Reading Our Times is the podcast that explores the books and the ideas that are shaping us today. It is hosted by Nick Spencer, Senior Fellow at the think tank, Theos.
We’re going to be talking to some of the world’s leading authors about issues like meritocracy, justice, populism, human rights, the brain, liberalism, and religion.
Above all, we'll be exploring what these books have to say about the times we live in and about the people we are.
So listen with us, and we’ll introduce you to authors, books and ideas that illuminate ourselves and our world today.
For more information about the people and ideas behind the podcast, visit https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/about/who-we-are or follow us on Twitter @theosthinktank and @theosnick.
Who are the new elites? In conversation with Matt Goodwin
"Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class.” So claimed no less than Rupert Murdoch, friend of PMs and presidents, in his resignation letter.
Is he right? Is there a "new elite"? If so, who are they and what do they believe in? And are they really in charge in now?
In this week's episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Matt Goodwin about his book Values, Voice and Virtue: The New British Politics
Who is responsible for feeding us (well)? In conversation with Pen Vogler
Our relationship with food is unhealthy. While nearly 2/3 of English adults and 1/3 of children struggle with extra weight problems, there are currently around 2,500 food banks operating in the UK.
What's gone wrong? Why do we so struggle with food? And whose responsiblity is it to feed us anyway?
In this week's episode, Nick Spencer speaks to author Pen Vogler about her book Stuffed: A History of Good Food and Hard Times in Britain
What does the end of the world look like? In conversation with Cal Flyn
It’s a common fantasy. You wake up and there is no one there. Civilisation, order, humanity have crumbled. You are alone. Yet, in some parts of the world, this is not a fantasy. Human civilisation has indeed gone.
What does this look like? What remains in a post-human landscape? And is this what awaits us?
In this week's episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Cal Flyn about her book Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape
What makes a philosophical mind? In conversation with Dan Dennett
For over 50 years now, Dan Dennett has written highly-praised, thoughtfully and provocatively on major philosophical issues.
His ideas about consciousness, evolution, freedom - and, of course, theism - have provoked wonder and anger.
In this week's episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Dan Dennett, about philosophy, Darwinism, naturalism and theism.
When is the next big crash? In conversation with Linda Yueh
The age of boom and bust is over - we were told, shortly before the great crash of 2008-09. Such confidence is clearly ill-advised. Economies boom and economies bust - and there doesn't seem much we can do about it.
Or is there? How can you spot a crash coming? What should you do about it when it descends on us? And how can we respond so that, even if we can't banish them forever, we can limit their frequency and impact?
In this week's episode, Nick Spencer speaks to Linda Yueh about her book The Great Crashes: Lessons from Global Meltdowns and How to Prevent Them.
What is a mind? In conversation with Philip Ball
You have a mind, right? At least, that's what you and those who know you will think. But would you say the same of your pet? What about creatures like dolphins or octopus? Aliens (assuming they exist)? Robots and AI? God?
What does it mean to 'have a mind'? Are all minds the same? Why should such a costly thing appear in evolution? And if we understand our minds, does that mean we have finally understood ourselves?
In this week's episode, Nick Spencer speaks to science writer Philip Ball about his book The Book of Minds: Understanding Ourselves and Other Beings, From Animals to Aliens.
This podcast just keeps on giving. I love the ideas and books. this podcast is very good in getting to the heart the facts. Nick Spencer is up there with the best
This is an outstanding podcast. Nick Spencer brilliantly and competently engages discussion with many leading thinkers about their work. A must listen!
A superb podcast which encourages the listener to engage with topics in an accessibly cerebral manner.