Episode Archives

Filter episodes by the year they originally aired.
Chicago skyline

Charles Monroe-Kane talks to David Nagler about adapting Carl Sandburg's poems to music. Read more

Original Air Date:

January 12, 2017

A huddle

Be strong, be tough, don’t cry – boys are bombarded with messages about being a man and the “male code” their whole lives. It's second nature, and also toxic. Read more

Original Air Date:

January 08, 2017


It's December and time again for the annual media ritual — the best of list. We're sharing the best of the best of To the Best of Our Knowledge. 2016, the year in interviews.Read more

Original Air Date:

December 18, 2016

Shirley Jackson

On the centennial of Shirley Jackson's birth, we explore the great literary work that she left for us — the stories and novels that continue to resonate in our culture.Read more

Original Air Date:

December 11, 2016

Freeman Dyson

You get the sense that Freeman Dyson has seen everything. He's a legendary physicist who's had a front row seat on scientific breakthroughs for the past century. Read more

Original Air Date:

December 08, 2016


We’re living through a period of mass human migration, with people on the move all over the planet. What does it take to take an unfamiliar place and make it yours?Read more

Original Air Date:

December 04, 2016

Playing jazz

There's a new kind of music packing nightclubs with young fans. It's jazz — but not the sound of your grandparents' supper club. Infused with hip hop and other popular musical forms, jazz is being remade.Read more

Original Air Date:

November 27, 2016

CC BY-SA 2.0

Hip hop created a sound that changed music, art, fashion, and politics. What's next? Diplomacy? Journalism? Education? Philosophy?Read more

Original Air Date:

November 20, 2016

To The Best Of Our Knowledge

How does it feel to know that the commodity everyone wants is inside your skull?  This hour, we focus our attention — on attention. Read more

Original Air Date:

November 13, 2016

Ballot box and stickers

How do we put the fairness and the fun back in American elections? In this hour, we present a few simple ideas for how to remake the electoral process.Read more

Original Air Date:

October 30, 2016


Psychologists say telling a good life story can make you happier. But do we also create an inauthentic version of ourselves if we turn everything into a narrative?Read more

Original Air Date:

October 23, 2016

time travel clock

This hour, we explore our obsession with time travel. Why is such a recurring them in movies and TV shows? And what can time travel teach us about ourselves?Read more

Original Air Date:

October 09, 2016


Can we ever get inside the mind of an animal? Can we really know how a chimp or a parrot thinks and experiences the world?Read more

Original Air Date:

September 03, 2016

Actress with long tongue

We delve into the new science of revulsion.Read more

Original Air Date:

August 28, 2016

View from Yosemite

"We live by wild mercy," Terry Tempest Williams writes. In this hour, she takes us to some of her favorite national parks, from Big Bend to Arches. We also explore the desert wilderness of Utah's Escalante area, and hear about a father and daughter's remarkable adventure into the Arctic National...Read more

Original Air Date:

July 24, 2016


When suicide bombers blow up crowded marketplaces, or a lone shooter attacks a nightclub, one question we’re always left with is why. This hour, a look at the underlying psychology of political violence.Read more

Original Air Date:

July 16, 2016

Cracked pair of glasses

Have you ever thought about tracking down someone who bullied you when you were a child? Allen Kurzweil thought about it and actually confronted him. We'll hear his story in this hour as we explore the bullying epidemic. Also, we'll find out how the Internet has transformed bullying into a...Read more

Original Air Date:

July 03, 2016

airport protest

When you don't have a voice, when you feel like lawmakers just won't listen to you, protest is one way of capturing the world's attention. But does it work? Read more

Original Air Date:

June 26, 2016

Satellite image of Europe

There are nearly 250 million migrants across the world right now. Some will be escaping war or oppression, others will be seeking out freedom or economic prosperity, but whatever the reason, the kind of life they're looking for lies across a border that's policed and restricted. What if it didn'...Read more

Original Air Date:

May 01, 2016

We grow up scribbling with crayons and covering sidewalks with chalk, and then around middle school most of us stop. Maybe we think it's childish or just too hard. So what can we learn from the people who never stopped making art?Read more

Original Air Date:

April 17, 2016

The Colosseum

There's a lot of hand-wringing these days about the American Empire. Is it doomed to come crashing down the way the Roman Empire did?Read more

Original Air Date:

February 21, 2016

fictional soda bottles

Do you ever get the feeling that this is Big Soda's world and we're just living in it? Even though soda sales have declined in recent years, Big Soda looms large in our popular culture. In this hour, we explore "Coca-Cola Capitalism" and soda politics.Read more

Original Air Date:

February 07, 2016

Tree image

Reading books isn't always the best way to learn. Some things you need to learn from your elders, and their wisdom has often been passed down through the generations. Read more

Original Air Date:

January 31, 2016

 So what about that phrase “a more perfect union”? What does that mean? And how do we reconcile all the different visons of what a more perfect union might be? Especially the ones you disagree with.Read more

Original Air Date:

January 24, 2016