On The Record | WYPR

On The Record

Weekdays, 9:30 to 10:00 am

Catch On the Record, hosted by Sheilah Kast, weekdays from 9:30 to 10:00 am, following NPR’s Morning Edition. We’ll discuss the issues that affect your life and bring you thoughtful and lively conversations with the people who shape those issues -- business people, public officials, scholars, artists, authors, and journalists who can take us inside the story. If you want to share a comment, question, or an idea for an interview you’d like to hear, email us at ontherecord@wypr.org.

Theme music created by Jon Ehrens.  Logo designed by Louis Umerlik.

Ways to Connect

summerbl4ck/Flickr via Creative Commons

Most of us have read or heard about the spread of the Zika virus: the serious birth defects, like microcephaly, that can result if a pregnant woman becomes infected, and the pressure to develop a vaccine against the virus. What many of us may not have given any thought to is whether such a vaccine would be tested on pregnant women. Because for the most part, pregnant women are not included in clinical drug trials for fear of the potential harm to the fetus. As a result, scientists just don’t know how safe most medications are for pregnant women. A group of bioethicists is pushing for change. They argue that neglecting to research the safety of drugs in pregnant women is unethical.  Carleigh Krubiner, a Faculty Research Scholar at the Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute for Bioethics, joins us to explain. 

Julia Sergina/Flickr via Creative Commons

Roberto Busó-García heads a new Johns Hopkins film fund with a special focus on Baltimore. He joins us to tell us about it. Those who make the cut for the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media get mentoring from experts in the industry, as well as cash, in some cases. The fellows include artists with in-depth experience and some who have never made a film. Have a great idea? You’re eligible. 

Do classical musicians have a role to play in advancing social justice? We talk to composer Judah Adashi, who is on the faculty of the Peabody Institute. Adashi is teaching a new workshop at the Peabody on Art and Activism, and he frequently takes on social issues in his work. He talks with us about art, activism, and the delicate balance between social critique and propaganda.  

The Best Medicine

Oct 10, 2016

Mental illness and comedy may seem like an unlikely combination, but a group of local improv performers has taken on the challenge. “The Best Medicine," coming this weekend to Baltimore’s Single Carrot Theatre, pairs improvisers with true stories solicited from the community. All the stories have something to do with mental illness. Ticket information available here.

Across the country, health insurers are raising rates or pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges. Could a single-payer system solve some of the problems? How would that work? What IS a single-payer system, anyway? Who wins, who loses? Dr. Bradley Herring, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, breaks it down for us.

Now we’re going to hear the first installment of a new weekly feature on our show, a true tale from Baltimore’s Stoop Storytelling Series. Our first storyteller is Kate Pratt, a certified eye-bank technician and transplant coordinator. Her job is to surgically remove eye tissue from donors who recently died for use in transplants and research. In this story, edited for brevity, Kate describes the case of a teenager who died in a skateboarding accident. Out of more than a thousand procedures, this one stayed with her. We join the story just after Kate Pratt has been called to the hospital.

Preservation Maryland

Ellicott City’s historic Main Street reopened yesterday. It’s been closed since flooding devastated the area in July. One of the challenges property owners face is rebuilding in a way that meets the requirement of the historic district. We talk to Jennifer Johnson, owner of two storefronts that were saved from demolition, and Nicholas Redding, executive director of Preservation Maryland.

Frank Harris III, a journalism professor at Southern Connecticut State University, traveled the country talking to people of all different backgrounds about their experience with a highly controversial term: the N-word. His film is playing locally this weekend as part of the Baltimore Black International Film Festival at the Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive, on the campus of Morgan State University. The film will air at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. For more on Frank Harris' project, visit his Tumblr page. 

The Justice Department’s critique of the Baltimore Police Department accused city police of systematically under-investigating reports of sexual assault: failing to collect evidence, interview witnesses, or test forensic evidence. We talk to Jacqueline Robarge, founder of Power Inside and an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse, about what police misunderstand about victims of trauma and what changes the city should make.

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

Not long ago, civil rights activist Laura W. Murphy discovered a bundle of papers tied with a ribbon. They turned out to be letters between her great-grandparents, written when they were courting in Reconstruction-era Baltimore. They provide a glimpse into what life was like for a particularly successful African-American family in Baltimore, just a few years after the end of the Civil War.