What’s it like to play me? What did you do with the body? How could you ever love a rat? Can a father be a mother? Am I a witch?
For each episode of Just Answer the Question, we take one question and use it like a corkscrew to open a bottle of intellectual wine that we then share with three helpers. Some podcasts call their visitors “guests,” but we consider ours “helpers,” because they help us think through our questions by sharing their experiences, research, and insights.
After we’ve recorded conversations with our episode-specific helpers, our creator Alice Dreger and producer Mike Teager then use the recordings as primary sources to compose episodes that take you through a guided tour of the exploration of our central question. Alice contributes short essays and narrative glue, while Mike contributes original musical framing. Our goal is to give you somewhere around an hour of time to think, feel, remember, laugh, listen, and examine the threads that weave through our lives. Our hope is that we help you enjoy this big collaboration as much as we do.
You can listen to our completed episodes for free, but we encourage you to consider a paid subscription. That gives you access to our Tangent Tier, enabling you to listen to the long-form recordings with our remarkable helpers. It also provides us financial support to keep this examined-life project going.
Alice Dreger, creator of Just Answer the Question, is a writer of books, articles, and essays, a professional historian, and a highly regarded public speaker. Alice’s bylines include the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, WIRED, Slate, the Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Aeon Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education, New Statesman, Quillette, New Statesman, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune, and her books have been published by Penguin Press, Harvard University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Amazon Kindle Singles. She has given about two hundred invited lectures, including many keynote addresses, and her TEDx talk has been viewed over a million times.
Alice’s best known book is Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice, which argues that the pursuit of evidence is the most important ethical imperative of our time. Funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship and published by Penguin Press, the book has been praised in reviews in The New Yorker, Nature, Science, Forbes, New York Magazine and elsewhere and was named an “Editor’s Choice” by The New York Times Book Review. Alice has been honored with many awards for her writing, teaching, and advocacy, and she has appeared as a guest expert on hundreds of media programs over the years, including Oprah, Savage Love, Good Morning America, and NPR, and in many original documentaries, including for A&E, ABC, Discovery, PBS, and HBO. You can learn more about her work at alicedreger.com.
Michael Teager, producer of Just Answer the Question, is a professional performer and recording artist. His music has been featured on programs such as Hearts of Space and PRI’s Echoes, and he provides original music as sonic framing for Just Answer the Question. Mike’s playing has taken him across the nation and around the globe. He’s equally at home freely improvising, switching between woodwinds in a pit orchestra, sitting in with a big band or symphony orchestra, or playing recognizable Top 40 riffs in a cover band.
Living the reverse of Alice’s geographic path, Mike grew up in Michigan and now resides in New York. He lives in West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo, where he keeps busy with parenting and volunteering for both the public school and local government. Besides bringing his musical talents to the pod, Mike also brings his years of experience as a business manager for a software company. You can learn more about Mike’s work at michaelteager.com.