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 • 650 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.

    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
    Traveling By Book

    Traveling By Book

    Before the time of commercial flights and road trips, we traveled to far off places without taking a single step. All you had to do was open a book. From Africa to England, to a kamikaze cockpit, and to realms of fantasy. Books aren’t just books. They’re passports to anywhere.

    Original Air Date: March 14, 2020

    Guests:

    Philip Pullman — Ruth Ozeki — Robert Macfarlane — Petina Gappah

    Interviews In This Hour:

    Philip Pullman on 'The Pocket Atlas of the World' — 'His Dark Materials' Author Philip Pullman On The Consciousness Of All Things — A Diary Becomes A Time Capsule — Ruth Ozeki on 'Kamikaze Diaries' — Petina Gappah on 'Persuasion' — The Empire Writes Back: Author Discusses Explorer David Livingstone's Complicated Legacy — Robert Macfarlane on 'The Living Mountain'

    • 51 min
    Our Virtual Reality

    Our Virtual Reality

    Not everyone has a nice, big yard to stretch out in while sheltering in place from COVID-19. But maybe you don't need one. People are using virtual spaces to live out the real experiences they miss — like coffee shops, road trips, even building your own house on a deserted island, or Walden Pond. In a world where we're mostly confined to our homes and Zoom screens, does the line between virtual and real-life space mean much anymore?

    Original Air Date: May 16, 2020

    Guests:

    Mark Riechers — Tracy Fullerton — Simon Parkin — Jane McGonigal — Donald D. Hoffman — Suzanne O’Sullivan

    Interviews In This Hour:

    There's No Pandemic In Animal Crossing — I Went To The Woods To Level Up Deliberately — The Most Boring Video Game Ever Made — Want to be Happier? Turn Everyday Tasks Into a Game — How We Fool Ourselves With The Concept of 'Reality'

    Further Reading:

    NYAS: Reality Is Not As It Seems

    • 51 min
    Plants As Persons

    Plants As Persons

    Over the past decade, plant scientists have quietly transformed the way we think of trees, forests and plants. They discovered that trees communicate through vast underground networks, that plants learn and remember. If plants are intelligent beings, how should we relate to them? Do they have a place in our moral universe? Should they have rights?

    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.

    Original Air Date: December 19, 2020

    Guests:

    Robin Wall Kimmerer — Matt Hall — Monica Gagliano — Brooke Hecht

    Interviews In This Hour:

    We've Forgotten How To Listen To Plants — We Share This World With Plants. What Do We Owe Them? — Guided by Plant Voices — The Botanical Medicine Cabinet

    • 51 min
    Writing the Climate Change Story

    Writing the Climate Change Story

    One of the toughest things about trying to understand climate change – arguably the most important story of our time - is wrapping our minds around it. To even imagine something so enormous, so life-changing, we need a story. Some characters, a metaphor, and even some lessons learned. For that, we turn to the novelists and journalists telling the story of climate change – as we – and our children – live it.

    Original Air Date: August 14, 2021

    Guests:

    Alice Bell — Lydia Millet — Lidia Yuknavitch — John Lanchester

    Interviews In This Hour:

    The Climate Change Stories We Need To Hear — The Climate Crisis Gets Biblical — Lidia Yuknavitch’s Dream World: How Dreams Shaped Her Dazzling Speculative Novel — A Climate Dystopia Of Cold, Concrete, Wind and a Wall

    • 51 min
    Living In Skin

    Living In Skin

    We all miss touching things — groceries, door knobs, hands, faces. And most of all, skin. The living tissue that simultaneously protects us from the world, and lets us feel it. In this episode, the politics, biology, and inner life of your skin.

    Original Air Date: April 18, 2020

    Guests:

    Angelo Bautista — Tiffany Field — Alissa Waters — Nina Jablonski

    Interviews In This Hour:

    My Problem With Skincare — Even During Quarantine, You Need A 'Daily Dose Of Touch' — Reclaiming Scars As Works Of Art — The Science Of Skin Color

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
650 Ratings

650 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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