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To the Best of our Knowledge

Wisconsin Public Radio

Each week, To the Best of Our Knowledge brings you two hours of in-depth interviews with nationally and internationally-known guests whose passion for new ideas will challenge and engage.

Each week, To the Best of Our Knowledge brings you two hours of in-depth interviews with nationally and internationally-known guests whose passion for new ideas will challenge and engage.
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Madison, WI


Each week, To the Best of Our Knowledge brings you two hours of in-depth interviews with nationally and internationally-known guests whose passion for new ideas will challenge and engage.




Worshipping Waterfalls: The Evolution of Belief

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

Duration: 00:51:17

Extra: Making Peace With Monsters

This is the story of a lonely, disturbed teenager desperately in need of a friend. His name was Jeff. Or as you know him, Jeffrey Dahmer — the serial killer.

Duration: 00:29:28

Working For A Weekend That Never Seems To Come

Across professions, half of Americans surveyed say they’re exhausted from work. More and more of us feel scrambled, tired and drained. Are we facing daily lives more prone to burnout? And what can we do about it?

Duration: 00:51:29

A New Clash Of Civilizations?

When we hear from politicians and activists that "the West is at risk, that a clash of civilizations threatens Western culture," what does that mean exactly? And who do we think is coming for it?

Duration: 00:57:57

Extra: Discovering the Hidden Roots of Koreans Living In Japan

One of the finalists for the National Book Award this year is Min Jin Lee, for her novel "Pachinko."

Duration: 00:21:59

Beyond the Echo Chamber

We live, work and play in Red and Blue tribal bubbles, filling our social media feeds with news sources that affirm our place in that order, rather than challenging it. What is that isolation doing to us? What can we do to escape it?

Duration: 00:57:42

Even Stranger Things

Did you know that the U.S. military has a long history of working with psychics to try to discover enemy secrets? We examine this history and take a deep dive into the paranormal.

Duration: 00:54:38

Extra: Virtually Anywhere

Remember virtual reality? Back in the 1990’s, it was going to be the technology of the future. Today, it’s here. But we're still figuring out what to do with it.

Duration: 00:18:38

You Had To Be There

Home entertainment options have never been richer, but public places like movie theaters and performance spaces are suffering. What do we lose when everyone stays home?

Duration: 00:53:33

Center of the World

Amidst economic devastation, producer Charles Monroe-Kane asks what it takes to survive in the Rust Belt.

Duration: 00:54:13

Is the Universe a Number?

For centuries, mathematicians have been looking for the deep design, the mathematical code to explain everything from microorganisms to spacetime. But it’s a dangerous quest.

Duration: 00:54:39

What is School For?

Why do we have schools? To build a workforce? To create democratic citizens?

Duration: 00:57:58

Could Psychedelic Drugs Save Your Life?

Psychedelic science is back — and they could help heal people with addictions, PTSD and end-of-life anxiety.

Duration: 00:53:09

Rethinking The Reviewer

If everyone’s a critic online, does it mean that cultural criticism doesn’t matter anymore?

Duration: 00:51:45

Why We War

Armed conflicts. Insurgencies. Civil Wars. Invasions. Syria. Iraq. Afghanistan. Nigeria. Ukraine. South Sudan. Gaza. Yemen. The world is at war. Why?

Duration: 00:53:09

Sentimentality for Silicon

Do you love your laptop? Feel affection for your phone? Some of us spend more time with our devices than our families. How deep do those attachments go?

Duration: 00:51:48

Why Is The Internet Toxic For Women?

Why do women have to put up with this? And how do they fight back? Abused Game Developers Can’t ‘Just Go Offline’ to Escape; When You’re Under Siege Online, How Can the Law Help?; Facing Fox News and Reddit Trolls, Journalist Lauren Duca Persisted; Writer’s Advice from Roxane Gay: Write Truth and Get Uncomfortable, Online Or Off; A Broad History of Sexism, As Witnessed By A Feminist Scholar.

Duration: 00:52:54

Striving To See In A Vast, Invisible Universe

On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will cross the United States for the first time in a hundred years. For millions of people in its path, it’ll be like opening a window directly onto the broader universe. Besides chasing eclipses, how else can we see what's out there, beyond our skies? For a full list of segments from this show, visit our beta version of our new website.

Duration: 00:52:10

Imagining Climate Change

“The climate crisis is a crisis of culture and thus of imagination,” says writer Amitav Ghosh. So what changes in our conversation about global warming when we tap into the imaginative worlds of novelists and artists? How Bad Can Climate Change Really Get?; Where’s the Great “Climate Change Novel”?; Let’s Get Serious About the Anthropocene; Zulu Time; Lidia Yuknavitch’s Dream World.

Duration: 00:51:20

Making A Home

Anyone who’s moved knows how difficult it can be to settle into a new place. Whether it’s another country or an apartment just down the block, it takes time and work to get comfortable. We’re living through a period of mass human migration, with people on the move all over the planet. This hour, we’re talking about home – how to take an unfamiliar place and make it yours. A Violinist Flees Syria and Discovers a New Home in the US; How 'Home' Made Us Human; For Some Veterans, the Return...

Duration: 00:53:14

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