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:
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  • Episodes available:
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Recent episodes (10)

  • Free Thinking - 18th Century Crime and Punishment - 17 Apr 14

    Thu, 17 Apr 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Philip Dodd explores 18th century attitudes to the law, crime and punishment with Professor Norman S Poser, Antonia Hodgson, Lucy Powell and Geoffrey Robertson QC.

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  • Free Thinking - Bernard de Mandeville - 16 Apr 14

    Wed, 16 Apr 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    In 1714 Bernard de Mandeville published his provocative Fable of the Bees, in which he explored the relationship between morality and economic wealth. As part of Radio 3's 18th Century season of programming, Matthew Sweet chairs a discussion with the Natural History Museum's Dr Erica McAlister, Southampton University economic historian Dr Helen Paul, finance journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4's Money Box Paul Lewis and Stephen Davies, Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs. They reflect on Mandeville's fable and how it relates to economics and the organisation of society today.

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  • Free Thinking - 18th Century Power Politics - 15 Apr 14

    Tue, 15 Apr 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Anne McElvoy talks to Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures Desmond Shawe-Taylor and historians Amanda Foreman, StellaTillyard and Jeremy Black about 18th century monarchy and power.

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  • Free Thinking - 18th Century - 10 Apr 14

    Thu, 10 Apr 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    If Mrs Thatcher thought she was living again through Victorian England, we are now living through the eighteenth century. This special edition of Free Thinking explores London as the centre of the world then and now, financial bubbles bursting then and now, and the lust for consumption then and now, whether of bodies or bodices. Philip Dodd brings together the MP and author Kwasi Kwarteng, historians Helen Berry, Jerry White and AN Wilson and playwright April De Angelis for a discussion which is part of BBC Radio 3's eighteenth century season of programming.

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  • Free Thinking - Originality - 09 Apr 14

    Thu, 10 Apr 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Naomi Alderman, Geoff Mulgan and Lionel Bently join Philip Dodd to explore the ever-changing meaning of Originality. Nicholas Penny, director of the National Gallery, discusses the meaning of greatness in art in front of the new exhibition - Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice. And as Simon Stephens's new play Birdland opens, the playwright talks inspirations, death and originality.

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  • Free Thinking - Betty Balfour - 08 Apr 14

    Tue, 8 Apr 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Matthew Sweet discusses the silent film star Betty Balfour with BFI curator Byony Dixon and comedian Lucy Porter and interviews Dutch novelist Peter Buwalda and James Lovelock.

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  • Free Thinking - Is War Good for Us? - 03 Apr 14

    Thu, 3 Apr 14

    Duration:
    47 mins

    Anne McElvoy looks at the impact of war, the Afghan elections and childhood violence. She's joined by Professor Hew Strachan and Ian Morris. Film critic Charlotte O Sullivan has been watching 'I Declare War,' Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson's film about childhood games which turn sour. And in the week that the British Command handed over to the Americans in Helmand province, Noorjahan Akbar and Hamdullah Mohib talk about what has happened to their culture and society in Afghanistan over that time and what might change with national elections at the week-end.

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  • Free Thinking - Orhan Pamuk - 02 Apr 14

    Wed, 2 Apr 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Orhan Pamuk talks, in an extended conversation with Philip Dodd, about his writing career and his views of modern Turkey.Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2006 his novels include The Black Book from 1990, the magisterial Snow marinaded in politics and religion and set in a remote Turkish town and The Museum of Innocence a book and a real building created by the author. There’s also his nonfiction including the memoir Istanbul.

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  • Free Thinking - Policing - 01 Apr 14

    Tue, 1 Apr 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

    Matthew Sweet explores the idea of the police with the playwright Roy Williams, the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, Sara Thornton, the historian Kate Colquhoun and the film maker and criminologist Roger Graef.

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  • Free Thinking - Contemporary Curating 27 Mar 14

    Fri, 28 Mar 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic and curators Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Victoria Walsh join Anne McElvoy to discuss the display of art and design. As Prospect magazine launches the long list for its poll of World Thinkers for 2014, Serena Kutchinsky, Digital Editor of Prospect, joins Anne to debate what makes a leading intellectual. And lawyer and political activist Raja Shehadeh outlines the arguments he will be putting forward in this year's Edward Said London Lecture: Is there a Language of Peace? The programme was broadcasted from a pop-up studio at London's Southbank Centre where Radio 3 is broadcasting live every day for two weeks.

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