Nature

Kerepunu women at the marketplace of Kalo, British New Guinea, 1885

A conversation with renowned biologist Jared Diamond, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Guns, Germs and Steel.” His new book is “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?”

You'd never think a book about chopping and burning wood would turn into a runaway bestseller, but Lars Mytting's "Norwegian Wood" is a publishing sensation in Scandinavia. Lars gathers the collected wisdom on everything from how to build a smokeless fire to the art of choosing a husband based on his wood pile.

Botanist Robin Kimmerer describes her field experiments as like interviewing a plant. She believes nature is full of living beings - rocks and water as well as plants and animals. As both a Ph.D biologist and a member of the Potawatomi Naiton, she's trying to reconcile modern science with the wisdom of her Native elders.

Wade Davis has been called the Indiana Jones of anthropology. He's traveled deep into the Amazon rain forest to meet shamans; he's investigated Haitian zombies; he's climbed high into the Tibetan mountains to photograph snow leopards. He says indigenous people have a fundamentally different way of seeing the world than we do in modern society.

Starling

Elena Passarello’s latest book, “Animals Strike Curious Poses,” is a journey through stories of the wild ones: the mammoths, spiders, birds and primates that have left their marks on our society. To the Best of Our Knowledge host Anne Strainchamps talked with Passarello about the “animal gaze” and the legacy of Mozart’s starling, among other animal tales.

Octopus
Air Dates:
  • December 29, 2018
  • April 07, 2018

Can we ever get inside the mind of an animal? Can we really know how an octopus or a parrot thinks? Also, the fascinating story of Charles Foster's attempt to act like a badger, when he lived in a hole in the ground and ate worms.

Gorilla

Elena Passarello created “Koko” from the one-thousand word vocabulary of a gorilla who uses sign language. Her book is "Animals Strike Curious Poses."

ice
Air Dates:
  • November 24, 2018
  • February 10, 2018
  • August 12, 2017

“The climate crisis is a crisis of culture and thus of imagination,” says writer Amitav Ghosh. So what changes in our conversation about global warming when we tap into the imaginative worlds of novelists and artists?

Wolf in Yellowstone
Air Dates:
  • February 02, 2019
  • January 27, 2018
  • August 06, 2017

While their domesticated cousins sleep on our beds, Congress debates wild wolves’ survival. This hour, we’ll explore our complicated relationship with our canine cousins, and the feelings they evoke – fear, hatred, and also love.  

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