Show Archives

Swirls
  • August 25, 2018

Psychedelic science is back — and they could help heal people with addictions, PTSD and end-of-life anxiety.Read more

The Majestic Theater in Madison
  • February 10, 2018
  • February 09, 2019

What can science reveal about lust, romance, and compassion?Read more

People on an island

Forty years ago Richard Dawkins wrote the landmark book “The Selfish Gene,” where he argued that the gene is what drives evolution. But what if he got it all wrong?Read more

RR cafe sign
  • October 20, 2018

In this show, we explore storyworlds — the fictional universes that continue to enchant us.  Like the ghostly supernatural realm in which Abe Lincoln’s dead son, Willie, finds himself and the surreal Pacific Northwest town of Twin Peaks, the home of some damn fine coffee....Read more

Apple on the tree of knowledge
  • August 25, 2018
  • July 27, 2019

A garden, a tree, an apple and a serpent. The story of Adam and Eve is as old as sin. But it’s a lot more than a Bible story.Read more

  • March 03, 2018

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

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

  • June 02, 2018
  • July 20, 2019

How do you cope with unpleasant people? We consider the adage “hell is other people.”Read more

running is pointless

Every generation has one or two critics with an unparalleled ability to capture the cultural moment they’re living in. Now, that critic may be Mark Greif. He’s one of the founders of the literary magazine n+1, who’s just come out with a new essay collection, “Against Everything.” In this...Read more

Machines
  • July 07, 2018
  • April 13, 2019

Computer scientists are closing in on the next frontier in artificial intelligence — machines that can create. Make art. Write stories. Compose music. The dream is to open the door to a whole new kind of creativity. Read more

Chicago skyline

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

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

Abstaining from alchohol in January?
  • January 04, 2018
  • January 05, 2019

Ah, January. Season of diets and fasts and cleanses, of "Drynuary" and "Veganuary." Why does being virtuous always seem to mean giving up pleasure?Read more

A future man (or lady)
  • January 06, 2018

Why are we so obsessed with the future? Is it because we can't handle the present and all of our current problems, like climate change, racism and terrorism? That's one theory.Read more

TTBOOK

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

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

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

home
  • May 19, 2018

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

The Colosseum
  • March 30, 2019

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

CC BY-SA 2.0
  • April 14, 2018
  • March 09, 2019

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

TTBOOK

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

Tree image
  • April 12, 2018

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

Ballot box and stickers
  • November 03, 2018

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

Typewriter
  • January 13, 2018
  • December 22, 2018

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

time travel clock
  • February 03, 2018

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

Fermented tea

Fermentation revivalists share a slow food philosophy, a DIY approach to foodcraft, and a deep interest in the health of the American gut.Read more

  • April 21, 2018
  • April 06, 2019

Some people talk to God and some think God talks to them. Read more

Elephant

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

Actress with long tongue
  • February 24, 2018
  • December 01, 2018
  • August 10, 2019

We delve into the new science of revulsion.Read more

We confront the politics of the voice, from stereotyping to vocal fry. And we also talk to a soundscape ecologist who listens—perhaps closer than anyone—to the voices of the natural world.Read more

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