Show Archives

Joe at Catfish Bend

Changing A Place By Documenting It
June 01, 2017

Filmmaker Laura Stewart on how being filmed affects documentary subjects, and how that affects the truth you can tell.

David Byrne

David Byrne is Thinking About How Music Works
May 25, 2017

The former Talking Heads frontman is one of those artists who just keeps reinventing himself.

Woman staring into the distance

Forgiving the Unforgivable
May 21, 2017

Are there certain acts, certain people who are beyond forgiveness? When you’re hurt and the only way out of toxic bitterness and resentment is to let go, how do you summon the resolve to reach out to the person who hurt you most? This hour, the keys to living a more forgiving life.

Twin Peaks  Agent Cooper

Mark Frost Takes Us Inside the Secret History of Twin Peaks
May 18, 2017

"Twin Peaks" co-creator Mark Frost takes a deep dive into the history of the strange Pacific Northwest town and its surreal residents in “The Secret History of Twin Peaks.”


Worshipping Waterfalls: The Evolution of Belief
May 14, 2017

Do chimpanzees have spiritual experiences? A remarkable discovery in West Africa suggests they might.

Praying in nature

The Evolutionary Advantage of Faith
May 11, 2017

Is there an inherent conflict between science and religion? Jeff Schloss doesn’t think so. He’s a biologist who studies the evolutionary origins of religion. He’s also an observant Christian who’s had his own profound...


Frankly, I Don’t Give a Damn
May 07, 2017

In this hour, we explore what the superpower of not giving a f--- might allow you to do. 

Fall leaves

The News From Poems: “November Eyes on Main Street”
May 04, 2017

Richard Blanco’s poem begins the day after the November election, as he struggles to make sense of a new political mood.

Stop Light

The News From Poems: "WTF"
April 27, 2017

A near-accident has poet Laura Kasischke marveling at the fearlessness of young adults and also worrying about their future. 


Repeat When Necessary
April 23, 2017

Whether it’s nail biting or handwashing, most of us have a compulsion we can’t give up. Maybe that’s a good thing?

fake news

The News From Poems: "Ode To The Dead At Bowling Green"
April 20, 2017

Poet Nick Lantz has a darkly satirical take on American culture. Lately, he’s been thinking about political spin and how politicians speak. In this interview—the third in our series ...

Fargo quilt

"Fargo" Showrunner Noah Hawley
April 18, 2017

How he transformed the iconic film into the critically-acclaimed, award-winning TV series.


How To Think Like A Scientist
April 16, 2017

Do scientists see the world in a different way? Not really. Just be curious.

tech love

The News From Poems: “Brush With Cymbals”
April 13, 2017

In his new poem, Fady Joudah explores questions about exile, suffering and the language of nation states.

vinyl is back

The Revenge of Analog
April 09, 2017

Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s something more. But analog is back in style.

Wendell Berry

‘He’s My Shakespeare’: Nick Offerman on the Craft and Wisdom of Wendell Berry
April 06, 2017

An unlikely hero for TV's "Ron Swanson."

Writing poems

The Poem is You: New Voices in American Poetry
April 02, 2017

In this hour, we see how poetry can show us new ways to think about place and personal identity.

News From Poems

The News From Poems
April 01, 2017

For National Poetry Month, To The Best Of Our Knowledge celebrated poetry with original work by five leading American poets, written in response to current events.

Vietnamese refugees

The News From Poems: “Inaugural”
March 30, 2017

Quan Barry is writing a new poem each week in response to current events.


Mad As Hell
March 26, 2017

Wherever you turn, it seems like someone’s angry -- on Facebook and cable news, in street marches and congressional town halls. It would seem that we’ve entered a new era of increased hostility. But how did we, as a nation, get here? Is it possible we’re addicted to outrage? This hour, we...

Women in STEM

Every Time You Troll Me, A Scientist Gets Her Due
March 23, 2017

Emily Temple-Wood has been an avid Wikipedia editor since she was pretty young.  And early on, she noticed that Wikipedia has a serious gender bias problem, so she began recruiting more women editors to write more Wikipedia articles about notable women.  And in return she got… rape and...

Glitch lady

Why Is the Internet Such a Toxic Place for Women?
March 19, 2017

Why do women have to put up with this? And how do they fight back?

jet engine

Does Empathy Have a Design Flaw?
March 16, 2017

We talk to two experts who think about the role empathy can play in tackling big problems.


Mind of a Terrorist
March 12, 2017

When suicide bombers blow up crowded marketplaces, or a lone shooter attacks a nightclub, one question we’re always left with is why. What ideology or belief or loyalty would compel someone to do something so horrific? This hour, a look at the underlying psychology of political violence.

The Majestic Theater in Madison

Love + Evolution: Live in Madison
February 26, 2017

What can science reveal about lust, romance, and compassion?