Radiolab
Radiolab
Jan 9, 2018
How to Be a Hero
Play episode · 29 min

What are people thinking when they risk their lives for someone else? Are they making complicated calculations of risk or diving in without a second thought? Is heroism an act of sympathy or empathy?  

A few years ago, we spoke with Walter F. Rutkowski about how the Carnegie Hero Fund selects its heroes, an honor the fund bestows upon ordinary people who have done extraordinary acts.

When some of these heroes were asked what they were thinking when they leapt into action, they replied: they didn’t think about it, they just went in.

Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says there is a certain kind of empathy that leads to action. But feeling the pain of another person deeply is not necessarily what makes a hero.  

Our original episode was reported and produced by Lynn Levy and Tim Howard. This update was produced by Amanda Aronczyk.

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Science Vs
Science Vs
Gimlet
Reparations: How Could It Work?
The idea of paying Black Americans reparations for slavery has been around for a long time, but it’s starting to get more support than ever. So we ask: If the country does agree to pay up, how do you calculate the bill? And how could the U.S. come up with that kind of cash? To find out, we talk to historian and farmer Leah Penniman, economist Prof. William Darity Jr., public policy scholar Assistant Prof. Naomi Zewde, and Ebony Pickett.  UPDATE 10/30/20: An earlier version of this episode said that the average White person who didn't finish high school makes more money than the average Black person who graduated from college. The actual statistic is about net worth, rather than income, so we removed this reference. We’ve updated the episode. Check out the transcript here: https://bit.ly/3kSFe3q Selected resources: Leah’s book, Farming While Black Sandy’s book, From Here to Equality This Time article about Rosewood This episode was produced by Rose Rimler and Anoa Changa with help from Wendy Zukerman, Hannah Harris Green, Michelle Dang, and Nick DelRose. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Erica Akiko Howard. Mix and sound design by Sam Bair. Music written by Peter Leonard, Emma Munger, Bobby Lord and Marcus Bagala. Baby sounds provided by Hunter and Lyric. Thanks to everyone we got in touch with for this episode including Sophia Clark, Dr. Dania Francis, Dr. Dionissi Alliprantis, Prof. Kristen Broady, Prof. Rashawn Ray, Dr. Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, Prof. Henry Thompson, Prof. Richard Edwards, and Prof. Steve Greenlaw. A special thanks to the Zukerman family, Walter Rimler, and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.
32 min
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