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Humankind on Public Radio


Weekly podcast from public radio’s award-winning program Humankind

Weekly podcast from public radio’s award-winning program Humankind


Belmont, MA




Weekly podcast from public radio’s award-winning program Humankind




Human Media 68 Leonard Street, Second Floor Belmont, MA 02478-2522


Medicine’s River of Meaning

Physician, philosopher and best-selling author Rachel Remen describes her remarkable course, “The Healer’s Art,” taught at medical schools throughout the United States.


Facing the Unthinkable

Ira Helfand, a former emergency room physician, describes the psychology of denying that nuclear arms pose an existential threat, and he maintains that even governments fail to grasp the true potential of these weapons.


Welcoming the Stranger

We visit a shelter at Seattle’s Mission for a rich exchange with a formerly homeless man who feels the spiritual care he received from mental health workers helped him develop the ability to transition into housing. We hear from a social worker, Larry Clum, who explores what it means to companion unhoused people without an […]


Special Children with Albert T. Murphy

Albert T. Murphy comments compassionately on lessons gained from his life’s work with special needs children and helping their parents cope.


Seeds of Peace

Take a trip to a pristine spot in Maine for an afternoon spent with Palestinian and Israeli youth as they come together to play, connect, and discuss the imperiled region they struggle in eleven months out of the year. Despite the hardened conditions in which they were raised, the teenagers here reveal an innocence and […]


Caring for People at the End of Life

At the end of life, when most people need medical care and emotional comfort from family and friends, some turn also to chaplains for spiritual support. In this episode, we hear from two caregivers in Massachusetts. We also listen to the candid reflections of a dying patient, Brian Noone, recorded with his devoted wife Rosalie […]


Judicial Independence, Pt 4

President George Washington signed the Judiciary Act, establishing America’s court system back in 1789. The Constitution specifies that once federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, they can hold their office “during good behavior,” in other words for life — unless they’ve misbehaved, that is. The average American today lives […]


Judicial Independence, Pt 3

A majority of Americans now disapprove of the Supreme Court. When the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade decision was first leaked, the court’s popularity sank to the lowest level ever recorded. Now that the Supreme Court has revoked federal protection of abortion rights — in a 5-4 decision — new consideration is being given […]


Safe Place in a War Zone

What’s it like to be a spiritual presence in a war zone? What’s the duty to honor the lives of human beings who die in war, whether from your side or the “enemy”? Rev. Chris Antal, a Unitarian Universalist minister in the town of Rock Tavern, New York, entered military chaplaincy partially as a way […]


Healing the Trauma of War, Pt2

In this documentary, we explore what it’s like to experience “moral injury”— when soldiers witness or participate in war-time acts that violate their conscience. The impact they undergo confirms an enduring truth: on the battlefield, everyone is a victim. How does one come to terms with a deeply painful incident from the past? When deep […]


Healing the Trauma of War, Pt1

After war, our veterans face a new battle: emotional and spiritual conflict that is normal to human beings who’ve experienced intense brutality. In this documentary, we examine the effects of military violence and how people begin the journey of healing from it. We hear deeply moving stories of veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and […]


Interfaith Understanding on Campus

We hear from chaplains and students on a college campus (Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennesee) with a long tradition of promoting dialogue among various groups. How can chaplains act as bridges between people of different traditions and what role can interfaith service activities play in breaking down barriers?


Different Drummers

Dissatisfied with what they perceive as a distorted, negative picture from mainstream media, a Maine magazine publisher and a California radio producer created their own niches for presenting positive social trends.


Books to Prisoners

The Prisoners Literature Project, an all-volunteer service based in Berkeley, California, packages and ships books to people who are incarcerated, as a humanitarian gesture and one that helps inmates prepare for re-entry into society.


Uncommon Ground, Pt 2

The dialogues among women with opposing views on abortion gave new insight into how to handle difference, without dehumanizing those we disagree with. Hear how the participants struggled to find understanding, to abandon needlessly inflammatory language and to establish meaningful friendships, however unlikely. Although no one expected determined advocates to abandon their belief systems, their […]


Rick Weissbourd

Family therapist and Harvard lecturer Richard Weissbourd discusses how to help children find their moral compass, the ‘achievement craze’ that places intense pressure on young people, and parents’ role in athletic activities.


Uncommon Ground, Pt1

In the wake of shocking violence at abortion clinics, two apparent enemies — women representing pro-choice and pro-life factions in the Boston area, where shootings had occurred — were forced to communicate, for the sake of everyone’s safety. What unfolded over many months was one of the most mysterious and moving conversations among people of […]


Matt Heineman Escape Fire

We hear excerpts from Escape Fire a powerful new documentary that recently aired on CNN, along with comments by its young director, Matthew Heineman, about the over-scheduled work day of doctors and how too many pharmaceuticals don’t make us better.


Hope In Action, Pt 2

A conversation with Bill Moomaw, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, and his wife Margot Moomaw, a consultant on energy use by homeowners, about the gorgeous all-solar house they built in an effort to live a climate-friendly life.


Hope In Action, Pt1

Although the consequences of climate change may turn out to be sweeping and dire, experts say there is still time to counteract the worst effects — provided positive steps are taken promptly. Thus pessimism in the face of daunting predictions is self-defeating, because it may sap people of the enthusiasm needed to undertake doable changes.