NPR's 'Invisibilia' Is Back For Season Two

May 20, 2016

Season 2 launches Friday, June 17 with a third host, breathtaking stories and a national coordinated listening party on the eve of launch

May 20, 2016; Washington, D.C. — After spending a year deeply reporting and crafting stories that are largely unknown, NPR's Invisibilia will return to earbuds and airwaves next month. In the second season co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller are joined by journalist Hanna Rosin to examine the invisible forces that shape human behavior. This time they take the same frame and use it to take on bigger topics, in places they've never been.

This season, Spiegel, Miller and Rosin, look at terrorism in Denmark, a McDonalds in Russia, and a grand social experiment in Rwanda. They go to a prison to explore whether our personalities are as stable and constant as we think; an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico to see if the culture of masculinity can shift, and a village in Belgium to test a radical way of treating mental illness.

After Invisibilia launched in January 2015, the podcast quickly climbed the ranks to number one on the iTunes top-ten chart and stayed there. The debut season aired on nearly 350 public radio stations around the country; the program had a regular presence on NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition; and excerpts were heard on This American Life and WNYC's Radiolab.

"The first season of Invisibilia explored how science sheds light on our individual experiences; this season delves into how our lives are entwined, sometimes invisibly, with the larger world," said Anne Gudenkauf, Senior Supervising Editor of NPR's Science Desk.

Season 2 is "Invisibilia but on a bigger scale – not just inside the heads of individuals," said Alix Spiegel. "I'm really proud of it. We're experimenting with humor in ways we've never done before, and have a whole bunch of new contributors, and just basically are evolving in what I think is a really interesting direction. I think it shows that if you're an ambitious young journalist who wants to have an impact, audio is a good place to be."

The hit program, produced by NPR's award-winning Science Desk, will have a run of seven, one-hour episodes broadcast on participating public radio stations and as a podcast in the NPR One app and wherever podcasts are available; excerpts will also be featured across Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The first episode of the second season will drop on Friday, June 17.

Save the Date: NPR Generation Listen National Listening Event 6/16
To kick off Season 2 in grand style, NPR Generation Listen is inviting fans and Member stations to take part in a National Listening Event — a premiere party where listeners will be able to hear the first episode of Invisibilia the night before the new season launch. Generation Listen will provide a toolkit, featuring exclusive curated audio clips, a prep checklist and tips on guiding a lively discussion of Invisibilia, to help fans host listening parties in their homes on Thursday, June 16. Member stations across the country — including KCUR, KOSU, NHPR, WFDD, WJCT, WUKY, KRTS, WUFT, Texas Public Radio and Aspen Public Radio — are taking part in the National Listening Event, and other stations are expected to join. Since last summer's cross-country listening tour, Generation Listen has been hosting listening parties, and encouraging NPR fans to do the same. Check with your local Member station to see if they're participating. This event will be a rewarding opportunity to take part in a national movement, connecting listeners to public radio and to each other, and lead new audiences to public radio content.

Invisibilia brings together three award-winning reporters distinguished for their powerful storytelling. Alix Spiegel, one of the founding producers of This American Life, has covered psychology and human behavior for NPR's Science Desk for 10 years. Her work has earned many awards including a George Foster Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. Lulu Miller, who played a similar role at Radiolab, joined the Science Desk in 2013. Her work has been recognized by the George Foster Peabody Awards, Third Coast, and The Missouri Review. Hanna Rosin comes most recently from the Atlantic, where she writes broadly about American culture; and from Slate. She was part of a team that won a National Magazine Award, and recently won an Education Writer's Award for feature writing.

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