Presidential
Presidential
Sep 24, 2020
BONUS | Pandemic, propaganda and the presidency
Play • 40 min
The 1918 influenza pandemic killed more than 675,000 Americans, but President Woodrow Wilson never made a single public statement about it. Why? Here’s what happens when efforts to promote patriotism and suppress free speech collide with a deadly virus.
The Pulse
The Pulse
WHYY
The Species We Save
Humans have long tried to mitigate their own destructive impact on the planet through conservation efforts. Often, those efforts are attached to one iconic species or another — the majestic bald eagle, cuddly cute baby seal, or awe-inspiring blue whale. But is this about them, or is it about us? On this episode, we take a closer look at conservation, and dig into the human motivations and emotions behind it. We hear stories about a near-extinct fish called the delta smelt — and whether it’s actually worth saving; how a weird-looking bird has sparked a battle over land in the American West; and how plucky raccoons carve out their own existence in cities. Also heard on this week’s episode: * Out in sagebrush country — a remote area of the American West — a strange and beautiful bird called the greater sage grouse has sparked a war over land. Reporter Ashley Ahearn explains why the grouse’s fight for survival has put it in direct conflict with humans, and how — and whether — compromise is possible. This story is excerpted from the podcast “Grouse.” * We talk with science journalist Michelle Nijhuis about what drives the conservation movement and the hard questions that not enough people are asking. Her book is called “Beloved Beasts.” * What can bird songs teach us about the origins of human language? Plenty, according to Erich Jarvis, a neuroscientist and molecular biologist who explores the neurobiology of vocal communication. We find out more in this preview of our new podcast extra series — subscribe to The Pulse to hear the whole interview and others like it.
49 min
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