Each week, the TTBOOK staff creates two magazine-format hours of interviews that explore such diverse subjects as mining asteroids and teaching optimism, the biology of sex and the aesthetics of punk rock, Islamic fundamentalism and the Human Genome project. Each hour considers a broad topic of general interest, and examines that topic from several--often unexpected-- points of view. Through interviews with scholars, scientists, poets, and other public intellectuals, TTBOOK allows listeners to explore the world of ideas with the leading thinkers of our day.
An hour may present issues of topical interest. Such a program might explore the cultural and historical context of the Arab-Israeli conflict; discuss the meaning of the Confederate flag; or offer coping strategies--like a walk through the snow with a naturalist--for a winter that's gone on too long.
An hour might examine issues in the scientific world. Guests have ranged from Nobel physicists to wildlife ecologists to practitioners of alternative medicine. Whether they are speaking of cosmology or endangered species, the death of calculus or the psychology of cancer treatment, TTBOOK guests make thorny problems in science, math, and medicine interesting and accessible.
Another hour might track cultural trends and explore the worlds of entertainment and the arts. Recent programs have explored the blues revival, the art of the piano, the new etiquette movement, children's play, and the future of libraries.
Listeners praise TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE for its interesting guests, entertaining perspectives, provocative topics, and intelligent interviewers. They call it "engrossing," "stimulating," "amazing," "exquisite," "stop-the-car fascinating," and "startlingly creative". They compliment its "freshness and depth" and praise its usefulness as "an early detector of emerging trends."
A scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab is "impressed that the quality and correctness of your science pieces is much better than the average pop-science show, while still being understandable to the average listener."
A New York City listener praises "the extraordinary connections you make of people and ideas within the theme of a given broadcast."
"I tape it for my high school classes," a San Francisco teacher writes. "Thanks for giving us access to real knowledge."
And a recent college grad says, "To The Best of Our Knowledge is just so awesome...it's so great that it's hard to describe it to friends. My hunger for intellectual stimulation is completely satisfied by whatever the topic is. I don't know what I'd do without it. Thank you for being there every week."
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