On Being takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Updated every Thursday, Krista Tippett with a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.
The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) conducts research and training in social science research methods, aiming to advance methodological understanding and practice across the UK social science research community. This podcast series highlights developments in methodological research in social sciences. NCRM coordinating Hub is based at the University of Southampton.
In the Understanding Society Podcast Series, you can listen to interviews with the Understanding Society team, researchers using the survey in their work and those benefiting from it. Interviews last no longer than 10 minutes and are designed to be understood by a non-academic audience.
UCSUR Radio is a social science talk show created by the University Center for Social & Urban Resarch (UCSUR) at the University of Pittsburgh. With each podcast we try to focus on a social, economic, or health issue most relevant to our society. Look for our Podcast in the iTunes Store and at http://www.ucsur.pitt.edu.*
The Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex is home to a world-class team of survey and research experts who specialise in the production and analysis of longitudinal data – evidence which tracks changes in the lives of the same people over time. ISER enjoys an international profile for its cutting-edge socio-economic research, which is used by academics and researchers, policy makers, other influential bodies, charitable organisations and journalists involved in ongoing debates about society. It is also one of the leading centres in the world for research into how surveys are carried out. The ISER podcast series showcases some of ISER's research in easy-to-listen-to 5-6 minute interviews, in which researchers talk about the background to their work, how they got their information, their key findings and what they mean.
The JustPublics@365 podcast series highlights research by CUNY faculty on issues of social justice and inequality. The series features the work of faculty from the Political Science, Sociology, English, Psychology, Social Work, Anthropology, and Music departments. Each faculty member shares insights from their research and explains how their research has an impact on the world beyond academia. The goal of the JustPublics@365 project is to create new forms of knowledge using digital media, connect academics, journalists and activists across traditional silos, and foster transformation on issues of social justice.
Nobel physicist Frank Wilczek sees beauty as a compass for truth, discovery, and meaning. His book, A Beautiful Question, is a long meditation on the question: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?” He’s the unusual scientist willing to analogize his discoveries about the deep structure of reality with deep meaning in the human everyday.
Frank Wilczek is the Herman Feshbach professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include "The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces," and "A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design." This interview is edited and produced with music in the On Being episode "Frank Wilczek — Why Is the World So Beautiful?" Find more at onbeing.org.
Whether we like it or not, despite its negative reputation, nuclear power is here to stay. Richard Rhodes is an American journalist, historian, and author of both fiction and non-fiction works, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), Arsenals of Folly (about the Nuclear Arms Race, 2007), and The Twilight of the Bombs (2010). He's here to explain the process of adopting a new power source and why nuclear energy is beating out its competitors.
New host Allison Nobles interviews Jane Ward, a professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of California Riverside. Dr Ward’s most recent book, Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men, explores the relationship between whiteness, masculinity, and sexuality. She explains how sex between straight, white men actually reaffirms their straightness, rather than calling it into question. In fact, she argues that homosexual acts are a necessary part of heterosexuality and have been since these categories were created. Not Gay clearly illustrates the complexity of human sexuality at the intersections of race and gender. Download Office Hours #120
Walking in the city: The flaneur and flaneuse. Laurie Taylor presents a themed programme which explores the history and meaning of the urban stroller, past and present. Keith Tester, Adjunct Professor at the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, charts the origins of the 'Flaneur'; the "man of the crowd" of Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire, and one of the heroes of Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project. Matthew Beamont, co-director of University College London's Urban Lab, contends that the city idler isn't simply a by product of modernism, illuminating London's past via the nocturnal wanderings of poets, novelists and thinkers. And Lauren Elkin, lecturer in the department of English and Comparative Literature at the American University of Paris, counters the implicit assumption that the city belongs to a figure of masculine privilege and leisure. She introduces us to the transgressive 'flaneuse' who claims the right to city space. Producer: ...
We mark Earth Day with a profile of Liberty Hyde Bailey, the "Father of American Horticulture." Particular attention here goes to his small but influential book "The Holy Earth," which has recently been released from Counterpoint Press in a centennial-edition. ("The Holy Earth" first appeared in 1915.) This new edition contains an introduction by Wendell Berry. Our guest in the interview is editor for this special edition, John Linstrom, former director of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum in Bailey's hometown of South Haven, Michigan.
Robert George is an intellectual committed to a central idea of university life: that we give voice to all sides of an issue. Anything less than a full and complete hearing of ideas--especially those we disagree with--hurts the idea of the university and the reason on which it is based.
The civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander is one of the people who is waking us up to history we don't remember, and structures most of us can't fathom intending to create. She calls the punitive culture that has emerged the "new Jim Crow," and is making it visible in the name of a fierce hope and belief in our collective capacity to engender the transformation to which this moment is calling.
Michelle Alexander is an associate professor of law at the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, and has served as the director of the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU of Northern California. Her book is "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Michelle Alexander — Who We Want to Become: Beyond the New Jim Crow." Find more at onbeing.org.
Today on Thinking Aloud, the distinguished Belgian Ambassador to the United States is here to share his vision of Belgium’s character and influence. At time when Europe is as challenged as it has ever been, his country continues to play a central role in what Europe is and will become.
Happiness - Should the government promote it? Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford, talks to Laurie Taylor about the necessity to inspire a better politics with new measures of what matters most to us. These would include the avoidance of misery, the gaining of long term life satisfaction, the feeling of fulfilment, of worth, of kindness, of usefulness and love. Politicians, he contends, should promote a collective good which incorporates these priorities. They're joined by Paul Ormerod, economist and Visiting Professor at UCL Centre for Decision Making Uncertainty, who contends that policymakers should not claim that they can increase happiness through public policy decisions. Also, do dominant ideals of 'good' parenting contain a class bias? Esther Dermott. Professor of Sociology, argues that the activities of the most educationally advantaged parents are accepted as the benchmark against whom others are assessed. Producer: Jayne Ege ...
Urban zoos are both popular and imperiled. They are sites of contestation, but what are those contests about? In his new book, American Zoo: A Sociological Safari(Princeton, 2015), ethnographer David Grazian tracks the competing missions of zoos as site…
Few social justice struggles have captivated recent political history like the broad Black Lives Matter movement. From the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore to campaign rally interruptions of leading politicians, we have seen people speak up in outrage about injustices…
Labour consciousness is not just class-based; it also emerges out of cultural identities, as Tran Ngoc Angie argues powerfully in Ties that Bind: Cultural Identity, Class, and Law in Vietnam’s Labor Resistance (Cornell University Press, 2013). Vietnamese workers habitually form…
"There still exists little organized sense of what a woman’s biography or autobiography should look like," Carolyn G. Heilbrun wrote in her 1988 classic, Writing A Woman’s Life, noting, "Even less has been told of the life of the…
Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia maintains that religious people and groups, rather than retreat from the world or hide, should engage. For instance, rather than spurn political parties, Christians should work for positive change in such institutions from within. He’s here to talk with us in practical and thoughtful terms about the engagement of Christian believers in the realm of politics.
What is enjoyment and what can contemporary critical theory tell us about it? In Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism (Zero Books, 2015), Alfie Bown, a lecturer at Hang Seng Management College and co-editor of Everyday Analysis…
The night of the General Election 2015 was a surprising one in more ways than one! A series of opinion polls had led us all to believe that we were in for another Coalition Government, but, as we now know that turned out to be far from the case. For pollsters and statisticians it was a night of disappointment and even anger. So what went wrong and what lessons have been learned? In this episode of the NCRM podcast, NCRM Director Patrick Sturgis, who led an inquiry into what has become known as the polling disaster of 2015, looks back at how events unfolded, the aftermath, the inquiry that follow, what it found and the recommendations made by him and his team to put things right in the future.
The fruits of the natural world are more than we realize--too many to tally. Humans derive innumerable "free gifts" from the natural world, but we frequently exploit nature beyond its ability to recharge itself, and in the process compromise or obliterate nature's capacity to provide us with the foods, tools, medicines, and protections that we need for our own survival. Dr. Jack Sites, a professor at BYU, is one of the world’s leading herpetologists. In this interview he provides a brief survey of some of these miraculous gifts.
On Thinking Aloud today, we’ll hear from Dr. Nicholas Mirzoeff, who would have us believe we are living in a historical moment as shockingly transformative as Gutenberg’s. Today's guest host on Thinking Aloud is Dr. Matthew Wickman, director of the Humanities Center at Brigham Young University.
The band Cloud Cult is hard to categorize — both musically and lyrically — though it's been called an "orchestral indie rock collective." Less in question is the profound and life-giving force of its music. Cloud Cult's trajectory was altered the day its co-founder and singer-songwriter, Craig Minowa, and his wife woke up to find that their two-year-old son had mysteriously died in his sleep. Live from our studios on Loring Park, we explore the art that has emerged ever since — spanning the human experience from the rawest grief to the fiercest hope.
Craig Minowa is the founder, singer, and songwriter of the alternative rock band Cloud Cult, whose albums include "Light Chasers," the acoustic live album "Unplug," and "The Seeker," released in February 2016. He holds a degree in environmental science from the University of Minnesota, and is the founder of the environmental non-profit and record label Earthology.
The winner of the 2016 British Sociological Association & Thinking Allowed Ethnography award, Maxim Bolt, Lecturer in Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Birmingham, talks to Laurie Taylor about his groundbreaking study of insecure lives on the border farms between Zimbabwe and South Africa. How do people create homes and stability in times of mass unemployment and uncertainty? Also, transcultural sport: Max Mauro, Associate Lecturer in Sports Studies at Southampton Solent University, considers young Congolese migrants establishing a sense of belonging in a Dublin football team. Producer: Jayne Egerton.
Sangay Mishra is the author of Desis Divided: The Political Lives of South Asian Americans (University of Minnesota Press, 2016). Mishra is an assistant professor of political science at Drew University. While the number of South Asian Americans living in…
Is Earth to be loved and desired as much as Heaven? “From Nature to Creation” is a new book by one of today’s leading proponents of agrarian thought and behavior, Norman Wirzba. Subtitled “A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World,” this philosophical treatise explores our human situation in the natural world and offers arguments for the practices of gratitude, love, and stewardship. Wirzba is a professor of theology, ecology, and agrarian studies at the Duke Divinity School at Duke University.
What is the experience of young homeless people? What does this experience tell us about space, place and society? InÂ Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility (Routledge, 2015), Dr. Emma Jackson, a lecturer in the Sociology …
“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn / anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive / is too small for you.” David Whyte is a poet and philosopher who believes in the power of a “beautiful question” amidst the drama of work as well as the drama of life — amidst the ways the two overlap, whether we want them to or not. He shared a deep friendship with the late Irish philosopher John O’Donohue. They were, David Whyte says, like “two bookends.” More recently, he’s written about the consolation, nourishment, and underlying meaning of everyday words.
David Whyte is an Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. His books include "The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America," "River Flow: New & Selected Poems," and "Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "David Whyte — The Conversational Nature of Reality." Find more at onbeing.org.
Almost everything you think you know about how to become really good at something is mostly wrong. That, in part, is the message of today’s guest on Thinking Aloud--Anders Ericsson, the world expert in how to become an expert … in just about anything.
The Ethnography award 'short list': Thinking Allowed, in association with the British Sociological Association, presents a special programme devoted to the academic research which has been short listed for our third annual award for a study that has made a significant contribution to ethnography, the in-depth analysis of the everyday life of a culture or sub culture. Laurie Taylor is joined by three of the judges: Claire Alexander, Professor of Sociology at the University of Manchester, Helen Sampson, Director of the Seafarers International Research Centre at Cardiff University and Olivia Sheringham, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. Producer: Jayne Egerton.
Though oral narrative has existed for at least tens of thousands of years in Africa, it continues to play an important role up to the present. Today's guest is a scholar of Zambia who has spent four decades travelling to that country to record and study its rich storytelling tradition.
Michael Burawoy is a practitioner of what we might call 'extreme ethnography.' Since earning his first degree -- in mathematics -- from Cambridge University in 1968, his CV has been studded with academic postings but also jobs in manufacturing, often with a blue collar cast, around the world. Copper mining in Zambia. Running a machine on the factory floor in South Chicago - and in northern Hungary. Making rubber in Yeltsin-era Russia. All with an eye -- a pragmatic Marxist sociologist's eye -- on the attitudes and behaviors of workers and the foibles and victories of different ideologies and resented as extended case studies. Decades later he's still at it, albeit the shop floor is changed: "No longer able to work in factories," reads his webpage at the University of California, Berkeley, "he turned to the study of his own workplace – the university – to consider the way sociology itself is produced and then disseminated to diverse publics." In this Social Science Bites podcast, Bu ...
When Tiffany Shlain thinks of her favorite quote from naturalist John Muir, she thinks of the internet: "When you tug at a single thing in the universe, you find it's attached to everything else." As a filmmaker and founder of the Webby Awards — the "Oscars of the internet" — she is committed to reframing technology as an expression of the best of what humanity is capable, with all the complexity that entails. With her young family, she has helped popularize the practice of the "tech shabbat" — 24 unplugged hours each week. Her perspective on our technology-enhanced lives is ultimately a purposeful and enriching one: the internet is our global brain, towards which we can apply all the wisdom we are gaining about the brains in our heads and the character in our lives.
Tiffany Shlain is the founder of the Webby Awards and a co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. She has directed and co-written 28 films, some with accompanying books, including “The Science of Character,” “Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks,” and the feature-length documentary “Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology.” This interview is produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Tiffany Shlain — Growing Up the Internet." Find more at onbeing.org.
Dance halls: a social and cultural history. James Nott, Lecturer in History at the University of St. Andrews, talks to Laurie Taylor about the origins, meaning and decline in a ritual which was once central to many young people's romantic lives and leisure time. He's joined by Caspar Melville, Lecturer in Global, Creative and Community Studies at SOAS. The 'Seduction Community': a study into the mores and codes of self styled, male 'pick up artists'. Rachel O'Neill, Phd graduate at Kings College London, interviewed men whose attitudes to women have attracted considerable condemnation in the wake of the banning of Julien Blanc, US 'pick up artist', from the UK. Producer: Jayne Egerton.
On the whole, Native American culture and populations are as strong today as they have been in centuries. Today's guest on Thinking Aloud is a leading native writer and thinker. LeAnne Howe is here to talk about native literature, culture, history, and earth sculpture.
Today’s guest on Thinking Aloud is James F. Brooks, a renowned scholar of the southwest and author of the new book Mesa of Sorrows: Archaeology, Prophecy, and the Ghosts of Awat’ovi Pueblo. His book combines history, archaeology, native studies, religious studies, and CSI-like detective work of the highest order to discover the complex and surprising reasons for this famous tragedy which took place more than three centuries ago. He’s here to share his surprising findings on today’s Thinking Aloud.
There’s a kind of brilliance that flashes up in early adulthood: an ability to see the world whole. Nathan Schneider has been able to articulate and sustain that far-seeing eye of young adulthood. He’s also a gifted writer, chronicling the world he and his compatriots are helping to make — spiritual, technological, and communal. At the Chautauqua Institution, we explore the wisdom of a millennial generation public intellectual on the emerging fabric of human identity.
Nathan Schneider is a scholar-in-residence of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the author of "God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet" and "Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse." He is a regular columnist for Vice magazine and America, the national Catholic weekly. He is currently co-editing a book on democratic business models for online platforms. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Nathan Schneider — The Wisdom of Millennials." Find more at onbeing.org.
We’ll visit with Stanford scholar Shelley Fisher-Fishkin, to discuss the nexus between literature and literary sites, specifically in the United States. Her new book Writing America: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee explores our appetite for visiting sites like Twain’s home town. What do we expect to find in such places? How does visiting them shape our understanding of specific works of American literature? Or of the United States itself? Our national destiny, identity, and character is often all wrapped up in these writings and the historic places associated with them. So cram the kids in the mini-van, tune the radio to Thinking Aloud, and off we go, on a trip in pursuit of just such questions.
Evicted: Laurie Taylor explores the lives of people who are compelled to leave their homes. Matthew Desmond, Associate Professor in the Social Sciences at Harvard University, went into the poorest neighbourhoods in Milwaulkee to tell the stories of people on the edge of a rapidly expanding form of hardship in America. They're joined by Kirsteen Paton, Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leeds, who provides a British perspective on evictions. Self Build: creating a home of their own in the absence of 'Grand Designs' style budgets. Michaela Benson, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, discusses her research amongst people who are determined to make affordable housing for themselves and their families. Producer: Jayne Egerton.
When adults today look back on their time as children, many of their memories may come from moments when they were engaged in free play with kids in their neighborhood — exploring creeks, riding bikes, and playing pick-up sports. Moments…
Today’s guest on Thinking Aloud is Janice Nuckolls, a linguist who specializes in Quichua, a vast language group which extends throughout the Andes and western Amazon. Each summer, she takes a group of BYU students with her to the jungles of Ecuador to study one dialect of Quichua. Today on Thinking Aloud, she’s here to share with us more about both Quichua, the native people who speak it, and the students who go with her to learn about their. fascinating culture.
Is it possible to use creative methods such as theatre work shops to research important topics such as migration and citizenship? Are these methods a good way to get information from study participants that other methods maybe can’t and can they be used effectively to engage policymakers and practitioners with research in this area? In this podcast Dr Umut Erel from the Open University discusses work with Professors Tracy Reynolds and Maggie O'Neill and research fellow and theatre practitioner Erene Kaptani using participatory theatre workshops to explore the challenges faced by migrant women in becoming active citizens in their new home and the role they have in helping their children become active citizens. The research is being featured a session at the Research Methods Festival 2016.
Today’s Thinking Aloud is about a myriad of different ways that we can combine to make a significant difference in the environment. Our guest, Brigham Daniels, hopes to nudge you to do your part in the gradual improvement of our planet.
The competition seems to be a crucial part of the classical music world. InÂ Performing Civility: International Competitions in Classical Music (Cambridge University Press, 2015),Â Dr. Lisa McCormick, a lecturer in sociology at the University of Edinburgh, offers a…
Philanthropy & charitable giving: Is there such a thing as a free gift? Laurie Taylor talks to Linsey McGoey, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex and author of a study of contemporary philanthropy. The amount of money placed in philanthropic trusts helps make the charitable sector one of the fastest growing global industries. Is this a new 'golden age' of giving which promises to replace the role of government as provider of social welfare? What are the potential conflicts between good deeds and hard profit? They're joined by Tom Hughes Hallett, philanthropist and Non Executive Chair of the Marshall Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Also, John Mohan, Professor of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, discusses his British study into the logic of charity in 'hard times'. Producer: Jayne Egerton.
In the 1960s, Nikki Giovanni was a revolutionary poet of the Black Arts Movement that nourished civil rights. She had a famous dialogue with James Baldwin in Paris in 1971. Now a professor at Virginia Tech, she brought beauty and courage by way of poetry after the shooting there. Today, she is a self-proclaimed space freak and a delighted elder — an adored voice to hip-hop artists and the new forms of social change this generation is creating.
Nikki Giovanni is a Distinguished Professor in the English department at Virginia Tech. She has written and edited numerous books of poetry and works for children, including "Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea," "Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment," and "The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni." Her latest work is "Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Nikki Giovanni — Soul Food, Sex, and Space." Find more at onbeing.org.
Businesses in the 21st century have produced not only a wide array of new products from iPhones to hoverboards, but they have also invented new ways of doing business. Organizational psychologist David Burkus examines the best of these new workplace ideas in his new book Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual. He’s here to discuss these with host Marcus Smith.