Aaron Henkin Joins Dracopoulos-Bloomberg iDeas Lab as Senior Producer

May 25, 2023

Aaron Henkin, an award-winning public radio producer for more than 20 years, has joined the Dracopoulos-Bloomberg iDeas Lab at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics as Senior Producer. In this role Henkin will play a key role in designing and developing the Lab’s newly established creative group, enhancing the Berman’s Institute’s work, reach, and impact by utilizing the latest digital media, multimedia, and design to disseminate bioethics research and analysis.

Prior to joining the Berman Institute’s iDeas Lab, Henking spent 22 years creating and producing original radio programs and podcasts for Baltimore NPR station, WYPR. His  neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocksearned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. Henkin’s other past programs include the audience-inspired podcast, The Maryland Curiosity Bureau, the long-running weekly cultural show, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the TimesHis stories have been heard nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

“As a listener, I’ve always been mesmerized by science stories, especially ones that are well told. Now, finding myself in an office surrounded by brilliant thinkers who are focused on the frontiers of science, medicine, and ethics, and getting to share their explorations with a curious audience, is an awesome assignment. The stakes are high, and the stories are out-of-this-world fascinating,” said Henkin.

The Dracopoulos-Bloomberg iDeas Lab was launched in summer 2022 to help the Berman Institute increase public reach and dissemination of its work on issues of ethics in medicine, biomedical research, emerging science, and public health.

“Our goal is to establish the iDeas Lab as the recognized source for world class stories at the intersection of science, ethics, medicine and public health while offering accessible, informative, and useful resources to a wide range of public-facing stakeholders,” said its director Lauren Arora Hutchinson. “Aaron’s experience and expertise in producing compelling podcasts and strong sense of story make him uniquely qualified for this position and we are so excited to work with him.”

Before joining the iDeas Lab fulltime, Henkin had already collaborated with the Berman Institute by taking the lead on doing the interviews for a neuroscience and society short film. Upcoming projects include helping create a podcast on the nature of uncertainty within scientific and biomedical research, a narrative oral history podcast about members of the founding generation of the field of bioethics and some innovative audio apps.

“Scientists learn from things like statistical trends and experimental data sets. But the rest of us? We learn from stories. Stories make those abstractions real to us. They make them clear. And they make them matter. The world of science isn’t shrouded in secrecy; it simply doesn’t always tell its own story that well. But when it can, the benefits are manifold: increased transparency, a more informed general public, and improved relationships based on trust and understanding,” Henkin said.