Boston Public Radio Join hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan for a smart local conversation with leaders and thinkers shaping Boston and New England. We feature our favorite conversation from each show.
Boston Public Radio

Boston Public Radio

From GBH

Join hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan for a smart local conversation with leaders and thinkers shaping Boston and New England. We feature our favorite conversation from each show.

Most Recent Episodes

BPR Full Show 11/30/20: Winter is Coming

Dr. Ken Duckworth, senior medical director for behavioral health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass. and national medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, talked about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on mental health during the holiday season. He also took time to fielding questions and comments from listeners. Next, we opened our lines up to ask: with winter encroaching, are you ready to answer the call of the great outdoors? GBH investigative reporter Chris Burrell discussed growing momentum in the State House around legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to register for drivers licenses. He also discussed the latest news around Mass.' purported investments in minority-owned businesses. Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price, host of GBH's All Rev'd Up podcast, weighed in on President-elect Joe Biden's Catholic faith, and debated the real impact it might have on his presidency. They also discussed Wilton Gregory, who became the first-ever Black-American cardinal this past weekend. TV expert Bob Thompson reviewed NOVA's "Saving Notre Dame," and talked about the onslaught of welcome holiday content from country legend Dolly Parton. He also offered a belated review of Netflix's hit show "The Queen's Gambit." We closed out Monday's show by reopening our lines to talk with listeners about "The Queen's Gambit," and ask: have got you gotten swept up in this current chess craze?

Dr. Ken Duckworth: Coping During COVID

Dr. Ken Duckworth spoke to Boston Public Radio on Monday about mental health, teletherapy, and coping support during the pandemic. "Supply [of therapists] was always inadequate to demand," he said. "But demand has exploded in the context of the pandemic." More people are experiencing distress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, addiction relapse, and recurrence of trauma since COVID-19, Duckworth said. "More people are seeking help and I think that really reflects the experience that people are having." Ken Duckworth is the Senior Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and the Medical Director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

BPR Full Show 11/25/20: Breaking With Tradition

Today on Boston Public Radio: M.I.T. economist Jon Gruber talked about shifting attitudes around the decriminalization of cannabis, and discussed the economic, public health, and social justice implications of marijuana legalization. We opened up the lines to talk with listeners about this year's Black Friday, getting your takes on pandemic-era shopping sprees. National security expert Juliette Kayyem dove into the logistics of COVID vaccine distribution, and talked about a "rolling recovery" through the final months of the pandemic. She also talked about questions of presidential pardons during the final months of the Trump administration, and weighed in on President-elect Biden's latest string of cabinet picks. Behavioral economist Michael Norton broke down his research on why human beings have such a hard time breaking from tradition, ahead of this COVID-era Thanksgiving. He also took some time to respond to questions and comments from listeners on the subject. Former DNC chairman Steve Grossman talked about his work with his organization The Initiative for Competitive Inner City, and their first-ever report ranking concentrated poverty in 450 American cities. He also discussed means of encouraging and stimulating growth in inner city economies, reflecting on the initiatives he'd like to see on a federal and state level. TV expert Bob Thompson discussed news that former Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings is temporarily taking on Jeopardy hosting duties in the wake of Alex Trebek's passing. He also reviewed the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion, and HBO's "Between the World And Me." We closed out Wednesday's show by returning to listeners, to talk about the Thanksgiving Day traditions you're holding onto this year – and maybe some ones you've invented in the time of coronavirus.

BPR Full Show 11/24/20: Feeling Convivial

Today on Boston Public Radio: Filmmaker Michael Kirk discussed his latest film for FRONTLINE, "Battle for the Court," about Sen. Mitch McConnell's decades-long effort to transform the Supreme Court. You can catch Kirk's film on Tuesday night at 10:00 on PBS, or online at PBS.org/Frontline. Next, we opened our lines to get your takes on President-elect Joe Biden's prospective cabinet picks. Medical ethicist Art Caplan discussed the emergence of a third prospective COVID-19 vaccine – this time from biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca – and its global implications for the next future of the coronavirus pandemic. Artist and performer David Byrne spoke about "American Utopia," his Broadway show, Spike Lee-directed HBO special, and now newly-released book created in collaboration with artist Maira Kalman. He also offered some thoughts on Joe Biden's 2020 win, and explained why he's been busy doodling in quarantine. Food writer Corby Kummer gave the latest updates on struggles within Boston's restaurant industry, cruel worker practices at U.S. slaughterhouses, and other major food headlines. Travel guru Rick Steves weighed in on President-elect Joe Biden's victory and the handful of ballot wins for cannabis legalization in the 2020 election. He also reflected on mindfulless and the Thanksgiving spirit, and what he's hoping his travel company will be able to achieve in 2021.

Rick Steves on Thanksgiving Mindfulness in the Year of COVID

On Tuesday, travel guru Rick Steves joined Boston Public Radio for his monthly check-in, where he reflected on the meaning of Thanksgiving, and its particular significance in the bizarre year of 2020. "Every country has harvest festivals," he said. "When travel and we clink glasses, we realize how beautiful and interconnected the world is, and realize how joy across the sea is just as real as joy across the table at home – and how hunger and suffering across the sea is just as real as sadness and struggles across our own family tables." He added, "thankfulness to me is really hollow without being mindful about our relative privilege, and the needs of the less fortunate." During the interview, Steves also touched on his feelings about Joe Biden's 2020 win, and spoke about what he's hoping to achieve in 2021 with the slow easing of global travel restrictions. Steves is an author, television and radio host, and the owner of "Rick Steves' Europe" tour group. You can catch Rick Steves' Europe weeknights at 7:30 on GBH 2, and his radio show Travel With Rick Steves Sundays at 4:00 on GBH.

Through 'American Utopia,' David Byrne Argues For A Return To Hope In Our Democratic 'Experiment'

When COVID-19 hit, New Wave musician and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne was forced to push back the return of his Broadway show, American Utopia. But that didn't silence the project altogether. In collaboration with artist Maira Kalman, Byrne converted the show into an illustrated book, and on Boston Public Radio Tuesday, he argued for a societal return to hope in the American experiment itself. "(An American utopia) an imaginary ideal, but it's nice to think that maybe we can get closer to it," he said. Byrne said he takes inspiration from the writings of Alexis de Toqueville, who wrote "Democracy in America" in the early 1800s. "Obviously as we've seen, the experiment continues, it's still an experiment," he said. "There's occasionally some bumps in the road, so far we're still hanging in there ... and can only hope that that kind of malleability that we have, leads us to a better place." Byrne has kept creating and adapting American Utopia during a pandemic that has affected much of American life as we know it. Touched by a national political discourse that seems more divided than ever, Byrne has also delved into the world of journalism, through a multimedia project called We Are Not Divided. "I'd collect these things for myself, to help convince myself no we're not necessarily going to hell in a handbasket, there are people doing things that are helpful," said Byrne. "It really has helped me, when I start to despair, it's really helped me see no that's not the only news out there, some of the news is that people are bridging divides, people are doing things that are energy efficient, they're finding ways to do things that are economically sound and putting us on the right path."

Through 'American Utopia,' David Byrne Argues For A Return To Hope In Our Democratic 'Experiment'

Corby Kummer: To Dine Indoors, Or Not To Dine Indoors?

Food writer Corby Kummer spoke to Boston Public Radio on Tuesday about the issue of proper ventilation inside restaurants, during the pandemic. "Indoor dining is problematic, and it needs spacing and ventilation and constant mask-wearing," he said. Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, an award-winning food writer, and a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Policy.

Art Caplan Expects 'Even More' Good COVID-19 Vaccine Announcements

With news that pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has developed a COVID-19 vaccine that may be nearly 90% effective and is easy to transport, medical ethicist Arthur Caplan told Boston Public Radio on Tuesday things are looking good for widespread vaccine distribution. "We now have at least three, I'm expecting more to come through the pipeline in the coming months," he said. "We can call this the Goldilocks phenomenon. The AstraZeneca one has the promise of being able to get to places the other ones won't, including poor parts of the world as well as rural America." The AstraZeneca news comes on the immediate heels of Pfizer and Moderna announcing their vaccines both show initial efficacy rates above 90% in late-stage trials, but must be stored in very cold temperatures. They use mRNA technology, which uses genetic material instead of the traditional deactivated virus to prompt an immune response. The AstraZeneca vaccine uses the more traditional method. Additionally, Caplan said the AstraZeneca vaccine measures transmission rates after receiving the vaccine, where the other two do not. "The first two vaccines only measured did you get sick, and they actually only measured did you get mild or moderately sick, figuring if that didn't happen you weren't going to get seriously ill," said Caplan. "For the AstraZeneca one they measured did you infect other people as one of the study points." The AstraZeneca results are also only initial analysis of late-stage clinical trials.

BPR Full Show 11/23/20: Care in the World

Today on Boston Public Radio: We opened Monday's show by opening lines, to talk with listeners about how you're navigating your pandemic Thanksgiving. NBC Sports Boston anchor and reporter Trenni Kusnierek discussed the passing of former Celtics player, coach, and play-by-play announcer Tommy Heinsohn, who died this month. She also discussed the spread of COVID-19 in collegiate football, and a recent piece by Kurt Streeter in the New York Times about running while Black. Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung discussed her latest writing on blowback to a string of worker layoffs at the Boston Marriott, whose let-off workers aren't being paid full severance. She also discussed some anti-racist efforts of Boston businesses, and how her kids are handling the boredom of pandemic life. Lauren Kennedy talked about broad inefficiencies with America's childcare system, and what her non-profit Neighborhood Villages is doing to support working mothers and families through the pandemic. Kennedy is the co-founder of Neighborhood Villages, which has created the Boston Children's Relief Initiative Program. Irene Monroe and Emmett Price, host of GBH's All Rev'd Up podcast, talked about work being done in Dedham to honor the overlooked legacy of Black Civil War veteran (and church founder) William Benjamin Gould. They also talked about the right-wing campaign to smear Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock. We returned to callers to hear about your experiences trying to juggle childcare with everything else going on during the pandemic. Naturalist Sy Montgomery recounted the story of a Northern saw-whet owl who got trapped in the Rockefeller Christmas tree, and a Florida man who went viral after rescuing his puppy from an alligator. She also offered up details about her newly-released book: an illustrated children's version of her memoir "How to Be a Good Creature."

BPR Full Show 11/20/20: Scouts' Out

Today on Boston Public Radio: Media maven Sue O'Connell discussed her expectations President-elect Biden's handling of LGBT issues, and reflected on the widespread child sex abuse scandal hanging over the Boy Scouts of America. We opened lines to talk with listeners about your experiences with the Boy Scouts of America, and what you make of the organization's uncertain future in light of widespread child abuse allegations. Beat the Press host Emily Rooney weighed in on former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's erratic press conferences, the approval of two prospective coronavirus vaccines, and read a Thanksgiving-themed list of fixations and fulminations. Under the Radar and Basic Black host Callie Crossley discussed a petition from Harvard University affiliates to prevent Trump administration officials from teaching or speaking on campus. She also touched on the ending of O Magazine, former President Obama's new memoir, and ongoing efforts by President Trump to delay the certification of votes for Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Mass. A.G. Maura Healey called in for our monthly edition of "Ask the A.G.," where she discussed whether she'd accept a position in a Joe Biden administration, offered her thoughts on President Trump's attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss, and spoke on her office's newly-released report exploring racial inequities in health care. She also took time to respond to questions and comments from listeners.

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