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:
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Recent episodes (10)

  • Free Thinking - Global Crisis 27 Nov 14

    Thu, 27 Nov 14

    Duration:
    46 mins

    Anne McElvoy talks to the historian Geoffrey Parker about Global Crisis, his influential game-changing account of the political and social upheavals which characterised the Seventeenth Century around the world. As Tate Modern opens an exhibition Conflict Time and Photography, former New Generation Thinker Dr Zoe Norridge from Kings' College London discusses images of war with Austrian photographer Alex Schlacher. And Agata Pyzik and Michael Goddard discuss Krzysztof Kieslowski an auteur director more interested in the general human condition than politics per se.

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  • Free Thinking - 3 American Authors: 26.11.14

    Wed, 26 Nov 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Matthew Sweet looks at depictions of American life and history in a special edition hearing from three contemporary American authors: Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley and Richard Ford.

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  • Free Thinking Festival - Fear or Wonder 25 Nov 14

    Tue, 25 Nov 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Naomi Alderman, Roger Luckhurst and BALTIC curator Alessandro Vincentelli join Matthew Sweet to discuss how science fiction and space travel change our view of this world and to discuss whether the limits of our knowledge about the future make us scared or optimistic? This event was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on 02.11.14.

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  • Free Thinking Festival - Free Information 20 Nov 14

    Thu, 20 Nov 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    The Cost of Free Information. Against a backdrop of perceived excess of intellectual property, and problems that require solving with a matter of urgency, Rana Mitter and Jodie Ginsburg, Dr. Rufus Pollock and Kenneth Cukier test the promises of the internet to spread ideas quickly and democratically. This event was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on 02.11.14.

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  • Free Thinking Festival: Happy Talk - 19.11.14

    Wed, 19 Nov 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    How much self-knowledge do you need to be happy – and what are the limits to what you can achieve alone? Paul Dolan, Vincent Deary and Beatrix Campbell ask why everybody from governments to therapists want us to be happy. Chaired by Rana Mitter.

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  • Free Thinking Festival - Characters 18 Nov 14

    Tue, 18 Nov 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Knowing Your Characters. Matthew Sweet talks to playwright David Greig and actor Siobhan Redmond about their approaches to drama. How much do you have to know about the characters and the story before you begin? How has theatre contributed to the recent discussions about Scottish identity? This event was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on 01.11.14.

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  • Free Thinking Festival: Antarctica 17 Nov 14

    Mon, 17 Nov 14

    Duration:
    45 mins

    A hundred years ago, Ernest Shackleton set out on his Trans-Antarctic expedition which ended when his ship Endurance became trapped in packed ice. The lure of this polar region remains strong both in our imaginations and in terms of understanding what is happening to the planet. Rana Mitter discusses the Antarctica of our imaginations and the reality of the landscape with writer Meredith Hooper, polar explorer Ben Saunders, architect Hugh Broughton and glaciologist Jonathan Bamber.

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  • Free Thinking Essay - The Spin Doctors 14 Nov 14

    Fri, 14 Nov 14

    Duration:
    14 mins

    The Spin Doctors of 19th-Century America. Embracing the emerging sciences of the age, 19th-century Americans thought they might be able to combine physiognomy (the science of reading faces) and the techniques of photography to uncover the true characters of leaders and statesmen. Joanna Cohen from Queen Mary, the University of London explores their efforts and the lessons for voters now. This event was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on 01.11.14.

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  • Free Thinking Essay - Shakespeare & India 13 Nov 14

    Thu, 13 Nov 14

    Duration:
    14 mins

    Drawing on Shakespeare's plays and Indian translations of them from recent times - and on writing by Saadat Hasan Manto and Rabindranath Tagore, the voices of partition and independence - Preti Taneja from Jesus College Cambridge explores the power of gibberish to upset fixed notions of language and identity. This event was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on 01.11.14.

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  • Free Thinking Festival - Animals 13 Nov 14

    Thu, 13 Nov 14

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Animals: Watching Us Watching Them Watching Each Other. Rana Mitter talks to the primatologist, Andrew Whiten, Professor of Evolutionary and Development Psychology at St Andrews, to Dr Katie Slocombe of York University and to the social anthropologist, Professor Alex Bentley of Bristol University, about chimps and imitation, culture and evolution - from the deep past to our digital present. This event was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead on 02.11.14.

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