To try to define Radiolab is a fool's errand; it simply has to be heard. Each show tackles complex topics that range from the mind-bendingly scientific to deeply human philosophical questions. Abumrad takes us on this journey of explanation and exploration with multi-layered sound design interlacing loose bits of fun banter between him and his co-host Robert Krulwich. It's a fully realized, highly produced blockbuster.
Radiolab has a cult-like following of millions of fans who eagerly await each new show. And it's consistently one of the most popular iTunes podcasts - over 2 million subscribers a month. It also airs on more than 300 NPR stations across the country.
Radiolab is now extending beyond the airwaves; Abumrad and Krulwich are taking to the stage with live shows that mix music, comedy, as well as the usual exploration of big ideas.
Through Abumrad's sound experiments and creative genius, Radiolab has become a radio hallmark. In 2010 it won a Peabody Award. A year later Abumrad won the MacArthur Genius Grant, awarding him $500,000 for demonstrating creativity, the ultimate affirmation of Abumrad's innovation.
"Radio host" may not be the best title for Abumrad. He's an aural filmmaker rapidly changing the way we understand the world.
Tune in this Sunday, April 29th, 2 p.m. ET on CNN for The Next List's 30min profile of Jad Abumrad, which will also include interviews with Robert Krulwich and Ira Glass, host of "This American Life."