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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm

The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm
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United Kingdom

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BBC

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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews with artists, scientists and public figures, vociferous debates, and reviews of the latest cultural events. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Tues – Thurs 10pm

Language:

English


Episodes

Linton Kwesi Johnson

12/12/2018
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"My generation, which was the rebel generation of black youth, has changed England and in changing England we've changed ourselves" - the words of Linton Kwesi Johnson - the man who invented dub poetry and used it to chronicle some of the key events of black British history, from the celebrated case of George Lindo, wrongly accused of robbery in Bradford in 1978, to the New Cross Fire and Brixton riots a few years later. Philip Dodd talks to him about the roots of his poetry, his love of...

Duration:00:45:17

Writing and Frankness

12/11/2018
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Deborah Levy, Adam Phillips and Amia Srinivasan join Matthew Sweet at the British Library for a Royal Society of Literature debate. Why do we read? Why do we write? What do we reveal when we do? A writer, a psychotherapist and a philosopher discuss what we reveal about ourselves through literature and the difference, if any, between non-fiction, novels and the psychotherapist’s couch. Deborah Levy is a playwright, novelist and poet. In her ‘living autobiography’ The Cost of Living, she...

Duration:01:06:15

Are we being manipulated?

12/6/2018
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Who's pulling your strings - from advertisers and peer pressure to political campaigns and self-deception - hidden persuaders are everywhere. Journalist Poppy Noor, historian Sarah Marks, psychologist and magician, Gustav Kuhn, the philosopher, Quassim Cassam and Robert Colvile from the Centre for Policy Studies join Matthew Sweet to track them down. We're all confident that we know our own minds -- but do we? And if we don't, why not? Producer: Zahid Warley Quassim Cassam is professor of...

Duration:00:44:06

Is there a great divide between the arts and science?

12/5/2018
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Geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, current director of the Francis Crick Institute, and Tristram Hunt, historian and now director of the V&A, debate the impact of robots, the winners and losers in funding, whether our education system has the balance right between STEM and Arts subjects and they reveal their own arts and science hits and misses. Recorded before an audience at Queen Mary University London, the presenter is Shahidha Bari. Nearly 60 years on from C.P. Snow's 'Two Cultures' lecture in...

Duration:00:47:11

Natasha Gordon. Bessie Head. Rwanda Representation and Reality

12/5/2018
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As her award-winning debut play, Nine Night, comes to London's West End, Natasha Gordon tells Anne about the grieving ritual that binds in the Jamaican diaspora. Nine Night at Trafalgar Studios, London, until February 23rd On the 50th anniversary of the publication of Bessie Head's first novel, two of her titles, When Rain Clouds Gather (1969) and Maru (1971), have just been republished. Head's influence and creativity are discussed by journalist Audrey Brown and literary scholar Louisa...

Duration:00:45:15

Bessie Head. Rwanda Representation and Reality

12/4/2018
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Anne McElvoy looks at the career of Bessie Head, the celebrated Botswanan novelist; two of her titles, When Rain Clouds Gather (1969) and Maru (1971), have just been republished. Head's influence and creativity are discussed by journalist Audrey Brown and literary scholar Louisa Uchum Egbunike. Black Earth Rising, Hugo Blick's serial on the Rwandan Genocide and the fraught and fractured nature of justice, is one of the dramas of the year. Zoe Norridge explores the drama's reception within...

Duration:00:45:17

Mike Hodges; Dark Sweden.

11/29/2018
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The director of the 1971 film Get Carter, which starred Michael Caine, has now written his own crime novellas. Mike Hodges talks to Matthew Sweet. If Nordic Noir has reshaped an image of Sweden away from Abba into a society showing cracks - journalist Kajsa Norman has been tracking stories such as the cover-up of assaults on teenage girls at music festivals in 2015. She's called her book Sweden's Dark Soul: The Unravelling of a Utopia. Mike Hodges' trio of novellas is called Bait, Grist and...

Duration:00:45:49

Slavery Stories

11/28/2018
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A long lost classic by William Melvin Kelley, who coined the term "woke" back in 1962 in a New York Times article, Esi Edugyan's Booker shortlisted novel, and new research on slavery with historians Christienna Fryar, Kevin Waite, and Andrea Livesey. Laurence Scott presents. A Different Drummer was the debut novel of Kelley - first published when he was 24. Compared to William Faulkner and James Baldwin, it was forgotten until an article about it earlier this year. Kelley died aged 79 in...

Duration:00:58:38

Plagues, Urban Inequality and Restricted Books

11/27/2018
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Should we worry about the world getting healthier? Thomas Bollyky thinks we should. Jane Stevens Crawshaw looks at cleanliness and disease in Renaissance cities & Penny Woolcock films Oxford and LA. Rana Mitter presents. For the first time in recorded history, parasites, viruses, bacteria, and other infectious diseases are not the leading cause of death and disability in any region of the world but that doesn't mean our cities are healthier and more prosperous. Jane Steven Crawshaw from...

Duration:00:45:22

Leadership: lessons from US Presidents and campaigners.

11/23/2018
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Doris Kearns Goodwin on POTUS, crisis management and ambition - from Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt through FDR and LBJ to Donald Trump. Novelist Georgina Harding and Philip Woods compare notes on the impact of the war in Burma and depictions in fiction, war reporting and memoirs. New Generation Thinker Louisa Egbunike looks at the campaigning of Obi Egbuna the Nigerian-born novelist (1938- 2014), playwright and political activist who led the United Coloured People's Association. Anne...

Duration:00:45:07

The Left Behind

11/21/2018
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Eric Kaufmann talks to Philip Dodd about white identity, immigration and populism. Plus Hungarian politics with cultural historian, Krisztina Robert, journalist, Matyas Sarkozi and Zsuzsa Szelenyi of the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. Eric Kaufmann's book is called Whiteshift: populism, immigration and the future of White majorities. Krisztina Robert teaches at the University of Roehampton Producer: Zahid Warley

Duration:00:44:05

What kind of history should we write?

11/21/2018
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Peter Frankopan brings his history of ties across Asia into the present while Maya Jasanoff, winner of the world's richest history prize, uses the novels of Joseph Conrad to show that the novelist was wrestling with the same problems and opportunities of globalisation we face today. Historian Peter Mandler also joins Rana Mitter to discuss new proposals for publishing historican research. As the centenary of the birth of Orkney film maker and poet Margaret Tait is celebrated nationally, New...

Duration:00:44:58

Buses, beer and VR - a taste of university research.

11/15/2018
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A 3,000 year old Iranian ritual, archaeology on a council estate, and London's Greek Cypriot community: Matthew Sweet hops on the 29 bus route, puts on some VR glasses, and visits the hospital which was home to "the Elephant Man" as he talks to researchers showcasing their projects at the 2018 Being Human Festival. Petros Karatsareas and Athena Mandis guide Matthew through the moves made by the Greek Cypriot diaspora in London along the 29 bus route. Carenza Lewis and Ian Waites of the...

Duration:00:51:03

Death rituals

11/14/2018
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From death cafes to bronze age burials, C19th mourning rings to the way healthcare professionals cope when patients die. Eleanor Barraclough looks at research showcased in the Being Human Festival at UK universities. Laura O'Brien at Northumbria University is running a death cafe and looking at the way celebrities can "live on" after their death. New Generation Thinker Danielle Thom works at the Museum of London and has been researching the history behind some of the jewelry in their...

Duration:00:45:16

Lost Words and Language

11/14/2018
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New Scots words to add to the The Dictionar o the Scots Leid and a quiz about words from medieval Ireland are 2 of the Being Human Festival projects explored by Shahidha Bari. Plus how researchers are using film to explore social history and a major new exhibition about the sculptor and painter Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993). The Being Human Festival showcases research into the Humanities at universities around the UK. It runs from Nov 15th - 24th 2018 https://beinghumanfestival.org/ Watch the...

Duration:00:45:46

Why are we silent when conflict is loud?

11/8/2018
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Journalist Peter Hitchens; the Rector of St James’s Church Piccadilly Lucy Winkett; performer and director Neil Bartlett and Professor Steve Brown from the Open University join Anne McElvoy at the Imperial War Museum for their 2018 Remembrance Lecture. In 1919, the first national silence was observed to commemorate the end of the First World War. Organised silences were designed to remember the human impact of conflict, but do twenty-first century collective silences fulfil that purpose?...

Duration:00:44:36

Butterflies and Bloodstains: Fragments of the First World War

11/8/2018
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Shahidha Bari is joined by cultural historian Ana Carden-Coyne, literary scholar Santanu Das, and Julia Neville, co-ordinator of the Exeter First World War Hospitals Project, to discuss the 1914-1918 War. Their research turns the War into a mosaic of feeling and experience, a sensory dislocation and cultural melting pot. Dr Ana Carden-Coyne is Director of the Centre for the Cultural History of War (CCHW) in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester, and author of...

Duration:00:46:18

Landmark: Journey to the End of the Night

11/7/2018
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Better than Proust -- the man who made literature out of colloquial French -- the arch chronicler of human depravity --- some of the things that are said about Louis Ferdinand Céline, author of Journey to the End of the Night - one of the masterpieces of 20th century literature. His semi- autobiographical novel, first published in 1932, is a ferocious assault on the hypocrisy and idiocy of his time. It follows its anti hero Ferdinand Bardamu from the battlefields of the First World War to...

Duration:00:48:38

Wilfred Owen: Poetry and Peace.

11/6/2018
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Gillian Clarke, Sabrina Mahfouz and Michael Symmons Roberts respond to the war poet Wilfred Owen with their own new commissions from the Royal Society of Literature. Shahidha Bari hosts a discussion recorded with an audience at the British Library on the 100th anniversary of Owen's death during the crossing of the Sambre–Oise Canal on 4 November 1918, exactly 7 days (almost to the hour) before the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I. Born in Cardiff, Gillian Clarke’s work has...

Duration:00:51:28

Re-thinking the Human Condition

11/1/2018
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Henry Hardy has written In Search of Isaiah Berlin: A Literary Adventure Diving For Seahorses: A Journey Through the Science of Memory by Hilde Østby and Ylva Østby explores the study of memory from the Renaissance to the present day. Dafydd Daniel is a New Generation Thinker and the McDonald Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, University of Oxford.

Duration:00:46:10