Paul McLane is editor in chief of Radio
If you are looking for stimulating radio
listening, you can’t do much better than “In Our Time” with Melvyn Bragg from
BBC Radio 4.
It’s been around for many years, but it’s a
new discovery for me. I listen via iTunes podcast, mostly at the gym here in northern Virginia, and
I enjoy it very much. I’m working my way up in time from episodes that date to
the late 1990s.
I’ve learned about volcanology, the
Roman Empire, the birth of the universe, American expansionism and a host of
other fascinating science and history topics. The experts are academics who really know their material; and Bragg is brilliant, he would be an amazing dinner guest. The program also delves into
philosophy, religion and other areas of intellectual pursuit, and you can find the programs archived by category.
If you are the kind of person who wishes you could go back to the first year of college, just to be exposed to all those new ideas again, this is for you. (It will be quite some time before I have worked my way up to the new episodes about “The Tempest” and Pocahontas, which makes me very happy.)