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With Good Reason

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Each week scholars explore the worlds of literature, science, the arts, politics, history, religion, and business through lively discussion with host Sarah McConnell. From the controversies over slave reparations and global warming, to the unique worlds of comic books and wine-making, With Good Reason is always surprising, challenging and fun! Continue Reading >>
Each week scholars explore the worlds of literature, science, the arts, politics, history, religion, and business through lively discussion with host Sarah McConnell. From the controversies over slave reparations and global warming, to the unique worlds of comic books and wine-making, With Good Reason is always surprising, challenging and fun! << Show Less
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Set The Stage It’s difficult to be a veteran re-entering civilian life. One day your major decisions are being made for you. The next? It’s up to you. What do you do? Every Tuesday in one small town, veterans gather with Elizabeth Byland for life-affirming improv. Plus: How Brad Stoller worked with incarcerated women to create a performance about, in part, one of the world's most unsuspecting hot commodities... toilet paper.

Later in the show: How David Riley turned a museum auditorium into a public programming TV set. And: Some industries came to a slow crawl at the dawning of the pandemic. Gregg Stull says that the curtains closed immediately for theaters across the country.
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Set The Stage It’s difficult to be a veteran re-entering civilian life. One day your major decisions are being made for you. The next? It’s up to you. What do you do? Every Tuesday in one small town, veterans gather with Elizabeth Byland for life-affirming improv. Plus: How Brad Stoller worked with incarcerated women to create a performance about, in part, one of the world's most unsuspecting hot commodities... toilet paper.

Later in the show: How David Riley turned a museum auditorium into a public programming TV set. And: Some industries came to a slow crawl at the dawning of the pandemic. Gregg Stull says that the curtains closed immediately for theaters across the country.
UFOs And Space Aliens What caused the Big Bang? Are black holes key to interstellar travel? And how close are we to discovering extraterrestrial life? These are some of the big questions that Kelsey Johnson (University of Virginia) covers in her fascinating class, “The Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe.” And: Robin Hanson (George Mason University) has come up with a mathematical model that predicts when us earthlings will encounter an advanced alien civilization. Hint: It won’t happen anytime soon.

Later in the Show: UFO encounters are usually horror stories of abduction and alien implants. But Stephen Finley (Louisiana State University) says many African Americans describe UFO encounters as positive experiences. Plus: Benjamin Zeller (Lake Forest College) recounts the tragic history of Heaven’s Gate, a religious group whose members committed mass suicide in 1997.
Beyond The Book Outer space probably isn’t in your travel plans this summer. But it could be soon. Last year, Hayley Arceneaux was a SpaceX crew member in the first all-civilian mission to orbit earth. Her upcoming book, Wild Ride: A Memoir of IV Drips and Rocket Ships, chronicles her unlikely journey from childhood cancer to space explorer. With Good Reason producer, Matt Darroch, has the story. And: Mara Scanlon took her class of self-proclaimed “Whitmaniacs” to the Walt Whitman house in Camden, New Jersey. She says her students were awestruck by being in the intimate spaces where Whitman lived and breathed… including his bathroom.

Later in the show: Looking for a travel destination with bustling cities and breathtaking natural landscapes where you can also get affordable plastic surgery? Look no further than Thailand. Reya Farber says Thailand has become the global hub of medical tourism, or as some people call it: sea, sun, and stitches. Plus: From the Mississippi Delta to the dark sandy beaches of Iceland, Courtney Watson has racked up the frequent flier miles as a literary tourist. She takes us on tour of the literary South - sharing her experiences at the historical homes of Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner.
2022 Summer Reading Recs Summer is officially here and with it comes our annual With Good Reason summer reading list. We’ve got stories of mothers and daughters, spiritual-seekers, Spike Lee, and so much in-between. Archana Pathak, Rosalie Kiah, Kyle Garton-Gundling, Cheryl Mango, and Bruce Cahoon share some of their favorite recent reads.
REPLAY Back To The Land The pandemic gave rise to people from all walks of life trying their hand at gardening for the first time. And longtime gardeners began trying new things like “immunity gardens.” And: Jinny Turman tells us about the 70s back-to-the-land movement, and how the fallout of COVID-19 could lead to another movement.

Later in the show: In Japanese folklore, when a brightly colored fish resembling a dragon washes up on shore, its arrival is a harbinger of earthquakes and tsunamis. Jennifer Martin is an oceanographer and has studied both the natural and cultural history of this species called the oarfish. Plus: The beautiful, colorful silk we wear is made out of silk that comes from worms. What if we could make similar fabric from spider silk? Hannes Schniepp studies poisonous brown recluse spiders to learn how their incredibly strong silk is made and how humans might try to replicate it.
REPLAY Voices of Vietnam: Women of War Alongside the army of men on the front lines of conflict was an army of women in support roles. From the Red Cross volunteers who boosted morale to the nurses who treated injuries, women were a major part of soldiers’ experience of the war. We hear the stories of some of these women, and connect with scholars on how women’s roles in Vietnam reflected the gender norms of the era.

Later in the Show: The war upended the lives of millions of women at home, some of whom turned to activism in an effort to bring their husbands home. We tell the stories of war wives who allied with anti-war activists to bring about the return of POWs.
Radical Acceptance New-to-this-country students are constantly being asked to adapt. And often, their wellbeing is measured almost entirely by their ability to speak English. Alfonzo Perez Acosta is an arts educator. In his classroom, he gives students the tools to let their art do the talking. And: Everybody has a story. Not everyone has a place to tell it. Through the Community Media Center, Chioke I’Anson hopes to solve the problem of the untold story.

Later in the show: Education has long been seen as a tool of racial uplift. In the early twentieth century, Phyllis Wheatley YWCA’s across the country served young Black girls and women. Cassandra Newby-Alexander fondly recalls her days at the Norfolk YWCA, and is hopeful about what the old facility could become today. Plus: A generous grant from the Mellon Foundation has changed the game for many Richmond area high schoolers. Janelle Marshall and her team are helping get students enrolled, and sticking beside them all the way until the finish line.
In the System When a family is referred to Child Protective Services, they’re often treated a lot like criminals on parole. But, the administrative work required to keep their families together can actually make it even harder to parent successfully. Christa Moore says that our child welfare system should operate more like collaborative care and less like bureaucratic punishment. Plus: How does having a parent who is incarcerated affect young people as they get older? Heidi Williams is talking to 18 - 25 year olds whose parents were incarcerated at some point during their childhood. She found that many of them were extra-motivated to succeed and, particularly, to help younger siblings.

Later in the show: George Mason University has a new farm lab. They’re not planting flowers or vegetables–they’re planting bodies. Mary Ellen O’Toole and Anthony Falsetti are professors in the Forensic Science Program at GMU and using their extensive careers uncovering crime to direct the new body farm. And: When you hear “organized crime” you might think Al Capone or Pablo Escobar. But what about Aunt Judy who gave you that fake Prada bag? Jay Albanese says that the average consumer should pay more attention to their own role in propping up organized crime. Albanese was named an Outstanding Faculty by the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia.
Changing The Clocks In March, the Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act - which, if passed, will make daylight savings time permanent. The bill has been praised by many, but Mariana Szklo-Coxe says not so fast. She studies how permanent daylight savings time will affect our sleep. Plus: Postpartum depression is one of the leading complications of childbirth, but most mothers are never screened for it. Jennifer Payne conducted a worldwide study and found that first time moms, young moms, and moms with twins have the highest rates of postpartum depression.

Later in the show: Chemotherapy is the best weapon we have at fighting cancer. But it’s notoriously hard on the body and causes a number of side-effects. Maxwell Hennings studies chemo brain, a mysterious ailment linked to cognitive decline in some patients who have undergone chemotherapy. And: Many people are prescribed drugs like Prilosec and Prevacid to treat their heartburn symptoms. But what if those same drugs could fight cancer? Randall Reif says these heartburn drugs could have the potential to revolutionize the way we treat certain cancers.
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