To The Best Of Our Knowledge show

To The Best Of Our Knowledge

Summary: 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

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  • Artist: Wisconsin Public Radio
  • Copyright: Copyright 2019 by Wisconsin Public Radio


 Finding Your Voice | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:30

Your voice is unique. It's how your friends and family know you. But how comfortable are you with your voice? And how freely do you use it? Guests: David Thorpe, Keith Powell, Susan Stamberg, Ann Friedman, Veronica Rueckert, Bernie Krause

 Writing Truth and Lies [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:06

It's a long walk from the truth to the whole truth. A biographer, a poet, a memoirist and a filmmaker describe the moral struggle and personal cost involved. Guests: Caroline Fraser, Terese Marie Mailhot, Karl Ove Knausgård, Errol Morris

 Difficult Summer Reading | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:45

Summer reading lists are full of so-called "beach books." But if you’ve got enough time to lounge by a pool or swing in a hammock, why not tackle something more substantial? Guests: Colleen Leahy, Makini Allwood, Jorge Luis Borges, Orhan Pamuk, Maryanne Wolf, Codex Seraphinianus, Emily Parker, Junot Diaz, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, Charles Miers

 Religion Without Doctrine [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

What's the essence of religion? God? Scripture? Moral codes? Or is it really about something more unexplainable — primal spiritual experiences? Guests: Elizabeth Krohn, Jeff Kripal, Elaine Pagels, Jericho Brown

 Pick Your Poison [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:06

Covert spies painting nerve agents on doorknobs? It's not the only way to poison someone. We hear stories of radioactive paint, formaldehyde-spiked baby formula, and a beautiful garden full of plants that could kill you. Guests: Deborah Blum, Kathryn Harkup, Amy Stewart, Kate Moore

 Why Do We Meet? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:31

We're always online but still have an innate need to meet in person. How can we make gatherings, from dinner parties to work meetings, more meaningful? Guests: Priya Parker, Mamie Kanfer Stewart, Angelo Bautista, James Ogude

 The Ways We Are Born — Again and Again [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

The first birth is when you arrive here, as a wet, wiggling newborn. But there may be other transitions in your life that feel just as difficult and profound. Some people actually call those passages re-birth.  Guests: Arlene Stein, Wendy Kline, Benn Marine, Greg Cootsona

 The Weird, Wild World of Mushrooms | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:26

We owe our past and future existence on Earth to fungi. Some can heal you, some can kill you, and some can change you forever. Guests: Lawrence Millman, Paul Stamets, Eugenia Bone, Michael Pollan, Dennis McKenna, Robin Carhart-Harris

 Music Beyond Genre | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:34

Even with all the music available today, most of us still listen primarily to just a few comfy genres. But there’s so much more out there — and so much of it defies neat, algorithm-friendly categorization.Guests:Kevin Gift, Wendel Patrick, Philip Glass, Robert Glasper, Toni Blackman, Clarice Jensen, Evelyn Glennie, Nikka Costa

 How To Be An Ethical Traveler | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:27

Over-tourism is ruining some of our favorite places on earth. Maybe it’s time to think more carefully about where and why we go places. This show was produced in partnership with AFAR Magazine, whose May/June 2019 issue on ethical traveling inspired this episode. Guests: Elizabeth Becker, Dave Eggers, Kathryn Kellogg, Anu Taranath, Barry Lopez

 Loving Bees [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

Bees are endangered, but all over the world, people are stepping up to save them — in backyards, science labs, and the abandoned lots of urban Detroit. Guests: Heather Swan , Nicole Lindsey , Timothy Paule , Thor Hanson , Christof Koch , Tania Munz , Stephanie Elkins , Peter Sobol , Anne Strainchamps

 Listening to the City [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:06

Cities can be cacophonous and loud, a chaos of sonic discord. If, that is, you don't really focus your listening. People who’ve trained their ears to hear urban soundscapes in new ways hear something different. That’s what David Rothenberg is doing. He’s a composer and an environmental philosopher who’s made a career of listening to and performing music in the wild, with birds, animals and insects. Lately he’s been giving himself a crash course in the art — and science — of urban listening. His experience made us wonder: what else can you hear from a city when you really listen closely? People's patterns and everyday experiences emerge in detail, along with their struggles against prejudice and abuse. Some people hear pain, others hear art emerging from the chaos of sound. In this hour, we make the case for exploring your city sonically. Guests: David Rothenberg, David Haskell, Aaron Henkin, Wendel Patrick, Jennifer Stoever, Pierre Schaeffer, Vivienne Corringham

 Hope: Are We Really Doomed? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

Hope means believing there’s a future. But can hope co-exist with cataclysmic realities like climate change, or disruptive technological advances like artificial intelligence? What’s ahead for future generations? Guests: Roy Scranton, Anne Lamott, Amy Webb, Victor LaValle, Robert Zubrin

 Hope: How Do You Make It? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:06

We’ve all been there, that place where we feel hope slipping away. Maybe we’ve even lost hope. This hour we talk with people who’ve turned that around and made hope real, whether it’s through political activism, faith, music, or reading a life-changing novel. Guests: DeRay Mckesson, Lydia Hester, Serene Jones, Megan Stielstra, Common

 Hope: Where Does It Come From? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:06

Is hope something we’re innately born with, or something we can choose to have? We talk with people who tell us where they think hope lives in ourselves and our communities. The first of a three-part series on hope. Guests: Andre Willis, Steve Pinker, Tali Sharot, Alice Walker, Chigozie Obioma, Claire Peaslee


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