Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

Ways to Connect

Online networking sites have become one of the primary ways humans forge connections with each another. Ian Gilby tells us that Gombe chimps might be just as interested in social networking as we are. He's been studying the ways chimpanzees form coalitions with one another in order to thrive and reproduce.

What is this ability to step into someone else’s shoes? To imagine how they feel - and to hurt for them or be happy for them?  Host Frank Stasio is joined by a panel of experts to discuss empathy, the trait that makes us uniquely human.

Emlyn Koster

For six months, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh has been searching for a new director. It finally found one. Emlyn Koster is a geologist who has headed big museums in the U.S. and Canada. His official start date is January 28. Host Frank Stasio talks to Emlyn Koster about becoming the new director of the museum.

Hedwig Kohn

Hedwig Kohn was one of only three women to receive German qualification to teach physics at a university, and that was her vehicle to flee Nazi Germany. Hedwig Kohn wound up teaching and doing research at Duke University and has made significant contributions to the field of flame spectroscopy and radiation. Brenda Winnewisser took special interest in Hedwig’s story and currently has a biography on her due to be published in Spring 2014. Host Frank Stasio talks with Brenda Winnewisser, an adjunct professor of physics at Ohio State University.

Rindy Anderson

Science couple Rindy Anderson and Casey Klofstad noticed something weird when they watched television news. Almost all the anchors, both men and women, seemed to have low pitched voices. They decided to work together to find out how people perceive pitch, and how that might affect the way they vote. Host Frank Stasio talks to Rindy Anderson, a research associate in the biology department at Duke University; and Casey Klofstad, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami.

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

In the wake of recent mass shootings, mental health has been a focus of our national dialogue. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is a professor of philosophy with an interest in mental illness, in particular psychopathy. He studies the brains of prison inmates to try to gain some insight into the condition. Host Frank Stasio talks with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the philosophy department at Duke University about his life and career, starting with the ethics of psychopathy.

Ironing Board Sam

Ironing Board Sam has been playing rhythm and blues professionally since he was 16 years old in Rock Hill, SC. He's now 73, living in Chapel Hill and his passion for music-making is as strong as ever. Sam is part of Hillsborough's Music Maker Relief Foundation, and he's just released a new album, “Going Up.” He's performing this Sunday, January 13th at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

News Roundup

Jan 11, 2013

A new governor and a new legislature are in place and ready to make big changes. The UNC system may let in more out-of-state students. And what does the latest Bank of America settlement mean for homeowners?

The Avett Brothers

Tomorrow night, Concord-based folk-rock band The Avett Brothers will play in Raleigh at the Governor’s Inaugural Ball Gala. But before they do, bassist Bob Crawford will join host Frank Stasio to talk about the evolution of the band from three guys in a van playing 200 shows a year to a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping phenomenon.

And God Created Whales

It took Obie-award winning playwright Rinde Eckert three tries before he embraced the brilliance of Moby Dick. Good thing he persevered, because it’s the subject of his play “And God Created Whales,” which follows a composer trying to adapt Melville’s classic into an opera as he slowly loses his memory. Host Frank Stasio talks to Rinde Eckert, composer, writer and actor in “And God Created Whales,” being put on by Playmakers Repertory Company at Kenan Theatre on the Campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill through Sunday.