50 episodes

”To the Best of Our Knowledge” is a Peabody award-winning national public radio show that explores big ideas and beautiful questions. Deep interviews with philosophers, writers, artists, scientists, historians, and others help listeners find new sources of meaning, purpose, and wonder in daily life. Whether it’s about bees, poetry, skin, or psychedelics, every episode is an intimate, sound-rich journey into open-minded, open-hearted conversations. Warm and engaging, TTBOOK helps listeners feel less alone and more connected – to our common humanity and to the world we share. For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at ttbook.org.

To The Best Of Our Knowledge TTBOOK

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 812 Ratings

”To the Best of Our Knowledge” is a Peabody award-winning national public radio show that explores big ideas and beautiful questions. Deep interviews with philosophers, writers, artists, scientists, historians, and others help listeners find new sources of meaning, purpose, and wonder in daily life. Whether it’s about bees, poetry, skin, or psychedelics, every episode is an intimate, sound-rich journey into open-minded, open-hearted conversations. Warm and engaging, TTBOOK helps listeners feel less alone and more connected – to our common humanity and to the world we share. For more from the TTBOOK team, visit us at ttbook.org.

    Luminous: Can psychedelics be decolonized?

    Luminous: Can psychedelics be decolonized?

    It’s easy to get caught up in the hype about how psychedelics might revolutionize the treatment of mental illness. But there are also lots of ethical concerns. And probably none are so troubling as the charges of exploitation and cultural appropriation. The fact is, the knowledge about many psychedelics — like magic mushrooms and ayahuasca — comes from the sacred ceremonies of Indigenous cultures. But over the past century, Western scientists and pharmaceutical companies have been going into these cultures, collecting plants and synthesizing their chemical compounds.Even if science is all about building on the knowledge of earlier discoveries, what is the psychedelic industry's ethical responsibility? Can psychedelics be decolonized?Original Air Date: October 21, 2023Interviews In This Hour: The Tragic Story of Maria Sabina's Sacred Mushrooms — Empowering Indigenous voices in the psychedelic industry — The long history of psychedelic theft — Spirit Medicine: Yuria Celidwen's vision for an ethical psychedelicsGuests: Michael Pollan, Dennis McKenna, Erika Dyck, Katherine MacLean, Sutton King, Rachel Fernandez, Lucas Richert, Yuria CelidwenNever want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast.Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

    • 52 min
    Against Capitalism

    Against Capitalism

    Radical politics and radical movements are on the rise everywhere. Against racial violence, and climate change; against gender inequality, corporate greed, low wages, oil pipelines, opioids.  Maybe at heart they all have a common cause.  Maybe they're all — in one way or another — a rebellion against capitalism.Original Air Date: February 11, 2023Interviews In This Hour: The Communist Manifesto still inspires — The radical philosopher mapping the crises of capitalism — Are we living through a 'hinge point' moment?Guests: China Miéville, Nancy FraserNever want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast.Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

    • 52 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.
    Special thanks to Robert W. Wheeler and the Smithsonian for archival audio.Original Air Date: January 14, 2023Interviews In This Hour: Was Jim Thorpe the greatest athlete who ever lived? — The white man's trophy — A hero who looks like me — Indigenous excellence: Hip hop and the legacy of Jim ThorpeGuests: Tall Paul, Suzan Shown Harjo, Patty Loew, David MaranissNever want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast.Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

    • 51 min
    In Journalism We Trust

    In Journalism We Trust

    Americans used to believe that news anchors were basically reporting the truth. But in recent years, trust in journalism has largely evaporated. And that’s not an accident as the news media have been weaponized. So what can journalists do to regain the public trust?Original Air Date: June 15, 2024Interviews In This Hour: Journalist Ezra Klein on podcasting, pundits and when to take yourself out of the news — Reclaiming journalism in a fast-changing media landscape — How a hyperlocal newsletter is redefining the ‘news’Guests: Ezra Klein, Deborah Blum, Rob GurwittNever want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast.Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

    • 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, 2022Interviews 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 DehaeneNever want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast.Want to hear more from us, including extended interviews and favorites from the archive? Subscribe to our newsletter.

    • 51 min
    Avian Obsessions

    Avian Obsessions

    It’s summer, and you might be pulling out your binoculars, filling your bird feeders, and looking up as you hear a melodious song. But for many birdwatchers, it's not just a simple pastime. Identifying bird calls, tracking rare breeds through marshes and waters, and watching our feathered friends as they watch you has turned into true love of birds — an avian obsession.Original Air Date: June 17, 2023Interviews In This Hour: 'Utterly unlike other birds': The inscrutable brilliance of owls — Mark Obmascik on Competitive Bird Watching — The Indelible Myth and Meaning of Ravens — Christopher Benfey on 'A Summer of Hummingbirds'Guests: Jennifer Ackerman, Mark Obmascik, Charles Monroe-Kane, Christopher BenfeyNever want to miss an episode? Subscribe to the podcast.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
812 Ratings

812 Ratings

LocalGirlDJ ,

Beauty in Words

This podcast doesn’t overlook the small, incredibly important stories that we might have otherwise missed.

Delicate movements are what the major events are made of. This team brings the beauty (joy, sadness, thoughtfulness) to the air waves in stories that will stay with us.

MatthewWanderer ,

TBOK has become so over-produced it’s almost unlistenable

I’m a long time listener. Like, since before podcasts. I hate leaving this review. In fact, I held off for about two years thinking the pendulum would swing back towards a TTBOOK package with lighter production levels, but it hasn’t. It seems to be getting worse, if anything.

The Radiolab influence, when it crept into TTBOOK, was tolerable. “Everyone’s doing it”. But today, 2024, TTBOOK’s use of music and sound effects are layered in so heavily it’s like eating a cake comprised of mostly icing; one bite’s more than enough.

TTBOOK’s content is terrific. Let it stand on its own again and leave today’s heavy production levels to Radiolab.

ZACB ,

Truly one of the best

For years, TTBOOK has been one of the most insightful, forward thinking, inspiring podcasts that exists. It’s a high level, deep dive course about a fascinating idea told from the voices not typically found in the mainstream. It amplifies marginalized voices that expand thinking and vision for a changing world. Extraordinarily well researched and produced.

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