Show cover of The Measure of Everyday Life

The Measure of Everyday Life

The Measure of Everyday Life is a weekly public radio program featuring researchers, practitioners, and professionals discussing their work to improve the human condition. Independent Weekly has called the show ‘unexpected’ and ‘diverse’ and notes that the show ‘brings big questions to radio.' Episodes air weekly in the Raleigh-Durham, NC, media market (and also are streamed internationally through WNCU) and are available online the Wednesday following the original airing. WNCU produces the show with major underwriting from the nonprofit RTI International. Have thoughts on what we are doing? Let your voice be heard by rating us and joining the conversation on Twitter by following @MeasureRadio. For more information, see


Engaging People with Science
More than ever, we need to connect scientists and various audiences to promote understanding of science and to get input from people about what science should be done. On this episode, we talk with John Besley of Michigan State University and Anthony Dudo of the University of Texas at Austin, authors of a book called Strategic Science Communication: A Guide to Setting the Right Objectives for More Effective Public Engagement.
29:36 09/21/2022
The Arts and Our Brains
We sometimes look to the arts as an outlet for enjoyment but the arts also can affect our social interactions, our future imagination, and perhaps even how we learn. On this episode, we talk with Susan Magsamen, Executive Director of the International Arts + Minds Lab at Johns Hopkins University.
29:36 09/14/2022
A History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities 
In 1965, the United States Congress officially recognized Historically Black Colleges or Universities as schools of higher learning, but the history of HBCUs extends all the way back to the 1830s. On this episode, we talk with Dr. Jelani Favors of North Carolina A&T State University, author of the award-winning Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism.
29:46 08/31/2022
Food Insecurity on College Campuses
Every fall in the U.S., students across the country head off to college. What you might not know is that some of them aren’t sure if they are going to have enough to eat when they are there. On this episode, we talk with two people trying to address that: Katharine Broton of the University of Iowa and Kathleen O’Neill of Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.
29:39 08/17/2022
The Long-Term Effects of Good Teaching
Can you remember a teacher who affected your life? As many students return to school in the U.S., we know teachers can have important effects. How exactly does good teaching make a difference? On this episode, we talk with Julie Schmidt Hasson of Appalachian State University, author of Safe, Seen, and Stretched in the Classroom: The Remarkable Ways Teachers Shape Students’ Lives.
29:37 08/10/2022
Farming and Race
With the increase in food prices in recent years, farming has been in the news and farming continues to be challenging work. In the U.S., various organizations have sought to support young farmers in their work. On this episode, we talk about that history with Dr. Antoine Alston of North Carolina A&T State University, co-author of the new book, The Legacy of The New Farmers of America. 
29:52 06/29/2022
Face Time and Emotion
When we talk with people who aren't in the same room as us, we often are not limited to phone calls or written correspondence anymore. What difference does it make to see someone’s facial expressions when interacting with them? On this episode, we talk with Lisa Feldman Barrett, Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, about what facial expressions can and can't tell us. 
29:50 06/15/2022
Acting as a Team
We often refer to teams and teamwork, both as an explanation for success and as a worrying force as we consider polarization in society. On this episode, we talk with Don Forsyth, a psychology professor at the University of Richmond who has sought to understand group dynamics.
29:44 06/08/2022
Managing Group Discussion
Every day, many of us have conversations with small groups of people. Sometimes that now happens via videoconference or group chat. A lot happens when groups try to talk, though, that you might not realize. On this episode, we talk with conversation researcher Tanya Stivers of the University of California, Los Angeles, about group interaction successes and challenges.
29:36 05/25/2022
Philanthropy as a Bet on the Future
Philanthropy is sometimes cited as a force for good in the 21st century. People have donated money for societal gain for hundreds of years, though, and we can learn lessons from the successes and failures of past investments. On this episode, we talk with Michael Meyer of the University of Pittsburgh about his book, Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet: The Favorite Founder’s Divisive Death, Enduring Afterlife, and Blueprint for American Prosperity.
29:51 05/18/2022
Homelessness and Housing
The real estate market in the U.S. has been in the headlines recently. What might that have to do with the challenge of homelessness? On this episode, we talk with Gregg Colburn, faculty member at the University of Washington and co-author of a new book called Homelessness is a Housing Problem.
29:32 05/11/2022
Toxic Workplaces
Chances are that if you have earned a paycheck you have had at least one day negatively affected by the behavior of a co-worker, supervisor, or employee. What do organizational psychologists say about the challenges of problematic employees? On this episode, we talk with book author Dr. Mitchell Kusy, corporate psychologist at Antioch University and consultant for The Healthy Workforce Institute. 
29:28 04/27/2022
Making Sense of Social Media
When historians consider this moment through which we are all living, what might they say about social media? On this episode, we talk about the roles social media are playing in the lives of teenagers and young adults today with content creator Lydia Keating of Boston University and Jacqueline Nesi, psychiatry and human behavior professor at Brown University. 
29:49 04/06/2022
Working from Home
One experience that many of us have had during the pandemic is working from home. What has been the effect of that on our interactions with colleagues? On this episode, we talk with Rory McGloin of the University of Connecticut about his research on this topic.
29:46 03/23/2022
Laughter and Social Connection
Why do we laugh? What is the point? On this episode, we discuss laughter as a source of joy and as a tool for connecting people with Adrienne Wood, a psychology professor and laughter researcher at the University of Virginia.
29:29 03/16/2022
Exercise and Our Brains
What good might exercise do for our brain? You may have experienced a sense of relief in the short-term after working out. Exercise also can have important long-term effects on our brains. On this episode, we talk with Jennifer Heisz of McMaster University, author of Move the Body, Heal the Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep.
29:38 03/09/2022
Understanding Money
News headlines often refer to financial concepts such as inflation. Even though many of us spend money almost every week, exactly what money is and how it gets distributed around the world isn’t always clear, though. On this episode, we talk with authors of a new book called Crowdfunding and the Democratization of Finance: sociologist Mark Davis of the University of Leeds and Bruce Davis of Abundance Investment.   
29:59 02/09/2022
Beyond Humanity
With new technologies, it is now possible to alter a human being into something different than they were. As a result, we are facing new ethical and philosophical challenges. Stefan Sorgner, professor at John Cabot University in Italy, does not think the questions we are facing are all that new. We talk with him on this episode about his new book, We Have Always Been Cyborgs.  
29:46 02/02/2022
Singing Together to Build Community
Human beings find inspiration in making music together. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our ability to gather but people have still found ways to sing together. What can we learn from our history of communal singing as we face a difficult present and future? On this episode, we talk with Esther Morgan-Ellis, Associate Professor of Music History and orchestra director at the University of North Georgia.
29:51 01/26/2022
Music for Stress Relief
As we begin a new year, many of us have faced stress and are searching for ways to cope. One source of relief is an old one: namely, music. Researchers now are learning to use music to manage stress. On this episode, we talk with Jennifer Fiore, a music therapy professor at Western Michigan University.
29:32 01/12/2022
Addiction Treatment Using Telehealth
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many addiction treatment providers to change from delivering most treatment in person to delivering treatment via telehealth. What can we learn from that experience? On this episode, we talk with Tami Mark, a health economist at RTI International, about using telehealth tools to treat addiction.
29:57 12/22/2021
Measuring COVID
One constant during our last two years has been change as we have seen incidence numbers for COVID-19 rise and fall and rise. How do we know that we have the data we need to make sense of the world around us? How should we organize that data? On this episode, we talk with Kody Kinsley, Chief Deputy Secretary for Health for North Carolina (at the time of the episode), about measuring COVID-19. 
29:38 12/15/2021
The Science of Sleep
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of sleepless nights and the experience has put a spotlight on this routine part of our everyday life. On this episode, we talk with Rebecca Robbins of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital about her work on optimizing sleep. 
29:57 12/08/2021
Recent American Drinking Patterns
The COVID-19 has exacerbated all sorts of public health challenges in the US and around the world. Aside from the direct effects of infectious disease, something that has worried public health officials has been the possibility for increased alcohol use during this difficult time. On this episode, we talk with Carolina Barbosa and Bill Dowd of RTI International about recent American drinking patterns. 
29:45 11/24/2021
Missing Data on Pandemic Deaths
We are just now starting to understand how geography has mattered in understanding COVID-19 mortality. On this episode, we talk about local patterns of COVID-19 deaths with two researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Alexis Dennis and Jaclyn Karasik.
29:46 11/17/2021
Protecting Our Schools
School Resource Officers work in schools across the U.S. now, but their placement has led to some controversy. To what extent does having SROs in place reduce violence and crime in schools? To what extent might such placement lead to undesirable consequences? On this episode, we talk with Lucy Sorensen of the University at Albany of the State University of New York. 
29:40 11/03/2021
Public Health Workforce Burnout
We depend on our healthcare workforce, including both clinicians and many public health workers. On this episode, we talk about the state of our public health workforce with Jennifer Horney of the University of Delaware and Lisa Macon Harrison of the Granville-Vance District Health Department in North Carolina.
29:56 10/20/2021
Clean Water and Human Behavior
Protecting our watersheds in the future will involve shaping human behavior among other efforts. On this episode, we continue our exploration of water as a consideration for social science through a conversation with Chelsea McGimpsey, water resources planner for the County of San Diego.
29:59 10/13/2021
Managing Water Uncertainty
Water is a life-giving force and yet managing its uncertainty also is a major challenge for us in the 21st century. On this episode, we talk with water resources engineer Jonathan Quebbeman about public understanding of water management and society.  
29:55 10/06/2021
Correcting History
Who was the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean and return? Why don't we know the history of Pacific navigation to the same extent we know Atlantic history? On this episode, we talk with Andrés Reséndez, the author of Conquering the Pacific: An Unknown Mariner and the Final Great Voyage of the Age of Discovery.
29:51 09/29/2021