Bob Edwards Weekend – May 9-10, 2009

HOUR ONE

As the first American woman in space, Sally Ride inspired a generation of young girls to get interested in science. In 2001, she founded Sally Ride Science, a company that creates entertaining science programs and books for kids, with a particular focus on girls. Ride’s latest books - Mission: Planet Earth and Mission: Save the Planet - teach kids about global warming and how to become responsible energy consumers.

In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin named American-born George Koval a Hero of the Russian Federation, the highest honorary title awarded to a Russian citizen. Putin revealed that Koval, who worked at the U.S. military research center in Oak Ridge Tennessee, passed along nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. Journalist Michael Walsh writes about George Koval for Smithsonian Magazine’s May edition in “Iowa-Born, Soviet-Trained.”

 

We continue airing classic audio essays from the original This I Believe series. This weekend, Bob talks with This I Believe Inc. executive director Dan Gediman about the essay from Edward R. Murrow, who hosted the original series from 1951 to 1955. The newsman gained acclaim for his CBS Radio broadcasts during World War II. Later, his television series tackled subjects ranging from Joseph McCarthy to farm worker rights. In his essay, Murrow describes the fear and uncertainty Americans felt in the early 1950s.

 

HOUR TWO

Writer Arthur Phillips uses our modern culture’s preoccupation with iPods, cell phones,and the internet to question whether we are actually closer as a society or further apart in his new novel The Song Is You. Phillips is also the author of the best-selling novels Angelica, The Egyptologist and Prague.

Jonah Lehrer’s newest book examines how the human brain makes decisions. Lehrer uses examples from professional “deciders” — quarterbacks, poker players, serial killers and pilots —- to help explain what’s happening in the brain when it’s trying to make up its mind. Lehrer’s book is called How We Decide.

Then essayist Tom Bodett describes his decision to join the online social network Twitter.