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In Our Time
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Melvyn Bragg and guests investigate the history of ideas. Thursday 9.00-9.45am, repeated 9.30pm. 

Have Your Say

Scroll down the page to read the published messages. Please note that the most recent messages are at the top of the page. There will be a delay before messages are published but all your messages are read by the programme team. You can read comments on specific subjects by going to the relevant archive page and following a link from there.
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Francesca Johnson
I woulld welcome some suggestions for background reading on these topics which Melvyn introduces so interestingly.I thought that we did once used to receive these lists? Was that another programme?I am interested in the light cast by the programme on the prosecution's struggle to present a rational legal case for this 'regicide'. Surely a very modern concern for those times? (even for now!)Francesca

In general
I am living in Malaysia,l can not tell you how relieved l am to find such intellegent programmes

Gareth Thomas - St Paul
I listened to the St Paul programme here in the Beda College in Rome, aCatholic seminary situated opposite the site of St Paul's burial, andafter the programme I went over to the basilica of St Paul's Outsidethe Walls to spend some moments in reflection at the tomb of thesaint. A good programme. Thank you.

David Reid St Paul
Melvyn Bragg's programmes on western civilization and its art and its connections to other cultures are always interesting and enable us outside academia to understand a little more about who we are. I've just returned from Crete where I saw the skull of Paul's friend Titus in the church of St Titus. Melvyn Bragg is one of the few broadcasters who allow people like me to learn how the world fits together. Bravo to him.

Paul Goodwin - St Paul
In eager anticipation of this week's programme.My father tells me he named me after our apostle to the gentiles and Paul's influence among the nations has been great. He has impressed many a thinking man including myself by his exposition of the scriptures. He did not permit division (denominations) in the churches he birthed and I hope you'll be able to touch on this point. However, I hope you intellectuals can major on the wonder of this man of the heart and his teachings rather than on how the established churches have departed from them. Nevertheless one can see his great love for his churches shining out of the epistles, even for those whom he was rebuking e.g. the Corinthian church.

Marek Bogacki Staszkiewicz: Symmetry
it was one of very few programs where you lost my interest; perhaps it would have been better (as you are half suggesting in your letter) to have broken the subject down in the vernacular: the world is full of symmetry (data), humans like patterns (the more universal ones we deem more profound) & if Nature is one grand duplicating machine then it runs on symmetry. What is interesting in Art (from an evolutionary perspective) is that while symmetry maintains the structure it leads to boredom. This is why satisfying compositions always contain an element of surprise (non-symmetry).

Barcud - Resemblance
Resemblance - an excellent and wide-ranging programme, but the initial attempts to identify a fundamental basis for our attraction to symmetry missed a crucial but simple issue. David Hume cited resemblance as one of the basic principles according to which associates one idea with another in human minds. It happens in birds too – the duckling following whatever it first sees on hatching from the egg (hopefully its mother) or the jay recognising the spot where it buried an acorn. This very basic faculty underlies both survival and the ability to recognise symmetry in the human body.The symmetries of rhythm in music, poetry and dance depend ultimately on resemblance – these may be based on symmetry in the rhythms of our breathing, our heartbeat or our strides in walking, but it is by resemblance that we are able to perceive them - Barcud

RK Cook. St Hilda
Often, looking around, one feels that we are living again in the Dark Ages. In Our Time remains a beacon of light in the gloom. Thank you.

David - Subject suggestion: Omar Khayyám
Can we have a show on the extraordinary Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher and astronomer Omar Khayyám?

jean Rurlander on In our time
Thank you for this programme. I choose which topic to listen to and leasrn so much. My admiration for the way the speakers manage to cover so much in 45 minutes. Perhaps you need an hour! St. Hilde deserved longer but it was extremely interesting.

David Hatch History of anaesthesia
History at its entertaining and informative best. Can we have more programmes like this please?

Possible Programme-J.Krishnamurthy
Taking of being and existence Would it not be a bad idea in this wonderful radio progrtamme, to explore J.Krishnamurthy who influenced people like David Bohm and others and wrote books of the genre of Freedom from the Known?Best RegardsRaman AV

Michael Skocay
I listen to In Our Time via podcast and it is one of the brightest hours of intellectual discussion in my week. While I am currently attending university and learning about a huge variety of ideas, I am amazed at the breadth of topics covered on the program and the level of academic curiosity. I often wish the discussions could be continued for more than the alloted 45 minutes. Please continue your fine work!

Mike O - Next Week - History of Anaesthetics
R4 listerners have been enjoying several programmes on this topic recently - see The Making of Modern Medicine and Case Note - please have your contributers listern to these. (I wanted to refer the contributers on Archamedies to Alan Hart Davies who had made some of the machines that they didn't realy believe in!)

Geoffrey Merry - Epistolary Literature
I enjoyed the programme this morning and the discussions about the Epistolary literature of the late 18th/early 19th Century. However, I would disagree that these paved the way for the novel form. I believe that Daniel Defoe did this almost a century earlier. Furthermore,I think that Epistolary Literature lingered on for a little longer then implied - I am thinking of Bram stoker's Dracula, published 1897.

Helen Fine Microbiology
I know little about microbiology, but there is a theory being floated in Australia about the high incidence of asthma in children - that parents keep their children too clean therefore preventing their bodies from building immunity.

Derek Smith In our time Microbiology
Although I rarely have time to listen to IOT I read Melvyn's newsletter avidly.I agree with todays comment M you do need to revisit Microbiology and ask the questions you outline in the newsletter. Great programme though anyway.

Colin Wright, programme suggestion
I would like a program on the Gospels. I did not know until recently that the 4 gospels in the Bible were not written at the time or shortly after Jesus' life. I also did not know that the 4 gospels chosen are 4 among I don't know how many other gospels. So a program on the origin of the Gospels and how they were chosen and what was rejected would I think, make a fascinating discussion. No matter what the subject, I always find something of interest; keep up the good work. Colin Wright.

Mars Program
I have just listened to your program on Mars, and thought it was as always a brilliant program. I would also like to thank Prof. Pillinger for his work in the British space industry. I have never been prouder than when the Beagle2 was sent to Mars. It may have been lost, but it still got there. I just hope that Prof Pillinger, doesn't give up. It takes great men to overcome defeats. It is what makes them great. And I believe that Prof Pillinger, is a great man. Thank you, and good luck.

lynn morgan general comment
I have just discovered IOT on the web and I should like to say what a pleasure it is to listen just aninteresting range of programs. also thank you for keeping such a large active archive it will keep me busy for months. Perhaps another science topic might by "Genes myth and reality" to clear up the misconceptions we have about genetics. Anyway great literate and informative program.

Tim Keeling - William Wilberforce
Another triumph for In Our Time. This programme should be on BBC 1 in prime time. I had never heard of William Wilberforce before and feel humbled by the efforts of this great man.

Patrick McGuire
I must be the most faithful and frequent listener of In Our Time anywhere in JST (Japan Standard Time), commuting 2 hours daily from home to university in a Tokyo suburb, often listening or relistening to the podcast. Which brings me to a suggestion for a programme: commuting and the evolution of the 20th century city, transformed by the automobile, commuter trains, etc. Urban geography then, and we who inhabit and traverse these spaces.

C N Dack, William Wilberforce
I was interested in the mention of the decline of the Great Men/ Women theory. Why is it only scientists and politicians whose influence is denied or minimised? You never hear a suggestion that Shakespeare was not a great man/ had no influence/ was one among many etc etc.

In our Time
Very stimulating programme. I agree with the comment about it being excellent adult education. I link it to an interview on the Today programme yesterday about teaching 3 year olds to value philosophy. It should be a major commitment at the current time of "depression and decline" with which so many view our society, to promote genuine philosophical debate in an accessible way and to encourage us to realise that we can "redefine" human searching so that it becomes creative and imaginative again, rather than just a fight for supremacy and mere survival of the fittest. Well done BBC and Melvyn Bragg - keep up the good work. Nicholas Postlethwaite

Kristan Horton - Program Suggestion
Never miss a show. - A show on the thought of David Bohm in the future please. ...from cover blurb for Thought as a System, 'The essential relevance of Bohm's redefinition of thought is the proposal that body, emotion, intellect, reflex, and artifact are now understood as one unbroken field of mutually informing thought.'

This was simply superb. I only wish I could have it in written form with some diagrams to explain some of the areas of discussion. Having said that all the contributors were models of clarity as evidenced by my ability (non scientist) to understand the thinking behind his sphere/cylinder/cone proof. Wonderful! A big thank you to all concerned - this series alone is well worth the price of the licence.

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In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg

In Our Time: A companion to the
Radio 4 series

The In Our Time Companion, edited by Melvyn Bragg, features a personal selection of episodes from the series. Find out more about the book.

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