The Potato

The Food Programme | 23 April 2017 | 0h 28m | Listen Later  | iTunes
The story of how potatoes changed the world, their diversity of flavours, and how they might shape our food future. With the cook and food writer Anna Jones, Charles C. Mann – author of 1493 – How Europe’s Discovery of the Americas Revolutionized Trade, Ecology and Life on Earth, and the potato revolutionary and agronomist Alan Wilson.

James Belich – The Black Death

RNZ: Saturday Morning | 9 March 2018 | 0h 25m | Listen Later 
Interview with historian James Belich about his book, The Prospect of Global History, which argues that the Black Death, beginning in the 1340s, fuelled wider European control and influence across the globe.

Why Bill Gates is Worried

The Ezra Klein Show | 15 October 2018 | 1h 00m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Discussion with Bill Gates about his foundation’s 2018 annual report which suggests that progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be about to stall. Discusses the geographic and political forces that have held African development back, whether economic growth brings political freedom, the risks posed by artificial intelligence, and how we should weigh future human lives and current animal suffering.

Andrew Roberts on Winston Churchill

Podcast | 11 October 2018 | 0h 31m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Andrew Roberts about his new biography of Winston Churchill, which draws on newly available archival material. Covers Churchill’s belief that he was ‘walking with destiny’, his prophecies of European disaster in the 1930s, as well as his drinking habits, the racist charges against him, and his singular ability to deliver some of the most memorable speeches of the 20th century.

A Faustian Pact

Stephen Fry’s Great Leap Years | 15 April 2018 | 0h 50m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Deliciously narrated story of Johannes Gutenberg’s medieval tech start-up and his invention of the printing press that unleashed a societal revolution.

Coffee: Sobering Up for The Enlightenment

How It Began | 18 December 2017 | 0h 50m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Coffee’s arrival into Europe in the 1600s helped awaken Western Civilization from centuries of booze-induced slumber, catalyzing an entirely new age of progress that featured revolutionary change on practically every front.

The Edge of Humanity

Waking Up with Sam Harris | 19 September 2018 | 2h 06m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Yuval Noah Harari about his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Discusses the importance of meditation, the primacy of stories, the need to revise our fundamental assumptions about human civilisation, threats to liberal democracy, a world without work, universal basic income, the virtues of nationalism and the implications of AI and automation.

Helen Parr: Our Boys

Spectator Books | 14 September 2018 | 0h 30m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Helen Parr about her book Our Boys: The Story of A Paratrooper, which blends memoir, social history and military history to tell the story of the paratroopers who fought in the Falklands War and Britain’s changing relationship with its soldiers and veterans.