This episode, we make three earnest, possibly foolhardy, attempts to put a price on the priceless. We figure out the dollar value for an accidental death, another day of life, and the work of bats and bees as we try to keep our careful calculations from falling apart in the face of the realities of life, and love, and loss.
How Much Would You Pay For A Year Of Life?
Two years ago, a group of doctors did something unprecedented - they boycotted a cancer drug because, given the benefit, it cost too much. Following up on the story, Radiolab producer Molly Webster discovers this is far from your normal drug pricing story. It's long been taboo to talk about cost and care in the same breath. But we enter a space where economics and philosophy sit side-by-side, and raise a deeply uncomfortable question: what is a year of life worth?
How Much Does It Cost to Say "I'm Sorry"?
In December 2013, a US drone strike hit a wedding party inremote part of Yemen's central province of al-Baydah, killing 12 civilians. Gregory Johnsen, writer-at-large for BuzzFeed News leads Radiolab down a rabbit hole of United States' military condolences. Producer Matt Kielty talks to lawyers, generals, and a grieving father to try to understand how we say "sorry" with cash. From French farmers in WWI to Iraqi children injured by unexploded bombs, we wonder - can money ever heal the heart?
How Do You Put a Price Tag On Nature?
Back in 1997, a team of scientists slapped a giant price tag on the earth. They calculated the dollar value of every ecosystem on the planet, and tallied it all up: 142.7 trillion dollars. It's a powerful form of sticker shock — one that could give environmentalists ammunition to protect wetlands and save forests. But some people argue it actually devalues something that should be seen as priceless. Then the apple farmers of Mao county in central China turn this whole debate upside down and make us question the value of understanding nature in terms of dollars and cents.