Heneghan is a professor of environmental science at DePaul University where he serves as co-director of the university's Institute for Nature and Culture.

Charity Tillemann-Dick: Singing with Another's Lungs (rebroadcast)

Aug 16, 2018


Charity Tillemann-Dick, opera singer and recipient of two separate double-lung transplants, joins the show to discuss her life, career, family, and new memoir, The Encore. —Original Airdate: 12/28/2017 8:00:00 PM

Stephen Nash: Grand Canyon for Sale (rebroadcast)

Aug 13, 2018


Using the Grand Canyon as a case study, Marcus Smith talks with a journalist about the competing interests of public and private lands, as well as the effects climate change could have on our treasured national parks.  —Original Airdate: 12/27/2017 8:00:00 PM

Robert Costanza: Ecological Economics--A New Take on Prosperity (rebroadcast)

Aug 10, 2018


Robert Costanza, one of the foremost proponents of ecological economics, discusses how his field broadens and nuances our understanding of human prosperity and well-being. —Original Airdate: 7/7/2017 8:00:00 PM

Laura Jefferies: Crickets--A Great New Source of Protein to Help Feed the World (rebroadcast)

Aug 9, 2018


Our guests on Thinking Aloud today are two food and nutrition scientists who have researched the ways in which crickets are actually a terrific source of protein.  It turns out that crickets are easy to grow, much cheaper to raise than cows, produce far less environmental waste, and, this is the kicker, contain protein that is of the same nutritional quality as beef. 
—Original Airdate: 5/29/2017 8:00:00 PM

Dava Sobel: The Ladies of the Harvard Observatory (rebroadcast)

Aug 8, 2018


Tonight on Thinking Aloud, host Marcus Smith will visit with acclaimed science writer Dava Sobel about her new book, The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars. Learn about how these incredible women took astronomy by storm on tonight's Thinking Aloud.  —Original Airdate: 5/18/2017 8:00:00 PM

Leo Braudy: Haunted (rebroadcast)

Aug 6, 2018


Marcus Smith visits with Leo Braudy, exploring the history of monsters like witches, vampires, and zombies and trying to understand what these monsters have to say about the fears of the culture who created them. —Original Airdate: 6/21/2017 8:00:00 PM

Kyle Harper: Climate, Disease, and the End of the Roman Empire (rebroadcast)

Aug 3, 2018


Classicist Kyle Harper joins the show to discuss his new book, "The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire," which introduces two new characters in the narrative of Rome's decline: climate change and infectious disease.  —Original Airdate: 1/29/2018 8:00:00 PM

Alan Manning: The Mormon in Mark Twain's Heart

Aug 2, 2018


BYU linguistics professor Alan Manning joins guest host Lisa Valentine Clark to discuss his research into evidence pointing to a Mormon girlfriend in Mark Twain's past. 

Benjamin Madley: An American Genocide (rebroadcast)

Jul 30, 2018


Historian Benjamin Madley joins us to tell the chilling story of the government-sanctioned genocide of California's Indians in the nineteenth century. —Original Airdate: 9/27/2017 8:00:00 PM

Daniel Bender: Searching for Wildness at the American Zoo (rebroadcast)

Jul 27, 2018


Daniel Bender discusses his book The Animal Game: Searching for Wildness at the American Zoo and examines the role zoos have played in shaping our relationship with faraway places and people. —Original Airdate: 6/16/2017 8:00:00 PM

Wallace Best: Langston's Salvation—The Bard of Harlem and Religion (rebroadcast)

Jul 25, 2018


Langston Hughes is often erroneously accused of being an opponent of religion, but an understanding of the religious culture of Hughes's Harlem and his religious poetry shows otherwise. Wallace Best, author of "Langston's Salvation: American Religion and the Bard of Harlem," joins the show.  —Original Airdate: 12/7/2017 8:00:00 PM

Kori Schake: The Transition from British to American Hegemony (rebroadcast)

Jul 23, 2018


Kori Schake discusses why the transition from British toAmerican hegemony was so peaceful, and why we probably can't expect thenext transition to follow that example.  —Original Airdate: 2/22/2018 8:00:00 PM

Secret Lives of Color: The Histories of Hues (rebroadcast)

Jul 20, 2018


We rarely think about how every man-made objects, from our cars to our phones to our clothing, is colored with a pigment that had to be invented or manipulated by someone at some point. Color is made. We’re joined by Kassia St Clair, author of "The Secret Lives of Color." St Clair’s surveys 75 shades that range all over the color wheel, unlocking their unique histories and stories. —Original Airdate: 2/16/2018 8:00:00 PM

Nathan Devir: Emerging Jewish Communities Around the World (rebroadcast)

Jul 19, 2018


Marcus Smith visits with an expert in Judaism about new Jewish communities sprouting up around the world in places like Cameroon, Ghana and India. —Original Airdate: 4/16/2018 8:00:00 PM

Brian Regal & Frank Esposito: The Birth of the Jersey Devil

Jun 21, 2018


Brian Regal and Frank Esposito from Kean University explore the genesis of one of America's oldest monster legends: the Jersey Devil. It's a tale that has less to do with a winged beast and more to do with colonial Quaker infighting, pamphlet wars, publicity stunts, and the absolute villainization of a man who just wanted to bring the Enlightenment to the New World.

Priya Satia: Guns and the Making of the Industrial Revolution

Jun 20, 2018


Stanford history professor Priya Satia discusses how war, imperialism, and Britian's thriving gun trade acted as the real engine of the Industrial Revolution.

Joseph Crespino: The Evolution of Atticus Finch

Jun 18, 2018


Joseph Crespino, the Jimmy Carter Professor of History at Emory University, traces the origins and evolution of Atticus Finch, the iconic patriarch from Harper Lee's seminal novel.  

Randall Stephens: How Christians Came to Embrace Rock & Roll

Jun 15, 2018


Randall Stephens, professor of history and American studies, traces the history of Christian rock from its beginning as "the devil's music" to a billion dollar industry. 

Neda Maghbouleh: Iranian Americans and the Politics of Race

Jun 14, 2018


Sociologist Neda Maghbouleh joins the show to discuss her research into how second-generation Iranian Americans navigate the paradox between being legally classified as white and socially perceived as nonwhite. 

Leslie Anthony: The Aliens Among Us

Jun 13, 2018


Adventure and science journalist Leslie Anthony discusses his research into invasive species and the effect they're having on the planet. 

Jeremy Teigen: The History of Veterans as Presidents

Jun 11, 2018


Political scientist Jeremy Teigen explores the history of military service and the U.S. presidency and discusses how the status of being a veteran has helped or hindered presidential hopefuls. 

Amaranth Borsuk: The Past and Future of the Book

Jun 8, 2018


Whether you think it's on its way out or a permanent fixture in our culture, there's no denying that we're fascinated with books. Poet and scholar Amaranth Borsuk joins the show to explore the limits and possibilities of the book as object, as content, and as idea. 

Adam Winkler: How Corporations Won Their Civil Rights

Jun 7, 2018


The Virgina Company. The Fourteenth Amendment. Dodge v Ford Motor Co. Ralph Nader. Mitt Romney. UCLA law professor Adam Winkler talks through the characters and cases that helped business corporations gain rights under the Constitution.

Bruce Fink: Jacques Lacan on the Illusions of Love (rebroadcast)

Jun 4, 2018


Lacanian psychoanalyst Bruce Fink visits the show to discuss Jacques Lacan's thoughts and writing on love.  —Original Airdate: 1/11/2018 8:00:00 PM

Daniel Levitin: A Field Guide to Lies--Critical Thinking in the Information Age (rebroadcast)

Jun 1, 2018


As technological advancement leads us to confront an ever-larger bombardment of information, we have to ask ourselves: which of all this information is true or accurate?  Today's guest believes we can tell the difference between solid data and media junk if we learn how.  He's here to help us begin that important process of learning discernment amid an ocean of media.   —Original Airdate: 9/14/2016 8:00:00 PM

Ronit Stahl: The Changing Role of Military Chaplains (rebroadcast)

May 28, 2018


Marcus Smith interviews a historian, Ronit Stahl, about the U.S. military chaplaincy and its role in shaping the relationship between religion and state.  —Original Airdate: 1/10/2018 8:00:00 PM

Darrin Lunde: Theodore Roosevelt, The Naturalist (rebroadcast)

May 25, 2018


Marcus Smith speaks with Smithsonian naturalist Darrin Lunde about Theodore Roosevelt's lesser-known passion for the science of naturalism.  —Original Airdate: 6/28/2017 8:00:00 PM

Kathryn Tempest: Retelling the Story of Brutus

May 24, 2018


Kathryn Tempest, senior lecturer on Roman history at the University of  Roehampton London and author of "Brutus: The Noble Conspirator," joins the show to talk about how we know what we know about Marcus Junius Brutus and his infamous assassination of Julius Caesar. 

Daniel Horowitz: A Historian's Take on Positive Psychology

May 23, 2018


Historian Daniel Horowitz, author of the book "Happier? The History of a Cultural Movement That Aspired to Transform America," discusses the results of America's draw towards positive psychology and the happiness. 

Henrik Syse: Finding Connection through Memory (rebroadcast)

May 21, 2018


Philosopher Henrik Syse shares his thoughts about using the memory of trauma to form universal connections rather than fuel conflict.  —Original Airdate: 4/12/2018 8:00:00 PM

Mark Serreze: A Scientist's Account of the Changing Arctic

May 18, 2018


Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, describes how the science on climate change has changed throughout his career and details his own experiences witnessing those changes on the ground in the Arctic. 

John Branch: Ranching and Rodeo in the American West

May 17, 2018


Competitive bronc riding is still alive and mostly well in some corners of the United States, and one family, as a three-generation dynasty, has dominated this colorful sport for decades: the Wrights of Southern Utah.  We’re joined by John Branch, author of “The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West.” Can there ever be another Wright family, or are they really the last cowboys?

John Eason: Big House on the Prairie (rebroadcast)

May 16, 2018


John Eason, author of Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation, joins us to explain the politics and economics of the prison boom and why so many small towns in the American Midwest want massive new prisons built near them. —Original Airdate: 7/13/2017 8:00:00 PM

Daniel Chambliss & Christopher Takacs: The Secrets to College Success

May 14, 2018


Daniel Chambliss and Christopher Takacs, authors of "How College Works," join the show to talk about their research into the surprising and not-so-surprising factors that create a successful college experience. 

Jeanne Theoharis: The Misuses of Civil Rights History (rebroadcast)

May 10, 2018


Political science professor Jeanne Theoharis, author of "A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History," joins the show to look at the ways we often misrepresent civil rights history and discusses how those misconceptions affect our present.  —Original Airdate: 4/2/2018 8:00:00 PM

Kieran Setiya: Philosophy for Midlife (rebroadcast)

May 8, 2018


MIT philosophy professor Kieran Setiya, author of "Midlife: A Philosophical Guide," shares his wisdom for dealing with the questions that surround a midlife crisis.  —Original Airdate: 4/19/2018 8:00:00 PM

Andrew Ruis: The Origins of School Lunch (rebroadcast)

May 5, 2018


School lunch has never been just a midday meal. Andrew Ruis, author of Eating to Learn, Learning to Eat: The Origins of School Lunch in the United States, joins us to talk about the social, political, and economic concerns that gave rise to school lunch in its present form.  —Original Airdate: 12/6/2017 8:00:00 PM

Steven Teles & Brink Lindsey: Retaking a Captured Economy (rebroadcast)

May 4, 2018


Unprecedented inequality and slow growth: those are the symptoms of our current economic situation. But what's the disease? Steven Teles and Brink Lindsey, authors of the book The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality, join the show to discuss how seemingly innocuous government regulations have created unfair advantage for those at the top and what we can do to recapture the economy for all.  —Original Airdate: 12/29/2017 8:00:00 PM

Kristin Matthews: The Role of Reading in Times of Crisis (rebroadcast)

May 3, 2018


Kristin Matthews, an English professor at BYU, joins the show to discuss the frenzied culture of reading during the Cold War and other times of national uncertainty.  —Original Airdate: 11/3/2017 8:00:00 PM

Adam Bradley: Exploring the Poetry of Pop Music (rebroadcast)

May 1, 2018


Adam Bradley, author of The Poetry of Pop, joins us to discuss the lyrical power of popular music and the mechanics of its appeal.  —Original Airdate: 7/20/2017 8:00:00 PM

R.P. Eddy: Forecasting Catastrophes (rebroadcast)

Apr 28, 2018


Can we stop catastrophes--nuclear war, financial meltdowns, climate disasters--before they happen? R.P. Eddy, coauthor of "Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes," thinks we can. We just have to find and listen to our modern-day Cassandras.  —Original Airdate: 8/14/2017 8:00:00 PM

Todd May: Against Invulnerablism (rebroadcast)

Apr 27, 2018


Is being invulnerable to suffering something we actually want? Definitely not, says Todd May, a philosophy professor at Clemson University. He joins us to discuss the ideas his book, A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability. —Original Airdate: 8/23/2017 8:00:00 PM

Marcus Rediker: The Fearless Benjamin Lay (rebroadcast)

Apr 26, 2018


Marcus Smith speaks with a historian about Benjamin Lay, an eighteenth-century Quaker dwarf who was one of America's first abolitionists.  —Original Airdate: 1/18/2018 8:00:00 PM

Trebbe Johnson: Encountering the Environment

Apr 24, 2018


Trebbe Johnson, writer and founder of Radical Joy for Hard Times, discusses our fractured relationship with the environment and how to find joy and connection in damaged places.