Month: January 2021

The Sunday Read: ‘The Forgotten Sense’

“Smell is a startling superpower,” writes Brooke Jarvis, the author of today’s Sunday Read. “If you weren’t used to it, it would seem like witchcraft.” For hundreds of years, smell has been disregarded. Most adults in a 2019 survey ranked it as the least important sense; and in a 2011 survey of young people, the…

A Conspiracy Is Proved Wrong

This episode contains strong language.  Inauguration Day was supposed to bring vindication for adherents of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon. Instead, they watched as Joe Biden took the oath as the 46th president of the United States. What happens to a conspiracy theory and its followers when they are proved wrong? Guest: Kevin Roose, a…

The Fate of the Filibuster

As Democrats and Republicans haggled over how to share power in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, made one key demand: Do not touch the filibuster rule. Today, we explore the mechanics and history of the rule and look ahead at its fate.  Guest: Julie Hirschfeld Davis, the congressional editor for The New York…

Why Are U.S. Covid Cases Falling? And Will the Trend Last?

The number of new coronavirus cases in the United States is falling, but has the country turned a corner in the pandemic? And what kind of threats do the new variants pose to people and to the vaccine rollout? Today, we discuss the latest in the quest to stamp out the pandemic.   Guest: Donald G….

‘The Skunk at the Picnic’: Dr. Anthony Fauci on Working for Trump

This episode contains strong language. In many instances while advising the Trump administration on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci was faced with a “difficult” situation. Yet he said he had never considered quitting. What was it like working under President Donald J. Trump? We listen in on a candid conversation between Dr. Fauci and Donald…

Aleksei Navalny and the Future of Russia

The Russian activist Aleksei Navalny has spent years agitating against corruption, and against President Vladimir Putin.  Last summer he was poisoned, with a rare nerve agent linked to the Russian state. Last week, after recovering in Germany, he returned to Moscow. He was arrested at the airport, but he managed to put out a call…

The Sunday Read: ‘The Amateur Cloud Society That (Sort Of) Rattled the Scientific Community’

The cultural history of clouds seemed to be shaped by amateurs — the likes of Luke Howard and the Honorable Ralph Abercromby — each of whom projected the ethos of his particular era onto those billowing blank slates in the troposphere. Gavin Pretor-Pinney was our era’s. On today’s Sunday Read, the story of the Cloud…

Biden’s Executive Orders

Within hours of assuming the presidency, President Biden signed a flurry of executive orders. He rejoined the Paris climate agreement, repealed the so-called Muslim travel ban and mandated the wearing of masks on federal property. The actions had a theme: They either reversed former President Donald Trump’s actions or rebuked his general policy approach. But…

The Inauguration of Joe Biden

Unity was the byword of President Biden’s Inaugural Address. The speech was an attempt to turn the page. But can this be achieved without, as many in the Democratic coalition believe, a full reckoning with and accountability of how America got to this point of division? Today, we explore the defining messages of the president’s…

‘Restoring the First Brick of Dignity’: Biden Supporters on His Inauguration

Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States today. Among Democrats, there is a sense of joy and hope, but also of caution and concern. We speak with a range of Mr. Biden’s supporters, including activists who had originally hoped for a more progressive ticket and longtime fans who…