Cover art for podcast To The Best Of Our Knowledge

To The Best Of Our Knowledge

30 EpisodesProduced by Wisconsin Public RadioWebsite

To The Best Of Our Knowledge is a nationally-syndicated, Peabody award-winning public radio show that dives headlong into the deeper end of ideas. We have conversations with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and a… read more

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Secrets of Alchemy

September 19th, 2020


Once upon a time, science and magic were two sides of the same coin. Today, we learn science in school and save magic for children’s books. What if …

Books We Can't Forget

September 12th, 2020


Is there a book you can’t forget? A book that left a mark on you? On Bookmarks, our micropodcast, we share tiny stories from writers, about the books they love most. This week, we’ll preview Season One and celebrate …

Why Do We Have So Much Stuff?

September 5th, 2020


If you wrote a list of all the things you own in your house, how long would it be? We surround ourselves with possessions, but at what point do they …

Up All Night

August 29th, 2020


How well do you sleep? Every night, millions of us turn out the lights hoping and praying for a good night’s sleep. And every night, millions of us lie awake in the dark. We explore what keeps us up, and what happens …

Growing Justice

August 22nd, 2020


A new generation of Black farmers are working to reclaim land, hoping to grow justice along with vegetables and plants.

Original Air Date: August 22, 2020


Leah Penniman — Savi Horne — Venice Williams — Marcia …

Out Of The Mental Illness Box

August 15th, 2020


When treating mental illness, you know the drill. Take your meds. Call me in the morning. Let's check in on how you feel in a few months. Repeat.

Searching for Order in the Universe

August 8th, 2020


When things don't go the way they're supposed to — viruses, star systems, presidents, even fish — we're often desperate to explain the chaos. In this episode, we search for order in the universe.

Original Air …

Loving Bees

August 1st, 2020


Bees stir each one of our senses — the zen-like hum, the sweet honey, the waxy smell of wildflowers mixed with hard work, the vibrant orange and black bodies attached to window-paned wings. 
If they land on us, and we …

Mysteries of Migration

July 25th, 2020


If you had to travel 500 miles across country, on foot, with no map, no GPS, without talking to anyone — to a destination you've never seen, could …

Going Underground

July 18th, 2020


Scientists and explorers have found a whole new world, ripe for discovery, under our feet. The earth's underground is teeming with life, from fungal …

The Power of Pleasure and Joy

July 10th, 2020


What if the most unselfish thing you could do was to pursue pleasure? To look for delight? To feel joy? We make the case for the transformative power …

Jazz Migrations

July 3rd, 2020


Music crosses boundaries between traditional and modern, local and global, personal and political. Take jazz — a musical form born out of forced …

Music on Your Mind

June 26th, 2020


Millions of people are caring for someone with severe memory loss, trying to find ways to connect. One of the best ways anyone has found is music. We examine the unexpected power of song to supercharge the human mind.

Breaking the Chains

June 20th, 2020


America is in the midst of what seems like a race revolution. Street protests are continuing across the country. Police departments are enacting …

More Than Just a Game

June 13th, 2020


We play them to pass the time at family functions, or to relax after a long day of work or school. But board games say so much more than we think — …

Filtering Free Speech

June 6th, 2020


The line between free speech and hate speech isn't always clear. When college students shout down a campus speaker, when a woman yells racial slurs …

Who Owns Seeds?

May 30th, 2020


It's easy to take seeds for granted, to assume that there will always be more corn or wheat or rice to plant. But as monocropping and agribusiness continue to dominate modern farming, are we losing genetic diversity, …

Finding Meaning in Desperate Times

May 23rd, 2020


We’ve all been changed by the experience of living through a pandemic. We figured out how to sanitize groceries, mute ourselves on Zoom and keep from killing our roommates. But we’re also tackling bigger, existential …

Our Virtual Reality

May 16th, 2020


Not everyone has a nice, big yard to stretch out in while sheltering in place from COVID-19. But maybe you don't need one. People are using virtual spaces to live out the real experiences they miss — like coffee shops, …

Solace of Nature

May 9th, 2020


Rustling of leaves, sploshing of water, birds calling, bees buzzing. Wherever you live — city or country, East coast, West coast, or in between — we share common, contemplative experiences on our walks outside. In this …

The Weird, Wild World of Mushrooms

May 2nd, 2020


We owe our past and future existence on Earth to fungi. Some can heal you, some can kill you, and some can change you forever. And the people who love them are convinced that mushrooms explain the world.

Original Air …

Deep Tracks: Live In Studio

April 25th, 2020


In times of crisis, we need music. We look at how far people will go — even under quarantine, during a pandemic — to find ways to make music together.

Original Air Date: * *April 25, 2020

*Guests: *

Lisa Bielawa

Living In Skin

April 18th, 2020


We all miss touching things — groceries, door knobs, hands, faces. And most of all, skin. The living tissue that simultaneously protects us from the …

Writing Truth and Lies

April 11th, 2020


We all tell stories about our lives: funny stories, happy stories, sad stories. But are they true stories? In an
age of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” we’re all thinking harder about why truth matters – not just …

Poetry in a Troubled Time

April 4th, 2020


Why do people turn to poetry during troubled times? We saw it after 9/11 and we're seeing it now as the coronavirus travels around the world. When the world seems broken, poetry is often the one kind of language that …

Doctors Give Us Hope

March 28th, 2020


This week, To the Best of Our Knowledge comes to you from our kitchens and homes. We’re safe, but we’ve all been thinking about the people on the front lines of the pandemic — doctors, nurses and hospital staffs. We’ve …

Music Beyond Genre

March 21st, 2020


Even with all the music available today, most of us still listen primarily to just a few comfy genres. But there’s so much more out there — and so much of it defies neat, algorithm-friendly categorization.

Original Air …

Traveling By Book

March 14th, 2020


Before the time of commercial flights and road trips, we traveled to far off places without taking a single step.
All you had to do was open a book. From Africa to England, to a kamikaze cockpit, and to realms of …

Up All Night

March 7th, 2020


How well do you sleep? Every night, millions of us turn out the lights hoping and praying for a good night’s sleep. And every night, millions of us lie awake in the dark. We explore what keeps us up, and what happens …

Why Do We Meet?

February 29th, 2020


We're always online but still have an innate need to meet in person. How can we make gatherings, from dinner parties to work meetings, more …

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