Radiolab call for pitches

A call for pitches from my favorite radio program. Check it out!


Radiolab is about to launch into production for a new season, and we’re in search of stories. We’d love your help. 

If you’re inclined, give a glance at the topics below (some of which are still in the half-baked, even doughy, stage). And if you have any pitches or ideas, please contact Brenna Farrell offlist at

We’ll try super hard to respond to every pitch promptly. But we’re a tiny staff, so..just in case, let’s say that if we don’t get back to you within a week, that means we’re not gonna move forward with the pitch.

Thanks everyone in advance!

Jad Abumrad
WNYC/NPR’s Radiolab

Upcoming topics:

Our starting point here is a conversation with Oliver Sacks about three different people who suffered from the same disease…but who had radically different symptoms. Oliver thinks the difference is due to their personalities, that somehow the disease and the personality are engaged in a kind of conversation. This got us thinking. When you get down to it, what exactly is personality? Where does it come from? Is it fixed? And how low can you go? We’ve heard stories of researchers who believe even fruit flies have personalities. We’re looking to take this far past science if we can…

– Stories of actors inhabiting personalities very different from their own (I’ve always been fascinated by things like method acting).

Anyone know a specific story like this?

Somebody who gets bumped on the head and their personality changes dramatically?

We’re thinking about play and games. We’re reporting a story about a high school basketball game whose outcome was so dramatic and stunning that it should have changed the lives of the players involved forever…but it didn’t. Not one bit. Games are these funny contradictions. In the moment, they matter more than anything, life or death. The moment they’re over, you realize it was “just a game.” Why are we so invested? On a similar theme, what happens when a game is no longer a game? We’d be interested in stories where one person thought they were just playing a game…until things got serious. Like when you’re playing with your cat and suddenly cat goes into fight mode. Do you know of any stories of people inventing games? Maybe a game that completely flopped? What are the elements of a good game? What makes a game a dud?

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