Radiolab co-host Robert Krulwich (also NPR Science Correspondent and Special Correspondent for ABC News) was asked to give the commencement speech at California Institute of Technology in 2008. When the science journalist addressed the graduates of science-related programs, he chose to speak to them not about science, exactly, but about the value of storytellng.

Listen to Krulwich’s speech

While Krulwich specifically talks about the reasons scientists need to tell their stories well—they must compete with anti-Science proponents—his lessons can be broadly applied. Good ideas can fail because they are poorly explained, while bad ideas can win because they their explanation is convincingly told.

Radiolab is a public radio show from WNYC in New York. When you listen to the show, you quickly understand that when hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich put together a segment, they are focusing as much on the “how” of the story as the “what”. They know that it’s great to talk about big ideas, but pointless unless they can do it in a way that will get people to listen and think about those ideas.

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