Now that her new podcast has launched, Ayn Rand Institute research associate Amanda Maxham is planning future episodes of Rise & Fall: How Ideas Move the World. “It’s important for me to always be learning and exploring,” Maxham said, “and for me this podcast is a tremendous opportunity to do that. I’m overwhelmed by amount of compelling and interesting content we have in audio archives — it’s hard to choose where to go next. But that’s a great problem to have.”

“In a podcast, you have the space to really explore a topic, in a stripped-down format where you’re focused on the human voice and the ideas being conveyed through that voice,” she said. “I love that intimate format because it feels like people are talking directly to you. Even though the podcasts are edited, I’ve left in some spontaneous moments. For instance, in episode two, I ask Peter Schwartz whether it would be moral to eradicate the mosquito, given its danger as a disease carrier. He turns the question right back at me, and asks why it would not be moral, and I had to scramble for an answer.”

Maxham is particularly pleased that each episode features an original illustration by former ARI intern Robert Simpson. “One of the most unexpectedly fun parts of producing these podcasts was realizing that there’s this intern in the office who’s a serious artist. Going back and forth with him, giving creative direction, and working together to capture the spirit of each episode, has been really rewarding. He has a particular style — you can tell immediately that an illustration is his, and seeing his illustrations set to the podcast audio on YouTube makes me smile.”

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Maxham has set up a special Rise & Fall telephone line (888-673-5553) where listeners can call to leave feedback and questions, and she will use those phone messages to shape future podcasts.

Episodes of Rise & Fall are available on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook and SoundCloud.