Sarah Birnbaum


The World

Sarah Birnbaum is a reporter based in Boston.

Sarah Birnbaum is a general assignment reporter for The World, with a special focus on the arts and anything quirky. Before joining the show, she spent many years reporting on state and local politics for Massachusetts public radio stations. She was also based in Cape Town, South Africa, for a year where she reported stories for The World and NPR.Sarah studied art history and English literature at Stanford University. She got her start in journalism at CBS News and WNYC in New York.

Man cuts quartz in factory.

Lungs of stone: How Silica has sickened a generation of quartz cutters

Health & Medicine

Quartz is used for countertops in millions of homes around the world — the manmade stone is popular for its beauty and durability. But for workers who make, cut and install quartz counters, it can be deadly. The World reported from Turkey, Spain and Australia — three stops along the quartz countertop supply chain — to learn more about silicosis, an incurable and often fatal lung disease caused by inhaling dust laden with excessive amounts of a mineral called silica.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by Neil Cavuto.

Henry Kissinger leaves lasting — and controversial — foreign policy legacy

man at podium

Australians ready for a historic referendum recognizing First Nations people

Chief anchor Lisa LaFlamme worked with CTV Canada for 35 years.

Was this Canadian anchor fired for her gray hair?

Lifestyle & Belief
In this April 13, 2010, photo, one gram of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, is seen on a scale at New York University in New York. 

This Canadian company is betting big on the ‘psychedelic renaissance’

Health & Medicine
Israeli border police officers and Palestinians clash during a protest against the expansion of Israeli Jewish settlements near the West Bank town of Salfit. 

The word ‘apartheid’ is used to describe Israel’s control over Palestinians. Why is it so loaded? 

Conflict & Justice

Human rights groups have used the term apartheid strategically to emphasize the need for a paradigm shift in the region. But others argue that the loaded term doesn’t apply.

Benin Bronzes on exhibit at the British Museum.

Germany plans to return looted Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. Will other countries follow suit?


For many inside and outside of Africa, the Benin Bronzes are symbols of colonialism and exploitation, and they’ll stay that way until they’re returned.

Dr. Arup Senapati is shown in full medical personal protective equipment and dancing in a hospital.

A doctor in India dances to cheer up his COVID-19 patients, in full PPE


A video Dr. Arup Senapati dancing for his patients to the party track “Ghungroo” has gone viral, winning praise even from Bollywood.

Artist Daniel Voshart's machine learning-assisted images of Roman emperors Augustus, left, and Maximinus Thrax, right.

This artist used machine learning to create realistic portraits of Roman emperors


Toronto artist Daniel Voshart spent his free time during the pandemic learning a design software called Artbreeder. He compiled hundreds of images from ancient sculpted busts, coins and statues to create realistic-looking portraits of Roman emperors from the Principate period.

A group of MoMA security guards pose with artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo, far right, creator of an audio guard where the guards explain their favorite works of art.

In a new MoMA audio guide, security guards are the art experts

Coronavirus Art

Museum visitors usually don’t acknowledge security guards. But they’re often incredibly knowledgable about the art they keep watch over — and may even be artists themselves. A new MoMA audio guide puts the guards front and center.