This week: a conversation with the economist Mariana Mazzucato about government’s capacity for confronting the big challenges. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our site.

The economist Mariana Mazzucato has been called a “rockstar,” also “electrifying” in her role as a thinker “who has the ears of world leaders.” This week she’s on Open Source, talking about what can be accomplished when the state creates a mission for the private sector, and about how the worst threats—like climate change and COVID—necessitate such state-driven initiatives. She says this week:

I’ve been talking about mission economics and the need for…


This week: a conversation with Justin Beal about the World Trade Center’s architect, Minoru Yamasaki. Hear it today at 2 pm, or anytime at our website.

The architect Minoru Yamasaki’s life included intense productivity along with tragedy, and the tragedy and productivity merged in the buildings for which he’s best known: the World Trade Center and St. Louis’s Pruitt-Igoe housing projects, both of which were destroyed (Pruitt-Igoe was demolished in 1972).


This week: conversations with William Dalrymple, Nancy Lindisfarne, and Jonathan Neale about the war in Afghanistan, from the 19th century to 2021. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our site.

Looking back on twenty years of war in Afghanistan, you find that the view keeps going back, through other Afghan wars, across centuries—waged by the British, by the Soviet Union. This week we talk to historian William Dalrymple about that history, and specifically about the link between the First Anglo-Afghan War and the American war in Afghanistan. Dalrymple says:

Both campaigns were inspired by trying to put a…


This week: conversations with Maggie Doherty, Anahid Nersessian, and Zachary Samalin about the American mood and the legacy of Lauren Berlant. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our website.

After the scholar Lauren Berlant died this summer, remembrances made clear that we’d lost an epoch-making mind, who prompted new ways to think and feel about both history and private life. A professor of English who studied affect and mood in politics and culture, Berlant propelled a major turn in American thought, and on this week’s show, we learn about that turn.


This week: conversations with Nathaniel Rich and John Barry about climate change and pandemic, as viewed from New Orleans. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our website.

In his new book Second Nature, Nathaniel Rich writes that “the trajectory of our era—this age of soul delay—runs from naivete to shock to horror to anger to resolve.” We’ve definitely experienced the first four stages in this summer of climate disaster and the Delta variant. But the last phase of the trajectory (resolve) is around, too, if you know where to look.

This week, we look for it—successfully!—in New Orleans…


This week: conversations with Zephyr Teachout, Ralph Nader, Nicco Mele, Ben Tarnoff, and Matt Stoller about Joe Biden vs. monopoly power. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our website.

Joe Biden signed an order on July 9th taking aim at Big Tech and corporate consolidation. In his remarks, he called for a sharp turn from trends of the past four decades:

Forty years ago, we chose the wrong path, in my view, following the misguided philosophy of people like Robert Bork, and pulled back on enforcing laws to promote competition.

We’re now 40 years into the experiment of…


This week: a conversation with Daphne Brooks about Black feminist music across the twentieth century. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our website.

From Bessie Smith to Beyoncé, our show this week tracks a history of feminist music from Black artists. We’re joined by the historian and critic Daphne Brooks, whose new book, Liner Notes for the Revolution, explores such music via intellectual and political history. She says on our show:

Those Black women artists were archiving the history of our American struggle, our American catastrophe, which is that of racial subjugation and gender subjugation, through their music…


This week: a conversation with Dr. Aaron Kesselheim and Dr. Jason Karlawish about Alzheimer’s disease and the FDA’s approval of aducanumab. Listen today at 2 pm or anytime at our website.

After the historic success of pandemic vaccines that met FDA standards of “safe and effective,” the FDA recently approved a drug that experts say hasn’t been proven safe or effective. That drug is Biogen’s aducanumab, intended to treat Alzheimer’s disease. After its approval, Dr. Aaron Kesselheim of Harvard resigned from his FDA advisory committee post in protest. Dr. Kesselheim joins us for this week’s show and says:

I think…


This week: conversations about the end of the Netanyahu era with Joshua Cohen, Sayed Kashua, and Bernard Avishai. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our website.

An unlikely coalition of political opponents recently defeated Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The change’s full meaning isn’t yet clear, but we have help in this week of reflection on the Netanyahu regime. There’s a new novel about Netanyahu (in a way) called The Netanyahus, by Joshua Cohen.


This week: a conversation with the astronomer Avi Loeb about UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence. Listen today at 2 pm, or anytime at our website.

UFOs are back in the news, now called UAPs, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. But it’s not clear whether the recent reports of sightings get us any closer to finding alien intelligence. In an interstellar object called ‘Oumuamua, however, the Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb believes humanity may have already found a spacecraft designed by extraterrestrials (his book on the subject is Extraterrestrial). Here’s his case for that, on this week’s show:

At first astronomers thought: oh, it…

Radio Open Source

An American conversation with global attitude, on the arts, humanities, and global affairs, hosted by Christopher Lydon. chris@radioopensource.org

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