Readers of this blog may or may not be aware that I am a big fan of BBC Radio 4. Radio 4 is one of the brilliant things about Britain, alongside tea-drinking, tolerance, and public healthcare. My approach to listening to it is pretty ad-hoc – I’ll switch it on when I’m in the car or washing up, not at any particular time of day or day of the week.
So perhaps it’s not surprising that I hadn’t ever listened to In Our Time before today – despite it being an extremely successful discussion programme (or so says Wikipedia, anyway). I came across it via Thinking Allowed which I’ve been listening to in podcast form for a while, and at the end of every podcast it says why not try the In Our Time podcast? So I went and had a look today and oh my word. This is amazing.
Archive by Title, Page 1:
- Abbasid Caliphs, The
(rulers of the Islamic world for 2000 years)
- Abelard and Heloise
(a medieval tale)
- Aeneid, The
(you do know what the Aeneid is, right?)
(discussing the roots of political and social crises in Africa)
- Age of Doubt, The
(the spread of religious doubt over the last 3 centuries)
- Age of the Universe, The
(what it says on the tin …)
(ethical, economic and biological implications of living longer)
- Ageing the Earth
(discussing the age of the Earth)
(History and legacy of the English army’s defeat of the French)
I mean, look at that range of topics! It’s incredible! There are 500+ In Our Time programmes that have been broadcast and a very large number (if not all) of them are available online. For free.
Let’s get this straight: I can press keys and click buttons and plug cables into a box, and get access to discussions with leading academics, religious figures, philosophers, writers, everything, for free, and transfer these discussions to my hand-held device for listening to at a time of my choosing.
Truly, we live in the future 🙂