To The Best Of Our Knowledge "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.
To The Best Of Our Knowledge

To The Best Of Our Knowledge

From Wisconsin Public Radio

"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.

Most Recent Episodes

Searching for Order in the Universe

When things don't go the way they're supposed to — viruses, star systems, presidents, even fish — we're often desperate to explain the chaos. In this episode, we search for order in the universe. Original Air Date: August 08, 2020 Guests: Patrik Svensson — Lulu Miller — Alexander Boxer — Margaret Wertheim — S. James Gates Jr. Interviews In This Hour: The Weird World Of Eels — We Call Them Fish. Evolution Says They're Something Else. — The Original Algorithm Was Written In The Stars — Seeing The World With A Mathematician's Eyes Further Reading: Nautilus: Eels Don't Have Sex Until the Last Year of Their Life—NYAS: The Mystery of Our Mathematical Universe

Loving Bees

Bees stir each one of our senses — the zen-like hum, the sweet honey, the waxy smell of wildflowers mixed with hard work, the vibrant orange and black bodies attached to window-paned wings. If they land on us, and we are calm, say beekeepers, it will be a gentle touch; they will sting only to save their lives. Bees are endangered, but all over the world, people are stepping up to save them — in backyards, science labs, and the abandoned lots of urban Detroit. We explore the art to building a relationship with bees, and the science of how they thrive and what we might do to preserve them for future generations. Original Air Date: July 28, 2018 Guests: Heather Swan — Nicole Lindsey — Timothy Paule — Thor Hanson — Christof Koch — Tania Munz — Stephanie Elkins — Peter Sobol — Anne Strainchamps Interviews In This Hour: Falling In Love With Bees — Listening To The Mood Of The Hive — 'Medicine' — Why We Ought to Live a 'Pro-Bee Lifestyle' — Rebuilding Detroit, Hive by Hive — 'Honeybee' — How Do We Wrap Our Minds Around Bee Consciousness? — Waggle Dancing with Karl von Frisch — 'To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee'

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

Going Underground

Scientists and explorers have found a whole new world, ripe for discovery, under our feet. The earth's underground is teeming with life, from fungal networks to the deep microbiome miles below the planet's crust. It's an exciting place, and it's changing what we know about the planet and ourselves. Original Air Date: November 02, 2019 Guests: Robert Macfarlane — Jill Heinerth — Ben Holtzman — Werner Herzog — Christine Desdemaines-Hugon Interviews In This Hour: Why We Descend Into Darkness — A Cave Diver's Treks Through The Veins Of The Earth — How To Listen To An Earthquake — Why Werner Herzog Is Awe-Struck — Finding Our Ancestors in Ancient Cave Art

The Power of Pleasure and Joy

What if the most unselfish thing you could do was to pursue pleasure? To look for delight? To feel joy? We make the case for the transformative power of joy, pleasure and delight. Original Air Date: October 12, 2019 Guests: Ross Gay — Kathryn Bond Stockton — Laurie Santos — Lynne Segal Interviews In This Hour: 365 Days Of Delight: A Poet's Guide To Finding Joy — A Queer Theorist On Ecstatic Kissing — Laboratory of Joy: A Psychologist On The Science of Feeling Good — The Revolution Will Be Joyful: Feminist Lynne Segal On Fighting Power With Pleasure — The People Power Of Happiness

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

Music on Your Mind

Millions of people are caring for someone with severe memory loss, trying to find ways to connect. One of the best ways anyone has found is music. We examine the unexpected power of song to supercharge the human mind. Original Air Date: August 17, 2019 Guests: Shannon Henry Kleiber — Oliver Sacks — Francine Toder — Anne Basting Interviews In This Hour: The Power Of Music And Memory: 'Music Was Waking Up Something Within Each Of Them' — The Deep Connections Our Brains Make To Music — It's Never Too Late To Learn To Play — MacArthur Fellow Anne Basting On Asking People With Dementia 'Beautiful Questions'

Breaking the Chains

America is in the midst of what seems like a race revolution. Street protests are continuing across the country. Police departments are enacting changes. Confederate statues are coming down. What's next in the fight for Black equality? We take a hard look at how racism infects not only the police, but the entire criminal justice system. Original Air Date: June 20, 2020 Guests: Michelle Alexander — Bryan Stevenson — Ruth Wilson Gilmore — Malcolm Gladwell — Khalil Gibran Muhammad — Connie Rice — Colson Whitehead Interviews In This Hour: 'The New Jim Crow'? Our Criminal Justice System — The Violence of a Violent Justice System — Can Capitalism Reduce Mass Incarceration? — Fearing the Black Man — Malcolm Gladwell on 'When Police Kill' — 'Why Do Police Do Traffic Stops?' Journalist Malcolm Gladwell On Rethinking Law Enforcement — Reforming The LAPD

More Than Just a Game

We play them to pass the time at family functions, or to relax after a long day of work or school. But board games say so much more than we think — about our relationships, our politics, our histories. We learn the storied history of Mahjong, play a few classic games with some modern twists, and consider the mental brutality that is competitive chess. *Original Air Date: * November 30, 2019 **Guests: ** Angelo Bautista — Eric Thurm — Brin-Jonathan Butler — Annelise Heinz — Linda Feinstein — Jeff Yang **Interviews In This Hour: ** Picking Up The Pieces Of Mahjong — What You Learn In The 'Magic Circle' — Chess, A Perfect Game for Crushing Your Opponent's Ego

Filtering Free Speech

The line between free speech and hate speech isn't always clear. When college students shout down a campus speaker, when a woman yells racial slurs in a parking lot, or when HR calls with a reprimand — when does free speech violate safe space? When does sensitivity become censorship? This weekend's program "Filtering Free Speech" examines the difficult subject of censorship and free expression. In our first interview, acclaimed writer Walter Mosley uses the "N-word" four times to describe a very troubling experience when he was reprimanded for using this word in a Hollywood writers' room. Mosley, who himself is black, was so angered by the exchange that he resigned from his job. The "N-word" is intrinsic to his story — not gratuitous — so we have chosen not to bleep the word. On the broadcast our host provides a very clear warning to alert listeners to what they will hear. If you'd prefer to listen to a censored version, you can listen to one here. Original Air Date: September 28, 2019 **Guests: ** Walter Mosley — Jonathan Haidt — Dorothy Kim — Alissa Quart — David Maraniss **Interviews In This Hour: ** An Uncomfortable Conversation In The Writers' Room — Who Decides Who Should Speak On Campus? — White Supremacists Are Embracing Symbols Of The Middle Ages. What's A Medieval Scholar To Do? — So You've Been Cancelled — What Can We Learn About Today From The McCarthy Era Blacklist? — Who Decides Who Should Speak? The Past And Present Of Free Speech On College Campuses

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