The author of 13 books about evolution, neuroscience, biology, and most recently heredity, as well as the weekly “Matter” science column in the New York Times, discusses his accessible style of science storytelling, answering Michael’s burning questions on his recent book She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, science in schools, genomes, and whether there is a gene to make you a successful podcaster.
Episode 90: Saru Jayaraman
The co-founder and president of ROC, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, Saru Jayaraman has devoted her career to improving the lives of restaurant workers. Her activism through legislation, initiatives, and conversation as well as her two books, have raised the awareness and made significant improvements, of some of the appalling conditions of the workers who make and serve the food in the places millions of Americans like to eat.
Episode 89: Dan Pfeiffer
One of President Obama’s longest-serving staffers, first as Communications Director then as Senior Advisor, Dan Pfeiffer discusses present-day politics through the unique lens of his experience, which he also details in his new book, Yes, We (Still) Can. From what motivates Mitch McConnell, to his work as a pundit on CNN, Pfeiffer is one of the few who might be able to answer Michael’s question, “What the fuck is happening right now?”
Episode 88: Giada De Laurentiis
The Food Network star, bestselling cookbook author and now restaurateur tells Michael how her success all grew organically from her passion for cooking and not from a great ambition to be famous. But famous she is, and she now finds her life is a push and pull struggle when it comes to taking new risks, like deciding to open her first restaurant after years of being a television star, and what those risks cost her.
Episode 87: David Cross
The multi-talented actor, comedian, writer, and director sits down with Michael to discuss his journey from his first stand up performance as a teenager in Atlanta to his many memorable roles on Arrested Development, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and more. The two colleagues dive into a heartfelt conversation about the unsteadiness of working in Hollywood, the ways in which men can support #MeToo and #TimesUp, and navigating the volatile world of Twitter.
Episode 86: Michael Pollan
The author of many bestselling books about food including, among others, The Omnivore's Dilemmaand In Defense Of Food has turned his attention to a new kind of consumption - psychedelic drugs. In this fun and informative interview, Pollan talks about how writing about these drugs was a natural progression from his earlier work, and what he discovered about himself when, in the service of research for his new book How to Change Your Mind, he decided to test psychedelics for himself.
Episode 85: Nell Scovell
For more than thirty years, writer, producer, and director Nell Scovell worked behind the scenes of iconic TV shows such as Murphy Brown, The Simpsons, and Coach. In this lively and timely interview, she shares stories from her memoir Just the Funny Parts about working in the male-dominated entertainment field, her time writing on Late Night with David Letterman, and crafting jokes for everyone from Obama to Miss Piggy.
Episode 84: George C. Wolfe
One of the greatest theater directors of all time, the gregarious and razor-sharp George C. Wolfe joins Michael in an in-depth and moving conversation about how his positive approach to life informs his work. For anyone who has struggled, been daunted by circumstances, or dared to dream big, Wolfe’s direction on saying yes in his own life will inspire and motivate.