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 TTBOOK

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 733 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.

    How To Be An Ethical Traveler

    How To Be An Ethical Traveler

    Before the pandemic upended all world travel, we aired a show about what it means to be an ethical traveler. Between masks and vaccinations, COVID-19 has added even more to the ethical baggage we carry with us when we travel. But part of recovering from the pandemic involves getting back out there and seeing the world.

    So before you take your next trip abroad, we thought we would revisit some thoughts and advice in that episode. Safe journeys.

    This show was produced in partnership with AFAR Magazine, whose May/June 2019 issue on ethical traveling inspired this episode.

    Original Air Date: May 25, 2019

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    Trying Not To Ruin The World When You Visit — A Personal Code of Travel Ethics — How to Lessen Your Environmental Impact When You Travel — Traveling Abroad Without Falling Into Guilt Trips — To Travel Well, Be Willing To Listen, Play, Leave The Notebook Behind

    Guests: 

    Elizabeth Becker, Dave Eggers, Kathryn Kellogg, Anu Taranath, Barry Lopez

    Further Reading:

    Afar Magazine: Making the World Better, One Traveler at a Time—Afar Magazine: 4 Ways to Explore Venice Responsibly—Afar Magazine: Are We Loving Venice to Death?—Afar Magazine: How to Photograph People When You Travel (Without Being Disrespectful)

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    , kathryn kellog, anu taranath, barry lopez

    • 51 min
    You're Not Ok. That's Ok.

    You're Not Ok. That's Ok.

    At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, producer Charles Monroe-Kane made 300 yard signs that read "You're not ok. That's ok." He put them on his porch. Soon they were gone.

    Original Air Date: June 18, 2022

    Interviews In This Hour:

    The story of a pandemic yard sign — Author Susan Cain on how bittersweetness adds flavor to daily life — 'Artists anticipate things because they work in the realm of the imagination': Creating in a pandemic time loop — What would you put in your bomb shelter?

    Guests:

    Charles Monroe-Kane, Susan Cain, Alissa Wilkinson, Mary Laura Philpott

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    • 51 min
    The Spirit of Jim Thorpe

    The Spirit of Jim Thorpe

    Jim Thorpe was one of the greatest athletes the world has ever known — a legend in the NFL, MLB, NCAA, and in the Olympics. Today he is being celebrated by a new generation of Native Americans. 


    Rapper Tall Paul’s album is called, “The Story of Jim Thorpe." Tall Paul is an Anishinaabe and Oneida Hip-Hop artist enrolled on the Leech Lake reservation in Minnesota. 
    Biographer David Maraniss is the author of "Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe."
    Activist Suzan Shown Harjo is the recipient of a 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee.
    Patty Loew is the director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University. She is a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe.


    Original Air Date: January 14, 2023

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    Was Jim Thorpe the greatest athlete who ever lived? — The white man's trophy — A hero who looks like me

    Guests: 

    Tall Paul, Suzan Shown Harjo, Patty Loew, David Maraniss

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    • 51 min
    The Hidden Geometry of Everything

    The Hidden Geometry of Everything

    The human brain is naturally mathematical. But there’s one particular kind of math people have surprisingly strong feelings about — geometry. It's the secret sauce of mathematics — different from everything else, and applicable to everything from gerrymandering to human evolution to romance novels.

    Original Air Date: May 28, 2022

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    The 14th dimension, AI that writes romance novels, and other things explained by geometry — Did shapes make us human?

    Guests: 

    Jordan Ellenberg, Stanislas Dehaene

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    • 51 min
    Time Beyond The Clock

    Time Beyond The Clock

    Clocks and calendars chop time into increments – minutes, hours, days, years. It’s efficient, and it helps us get to meetings on time. But when we invented artificial time, we gave up natural time, and a deep sense of connection to the larger universe. What does time feel like when you stop counting it?

    Original Air Date: January 04, 2020

    Interviews In This Hour:

    Alexander Rose on The Clock of the Long Now — Reclaiming Time — The Eternal Moment — Brian Swimme on Organic Time — Laura Williams on a Tidal-Powered Moon Clock — What It Looks Like To Live For 600K Years

    Guests:

    Alexander Rose, Douglas Rushkoff, Wade Davis, Brian Swimme, Laura Williams, Rachel Sussman

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    • 51 min
    When Mountains Are Gods

    When Mountains Are Gods

    If you look at a mountain, you might see a skiing destination, a climbing challenge, or even a source of timber to be logged or ore to be mined. But there was a time when mountains were sacred. In some places, they still are. What changes when you think of a mountain not as a giant accumulation of natural resources, but as a living being?

    Human identity cannot be separated from our nonhuman kin. From forest ecology to the human microbiome, emerging research suggests that being human is a complicated journey made possible only by the good graces of our many companions. In partnership with the Center for Humans and Nature and with support from the Kalliopeia Foundation, To The Best Of Our Knowledge is exploring this theme of "kinship" in a special radio series.

    To learn more about the Kinship series, head to ttbook.org/kinship.

    Original Air Date: July 24, 2021

    Interviews In This Hour: 

    What Do You Owe The Mountains Around You? — 'These Are Live, Active Places': A Ute Activist Fights To Save The Bears Ears National Monument — A Poet Finds Life Lessons on Hunger Mountain — 'I Was Born To Volcanoes'

    Guests: 

    John Hausdoerffer, Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, David Hinton, Lisa Maria Madera

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    Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
733 Ratings

733 Ratings

SunRa Rebel ,

Love this show

This is truly one of the highest quality, consistently good programs and podcasts available. Love it each week. This is my go to radio show and podcast and I’ve been listening to it since they started. I’ll plan my week around, listening to this podcast. Best out there.

kateinkansas ,

This podcast is a gift

I don’t watch much television but I do listened to podcasts . This is the best I have found in quite some time. I appreciate the breadth of subjects addressed and deeper and sometimes surprising “dive” given the topics. in a podcast world of loud voices, sensationalism, and jangling music I especially appreciate the pace and gentle way this podcast is created. I find these pieces to be a catalyst for my curiosity and my book list of “want to read” is growing from this podcast and the companion books and authors effort. Rather than focus on office sensationalism and stressors in the world this podcast points to our gifts. Thank you thank you, I am a big fan and recommend it to all of my friends and family.

DavidJWatkins ,

Sorry to see this show stagnate

I’ve been a loyal listener to TTBOOK for decades, way before it came to podcasting, but it’s very hard to listen for the past several years. So much of the content always funnels back to the topics of racism, pandemic, or climate change. I know that those topics have dominated our culture’s conversations lately, but can you just give it a rest? Not everything has to relate back to the pandemic or racism. I loved TTBOOK back in the day because it was a deep escape from the news and information that we drown in every day. Please consider bringing back some of that vibe.

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