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Renaissance Geek

Posted by Andrew at 6:55 AM on June 1, 2010

If, like me, you have always believed that you never stop learning, and that the pursuit of knowledge and understanding is part of the human condition, then I think you will love this.  “In Our Time” , one of the BBC‘s flagship radio programmes, now has its archive online, going back to 1998.

“In Our Time” is a weekly radio programme about 40 minutes long, with Melvyn Bragg, the presenter, and usually three experts from the field.  The programme discusses topics from art to science to history to literature: it’s the history of ideas, as they term it, and it exposes you to the whole gamut of life and human development.  Recent episodes included the Cool Universe, the Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation, Munch and The Scream and the Infant Brain.  As you can see, it covers some pretty wide ground.

For sure, there’s the odd programme which will be of no interest whatsoever, but I’m constantly fascinated by what I don’t know so every programme is surprise.  Even if I don’t think I’ll be interested, I’ll listen just for the context.

The archive is in a couple of different formats, some RealPlayer and some iPlayer, and you don’t seem to be able to download the programmes for listening on portable devices.  However, if you are hooked, there’s an podcast (in a variety of formats) for current programmes and you can download the audio for listening in the car / gym / wherever.

If you add one podcast to your playlist this year, this should be it (after GNC, of course!)

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