In Our Time Podcast

My favorite podcast is In Our Time with Melvin Bragg. I have learned so much from it over the years. It takes the format of a weekly round table discussion about a single topic chosen from history, science, philosophy, culture, and religion. Melvin invites three highly qualified experts and requires them to submit notes before the discussion. He actually reads the notes and formulates the discussion around questions he has about the topic. The discussions are pitched at the layperson and are a great introduction to a wide variety of subjects.

There is very little ego present during the discussions. The guests treat each other with respect, even when they disagree. They do not talk over each other and there is no tedious conflict. Melvin keeps the discussion moving and ensures that all the guests have time to talk.

The topics often focus on Western Civilization, it is after all a British show, but they do choose topics from other civilizations. For example, a couple of recent favorites of mine were about Chinese Legalism and the Indian ruler Ashoka the Great. The guest list always includes highly qualified women.

The accompanying In Our Time website includes reading lists and links about each episode.

New episodes are released on Thursdays. I'm usually jonesing for an episode by the following Monday. Thankfully there are over 500 episodes in the archive.

Cover photo of a Female Colletes Cariniger Bee