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Arts and Ideas: Episodes

Rana Mitter discusses a new model for understanding the brain, with researcher and writer Norman Doidge. Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi talks about his latest film - Foreign Body - and a new touring festival of classic Polish cinema selected by Martin Scorsese. Activist Srdja Popovic is a proponent ...
This evening Free Thinking is devoted to one of the pinnacles of Victorian England – Anthony Trollope’s massive novel The Way We Live Now. To examine the book and its social and historical context Philip is joined by Jerry White, Simon Heffer, Kathryn Hughes and Jonathan Myerson. .
With the publication of the widest survey of sexual behaviour since the Kinsey Report, Matthew Sweet picks apart the data with its author, David Spiegelhalter, and New Generation Thinker, Fern Riddell, author of The Victorian Guide to Sex. Nick Broomfield discusses his latest documentary, Tales of the ...
Patricia Duncker talks to Anne McElvoy about her new novel which imagines George Eliot's relationship with her German publishers, Max and Wolfgang Duncker. Adrienne Mayor discusses the strength of women with Professor Melvin Konner. As an exhibition featuring empty Sansovino frames opens at The National ...
In this programme about private and public art, Philip Dodd talks to Nicholas Penny, the outgoing Director of the National Gallery and Budi Tek, global art collector and private museum owner.
As Ridley Scott's science fiction extravaganza, Blade Runner is re-released, Matthew Sweet is joined by the critics Roger Luckhurst and Sarah Churchwell, and by the philosopher Max de Gaynesford, to discuss its enduring significance. And Matthew talks to Eric Jarosinski, a writer who claims he found ...
Philip Dodd continues his exploration of the culture wars by investigating the tension between cosmopolitanism and the nation state and how this is playing out in Europe. He speaks to Dr Ayça Çubukçu from the LSE, writer Agata Pyzik, Phillip Blond from think-tank ResPublica and Dr Andrew Dowling from ...
Philip Dodd talks to one of the icons of what used to be called the counter-culture, Peggy Seeger. Her voice and career are emblematic of a life lived against the establishment grain.
In the first of three programmes exploring fractures and faultlines in contemporary society, Philip Dodd and guests discuss the tension between secularism and religion. With philosopher and atheist Daniel Dennett, sociologist of religion Linda Woodhead, and the writer and 'futurist' thinker Ziauddin Sardar.
Anne McElvoy hears from young people involved in the BBC's School Report Day. School children who have come to north-east England from other countries describe what home means. Writer Bidisha and sociologist David Ralph discuss how migrants and refugees construct a sense of home. Also, ahead of a new ...
Does the discipline of Sociology still have a role to play in the 21st century?To examine where we are at with Sociology in 2015, Philip Dodd is joined by three leading practitioners, the LSE's Richard Sennett, Frank Furedi from the University of Kent, and Monika Krause at Goldsmiths, as well as the ...
Matthew Sweet talks to Andrew Scull, author of Madness in Civilisation and Lisa Appignanesi about how different cultures around the world and through time have dealt with what we might call madness, insanity or the loss of reason. Matthew Beaumont also presents his history of an ancient crime but one ...
Anne McElvoy looks at what we mean by the idea of fairness. She also talks to novelist Tom McCarthy who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his novel C. His new work Satin Island follows a man working for a consultancy trying to sum up our age - who wonders whether there is a logic which holds the ...
An extended interview in which Philip Dodd is joined by novelist, screenwriter and dramatist Hanif Kureishi. He discusses subjects including immigration, sexuality and mortality.
Douglas Coupland, Shumon Basar and Hans Ulrich Obrist explain the Extreme Present to Matthew Sweet. Their co-authored book The Age of Earthquakes builds on Marshall McLuhan's analysis of how technology influenced culture in the 1960s and is described as "a new history of how we are feeling in the world ...
Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro talks to Anne McElvoy about his latest book – The Buried Giant. And as two separate productions of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, are performed on stage in London – the playwright Roy Williams and the Greek scholar and translator, Oliver Taplin assess the enduring appeal of the play.
Churchill famously commented that ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' Rana Mitter and his guests David Runciman, Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge;
Duncan Kelly, Reader in Political Thought, University of ...
John Gray talks to Matthew Sweet about why the Aztecs might have had a better understanding of freedom than we do and other human illusions about meaning and progress. Also we consider how artistic movements become successful as the National Gallery stages an exhibition devoted to Paul Durand-Ruel, the ...
Rana Mitter talks to Tony Harrison, the winner of the biennial David Cohen prize - one of our most prestigious literary awards. Two other writers join Rana - Ru Freeman and Romesh Gunesekara. Both from Sri Lanka and both on the programme to discuss the role of the writer in a country recovering from ...
Philip Dodd looks at the value of the arts with the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the EU, biologist Anne Glover,and discusses the notion of belonging and social identity in Europe with Dutch author Tommy Wieringa, Hungarian film director Kornel Mondruczo and academics Eric Kaufmann and Vesna Popovski.
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