NPR's 'Invisibilia' Returns For Its Third Season Season 3 kicks off June 1 with a new framework and release schedule, asking "how real is reality?"
NPR logo NPR's 'Invisibilia' Returns For Its Third Season

NPR's 'Invisibilia' Returns For Its Third Season

In a season of connected episodes, co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin question the most basic assumptions about our lives by looking at how ideas about emotions shape what we experience. Marina Muun for NPR hide caption

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Marina Muun for NPR

In a season of connected episodes, co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin question the most basic assumptions about our lives by looking at how ideas about emotions shape what we experience.

Marina Muun for NPR

Season 3 kicks off June 1 with a new framework and release schedule, asking "how real is reality?"

Thursday, May 18, 2017; Washington D.C. - NPR's Invisibilia is back next month — and this time, tackling the nature of reality. For their third season, co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin probe a radically new way of looking at some fundamental questions: Where do emotions come from? Can racism be cured? How is it that two people can look out the window at the exact same thing and see something completely different?

In an ambitious new experiment, all the episodes in the season are connected. In the same way that rock musicians in the '60s and '70s explored their worlds with concept albums, Spiegel and Rosin put forward a provocative new idea and explore it in stories from around the country, using the revealing science and rich storytelling Invisibilia is known for.

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"This season is like our version of a 'concept album,'" said Spiegel. "Each story is illuminating on its own, but the entire season taken together will make you rethink the fundamental way you see the world."

Spiegel, Rosin and a trio of talented producers take listeners to a small town in Minnesota where neighbors feud over the nature of wild bears; a high school in Florida where the principal conducts a radical – and ultimately tragic — experiment; and a remote tribe in the Philippines known for its headhunting where an anthropologist discovers a new emotion. At the heart of each story is a challenge relevant to us all: how much of ourselves and the world can we change?

"We hope to leave you with a liberating thought," said Hanna Rosin. "You actually have more control over your world than you realize."

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The critically-acclaimed and beloved program, produced by NPR's Science Desk, will return to earbuds and airwaves on June 1. Invisibilia will have a run of four, one-hour episodes broadcast on participating public radio stations; throughout the month, the show will release seven podcast episodes — sometimes two in one day — in the NPR One app and wherever podcasts are available; and excerpts will also be featured across Morning Edition, All Things Considered and across NPR.org.

Beginning this season, Invisibilia will become a semi-annual event for listeners on every platform.

"We're delighted to say we're giving listeners more stories, more often," said Science Desk Editor Anne Gudenkauf. "New podcast episodes and radio shows will come out in June, with another batch coming in January. January and June are Invisibilia months."

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After Invisibilia launched in January 2015, the podcast quickly climbed the ranks to number one on the iTunes top-ten chart and stayed there. The show has aired on nearly 350 public radio stations around the country, and the podcast averaged over 900,000 users per week when season 2 was being released.

Invisibilia brings together three award-winning reporters distinguished for their powerful storytelling. Alix Spiegel, one of the founding producers of This American Life, covered psychology and human behavior for NPR's Science Desk for 10 years before creating Invisibilia. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker and has earned many awards including a George Foster Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

Before joining Invisibilia last year, Hanna Rosin wrote about American culture for The Atlantic. She was part of a team that won a National Magazine Award, and won an Education Writer's Award for feature writing. She has also written for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, GQ, New York magazine and The New Republic and is the author of God's Harvard (2007) and The End of Men: And the Rise of Women (2012). Rosin hosts the Slate podcast XXGabfest.

Though fans will be hearing from Lulu Miller, co-founder of Invisibilia, she has taken a step back this season to write a book. Like Invisibilia, the book is a braid of science, psychology and unsettling story. It is due out in 2018 from Simon & Schuster.

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