50 episodes

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 ttbook.org.

To The Best Of Our Knowledge Wisconsin Public Radio

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 656 Ratings

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 ttbook.org.

    Mysteries of Migration

    Mysteries of Migration

    If you had to travel 500 miles across country, on foot, with no map, no GPS, without talking to anyone — to a destination you've never seen, could you do it? It sounds impossible, but millions of creatures spend their lives on the move, migrating from one part of the Earth to another with navigation skills we can only dream of. How do they do it — and what can we learn from them?

    Original Air Date: July 25, 2020

    Guests: 

    Moses Augustino Kumburu — David Wilcove — Stan Temple — David Barrie — Sonia Shah

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    The Serengeti's Great Migration, Up Close — Why Do Animals Migrate? — Sandhill Cranes Make The Long Journey South — The Greatest Navigators on the Planet — The High Costs — And Potential Gains — Of Migration, Both Animal And Human

    • 51 min
    Jazz Migrations

    Jazz Migrations

    Music crosses boundaries between traditional and modern, local and global, personal and political. Take jazz — a musical form born out of forced migration and enslavement. We typically think it originated in New Orleans and then spread around the world. But today, we examine an alternate history of jazz — one that starts in Africa, then crisscrosses the planet, following the movements of people and empires -- from colonial powers to grassroots revolutionaries to contemporary artists throughout the diaspora.

    This history of jazz is like the music itself: fluid and improvisatory.  

    In this hour, produced in partnership with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) — a global consortium of 270 humanities centers and institutes — we hear how both African and African-American music have shaped the sound of the world today.

     

    Original Air Date: July 04, 2020

    Guests: 

    Meklit Hadero — Valmont Layne — Gwen Ansell — Ron Radano

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    How Meklit Hadero Reimagined Ethiopian Jazz — So You Say You Want A Revolution — Reclaiming the Hidden History of South African Jazz — 'We Are All African When We Listen'

    Further Reading:

    CHCI Ideas from Africa Hub

    • 51 min
    What Afghan Women Want You to Know

    What Afghan Women Want You to Know

    The women of Afghanistan are elected officials, school teachers, actors, TV contest winners, ancient rug weavers, and whisperers of forbidden poetry. The Taliban are starting to put down their thumb. But these women want you to know they are more than the timid victim under a burqa.

    Original Air Date: October 02, 2021

    Guests: 

    Humaira Ghilzai — Eliza Griswold — Anna Badkhen — Rafia Zakaria

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    What's the future of culture in Afghanistan? — For Afghan weavers, the world is a carpet — Generations of Afghan women sharing the landay — How Afghanistan became America's 'first feminist war'

    • 51 min
    Finding Meaning in Desperate Times

    Finding Meaning in Desperate Times

    We’ve all been changed by the experience of living through a pandemic. We figured out how to sanitize groceries, mute ourselves on Zoom and keep from killing our roommates. But we’re also tackling bigger, existential questions — how can we, individually and collectively, find meaning in the experience of this pandemic?

    Original Air Date: May 23, 2020

    Guests: 

    David Kessler — Tyrone Muhammad — Nikki Giovanni — John Kaag — Alice Kaplan

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    Grief Is A Natural Response To The Pandemic. Here’s Why You Should Let Yourself Feel It. — 'You Smell Death': Being A Mortician In A Community Ravaged By COVID-19 — Nikki Giovanni Reads a Poem of Remembrance — Does Philosophy Still Matter In The Age Of Coronavirus? — Why Camus' 'The Stranger' Is Still a Dangerous Novel

    • 51 min
    The Secret Language of Trees

    The Secret Language of Trees

    Using a complex network of chemical signals, trees talk to each other and form alliances with fellow trees, even other species. In fact, whole forests exist as a kind of superorganism. And some trees are incredibly old. Did you know a single bristlecone pine can live up to 6,000 years? And the root mass of aspens might live 100,000 years? We explore the science and history of trees and talk with Richard Powers about his epic novel "The Overstory."

    Original Air Date: April 28, 2018

    Guests: 

    Mark Hirsch — Richard Powers — Suzanne Simard — Amos Clifford — Daegan Miller

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    A Year In The Life Of A Tree — Listening to the Mother Trees — Richard Powers on Writing the Inner Life of Trees — Bathing in the Beauty of the Trees — General Sherman, Karl Marx, and Other Aliases of Earth's Largest Tree

    • 52 min
    Is War Ever Worth It?

    Is War Ever Worth It?

    For all the commentary, the sorrow and rage, all the second-guessing about everything that followed, it’s still hard to fathom what happened on 9/11. Photographer James Nachtwey was in New York that day, and he took some of the iconic photos of the Twin Towers as they crumbled. "I’ve actually never gotten over it," he says. On the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Nachtwey reflects on his life as a war photographer, and we consider the deep history of war itself. We also examine a very difficult question: Is war ever worth it?

    Original Air Date: September 11, 2021

    Guests: 

    James Nachtwey — David Shields — Leymah Gbowee — Margaret MacMillan

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    Remembering 9/11 Through The Lens Of A Photojournalist — War is Beautiful? — Humans Have Gotten Nicer and Better at Making War — Is War Inevitable?

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
656 Ratings

656 Ratings

maria tenta ,

eye opening

and heart opening. You guys have been a guide for me, and i wish that all humanity listened and opened their eyes and hearts
through your words.

The Zoop ,

A great show

I love the interesting show themes and stories! I listen every week, so wish there weren’t so many replays, but appreciate every new show when it comes out!

concerned Sci-Fri listener ,

The Cream of the Crop

TTBOOK features fascinating topics, and brilliant execution. Anne, Steve, and the entire crew of podcasters are first rate. Simply the finest podcast that NPR has to offer. Pulitzer please!

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