New podcast to tell stories behind transformative ideas at UChicago

A world-renowned classical composer whose music is performed more than almost any other living composer. One of the leading experts on health care expansion whose research is revealing the true impact of health insurance. A paleontologist who discovered an actual evolutionary missing link.

They are just a few of the pioneering scholars featured in a new UChicago podcast called Big Brains, which will tell the stories behind some of the most groundbreaking ideas by scholars at the University of Chicago.

Big Brains will debut April 16 with a conversation featuring evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin, whose revolutionary 2006 discovery of a 375-million-year-old fossil called Tiktaalik roseae provided a missing link in the evolution of animals from sea to land. Future guests will include composer Augusta Read Thomas and health care policy expert Katherine Baicker, among many more.  

Hosted by Paul M. Rand, vice president of communications at UChicago, the podcast is part of the UChicago Podcast Network, which launched this year with a series Knowledge AppliedThe podcast’s first season, focused on urban research, was ranked in the top higher education podcasts on Apple Podcasts and was featured as one of RadioPublic’s new shows.

“Since I arrived on campus, I’ve marveled at the discoveries and insights happening here that are changing our world for the better,” Rand said. “I think listeners will be excited to learn more about these big ideas and the people behind them.”

New episodes of Big Brains will appear Mondays through the Spring Quarter. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts.