Arts and Ideas

BBC Radio 3

Society & Culture, Places & Travel

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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.


Tim Birkhead and Phyllis Lee explore long-lived animal species and their survival strategies. If the modern world is obsessed with short term success, could animals offer a better understanding of the long term state of our planet? Want to sample the health of our oceans? Ask a migratory bird. Or the advantage of becoming a mother later in life?...

Featured Podcast


Jay Griffiths, Vincent Deary, Louise Robinson and Matthew Smith discuss our mental health. How do depression and dementia affect our sense of time and the rhythms of daily life? Our body clocks have long been seen by scientists as integral to our physical and mental health – but what happens when mental illness disrupts or even stops that clock?...

Carlos Frenk, Eugenia Cheng, Jim Al-Khalili and Louisa Preston debate time and space with presenter Rana Mitter and an audience at Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. We can measure time passing but what actually is it? What do scientists mean when they suggest that time is an illusion. Can time exist in a black hole? Is everyone...

Poet Simon Armitage and writer Alexandra Harris explore time and place in modern Britain. Presented by Philip Dodd and recorded as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival in front of an audience at Sage Gateshead. Simon Armitage, Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, has been described as ‘the best poet of his generation’. His latest...