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To The Best Of Our Knowledge

Wisconsin Public Radio

To The Best Of Our Knowledge is a nationally-syndicated, Peabody award-winning public radio show that dives headlong into the deeper end of ideas. We have conversations with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and activists — people with big ideas and a passion to share them. For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at ttbook.org.

To The Best Of Our Knowledge is a nationally-syndicated, Peabody award-winning public radio show that dives headlong into the deeper end of ideas. We have conversations with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and activists — people with big ideas and a passion to share them. For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at ttbook.org.

Location:

Madison, WI

Description:

To The Best Of Our Knowledge is a nationally-syndicated, Peabody award-winning public radio show that dives headlong into the deeper end of ideas. We have conversations with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and activists — people with big ideas and a passion to share them. For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at ttbook.org.

Twitter:

@TTBOOK

Language:

English

Contact:

6082625263


Episodes

Mysteries of Migration

10/16/2021
If you had to travel 500 miles across country, on foot, with no map, no GPS, without talking to anyone — to a destination you've never seen, could you do it? It sounds impossible, but millions of creatures spend their lives on the move, migrating from one part of the Earth to another with navigation skills we can only dream of. How do they do it — and what can we learn from them? Original Air Date: July 25, 2020 Guests: Moses Augustino Kumburu — David Wilcove — Stan Temple — David Barrie...

Duration:00:52:32

Jazz Migrations

10/9/2021
Music crosses boundaries between traditional and modern, local and global, personal and political. Take jazz — a musical form born out of forced migration and enslavement. We typically think it originated in New Orleans and then spread around the world. But today, we examine an alternate history of jazz — one that starts in Africa, then crisscrosses the planet, following the movements of people and empires -- from colonial powers to grassroots revolutionaries to contemporary artists...

Duration:00:52:16

What Afghan Women Want You to Know

10/2/2021
The women of Afghanistan are elected officials, school teachers, actors, TV contest winners, ancient rug weavers, and whisperers of forbidden poetry. The Taliban are starting to put down their thumb. But these women want you to know they are more than the timid victim under a burqa. Original Air Date: October 02, 2021 Guests: Humaira Ghilzai — Eliza Griswold — Anna Badkhen — Rafia Zakaria Interviews In This Hour: What's the future of culture in Afghanistan? — For Afghan weavers, the...

Duration:00:51:56

Finding Meaning in Desperate Times

9/25/2021
We’ve all been changed by the experience of living through a pandemic. We figured out how to sanitize groceries, mute ourselves on Zoom and keep from killing our roommates. But we’re also tackling bigger, existential questions — how can we, individually and collectively, find meaning in the experience of this pandemic? Original Air Date: May 23, 2020 Guests: David Kessler — Tyrone Muhammad — Nikki Giovanni — John Kaag — Alice Kaplan Interviews In This Hour: Grief Is A Natural Response...

Duration:00:51:47

The Secret Language of Trees

9/18/2021
Using a complex network of chemical signals, trees talk to each other and form alliances with fellow trees, even other species. In fact, whole forests exist as a kind of superorganism. And some trees are incredibly old. Did you know a single bristlecone pine can live up to 6,000 years? And the root mass of aspens might live 100,000 years? We explore the science and history of trees and talk with Richard Powers about his epic novel "The Overstory." Original Air Date: April 28,...

Duration:00:53:38

Is War Ever Worth It?

9/11/2021
For all the commentary, the sorrow and rage, all the second-guessing about everything that followed, it’s still hard to fathom what happened on 9/11. Photographer James Nachtwey was in New York that day, and he took some of the iconic photos of the Twin Towers as they crumbled. "I’ve actually never gotten over it," he says. On the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Nachtwey reflects on his life as a war photographer, and we consider the deep history of war itself. We also examine a very...

Duration:00:53:44

Traveling By Book

9/4/2021
Before the time of commercial flights and road trips, we traveled to far off places without taking a single step. All you had to do was open a book. From Africa to England, to a kamikaze cockpit, and to realms of fantasy. Books aren’t just books. They’re passports to anywhere. Original Air Date: March 14, 2020 Guests: Philip Pullman — Ruth Ozeki — Robert Macfarlane — Petina Gappah Interviews In This Hour: Philip Pullman on 'The Pocket Atlas of the World' — 'His Dark Materials' Author...

Duration:00:53:16

Our Virtual Reality

8/28/2021
Not everyone has a nice, big yard to stretch out in while sheltering in place from COVID-19. But maybe you don't need one. People are using virtual spaces to live out the real experiences they miss — like coffee shops, road trips, even building your own house on a deserted island, or Walden Pond. In a world where we're mostly confined to our homes and Zoom screens, does the line between virtual and real-life space mean much anymore? Original Air Date: May 16, 2020 Guests: Mark Riechers —...

Duration:00:51:46

Plants As Persons

8/21/2021
Over the past decade, plant scientists have quietly transformed the way we think of trees, forests and plants. They discovered that trees communicate through vast underground networks, that plants learn and remember. If plants are intelligent beings, how should we relate to them? Do they have a place in our moral universe? Should they have rights? Human identity cannot be separated from our nonhuman kin. From forest ecology to the human microbiome, emerging research suggests that being...

Duration:00:51:48

Writing the Climate Change Story

8/14/2021
One of the toughest things about trying to understand climate change – arguably the most important story of our time - is wrapping our minds around it. To even imagine something so enormous, so life-changing, we need a story. Some characters, a metaphor, and even some lessons learned. For that, we turn to the novelists and journalists telling the story of climate change – as we – and our children – live it. Original Air Date: August 14, 2021 Guests: Alice Bell — Lydia Millet — Lidia...

Duration:00:51:41

Living In Skin

8/7/2021
We all miss touching things — groceries, door knobs, hands, faces. And most of all, skin. The living tissue that simultaneously protects us from the world, and lets us feel it. In this episode, the politics, biology, and inner life of your skin. Original Air Date: April 18, 2020 Guests: Angelo Bautista — Tiffany Field — Alissa Waters — Nina Jablonski Interviews In This Hour: My Problem With Skincare — Even During Quarantine, You Need A 'Daily Dose Of Touch' — Reclaiming Scars As Works...

Duration:00:51:54

Sprinting for the Finish Line

7/31/2021
What does it take to win Olympic gold? To become "the world's fastest human"? This hour, Olympic fame, the politics of sports, and the science of running. Original Air Date: July 31, 2021 Guests: John Carlos — Gretchen Reynolds — Mark McClusky — Michael Powell Interviews In This Hour: The Fist and the 1968 Olympics — Walk, Run, Swim Or Bike — The Most Important Exercise Is Merely Movement — Faster, Higher, Stronger — The Magic of 'Rez Ball'

Duration:00:51:34

When Mountains Are Gods

7/24/2021
If you look at a mountain, you might see a skiing destination, a climbing challenge, or even a source of timber to be logged or ore to be mined. But there was a time when mountains were sacred. In some places, they still are. What changes when you think of a mountain not as a giant accumulation of natural resources, but as a living being? Today’s show is part of our project on kinship with the more-than-human world — produced in collaboration with the Center for Humans and Nature, and with...

Duration:00:51:55

How Africans Are Building The Cities Of The Future

7/17/2021
Africans are moving into cities in unprecedented numbers. Lagos, Nigeria, is growing by 77 people an hour — it's on track to become a city of 100 million. In 30 years, the continent is projected to have 14 mega-cities of more than 10 million people. It's perhaps the largest urban migration in history. These cities are not like Dubai, or Singapore, or Los Angeles. They’re uniquely African cities, and they’re forcing all of us to reconsider what makes a city modern. And how and why cities...

Duration:00:51:45

Everything is Exhausting

7/11/2021
Why don’t we all just take moment to acknowledge that we are collectively exhausted? The pandemic, the protests, the President’s Twitter feed — everything is exhausting. But maybe it doesn’t have to be? Original Air Date: October 24, 2020 Guests: Katrina Onstad — Emma Seppala — Richard Polt — Filip Bromberg — Lars Svendsen — Anne Helen Petersen Interviews In This Hour: Can We Not? How The Pandemic Has Made Burnout Worse Than Ever — Sunday Night Blues, Monday Morning (Short) Fuse —...

Duration:00:51:39

As Read By The Author

7/3/2021
As audio producers, one of the most fun things we get to do is bring the soundscape of a novel to life — cue the monsters, the storms, the footsteps of a creature emerging slowly from the ocean. So that’s what we’re bringing you today: Great writers, epic sound design. Original Air Date: July 03, 2021 Guests: Nnedi Okorafor — Neil Gaiman — Lidia Yuknavitch — N. K. Jemisin — Ann Patchett — Richard Powers — Pattiann Rogers — Lorrie Moore — Kelly Link — Mark Sundeen Interviews In This...

Duration:00:52:03

Eye-To-Eye Animal Encounters

6/26/2021
There's a certain a kind of visual encounter that can be life changing: A cross-species gaze. The experience of looking directly into the eyes of an animal in the wild, and seeing it look back. It happens more often than you’d think and it can be so profound, there’s a name for it: eye-to-eye epiphany. So what happens when someone with feathers or fur and claws looks back? How does it change people, and what can it teach us? Human identity cannot be separated from our nonhuman kin. From...

Duration:00:51:51

Our Time of Mourning

6/19/2021
Is there a better way to talk about death? And to grieve? So many people have died during the pandemic — 4.8 million and counting — that we're living through a period of global mourning. And some people — and certain cultures — seem to be better prepared to handle it than others. Original Air Date: June 12, 2021 Guests: Heather Swan — Gillian O'Brien — Charles Monroe-Kane — Gabe Joyner — Rafael Campo Interviews In This Hour: The Barred Owl Who Came To Visit — How The Irish Talk About...

Duration:00:52:01

The Resilient Brain

6/12/2021
New experiences actually rewire the brain. So after all we’ve been through this year, you have to wonder — are we different? We consider the "COVID brain" from the perspective of both neuroscience and the arts. Also, we go to Cavendish, Vermont to hear the remarkable story of Phineas Gage, the railroad worker whose traumatic brain injury changed the history of neuroscience. Original Air Date: October 10, 2020 Guests: Margo Caulfield — David Eagleman — llan Stavans Interviews In This...

Duration:00:51:45

Secrets of Alchemy

6/5/2021
Once upon a time, science and magic were two sides of the same coin. Today, we learn science in school and save magic for children’s books. What if it were different? What would it be like to see the world as an alchemist? Original Air Date: September 19, 2020 Guests: Sarah Durn — Pamela Smith — William Newman — Charles Monroe-Kane — Jason Pine Interviews In This Hour: Transmutation Of The Spirit — The Historical Lessons Embedded in Alchemical Recipes — Was Sir Isaac Newton 'The Last of...

Duration:00:51:42