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


 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

 Hope — A Three-Part Series From To The Best Of Our Knowledge | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:56

We’re living in a time of despair and desperation. It would be easy to give up. But what if, instead, we looked for hope?  We’re not talking about sugarcoating the situation. And hope — real hope — is not going to be simple to find. To the Best of Our Knowledge producers talked to some of the greatest artists, scientists, authors and thinkers of our time to ask them where they find hope, and how we can get some, too. Airdates April 20, 2019 April 27, 2019 May 04, 2019 Learn more at

 Making Waves: Live in Milwaukee [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:06

Milwaukee is a city on water, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, split by the historic Milwaukee River. How did all that water shape the city's history, politics, culture, and people? We went on a roadtrip (and boat trip) looking for answers. Then we did a live show at Milwaukee's historic Turner Hall, talking with journalists, brewmasters, historians, comedians, spiritual leaders and one awesome DJ to get at some big underlying questions. If you're a model freshwater city, how do you sort out the politics of water scarcity? Milwaukee became the "Brew City" because of its easy access to freshwater. How do you celebrate that history while still creating new and different brews for beer lovers to enjoy? And since we all depend on water, how do we honor its spiritual significance? Guests: John Gurda, Dan Egan, Jenny Kehl, Chastity Washington, Ben Barbera, Russ Klisch, David Dupee, Tarik Moody, Siobhan Marks, Venice Williams, Kim Blaeser, Melanie Ariens

 Is This The Socialist Moment? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:14

Look around the political landscape and you see something we haven’t seen for decades — politicians proudly identifying as socialists. In New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came out of nowhere to steamroll an incumbent and seize the national stage. Bernie Sanders is leading the early crop of Democratic presidential hopefuls. And for the first time in a long time, membership in the Democratic Socialists of America is surging. What used to be political poison is now catnip for a new generation of voters. So, are we living in a socialist moment? Guests: Cheryl Blue, Andrew Haug, Erik Olin Wright, Bhaskar Sunkara, Sean Wilentz, Brother Ali

 Center of the World [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:05

Shuttered businesses line the familiar streets of producer Charles Monroe-Kane’s hometown in the Rust Belt in northeastern Ohio. The steel mill where his father worked is shut down, locked behind chains. Opioid abuse is rampant, poverty is high, jobs are scarce. But people remain. What keeps them going? What do they hope for? Charles went back to talk with friends, family and community members in a journey to the Center of the World, Ohio. We leave the lives of Ohioans to travel back in time into the lives of Koreans in Japan with Min Jin Lee. Then we head to Brooklyn (well, "Another Brooklyn") with Jacqueline Woodson. Guests: Charles Monroe-Kane Min Jin Lee Jacqueline Woodson

 Is The Internet Built For Everyone? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:06

They say "don't feed the trolls" — but why do they get to own the web? Was it built for them, or for all of us? We look at who built the internet, how it became an at times toxic space for women, and how we might build online spaces that are more inclusive to all. Guests: Claire Evans, Zoë Quinn, Roxane Gay, Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Emily Temple-Wood


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