Arts and Ideas

Arts and Ideas

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

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Free Thinking 2013 - Wombs on Legs?

    Fri, 29 Aug 14

    Duration:
    15 mins

    From HG Wells and Margaret Atwood to Battlestar Galactica, science fiction texts and tv series have long used birth control as a metaphor for the limits on individual freedom. New Generation Thinker Sarah Dillon, from the University of St Andrews, looks at the roles for women which science fiction has imagined and asks is sci-fi sexist? Recorded on Saturday 26th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

    Download 7MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Free Thinking 2013 - Ecstatic

    Thu, 28 Aug 14

    Duration:
    15 mins

    The audience at a rock concert adoring the star; a Pentecostalist congregation praising God; an athlete reaching the pitch of performance known as "the zone" - these can all be described as feelings of "ecstasy". Jules Evans, from Queen Mary, University of London, examines rationalist arguments about elation being a form of madness and asks whether it is beneficial or dangerous to feel ecstatic. Recorded on Saturday 26th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

    Download 7MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Free Thinking 2013 - Language Wars

    Wed, 27 Aug 14

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Defenders of traditional English language and grammar often present themselves as purists but New Generation Thinker John Gallagher, from Cambridge University, argues that we have always borrowed words and adapted phrases. His essay outlines the impact C16th and C17th global exploration and trade had on our native tongue. Recorded on Sunday 27th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

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  • Free Thinking 2013 - Cutting Tradition

    Tue, 26 Aug 14

    Duration:
    15 mins

    What do recent debates among medical ethicists and lawyers over male infant circumcision reveal about the different ways we view male and female bodies? Rebecca Steinfeld, from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, looks at changing attitudes to religious traditions involving genital cutting. Recorded on Sunday 27th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

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  • Free Thinking 2013 - False Conception

    Tue, 26 Aug 14

    Duration:
    13 mins

    Annie Besant promoted contraceptive advice to the Victorian working classes. In 1877 she was prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. New Generation Thinker Fern Riddell, from King's Collge London, outlines Besant's arguments and explores the ensuing debates about respectability and sexual behaviour in 19th-century England. Recorded on Saturday 26th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

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  • Free Thinking 2013 - What's Eating You?

    Sat, 23 Aug 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    What is the place of food and body image in contemporary culture? Lionel Shriver is the author of novels including We Need To Talk About Kevin and Big Brother, which depicts the impact of food obsession on family relationships. Dr Val Curtis from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is the author of Don't Look, Don't Touch: The Science Behind Revulsion. Recorded on Saturday 26th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival, chaired by Samira Ahmed.

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  • Prom Plus Literary - Iceland - 22 Aug 2014

    Fri, 22 Aug 14

    Duration:
    21 mins

    As the Iceland Symphony Orchestra appear at the Proms, Radio 3's New Generation Thinker and expert in Nordic sagas Eleanor Rosamond Barraclough joins novelist Joanna Kavenna to discuss Icelandic culture with Ian Macmillan. This programme was recorded in front of an audience at The Royal College of Music as part of the BBC Proms. To find out further information about the events which are free to attended go to bbc.co.uk/proms.

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  • Prom Plus Literary – Wilfred Owen - 21 Aug 14

    Fri, 22 Aug 14

    Duration:
    34 mins

    Wilfred Owen is one of the greatest First World War writers. The poets Fred d'Aguiar and Michael Longley discuss the work of the poet whose poetry inspired Britten's War Requiem. This programme, is presented by Ian McMillan and was recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music as part of the BBC Proms. To find out further information about the events which are free to attended go to bbc.co.uk/proms

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  • Free Thinking 2013 - Sugata Mitra

    Thu, 21 Aug 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Professor Sugata Mitra's pioneering experiments gave children in India access to computers to teach themselves and inspired the novel which became the film Slumdog Millionaire. He is now using retired volunteers in the UK to share their knowledge and guide children across the other side of the world. At the Free Thinking Festival he outlines the way he plans to use the $1 million 2013 Ted Prize to further his vision of "schools in the cloud". Presented by philip Dodd and recorded on Saturday 26th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead.

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  • Free Thinking 2013 - Why Are Maps Still So Powerful?

    Tue, 19 Aug 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Can a map reveal too much? How do they direct our thinking? From ancient atlases to satnav and Google, maps continue to be a key planning tool, but how much are they now instruments of control? To discuss what the very word ‘mapping’ now means Rana Mitter is joined by Vanessa Lawrence CB, head of the Ordnance Survey and Professor Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London. Recorded on Sunday 27th October 2013 in front of a live audience at Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival.

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