Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer time tip: In Our Time

During the summer in podcasting just as in other media, there is a slight dip in activity. Although there is still enough new audio coming out every day to keep you very busy, I can imagine that during the month of August you may be looking for something else. So, here is are a short series of posts where to look for old material that is worth listening to again.

My first recommendation is the famous BBC four programme and podcast In Our Time. As you probably already know, this podcast offers 40 minute episodes in which Melvyn Bragg discusses one subject from the history of ideas with a panel of three specialists.

In the past I could not have reasonably point you at this podcast over the summer, as the BBC always removed the podcast episode from the feed as soon as a new one was added. This however changed in the last season. The whole of 2010 / 2011 is still available and there is much to choose from.

An additional quality of In Our Time has become apparent to me: in the world of podcast it has authority. I have noticed over the years an increasing number of (history) podcasters that refer to In Our Time in their own audio. These references are more and more explicit, but I have also noticed implicit ones - where the content was obviously directly informed by an issue of In Our Time. For me this is very much as in books the way authors refer to standing works on the same subject within the text or within footnotes. While this kind of referencing is not yet common within podcast, where it happens, it has frequently involved reference to In Our Time.

More In Our Time:
A reminder of the great BBC podcasts,
Diarmaid MacCulloch in podcast,
The Indian Rebellion of 1857,
Frankfurt School,
The history of the Royal Society.

Listening ideas for 16 August 2011

Citizen Mel - Part Two
His name is synonymous with the words "Canadian nationalist". Mel Hurtig's voice has been prominent in discussions about the country for almost fifty years. He is a bookseller, a publisher and a catalyst for debate on subjects ranging from child poverty to nuclear arms. IDEAS producer Kathleen Flaherty traces Mel Hurtig's lifelong quest to shape a Canada he passionately believes in.
(review, feed)

Documentary on One
Malaria 2.0
Microsoft's Bill Gates dreams of eradicating malaria; he's given millions to those working on the problem. In this fascinating story, Elizabeth O'Neill meets people receiving Gates' money, including a Dublin man with an invention inspired by spy movies.
(review, feed)

Brady on the Electorate and the Elections of 2010 and 2012
David Brady of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons of the election of 2010 and what we might expect from the elections of 2012. Brady draws on political history as well as survey results from work with colleagues Doug Rivers and Morris Fiorina to speculate about the elections of 2012. Along the way he discusses the power of the independent vote, how ObamaCare affected the election of 2010, and the prospects for the Republican nominee in 2012. Taped a few days before the deal on the debt was reached, Brady gives his thoughts on the politics of the negotiations. The conversation concludes with a discussion of whether Obama will have a primary challenger.
(review, feed)