Life Examined

Life Examined

KCRW's Life Examined is a one-hour weekly show exploring science, philosophy, faith — and finding meaning in the modern world. The show is hosted by Jonathan Bastian. Please tune in Saturdays at 9 a.m., or find it as a podcast.

KCRW’s Joanthan Bastian talks with author Nicole Krauss. Her latest collection of short stories is titled “To be a Man”

‘Manhood has never been more beleaguered or more challenged’ says author Nicole Krauss

KCRW’s Joanthan Bastian talks with author Nicole Krauss. Her latest collection of short stories is titled “To be a Man”

Merit-based success has long been celebrated in America — the result most say of hard work and dedication.

Does a merit based society divide us into winners and losers?

Merit-based success has long been celebrated in America — the result most say of hard work and dedication.

In today’s society, if you want to compete and win in the global economy you need to go to college, as Harvard University political philosophy professor Michael Sandel puts it, “what…

The myth of merit based education

In today’s society, if you want to compete and win in the global economy you need to go to college, as Harvard University political philosophy professor Michael Sandel puts it, “what…

Over the past 50 years our the concept of being a maleness and masculinity have also been impacted by a cultural shift and societal acceptance of different gender identities and all…

How gender identity is shifting our perception of traditional male traits

Over the past 50 years our the concept of being a maleness and masculinity have also been impacted by a cultural shift and societal acceptance of different gender identities and all…

In his most recent book “Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the end of an Era” Stonybrook University emeritus professor Michael Kimmel addresses how our notions of manhood have…

The notion of what it means to be a man is beginning to change

In his most recent book “Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the end of an Era” Stonybrook University emeritus professor Michael Kimmel addresses how our notions of manhood have…

As politics pits family, friends and colleagues against each other, how do we gain empathy and understanding with those with whom we disagree?

How to gain empathy and understanding with those with whom we disagree

As politics pits family, friends and colleagues against each other, how do we gain empathy and understanding with those with whom we disagree?

Political divisions run deep in America.

How to connect across the political divide

Political divisions run deep in America.

Psychedelics have been used for thousands of years by indigenous cultures but new research suggests that the ancient Greeks, Romans and even some early Christians may have used…

The role psychedelics played in the origins of Western civilization

Psychedelics have been used for thousands of years by indigenous cultures but new research suggests that the ancient Greeks, Romans and even some early Christians may have used…

The counterculture years of the 1960’s and 70’s did little for the reputation of psychedelic drug use.

The benefits of of psilocybin in treating mental health disorders

The counterculture years of the 1960’s and 70’s did little for the reputation of psychedelic drug use.

As we get closer to the November 3 election, what role will religion play in influencing the candidates and getting out the vote?

How Christian faith leaders are squaring climate activism with belief

As we get closer to the November 3 election, what role will religion play in influencing the candidates and getting out the vote?

Religion and politics are two highly emotive subjects in today’s public discourse.

How politics and religion became intertwined in America

Religion and politics are two highly emotive subjects in today’s public discourse.

Twins have provided some of the most interesting research into human individuality.

Twins: Why we are who we are

Twins have provided some of the most interesting research into human individuality.

As any parent will attest, raising kids comes with many challenges and questions. Perhaps the most fundamental: nature versus nurture.

What makes us who we are?

As any parent will attest, raising kids comes with many challenges and questions. Perhaps the most fundamental: nature versus nurture.

Far from being a “counter-counter” belief, the business of astrology today is booming.

Is this the dawning for a new age for astrology?

Far from being a “counter-counter” belief, the business of astrology today is booming.

Since the beginning of time people pondered their relationship to the universe by looking to the skies.

‘We are stardust.’ How astrology has evolved over the millenia

Since the beginning of time people pondered their relationship to the universe by looking to the skies.

The recent fires and record breaking heat wave have had a devastating impact on much of the west coast of America.

The implications of climate change on our health

The recent fires and record breaking heat wave have had a devastating impact on much of the west coast of America.

Climate change continues to threaten our natural world on an annual basis. Uninhabitable environments could cause the biggest migration in the US since the Great Migration.

Is climate change driving a wave of global migration?

Climate change continues to threaten our natural world on an annual basis. Uninhabitable environments could cause the biggest migration in the US since the Great Migration.

The religious landscape of the United States continues to shift.

Is SoulCycle becoming an alternative to church?

The religious landscape of the United States continues to shift.

As a child, religion scholar Elaine Pagels had very little exposure to religion.

Surviving tragedy and what it means to believe

As a child, religion scholar Elaine Pagels had very little exposure to religion.

Brain fog has been described as one of long term impacts of COVID-19 —but what’s actually happening within our brains and why is it so hard to remember what happened just last week?

‘Living dynamic electric fabric’ — How our brains are wired for change

Brain fog has been described as one of long term impacts of COVID-19 —but what’s actually happening within our brains and why is it so hard to remember what happened just last week?