3 Seasons

A series of open, thoughtful and engaging conversations with notable writers, scientists, comedians, politicians, chefs and more in which their unique perspectives are creatively animated.

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  • Episode 1 – Frans de Waal: Great Apes and the Gift of Empathy

    Episode 1

    Biologist Frans de Waal studies the complex emotional life of apes—including how chimpanzees resolve conflicts. Here, de Waal discusses his subjects’ true capacity for fairness, reciprocity, and empathy, and how human beings measure up.

  • Episode 2 – Ta-Nehisi Coates: Dreams of a Father

    Episode 2

    Ta-Nehisi Coates’s memoirs and essays on race, politics, and culture are now some of the most widely read in American letters. In an interview with Topic recorded in Manhattan, Coates reflects on how parenthood made him the writer he is today.

  • Episode 3 – Kirsten Gillibrand: Guns, Greed, and the NRA

    Episode 3

    New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wasn’t always a proponent of gun control. But now she admits she had it wrong. In an interview with Topic recorded in Washington, D.C., in May 2018, Gillibrand calls out the NRA for being motivated by greed.

  • Episode 4 – Dolores Huerta: Surviving the Scourge of Sexual Harassment

    Episode 4

    Famed labor organizer and activist Dolores Huerta discusses her decades of work fighting sexual harassment and discrimination.

  • Episode 5 – Lauren Greenfield: How Capitalism Exploits Insecurities

    Episode 5

    Filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield has been poking at the ugly underbelly of consumerism for more than 25 years. In an interview with Topic from November of 2018, Greenfield talks about “the ultimate cost, and degradation, of capitalism.”

  • Episode 6 – Greg Nicotero: In Search of a Scream

    Episode 6

    The special-effects expert and executive producer of the hit TV show ‘The Walking Dead’ has always gravitated toward the darker sides of human nature. Here, Greg Nicotero spills secrets about a terrifying experience he had in a real haunted house.

  • Episode 7 – Sarah Vowell: MAGA and Muffins

    Episode 7

    Sarah Vowell is an author, historian and self-described “heathen” who grew up in the bosom of a Reagan-voting, gun-toting, Evangelical family. In this episode, recorded in August 2018, Vowell discusses how she self-soothes against modern politics.

  • Episode 8 – Joey Soloway: Checking the Third Box

    Episode 8

    Writer and director Joey Soloway is known for their groundbreaking Amazon series ‘Transparent,’ about a family adjusting to a parent’s revelation that she's transgender. Soloway dreams of a day when bureaucracy acknowledges the full gender spectrum.

  • Episode 9 – Scott Kelly: There Are No Lifeboats on Mars

    Episode 9

    Scott Kelly is a retired American astronaut who has spent a total of 520 days in space, including a year-long mission to the International Space Station. In this interview, recorded in November 2018, Kelly is skeptical of plans to colonize Mars.