Interviews By Topic

Birdle

Helen Macdonald's book "H is for Hawk" turned her goshawk Mabel into one of the most memorable literary characters of recent years. Mabel is no longer with her, but Helen now has a new avian companion — an ornery and very smart parrot.More

Starling

Elena Passarello’s latest book, “Animals Strike Curious Poses,” is a journey through stories of the wild ones: the mammoths, spiders, birds and primates that have left their marks on our society. To the Best of Our Knowledge host Anne Strainchamps talked with Passarello about the “animal gaze” and the legacy of Mozart’s starling, among other animal tales.More

The Kills

The author of "Borne" and the Southern Reach Trilogy recommends Richard House's novel about soldiers tasked with burning waste in the remote reaches of Iraqi desert.More

Brodeck's Report

The author of "Borne" and the Southern Reach Trilogy recommends Phillippe Claudel novel about a small town murder and the winding investigation into the culprit.More

Gorilla

What separates your mind from an animal's? It's a question we've all asked, but renowned primatologist Frans de Waal says there's no point trying to rank who's smarter or dumber in the animal world. In fact, he believes there's no clear dividing line between humans and the rest of the animal world.More

Badger

What's it like to be a badger? British naturalist Charles Foster wanted to know, so he dug a burrow and lived in the darkness, eating worms. Yup, it was kind of disgusting, but he says the experience brought him closer to the wildness within himself.More

Saola

Finding the horns of a saola — a large ox-like mammal on the Laos-Vietnam border — was one of the great biological discoveries of the...More

A still from "Ready Player One"

The author of "The Martian" recommends Ernest Cline's virtual reality adventure, now a motion picture.More

Uptown Theatre

Photographer Matt Lambros takes us inside America’s abandoned movie palaces.More

Man alone in a tunnel

David Morris spent three years reporting in Iraq before an improvised explosive device forced him to return home. The attack haunted him, and kicked off a bout with PTSD that would take years to recover from. More

Resevoir

We've heard plenty about micro-dosing with LSD — in articles, books, even on this show. But psychiatrist Anna Fels has a new micro-dosing proposal. Not with a drug – with lithium.
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vinyl player

Novelist Hari Kunzru talks about listening through the scratch and hiss of old 78’s for the voice of the past.More

Books and books

The complexity of mental health makes it challenging to boil down to a single hour of radio. So here's a reading list to open up a bigger conversation.More

sleeping woman having manic episode

It can be difficult for those who've never experienced a manic episode to know what it feels like. What can set one off. For Jaime Lowe, it was a fire that triggered a manic episode so severe completely lost touch with reality.More

prozac

In her new memoir “Blue Dreams,” Lauren Slater reflects on the 30 years she has spent on Prozac, since the drug was brand new. Anne and Lauren compare notes on the relief antidepressants can bring, along with the downsides.More

Mind/body

The dream of SSRIs was based on an idea that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. And that you could fix it, with a pill. But psychiatrist Charles Raison believes it’s a mistake to separate the mind from the body.More

Mind/body

Remember debating the mind-body duality in college? You probably argued the meaning of Descartes’ adage “I think, therefore I am” in your dorm. Maybe you even delved into the idea of what is consciousness. But for Lauren Slater, author of “Prozac Diary,” the mind-body argument isn’t a debate or an intellectual pursuit. It’s a personal choice, one that is both necessary and terrible.More

Frances Jensen is both a neuroscientist and a mother of two (former) teenagers. She talked with To the Best of Our Knowledge Executive Producer Steve Paulson about the positive “plasticity” of teenage brains as well as teens’ propensity for risk-taking.More

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