Ideas in the Air
February 27, 2008 9:13 AM   Subscribe

To The Best Of Our Knowledge is one of the most wide-ranging and literate public radio shows in the US, a two-hour "radio salon" featuring leisurely exploration of weekly themes like No Smoking, Identity Crisis, Weekend, and The Mind, Music, and Math. Host Jim Fleming approaches these big ideas through the works of authors - journalists of all stripes, memoirists, poets, fiction writers, essayists. Five years' worth of shows are available on audio archives; you can also search the impressive list of authors by name, or subscribe to the podcast.

To the best of my knowledge, episodes from the show have been linked in relevant post topics, and the show has been mentioned in comments, but has not yet been the subject of its own post. Of course I could be wrong; I often am.
posted by Miko (17 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
my wife and i love this program, which we only seem to hear when on a late night drive back from socal.
posted by oigocosas at 9:24 AM on February 27, 2008

oh thanks, this looks great.
posted by Rumple at 9:31 AM on February 27, 2008

TTBOOK is the earliest show I can remember listening to on NPR my whole family would listen to it on Sunday afternoons. Now I get really happy when the podcast makes its way onto my computer each week, there's always something good waiting for me.
posted by Science! at 9:34 AM on February 27, 2008

This is a great show. Steve Paulson is a particularly good interviewer, I've always thought. But living in Madison, I'm probably biased.
posted by schmedeman at 9:42 AM on February 27, 2008

Is the podcast still just an excerpt? The bits I've heard seem interesting but I don't understand why they don't syndicate the whole thing.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:02 AM on February 27, 2008

sounds like a similar approach to similar topics as WNYC's Radio Lab.
posted by adamms222 at 10:11 AM on February 27, 2008

I loves me some TTBOOK; it's usually the podcast I save for last on my player.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:16 AM on February 27, 2008

The podcast is broken into two parts, one for each hour, and each part is pretty close to an hour so I don't think anything of substance has been cut. I haven't listened to it on the radio in a long time so I can't compare.
posted by Science! at 10:23 AM on February 27, 2008

I've listened to this show for seven years (thereabouts) and it's never failed to make me smarter.

Not smart enough, apparently, to figure out before now why their website address is "".
posted by ewagoner at 10:28 AM on February 27, 2008

How did you know I was getting desperate for new and interesting podcasts? Thank you; this is awesome.
posted by stefanie at 11:13 AM on February 27, 2008

Great post.

For people who like this In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg may also be of interest.
posted by sien at 1:53 PM on February 27, 2008

this looks interesting, thanks for letting me know about. I love radio in all its forms and always looking for new stuff to listen to. Fla fla floo high.
posted by cell divide at 2:16 PM on February 27, 2008

I was about to suggest In Our Time too. Its aim is to cover the history of ideas, and it really does. This week was the Multiverse, and next week King Lear. It even comes complete with its own preparatory reading.
posted by cluck at 3:36 PM on February 27, 2008

Dope. Something to listen to while playing CS.
posted by parallax7d at 5:54 PM on February 27, 2008

Onto my iPod it goes. Yay!
posted by By The Grace of God at 7:09 AM on February 28, 2008

Also added to my ipod - and I second adamms222's link to Radio Lab - a really great, thought provoking podcast/program and seems to be striving for the same things as To the Best of OUr Knowledge. I'd not have heard of the program if it weren't for podcasting, as my local public radio doesn't carry that particular show. For those who love Radio Lab, try this particular program on Wagner - even if you're not into Wagner, it's great radio on fandom:
The Ring and I
posted by batgrlHG at 12:56 PM on February 28, 2008

The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Network) also has a similar show, Counterpoint.
posted by sien at 9:58 PM on February 29, 2008

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