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

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast
  • Visit Website
  • RSS
  • Artist: Wisconsin Public Radio
  • Copyright: Copyright 2020 by Wisconsin Public Radio


 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

 If Your Clothes Could Talk | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:12

Whether you know it or not, your closets are filled with personal information. About your identity, your values, your personality. And every day, you wear it all right out the door for the whole world to see. Do you think about what are you saying with your clothes? Guests: Angelo Bautista, Avery Trufelman, Carolyn Smith, agnès b., Jo Paoletti

 Being Sincere in a Cynical World [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

Why is the world so damn cynical? Rather than surrendering to corrosive, hopeless snark, we look to some unexpected sources — video games, the lives lead by those who leave hate groups, and the optimism of the Afrofuturist art and culture movement — to make the case for sincerity. Guests: Jason Rohrer, Christy Wampole, Christian Picciolini, Ingrid LaFleur

 What's The Real Migration Crisis? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:16

Debates over immigration are raging all over the world, but sometimes it’s hard to sort out the political posturing from the actual problems. Should we be doing things differently? In a highly connected world, does the idea of a national border even make sense anymore? Guests: Mariela Shaker, Wolfgang Munchau, Molly Crabapple, Parag Khanna, Jose Angel N, Sunjeev Sahota

 Your Miraculous And Mysterious Body | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

Sometimes, we take our body for granted. But even the everyday things it can do – keep our heart beating, fight off illness – are pretty extraordinary. Do you know what your body can do? We explore a kidney transplant, a chronic illness and a common fever, and find the mystery and the familiar in the anatomy of ourselves. Guests: Josh Mezrich, Missy Makinia, Porochista Khakpour, Gavin Francis

 Is Guilt A Wasted Emotion? [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:07

It creeps into everything from exercise to pore size, from diet to personal finance, from relationships to parenting style: guilt that we're not good enough, fit enough, smart enough. And as we peruse Instagram, all we see is the perfection of others reflecting our own failures back at us. Why do we spend so much time feeling guilty? Should we? Guests: Devorah Baum, Lucas Mann, Thomas Curran , Stephen Greenblatt, Susan Bandes

 What Sparks Creativity? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:57

Human creativity — whether it’s solving a tough problem or writing a novel — is one of our defining traits. It’s also deeply mysterious. Where does that creative spark come from? Guests: Heather Berlin, Siri Hustvedt, Jim Holt, Mary Sharrat, Nathaniel Mary Quinn

 In Search of "Real" Food [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:57

What makes food "authentic"? Do we need to feel close to where it's made? Know the complete history of where it comes from? Be able to diagram the chemistry of how it dances along our taste buds? How can we quantify the romance between eaters and the food they love? In this hour, we talk about what it means to truly love what you eat and drink — and we ask why it matters. Guests: Simran Sethi, Samin Nosrat, Michael Twitty, Josh Noel

 Virtually Anywhere [Extra] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:23

Remember virtual reality? Back in the 1990’s, it was going to be the technology of the future.  Today, it’s here. But we're still figuring out what to do with it. Storytellers and even journalists have begun experimenting — and at forefront is Will Smith. He recently created a virtual reality talk show called “The Foo Show,” in which he interviews game developers inside the environments from their favorite games. Will thinks that eventually virtual spaces will go way beyond games into theater, science, and beyond.  Guests: Will Smith, Simon Parkin

 New Voices in Native American Writing | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:57

Every so often, a new literary movement coalesces. A new generation of writers finds a voice. This time they’re young, gifted, and Native American. Guests: Jennifer Foerster, Tommy Orange, Terese Marie Mailhot, David Treuer, Kevin Goodan, Tall Paul

 Women Who Rule [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:58

Where do you go to find models of powerful women? Hatshepsut, Circe, Antigone — the ancient world was full of them, real and mythic. For thousands of years, women ruled the world. Today we barely know their names. Why? This week we rediscover the women of ancient myths and legends. Guests: Kara Cooney, Madeline Miller, Natalie Haynes, Emily Wilson, Serenity Young, Romare Bearden

 What Can We Learn From Teenagers? [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:58

All over the country, a chorus of hope is coming from an unexpected group — teenagers. They are marching, protesting and demanding a better future as we – the adults – watch them with a kind of heartbreaking pride. These teenagers are not waiting for adults to figure things out for them. They have superpowers — innocence, idealism, and Instagram — and they aren't waiting for permission to use them to reshape the conversation around everything from gun control to education to climate change. What can we learn from teenagers today? What do they have that the rest of us don't? Guests: Angie Jiang, Kevin Coval, Luis Carranza, Kee Stein, Frances Jensen, Angie Thomas, Tyler Ruzich

 The Third Act [Rebroadcast] | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:58

If life is a play, what happens during the last act? What’s it like to live knowing you have a limited amount of time left? This week, we’re talking about how to face, and in some cases, embrace your third act, whenever it arrives. Whether you’re looking at retirement, a late-life job change, an illness or just a lot of birthday candles on the cake — how do you live differently when you reach what’s likely to be your final act? Guests: Sabrina Frey, Daniel Pink, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, Martin Amis


Login or signup comment.