Four Thought

show more detailshow less detail

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20141001

Sunil Shaunak argues that pharmaceuticals could, and should, build social capital.

Arguing that the twin risks of rampant infectious disease and resistance to antibiotics represent a grave threat to our future, Sunil makes the case for ethical pharmaceuticals. Sunil's own background bridges the gap between academia and the pharmaceutical industry, and from this vantage point he has grown concerned that while the public sector puts up the initial financial capital, the return is often in purely financial terms, diminishing our shared social capital.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

20150408

2015040820150821 (R4)

Amy Golden, who is seriously disabled - she can move only her right arm and cannot speak - shares what life is like through her eyes. In an essay read by actor Rhiannon Neads, she reveals her frustrations, her battle with depression and also the pleasures of being able to watch what other people are up to without being noticed. "I think perhaps they sometimes allow me to pick up on things because they don't realise that there's a thinking, feeling person inside this body," she says. Her talk is a passionate plea to be heard and noticed. "If you want to know what I want to say you have to focus on me," Amy insists. "You can't ignore me, or pretend I'm not here."

Producer: Sheila Cook

Editor: Richard Knight.

2015040820150821 (R4)

Amy Golden, who is seriously disabled - she can move only her right arm and cannot speak - shares what life is like through her eyes. In an essay read by actor Rhiannon Neads, she reveals her frustrations, her battle with depression and also the pleasures of being able to watch what other people are up to without being noticed. "I think perhaps they sometimes allow me to pick up on things because they don't realise that there's a thinking, feeling person inside this body," she says. Her talk is a passionate plea to be heard and noticed. "If you want to know what I want to say you have to focus on me," Amy insists. "You can't ignore me, or pretend I'm not here."

Producer: Sheila Cook

Editor: Richard Knight.

20150429

Talks with a personal dimension.

20150506

Talks with a personal dimension.

20150527

Talks with a personal dimension.

20150909

Talks with a personal dimension.

20160413

Talks with a personal dimension.

A Boat of One's Own20160106

A Boat of One's Own2016010620160110 (R4)

Michelle Madsen makes the case for life on Britain's rivers and canals.

A Boat of One's Own2016010620160110 (R4)

Michelle Madsen makes the case for life on Britain's rivers and canals.

A Boat of One's Own20160106

A Boat of One's Own2016010620160110 (R4)

Michelle Madsen makes the case for life on Britain's rivers and canals.

A Boat of One's Own2016010620160110 (R4)

Michelle Madsen makes the case for life on Britain's rivers and canals.

A Boat of One's Own20160106

A Boat Of One's Own2016010620160109 (R4)

Michelle Madsen makes the case for life on Britain's rivers and canals.

A Boat of One's Own20160106

A Boat of One's Own20160106

Michelle Madsen makes the case for the life of a continuous cruiser on Britain's rivers and canals. Michelle is a poet and journalist who has spent the last two years living aboard a boat, and discusses how it has affected her poetry, her prose, her friendships and her life.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

A Boat of One's Own20160106

Michelle Madsen makes the case for the life of a continuous cruiser on Britain's rivers and canals. Michelle is a poet and journalist who has spent the last two years living aboard a boat, and discusses how it has affected her poetry, her prose, her friendships and her life.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

A Boat Of One's Own20160106

Michelle Madsen makes the case for the life of a continuous cruiser on Britain's rivers and canals. Michelle is a poet and journalist who has spent the last two years living aboard a boat, and discusses how it has affected her poetry, her prose, her friendships and her life.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

A Progressive Case For Authority20150701

Eliane Glaser argues that since everyone is against authority now, the true iconoclast would make a progressive case for authority.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

A Response to Terror20150708

A Response To Terror2015070820150712 (R4)

Hashi Mohamed re-interprets a recent British response to terrorism, arguing that the episode tells us a great deal about our nation.

Producer: Katie Langton.

A Response To Terror20150708

Hashi Mohamed re-interprets a recent British response to terrorism, arguing that the episode tells us a great deal about our nation.

Producer: Katie Langton.

A Scaredy-Cat's Guide to Moving Abroad20150930

A Scaredy-Cat's Guide to Moving Abroad20150930

Sarah Bennetto is now an established comedian but, not so long ago, she was a lonely Australian trying - against the odds - to make a new life for herself in London. It wasn't easy. "Heroes find themselves in some pretty sticky situations at the start of a quest," she says. "What a shame that 'sticky' was, in my hostel's case, literal." In this witty and wise essay, Sarah shares her tips for starting a new life in a strange land. Recorded at the End of the Road music festival.

Producer: Richard Knight.

A Scaredy-Cat's Guide to Moving Abroad20150930

Sarah Bennetto is now an established comedian but, not so long ago, she was a lonely Australian trying - against the odds - to make a new life for herself in London. It wasn't easy. "Heroes find themselves in some pretty sticky situations at the start of a quest," she says. "What a shame that 'sticky' was, in my hostel's case, literal." In this witty and wise essay, Sarah shares her tips for starting a new life in a strange land. Recorded at the End of the Road music festival.

Producer: Richard Knight.

Amanda Palmer20150617

Amanda Palmer2015061720150820 (R4)

In the third of four editions from this year's Hay Festival a pregnant Amanda Palmer talks about the prospect of reconciling art and motherhood.

"And right now, at 24 weeks pregnant, all I can do is look at the female heroes who've preceded me and not descended into crappy boringness, and pray to the holy trinity: Patti Smith. Ani Difranco. Bjork. Hear my prayer: may I not get baby brain."

Producer: Lucy Proctor.

Image courtesy of Shervin Lainez.

Amanda Palmer2015061720150621 (R4)

on reconciling art and motherhood. Recorded at the Hay Festival.

In the third of four editions from this year's Hay Festival a pregnant Amanda Palmer talks about the prospect of reconciling art and motherhood.

"And right now, at 24 weeks pregnant, all I can do is look at the female heroes who've preceded me and not descended into crappy boringness, and pray to the holy trinity: Patti Smith. Ani Difranco. Bjork. Hear my prayer: may I not get baby brain."

Producer: Lucy Proctor.

Image courtesy of Shervin Lainez.

Amy Golden20150408

Amy Golden, who's severely disabled and can move only her right arm, shares what life is like through her eyes. In an essay read by actor Rhiannon Neads, she reveals her frustrations, her battle with depression and also the pleasures of being able to watch what other people are up to without being noticed. "I think perhaps they sometimes allow me to pick up on things because they don't realise that there's a thinking, feeling person inside this body," she says. Her talk is a passionate plea to be heard and noticed. "If you want to know what I want to say you have to focus on me," Amy insists. "You can't ignore me, or pretend I'm not here."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Baraa Shiban20150513

Baraa Shiban - stranded in London by the conflict in Yemen - describes how the revolution driven by young people in his country changed the course of his life and why he believes a revolution is just the beginning.

"Whenever a revolution forces a dictator out of power, a counter revolution will always be next. Revolutions should always have post revolution plans. The actual work should start after removing the dictator. It's a long struggle and it's our duty to keep it alive and never give up."

Producer: Sheila Cook

Best Of Four Thought2014123120150103 (R4)

Kamin Mohammadi presents three of the best recent episodes of Four Thought.

Kamin Mohammadi presents three of the best recent episodes of Four Thought, each addressing a state of mind.

The talks include Amia Srinivasan on the potential benefits of anger, Mark O'Connell discussing his own constitutional ambivalence and Farrah Jarral on cheekiness.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Best Of Four Thought: Hinge Moments In History20160127
Best Of Four Thought: Hinge Moments In History2016012720160130 (R4)

Another chance to hear three of the best recent episodes of Four Thought.

Another chance to hear three of the best recent episodes of Four Thought, each addressing hinge moments in the history of war and terror, and re-assessing the response of the West.

Hashi Mohamed re-interprets a recent British response to an act of terror on our own streets, arguing that the episode tells us a great deal about our nation that we take for granted.

Benedict Wilkinson challenges how we think about terrorism more generally, asking us to seriously reconsider how we confront terrorists on a global scale.

And drawing on his personal experience of advising Poland and Russia at the end of the Cold War, world-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs urges us to remember lessons of the past when taking action in the present.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Best Of Four Thought: Matt Haig, Tim Meek, Adjoa Andoh20151010

A selection of recent episodes of Four Thought, featuring Matt Haig, Tim Meek and Adjoa Andoh.

Big Charity, Big Business20150812

David Russell asks whether backing big charities is the best way of improving the world.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Brian Lobel20150527

Brian Lobel2015052720150531 (R4)

says surviving cancer does not mean you have to be heroic.

who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 20 says surviving cancer does not mean you have to be heroic.

"I thought there must be something for the other 50% or 20% or 90% who would rather watch a box set than run a marathon."

Presenter: Mark Coles

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Brian Lobel20150527

Caroline Ingraham2015061020150614 (R4)

, founder of a new approach to animal welfare, on giving animals choices.

In the second of four editions recorded at the Hay Festival, Caroline Ingraham explains why we should give animals choices. She is the founder of a new approach to animal welfare which gives domestic and captive animals the chance to "self-medicate" as, she says, research shows they would in the wild.

"Maybe it's time to re-evaluate our relationship with animals, and start perceiving them as active, rather than passive, beings."

Producer: Lucy Proctor.

Changing Laws Of War20151111

Muna Baig argues that forced displacement should be taken seriously as a war crime.

Muna is a lawyer who has spent time working with refugees and with international lawyers. She calls forced displacement the 'cinderella war crime' and argues that despite it being considered a war crime since at least the Second World War, there is little political will to enforce the law. She maintains that only by talking about forced displacement will that change.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Cold Calling20150909

Cold Calling20150909

Ian McDowell experiences misery working in a cold calling centre to raise money for charities and questions this method of fund-raising.

"How much of this do the charities, who spend millions of pounds every year on these dubious methods, really know, or want to know, about this sometimes sordid business? And why on earth should their supporters put up with it?"

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Cold Calling20150909

Ian McDowell experiences misery working in a cold calling centre to raise money for charities and questions this method of fund-raising.

"How much of this do the charities, who spend millions of pounds every year on these dubious methods, really know, or want to know, about this sometimes sordid business? And why on earth should their supporters put up with it?"

Producer: Sheila Cook.

D Is for Diagnosis20151202

D Is For Diagnosis2015120220160207 (R4)

Ann York discusses diagnoses - her own, and ones she gives to others.

Ann York discusses diagnoses - and how receiving one of her own has made her think differently about giving them to others.

Ann is a world-renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist, whose expertise is sought far and wide. In this intimate and fascinating talk she discusses the difficulties of giving a diagnosis, describing the benefits and the disadvantages, and how the young people in her care, and their parents, respond when diagnosed. And in front of an audience at Somerset House she describes how her own experiences with an unexpected diagnosis have affected how she thinks about her own work.

Producer: Katie Langton.

D Is for Diagnosis20151202

D Is For Diagnosis20151202

Ann York discusses diagnoses - and how receiving one of her own has made her think differently about giving them to others.

Ann is a world-renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist, whose expertise is sought far and wide. In this intimate and fascinating talk she discusses the difficulties of giving a diagnosis, describing the benefits and the disadvantages, and how the young people in her care, and their parents, respond when diagnosed. And in front of an audience at Somerset House she describes how her own experiences with an unexpected diagnosis have affected how she thinks about her own work.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Dead White Composers20160420

Simon Zagorski-Thomas thinks we fail to treat the study of popular music with the seriousness it deserves because we overvalue classical music studies.

"It seems to be up to the younger universities to take the lead in analysing musical forms that live outside of the world of the classical score and to create a musicology that is more relevant to our experience of music now."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Dead White Composers20160420

Democratising Education20151118

Rachel Roberts argues that education needs a democratic revolution.

Rachel describes her own experiences in democratic schools - as a student, teacher, and now educational consultant. And she argues that even if every school won't make the transition to the full kind of radical democracy she enjoyed, every school - and every student - can benefit from the democratic ethos.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Economists' Lost Literary Touch20151104

Adam Kelly discusses the sometimes surprising relationship between literature and economics, and argues that economics needs to get back in touch with its literary side.

Exploring the literary inclinations of John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Adam explores how a shift in the order in which students study the subject can explain a lot about modern economics.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Healing Minds20160330

Rachel Kelly draws on her experience of depression, and the healing power of poetry, to explain why she believes we need a more nuanced approach to treating mental illness.

The first in a new series of thought-provoking talks linked to personal experience recorded in front of a live audience.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Healing Minds20160330

Huda Jawad20150520

Talks with a personal dimension.

Jamie Bartlett20150415

finds out that internet trolls can be surprisingly human. The author of "The Dark Net", he says that demonising people behind shocking and hidden online subcultures may not be the best way to deal with them. Greater understanding of the complexity of their motivation could lead us to a more effective response. Without condoning their disturbing and unacceptable behaviour, he tells the stories of his surprising encounters with them.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

John Williams2015050620150819 (R4)

Comedian John Williams finds unexpected joy in his autistic son's view of life, despite the inevitable struggles.

"I have learnt far far more about the human condition, and what it truly means to be alive from just being with those with learning disabilities than I have from any eminent teacher or book."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

John Williams: Unexpected Joy2015050620151229 (R4)

Comedian John Williams finds unexpected joy in his autistic son's view of life, despite the inevitable struggles.

"I have learnt far far more about the human condition, and what it truly means to be alive from just being with those with learning diabilities than I have from any eminent teacher or book."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Lessons In Development20151209

Alpa Shah argues that tribal people need a better development model.

Alpa is an anthropologist who has spent years with tribal Adivasi people, in Jharkhand, in eastern India. In recent years their lands have been identified as some of the most mineral-rich on earth and are being eagerly eyed by mining companies. There are many potential benefits, but Alpa asks whether the world has learned lessons in how to ensure that everyone can share in them.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Matt Haig2015062420150628 (R4)

The writer Matt Haig describes how words helped him live with depression.

In this powerful edition of Four Thought, recorded at the Hay Festival, the writer Matt Haig describes how words helped him live with depression.

"You have to believe there is a point of there being words, and that they can offer real meaning. Normally this belief is taken for granted, but that is because normally we are taking the world itself for granted. But when your mind crumbles to dust everything you thought you knew suddenly becomes something to question. You have to build reality up again. And the bricks we use to shape our realities are called words."

Recorded at the Hay Festival.

Producer: Lucy Proctor

Editor: Richard Knight.

National Pride20151028

National Pride2015102820160214 (R4)

Alex Marshall discusses patriotism and nationalism.

Alex Marshall, fresh from writing a book about national anthems, discusses nationalism and patriotism.

Alex tells stories of meeting self-described patriots and nationalists from Japan to Paraguay via France and Kazakhstan, and explores how our thinking about nationalism and patriotism is highly dependent on place and time.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

National Pride20151028

National Pride20151028

National Pride20151028

Alex Marshall, fresh from writing a book about national anthems, discusses nationalism and patriotism.

Alex tells stories of meeting self-described patriots and nationalists from Japan to Paraguay via France and Kazakhstan, and explores how our thinking about nationalism and patriotism is highly dependent on place and time.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

National Pride20151028

Alex Marshall, fresh from writing a book about national anthems, discusses nationalism and patriotism.

Alex tells stories of meeting self-described patriots and nationalists from Japan to Paraguay via France and Kazakhstan, and explores how our thinking about nationalism and patriotism is highly dependent on place and time.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

On Being Ignored20151021

On Being Ignored2015102120160210 (R4)

John Osborne tells a story of waiting for a bill in a cafe, and explores how a proliferation of new ways of communicating can mean we end up feeling ignored.

Producer: Katie Langton.

On Being Ignored20151021

John Osborne tells a story of waiting for a bill in a cafe, and explores how a proliferation of new ways of communicating can mean we end up feeling ignored.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Passports for a Price20150729

Passports for a Price2015072920150818 (R4)

Katy Long argues that we should think differently about citizenship. She compares how citizenship and passports are bought and sold, and explores the ethical implications.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Passports for a Price2015072920150818 (R4)

Katy Long argues that we should think differently about citizenship. She compares how citizenship and passports are bought and sold, and explores the ethical implications.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Passports For A Price20150729

Katy Long argues that we should think differently about citizenship. She compares how citizenship and passports are bought and sold, and explores the ethical implications.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Peter Bleksley20150422

, a former undercover policeman fighting drugs crime and an ex-drug addict, argues that the only answer in the so-called "war on drugs" is to legalise and license them. "It's about time we had a radical rethink and came up with a plan that would wrestle the control and the enormous profits of this global industry, which is worth hundreds of billions of pounds per year, away from the hands of the bad guys and into the coffers of responsible governments."

Producer: Sheila Cook

Pirates And Puritans20150722

Tom Feiling tells a story about the relationship between pirates and puritans on the small Caribbean island of Old Providence.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Positively Medieval20160113

Positively Medieval2016011320160117 (R4)

Lucy Allen argues that medieval society had a conflicted attitude towards women.

Positively Medieval2016011320160117 (R4)

Lucy Allen argues that medieval society had a conflicted attitude towards women.

Positively Medieval20160113

Positively Medieval2016011320160117 (R4)

Lucy Allen argues that medieval society had a conflicted attitude towards women.

Positively Medieval2016011320160117 (R4)

Lucy Allen argues that medieval society had a conflicted attitude towards women.

Positively Medieval20160113

Positively Medieval2016011320160116 (R4)

Lucy Allen argues that the way in which medieval society is often presented - as indifferent to sexual violence against women - is wrong.

Lucy is an academic at Cambridge University, and she recounts a disagreement with a colleague about the realism of violence depicted in the TV show Game of Thrones. In fact, she says, medieval monarchs were passing laws against sexual violence in wartime, and some medieval literature reflects a nuanced understanding of trauma caused by rape.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Positively Medieval2016011320160116 (R4)

Lucy Allen argues that the way in which medieval society is often presented - as indifferent to sexual violence against women - is wrong.

Lucy is an academic at Cambridge University, and she recounts a disagreement with a colleague about the realism of violence depicted in the TV show Game of Thrones. In fact, she says, medieval monarchs were passing laws against sexual violence in wartime, and some medieval literature reflects a nuanced understanding of trauma caused by rape.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

Positively Medieval20160113

Talks with a personal dimension.

Questioning Success20150715

Jennifer Kavanagh questions the value of success, arguing that it is the moral content of what we do, rather than doing it well or badly, on which we should judge ourselves.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Reaching Out2016012020160123 (R4)
20160124 (R4)

Charlie Howard argues that public services should find their users, not wait to be found.

Charlie started the charity MAC-UK to provide specialist mental health services to gang members and other at-risk young people. As she began to work with them, she found more and more people who would never have accessed traditional services, but were in desperate need of them.

She makes the case that this is also a better, more efficient way to help service users, and argues that other public service providers - from teachers to job advisers - should consider how they can adopt the same approach.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Saving the Skyline20150916

Saving the Skyline20150916

Barbara Weiss says we need to act fast to save London's skyline from the indiscriminate building of ugly tower blocks.

"Many of them are being built in highly inappropriate and sensitive locations, dwarfing the city's historic landmarks and blighting low-rise surroundings for miles, introducing a toxic mix of commercialism and bling that is already greatly compromising the reserved and unique beauty of our capital."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Saving the Skyline20150916

Barbara Weiss says we need to act fast to save London's skyline from the indiscriminate building of ugly tower blocks.

"Many of them are being built in highly inappropriate and sensitive locations, dwarfing the city's historic landmarks and blighting low-rise surroundings for miles, introducing a toxic mix of commercialism and bling that is already greatly compromising the reserved and unique beauty of our capital."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Spice In Prison20160406

Stuart J. Cole, a writer and drugs counsellor - with past personal experience of addiction and prison - warns of a crisis in our prisons caused by "spice", a synthetic cannabis. He advocates a controversial way to tackle the problem. "Lower the punishment for cannabis," he says, "until a means of detection can be put in place along with punishment."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Spice In Prison20160406

Stories Of Terrorism20151125

Benedict Wilkinson challenges how we think about terrorism and uses stories of two very different terrorists to make the case for a different approach.

Benedict is a senior research fellow at the Policy Institute at King's College, London, and researches the strategies of different terrorist groups. He argues that terrorists' embrace of violence always comes from a position of weakness, and that it frequently fails to achieve their own political objectives.

As a result, he argues that the way in which we confront terrorists needs serious reconsideration.

Producer: Katie Langton.

The Best Of Four Thought2012091220120915

- personal storytelling combined with thought provoking ideas, introduced by David Baddiel.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the Royal Society of Arts in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

The four talks in this programme are from:

Joe Dunthorne on what we could all learn about living together from the mosh pit at a rock gig,

David Bainbridge on the myth of middle age,

Anthony McGowan on being the villain of our own story, and

Christina Patterson on care and nursing.

(The repeat programme on 15/09/12 is shorter than the programme at 20h00 on 12/09/12 and will not contain the talk from David Bainbridge).

The End Of The Age Of Ideas20150805

Robert Rowland Smith argues that we are coming to the end of the Age of Ideas. He examines how different 'ages' - of superstition, religion, reason and ideas - have emerged and gradually been eclipsed. And he hints at the age we may be about to enter.

Producer: Beth Sagar-Fenton.

The Meaning Of North20160127
The Meaning Of North2016012720160131 (R4)

Alex Beaumont questions the meaning of 'the north'.

Growing up in the North of England, in his youth Alex wanted nothing more than to leave for the South. Now he lives in one part of the North, and works in another, but he questions whether 'The North' is a meaningful concept at all. How does it relate to the North of Scotland, or Ireland, and what might the UK government's plan for a 'Northern Powerhouse' mean in practice?

Producer: Katie Langton.

The Muslim Soldier20160601

Adnan Sarwar, who spent ten years as a soldier, describes how the Army respected his identity as a Muslim, even though he is not religious.

"I was a Pakistani kid in the Army recruitment office in Burnley swearing an oath to the Queen. The Sergeant told me to wait while he went to find a Koran. I said the Bible would do, but he told me that they did things properly in the British Army. People had warned me before I joined that the Army was racist. People still say that to me. People who have never worn that uniform. They can't see that when we did wear that uniform, that it made us all the same."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

The Muslim Soldier20160601

The Power Of Dreams20150902

The Power Of Dreams20150902
The Power Of Dreams20150902

Shane McCorristine thinks we are losing out by no longer talking about our dreams, in contrast to our ancestors.

"This collapse in the democratic dream-archive may well have implications for the historians of the future, who will have little access to the most amazing stories of our innermost fears and desires."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

The Power Of Dreams20150902

Shane McCorristine thinks we are losing out by no longer talking about our dreams, in contrast to our ancestors.

"This collapse in the democratic dream-archive may well have implications for the historians of the future, who will have little access to the most amazing stories of our innermost fears and desires."

Producer: Sheila Cook

The Unequal Past20150923

Jim Smallman examines the attitude of society to our pasts and argues that men and women are treated very differently.

"I am not proud of my past," he says, "I'm massively ashamed of huge swathes of it." But Jim's misdeeds are, he argues, "easily forgivable" because he was "just being a bit of a lad". In contrast, Jim's wife - a former pornographic actress - is not given the same latitude. Too many people, he says, would "use her past to hold her back from the future that she deserves". Recorded at the End of the Road music festival.

Producer: Richard Knight.

The Whirlpool Economy20150819

Charles Leadbeater argues that we are living in a whirlpool economy, where we are moving faster but seem to be standing still. And he suggests some changes we could make to break out of it.

Producer: Katie Langton.

Tim Meek2015060320150607 (R4)

on using the precious resource of time more wisely. Recorded at the Hay Festival.

In the first of four editions from this year's Hay Festival, Tim Meek explains why he and his family have left their old life behind them for a year of adventure on the road.

"We believe that the real measure of modern success is nothing to do with your bank balance or the size of your house, but instead, the amount of free time you have at your disposal."

Producer: Lucy Proctor.

Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014
Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014
Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014
Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014
Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014
Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014
Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014

Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014
Trust Me, I'm A Magician20151014

Paul Hyland is a writer and a magician - but, as he explains in this entertaining essay, he is not a trickster. At least, not a dishonest one. "Did the painter trick you when his reclining nude turned out to be no more than a layer of pigments, textures, lines of perspective, light and shade on a flat canvas?" Recorded at the End of the Road music festival.

Producer: Richard Knight.

Why Run?20151007

In this thoughtful essay Adharanand Finn provides a subtle answer to a simple question: why do we run? After all, he says, "running is hard. It requires effort. And after all the pain you usually end up right back where you started, having run in a big, pointless circle".

With reference to childhood, hunter-gatherers and even the monks of mount Hiei, who run the equivalent of 1,000 marathons in 1,000 days, Adharanand arrives at an answer: running brings us joy. Recorded at the End of the Road music festival.

Producer: Richard Knight.

Writing Myself Into The Script20150826

The playwright Bola Agbaje on why black women are still under-represented on British TV.

"If people don't see people like me, how will they understand me?" she says. "I quit drama school to pursue writing," she says, "because I wanted to write myself into a script."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0101Once Upon A Future20110202

Susan Greenfield gives the first of a new series of talks on Radio 4.

She will discuss her life's work and fulfilling a life's ambition.

Four Thought will combine big ideas and evocative storytelling - speakers will be invited to take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0101Susan Greenfield: Once Upon A Future20110202

Baroness Susan Greenfield gives the first of a new series of talks on Radio 4.

She discusses her work and fulfilling a life's ambition, exploring how stories develop our brains.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0102On Joining The Constitution20110209

Peter Hennessy gives the second of a new series of talks on Radio 4.

He discusses joining what he has spent a lifetime writing about: the British constitution.

At a time of constitutional upheaval, what does the second house still provide? He argues that expertise, in rare supply elsewhere in the political system, is abundant in the Lords, and offers a great deal to a system currently held in low esteem.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Peter Hennessy discusses joining the constitution, after a lifetime writing about it.

0102Peter Hennessy: On Joining The Constitution20110209

Historian Peter Hennessy discusses joining what he has spent a lifetime writing about: the British constitution.

At a time of constitutional upheaval, what does the second house still provide? He argues that expertise, in rare supply elsewhere in the political system, is abundant in the Lords, and offers a great deal to a system currently held in low esteem.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0103David Goldblatt: Guerilla Urbanism Comes To Town20110216

David Goldblatt argues that current models of urban redevelopment are broken, and need replacing.

He draws a contrast between developments: the multi-million pound apartments of One Hyde Park in London, and Stoke's Croft in Bristol, with its 'don't develop Stoke's Croft, let Stoke's Croft develop' ethos.

He says that big developers are more interested in making life comfortable for the already comfortable and that a development like Stoke's Croft, with individuals taking the initiative when landowners and government have failed to act, is a far more positive model.

0103Guerilla Urbanism Comes To Town20110216

David Goldblatt argues that current models of urban redevelopment are broken, and need replacing.

He draws a contrast between developments: the multi-million pound apartments of One Hyde Park in London, and Stoke's Croft in Bristol, with its 'don't develop Stoke's Croft, let Stoke's Croft develop' ethos.

He argues that big developers are more interested in making life comfortable for the already comfortable and that a development like Stoke's Croft, with individuals taking the initiative when landowners and government have failed to act, is a far more positive model.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

David Goldblatt says Bristol offers an alternative model of urban redevelopment.

0104Ahdaf Soueif: The Egyptian Uprising20110223

Egyptian author Ahdaf Soueif describes how the anti-Mubarak protests have allowed Egyptians to reconnect with thousands of years of history and regain their sense of self.

She describes a civilised and sophisticated protest which has shown Egyptians that they can rise above the divisions ascribed to them over the past 30 years. And she says whatever the outcome of the current political instability, this cultural change is permanent.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

She describes a civilised and sophisticated protest which has shown Egyptians that they can rise above the divisions ascribed to them over the past 30 years.

And she says whatever the outcome of the current political instability, this cultural change is permanent.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Egyptian author Ahdaf Soueif discusses what the protests mean for Egyptian culture.

0105Fusion And Confusion20110302

Psychotherapist and journalist Naomi Shragai discusses what she learned from marrying out, and what we all could.

She describes how her mother's stories about returning from the concentration camps became embedded in her mind, and how years living in a Jewish neighbourhood in Los Angeles left her beliefs unchallenged.

It was only after years of mixing in and marrying out that they were, and she eventually had to admit: 'I may be wrong'.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Naomi Shragai discusses what she learned from marrying out, and what we all could.

0106 LAST20110309

Tom Gill, a professor of social anthropology, recalls some memorable and unsettling incidents he witnessed during his fieldwork with homeless people in Japan and explores their implications

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Tom Gill recalls some memorable incidents he witnessed as an anthropologist in Japan.

02Care To Be A Nurse?20110715

Columnist Christina Patterson discusses her own experiences of terrible nursing care. She asks why we keep making excuses for bad nursing when good care is so important, and maintains that whatever the pressures on them nurses always have a choice about how they behave.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Christina Patterson says we should stop making excuses for bad nursing.

0201Care To Be A Nurse?2011042720110501

Columnist Christina Patterson discusses her own experiences of terrible nursing care.

She asks why we keep making excuses for bad nursing when good care is so important, and maintains that whatever the pressures on them nurses always have a choice about how they behave.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Christina Patterson says we should stop making excuses for bad nursing.

0202Don't Apologise2011050420110508

Jonathan Sumption discusses modern apologies for historical events.

Starting with Tony Blair's apology for the Irish potato famine and Pope John Paul II's 94 such apologies, he argues that the trend is turning into a tide.

He argues that such apologies rely on a concept of inherited guilt, and asks whether the benefits ever outweigh the serious moral and philosophical objections.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Jonathan Sumption argues against apologising today for historical events.

0203Dying For A New Phone2011051120110515

Johann Hari argues that our demand for gadgets has helped to drive the war in the Congo.

He says it is a resource war, being fought for minerals like coltan, which finds its way into everything from mobile phones to games consoles.

He asks why our governments have not taken forceful action to stop the trade.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0204Buddha Vs. Buddha2011051820110522

Jake Wallis Simons describes how an ancient row within Tibetan Buddhism is causing a modern schism, and why it led him to give up Buddhism for good.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0205Politicians And Pogo Sticks2011052520110529

Philip Cowley discusses how politicians have changed to reflect the political landscape around them.

He uses letters from leading politicians to show how today's politicians compare favourably to those of the 1950s.

And he has a small confession to make.

Four Thought combines big ideas and evocative storytelling in a series of personal viewpoints - speakers take to the stage ready to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Recorded live at the RSA in London, these talks are unscripted, thought-provoking and entertaining, with a personal dimension.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Philip Cowley says today's politicians compare favourably to those of the past.

0206Anne Applebaum2011060120110605

, the author of "Gulag", asks how governments can best compensate victims of former repressive regimes and turn secret police records into meaningful archives.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Anne Applebaum asks how governments can best compensate victims of repressive regimes.

0207Felipe Fernandez-armesto2011060820110612

Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto explodes the myth of the Protestant work ethic.

Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto explodes what he sees as the newly revived myth of the Protestant work ethic and debunks cultural explanations for economic progress or decline in different parts of the world.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0208Steve Jones2011061520110619

Professor Steve Jones reflects on the legacy of the father of eugenics, Francis Galton, and warns against the danger of overstatement by geneticists.

Four Thought is a series of taks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Professor Steve Jones reflects on the legacy of the father of eugenics, Francis Galton.

0209Ed Smith20110622

Former England cricketer Ed Smith argues that too much professionalism in sport and in other areas of life spoils rather than promotes the chance of success.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Former England cricketer Ed Smith argues that too much professionalism is not a winner.

0210Danny Kruger20110629

, founder of Only Connect, a charitable arts company working with prisoners, ex- offenders and young people at risk of crime calls for a re-evaluation of the purpose of punishment, treating retribution and rehabilitation as two separate objectives whose current confusion serves neither the criminal, nor the victim nor the wider interests of justice.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Danny Kruger calls for a re-evaluation of the purpose of punishment for crime.

0211Penny Pepper20110706

Writer and cabaret artist Penny Pepper gives her perspective on human identity from her personal experience as a disabled person and wheelchair user.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Writer Penny Pepper gives her perspective on human identity as a disabled person.

0212Matthew Engel2011071320110716

warns of a new threat to the English language from Americanisms.

charts the growth of Americanisms in the English language and explains why, as a former Washington correspondent, he thinks this is now a serious problem

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Matthew Engel warns of a new threat to the English language from Americanisms.

0213Hilary Cottam2011072020110723

unfolds her vision for redesigning the welfare state.

, co-founder of Participle, unfolds her vision for re-designing the welfare state with participation, not passivity, at its core.

She tells the story of families whose lives have been transformed though their own involvement in making decisions about the help being provided for them

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Hilary Cottam unfolds her vision for redesigning the welfare state.

0214Clare Lockhart2011072720110730

calls for a new model of aid for the developing world.

, co-founder and director of the Institute for State Effectiveness, talks about the need for a new model of aid for the developing world to reduce dependence and build economic growth

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Clare Lockhart calls for a new model of aid for the developing world.

0215Musa Okongwa20110803

Poet and musician Musa Okongwa explores the downside of living a life on Twitter and Facebook.

He describes his recent but powerful addiction to tweeting and checking his Facebook page.

"I have a lot of followers but I have no idea where I'm leading them," says Musa.

A painful breakup with his girlfriend has led him to reassess this dependence.

"I clicked on a button and changed my relationship status from 'in a relationship' to 'single'," he says.

"Thing is, I never even wanted to list that I was in a relationship in the first place." He is inspired anew by the words of an Egyptian revolutionary whose uprising was achieved on the streets, not in cyberspace.

As Musa says, "While we retweet, they don't retreat." His solution is to get away from his computer and out into the real world, listening to his favourite soul-sustaining music.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Musa Okongwa explores the downside of living a life on Twitter and Facebook.

0216Dominic Hobson20110810

Writer and entrepreneur Dominic Hobson argues that organised, competitive sport damages rather than builds the character of players and spectators alike.

In common with war, he condemns it as a zero sum game: what one side gains, the other loses, "rich in triumphalism, disdain and pride".

"I still recoil in horror from the behaviour of the parents.

let alone the players, when my oldest son played for a youth football team in south London."

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Dominic Hobson argues that organised competitive sport harms rather than builds character.

0217Owen Hatherley20110817

Writer and cultural critic Owen Hatherley attacks the architectural results of recent "urban regeneration".

He regrets the loss of confidence in a vision of how cities of the future should be.

Defending the buildings of the 1960s, he says, "even the most reviled of blocks contain spacious apartments", whereas, "The new blocks you can see everywhere are designed from the outside in - irregular windows and brightly coloured cladding hides the tiny mean proportions and a total lack of planning for human use."

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Owen Hatherley attacks the architectural results of recent 'urban regeneration'.

021820110824

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

In a talk recorded at this year's Edinburgh Festival, Andrew Robinson asks, 'what can we learn from geniuses?'.

At the Edinburgh Festival, Andrew Robinson asks, 'what can we learn from geniuses?'.

0219At The Edinburgh Festival20110831
0220Jim Crumley20110907

has been described as 'the best nature writer working in Britain today'.

He was born and grew up in Dundee, and has written over twenty books about natural history.

You don't need to read the folk tales of the Brother's Grimm or go to Werewolf movies to realise that humankind has always had a fear of wolves.

But is all this just anti-wolf propaganda? Historians believe the last wolf in Britain was dispatched near Findhorn, Moray, in 1743 amid an outcry that it had killed two children.

Now, more than 250 years later, could we finally learn to coexist peacefully with wolves? Indeed could we even learn something from them? Jim Crumley's talk today is called "A new dance with wolves."

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience during the Festival in Edinburgh speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: David Stenhouse.

Nature writer Jim Crumley asks if it is time to reintroduce wolves to the UK.

0221Professor Charles Ffrench-constant20110914

Scotland has the highest rate of Multiple Sclerosis in the world.

This progressive neurological disease can lead to disability, balance problems and paralysis.

But Scotland also happens to be the centre of research into MS, much of it focussing on a new generation of drugs which could help the body heal itself.

Charles ffrench-Constant is the Professor of Multiple Sclerosis Research at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at The University of Edinburgh.

Here he explores the issues.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience during the Edinburgh International Festival, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: David Stenhouse.

Professor Charles Ffrench Constant speaks on "Regenerating the human body.".

0222Russell M Davies20110921

After the internet and social media, what will be the next technological revolution?

Writer, blogger and social entrepreneur Russell M.

Davies argues that like the early days of blogging, we are about to witness another flowering of individual creativity.

This time, he says, it will unleash "all sorts of interesting gadgety things", and determine our relationships with them.

"It's about making your own stuff, which might be a bit silly and a bit trivial and pointless, but you get the satisfaction of making it yourself," he says.

This revolution in individual gadgetry - and designing our relationship

with them - will prove "exciting, radical, life-affirming stuff".

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Russell M Davies says the next revolution will unleash individual creativity.

0223Matthew Goodwin20110928

says supporters of the far right are generally neither irrational nor isolated, and that a far right party without extremist baggage could be electable in Britain.

He has spent much of the last decade with members and supporters of the British far right, examining their hopes and aspirations, what they wish to achieve.

As an expert in electoral behaviour and extremism at the University of Nottingham, he has also been carefully studying hundreds of polls to explore whether there is a wider resonance for their message.

It is an intensely controversial area of study - particularly in the light of the recent atrocities in Norway.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Matthew Goodwin argues the well of potential support for the far right in Britain is deep.

0224Cindy Gallop20111005

Advertising guru Cindy Gallop argues that if as businesses and individuals we define what we stand for and stay true to it, we could embrace a world of zero privacy.

Cindy describes her own embrace of zero privacy as rather more extreme than most, after a frank admission two years ago which has since gone viral online.

She explains why she designed her internet startup to require its users to pause and reflect on what they stand for, and urges people from every walk of life to redesign their lives around what they want to do.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Cindy Gallop discusses embracing zero privacy.

0225Kate Fox20111012

Social anthropologist Kate Fox argues that we need to re-learn much of what we think we know about the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol does not make us disinhibited, violent or anti-social, she says.

Many cultures around the world, some of which drink more than we do, have none of these problems.

So what causes them here?

Kate Fox argues that it is down to what we believe alcohol will do to us.

And while she cites science and sociology, it is her conclusions about how we fight the harm currently caused by our mistaken beliefs which are so far-reaching.

Out, she says, should go the approach which says alcohol causes bad behaviour free of responsibility, with a focus instead on taking responsibility and normalising alcohol.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Kate Fox argues we need to re-learn what we think we know about the effects of alcohol.

0226Ed Yong20111019

Science journalist and blogger Ed Yong explores the physical and philosophical implications of being host to billions of microbes.

He reports the latest science showing how the bacteria we come into contact with can profoundly affect our lives - from the ability to digest different foodstuffs to our susceptibility to asthma, diabetes and even stress and anxiety.

And he asks whether he should be seen as a human, or a universe of bacteria in a "human shaped sack"?

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Ed Yong explores the implications of being host to billions of microbes.

0227Christie Watson20111026

Novelist and former paediatric nurse Christie Watson asks whether there are some things worse than death.

She describes the extraordinary medical breakthroughs which allow children to be kept alive today who previously would have died.

But she asks whether community care and medical ethics have kept up with the increasing number of technology-dependent children, that is, children who cannot breathe without life support machines.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Christie Watson asks if there are some things worse than death for some very ill children.

022820111102

Dreda Say Mitchell argues that the importance of cultural institutions like family, faith and community has been ignored in the debate about social mobility.

Born into an extended working class family, she found her own upbringing was influenced by each of these institutions, and she believes their importance in promoting social mobility has been underestimated.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Dreda Say Mitchell says we have overlooked the cultural element to social mobility.

0229Aza Raskin20111109

proposes a design renaissance in healthcare, making it easier and more enjoyable.

Whose fault is it that DVD recorders are hard to programme, he asks? And why do we complete so few courses of antibiotics, with all the terrible individual and social consequences?

His answer in both cases is that the products are badly designed, and they don't take into account how human beings actually behave.

He argues that by applying cognitive psychology, design, and feedback loops to some of our most intractable medical problems, we can dramatically improve our health.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Aza Raskin proposes a design renaissance in healthcare.

0230James Daunt20111116

issues a ringing defence of printed books, and argues that libraries and local bookshops - the 'purveyors of the written word' - are vital social and cultural spaces.

Brought in to turn around the Waterstone's chain of bookshops, he argues that book chains should continue to play a vital role in introducing readers to books, but will only succeed if they re-connect with their communities.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

James Daunt argues libraries and bookshops should be vital social and cultural spaces.

0231David Bainbridge20111123

, clinical veterinary anatomist at Cambridge University and science writer, dispels the myth of the mid-life crisis and celebrates the evolution of middle age as a distinctively human phenomenon, central to the success of our species.

Middle age is not about getting old but rather "the changes of middle age represent a developmental stage of life as distinct as infancy or adolescence".

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0232Angela Saini20111130

Science writer Angela Saini confesses that as a late adopter of new technology, she struggles to reconcile a deep human desire to make, mend and recycle with the throwaway culture on which the development of new computers, gadgets and phones seems to depend.

Much of this is inherited from the thrifty traditions of her parents.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Science writer Angela Saini celebrates being a late adopter of new technology.

0233David Perks20111207

, state school physics teacher and founder of the Physics Factory in London, believes current science teaching is depriving children of the academic science education they deserve.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Physics teacher David Perks says current science teaching is short-changing children.

0234Anthony Mcgowan20111214

, award-winning author of novels for young adults and teenagers, thinks that the world would be a better place if we cast ourselves as the villains rather than the heroes of our own life stories and he has a personal confession to make.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded live in front of an audience at the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in London, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Author Anthony McGowan thinks we should see ourselves as villains, not heroes.

0235James Lange20111221

describes how YouTube videos of drug use have improved the speed and quality of his research, and argues that they can be a vital tool for scientists.

Dr.

Lange's research has been into salvia divinorum, and he explains how new technology could now make his job even easier.

He argues that YouTube is an incredible archive of social and biological behaviour, which did not exist a few years ago, and that using it in a sophisticated and systematic way can help us to quickly understand complicated behaviour.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling.

Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

James Lange argues that YouTube videos can be a vital tool for sociology - and science.

023620111228

Britain, says Tim Smit, is very far from broken. In fact, he argues, we are a really good country, and if we learn to trust one another again, we could be wonderful.

Pointing to the success of collaborative ventures he started, like the Eden Project and Big Lunch, he suggests we should set ourselves the goal of energy independence. This, he says, would be as much about the symbolism as the environmentalism: a vivid demonstration that far from being a dying culture, we are in fact a vigorous one.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Tim Smit argues that if we learn to trust one another, Britain could be great again.

023720120104

Paul Flatters argues that childhood today is better than ever before, and he explains why (wrongly) thinking the reverse is bad for us as individuals and as a society.

Paul deconstructs several examples of recent media coverage, and explains why charities and academics have a vested interest in exaggerating the negative.

And he seeks to dispel the inevitable gloom of early January by pointing out the many ways in which research suggests life is certainly no worse, and much better, for children and families than it has ever been before.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Paul Flatters argues that childhood today is better than ever before.

02382012011120120115

Judith Clegg argues that the special culture of technology start-ups could make the world a dramatically better place, if adopted more widely.

Even after a year of dramatic change, she believes we could do with some more - in sectors as varied as banking, government and energy companies. The start-up culture of pay-it-forward, decent treatment of staff, enthusiasm and hard work is just what we need in every sector in these hard economic times, she says.

With a family background steeped in entrepreneurial spirit, and a career spent breathing life into start-ups, she now runs the Takeout consultancy, which helps big organisations innovate and learn lessons from the start-up community, and the Glasshouse, a network for entrepreneurs, and is co-founder of a startup investment fund. She lives in the UK and America.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Judith Clegg argues that start-up culture can make the world a dramatically better place.

0239Clare Allan2012011820120122

asks why lying gets such a bad press. The truth, she argues, can be far more dangerous.

Can lies both liberate and illuminate? As a novelist she discusses how she takes full advantage of her position to tell stories, to invent the facts. But in so doing so, she says, fiction can lead us closer to the truth.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Clare Allan asks why lying gets such a bad press.

02402012012520120129

Gerard Darby argues that the education system is damaging creativity.

Creativity is just as vital in science and engineering as it is in art and drama, argues Gerard Darby.

Yet the present education system is undermining young people's natural creativity, he says, and is in urgent need of reform. He highlights some novel approaches, and explains why this matters both for the individuals, and for our wider society and economy.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0241Bali Rai2012020120120205

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0242Gordon Bridger2012020820120212

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0243Rob Hopkins2012021520120219

, co-founder of the Transition Culture movement, believes that "engaged optimism" is the best way to face the global challenges of the future, be it climate change, oil supplies running out or the economic downturn. He believes initiatives enabling people to produce their own goods and services locally - from solar powered bottled beer to micro currencies like the Brixton pound - are the best way to build community resilience. Four Thought is a series of talks in which speakers give a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition culture movement, explains 'engaged optimism'.

0244Robin Gorna2012022220120226

, who has spent 26 years working globally to combat AIDS, fears that at a time when we know how to deal with the problem, we are losing the political will to tackle it. She sees finances drying up, and stigma, prejudice and an unwillingness to engage with social and sexual aspects of the illness preventing millions from getting access to the treatment and care they need. Robin Gorna believes there is a real opportunity to end the epidemic, and she blames short attention spans and the wrong actions for the fact that it is still on the increase. Four Thought is a series of talks in which speakers give a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Robin Gorna fears the world is losing the political will to deal with the problem of AIDS.

03Clare Melford20120505

, CEO, International Business Leaders Forum, argues that Buddha should be in the boardroom. She explains what CEOs need to learn about the tenets of Buddhism to make their businesses thrive while being

sustainable.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Clare Melford explains what she believes business leaders can learn from Buddhism.

03Matthew Syed20120512

says the importance of talent over effort should not be overemphasised.

0301Bobby Cummines20120411

, Chief Executive, UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, who served 13 years in high security prisons for robbery and manslaughter, argues if society wants to reduce crime, reformed criminals must be helped to get jobs and discrimination against them needs to stop.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Bobby Cummines, chief executive of UNLOCK, says ex-offenders need jobs to reduce crime.

0302Jules Evans20120418

, author of "Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations", explores what ancient Greek and Roman philosophy can tell modern society about wellbeing. He celebrates the link between modern psychotherapy and the wisdom of Socrates, the Stoics and other ancient philosophers but warns that the new politics of happiness is in danger of becoming illiberal.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Jules Evans explores what ancient philosophy can tell modern society about well-being.

0303June Andrews20120425

Professor June Andrews, Director, the Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling, argues for a revolution in our approach to dealing with dementia. She outlines immediate low cost changes that would make a dramatic difference to delaying the onset of the illness and caring for people with dementia.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Prof June Andrews argues for a revolution in the approach to dealing with dementia.

0304Clare Melford2012050220120505

, CEO, International Business Leaders Forum, argues that Buddha should be in the boardroom. She explains what CEOs need to learn about the tenets of Buddhism to make their businesses thrive while being

sustainable.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Clare Melford explains what she believes business leaders can learn from Buddhism.

0305Matthew Syed2012050920120512

says the importance of talent over effort should not be overemphasised.

Writer and former England table tennis champion Matthew Syed says we should not overemphasise the importance of talent over effort. Four Thought is a series of talks recorded before an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0306Martin Cassini2012051620120519

Campaigner Martin Cassini argues that our system for managing traffic is overdue for radical reform and should be based on trust in human nature rather than an obsession with controlling it. He says a drastic cut in the number of traffic lights would begin the transformation, saving lives, time and money.

Four Thought is a series of talks with a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0307Kate Smurthwaite20120523

Comedian Kate Smurthwaite argues it's time to stop laughing at sexism and time to stop prejudice against women comedians, because comedy is a key part of UK culture, affecting our opinions and values.

Four Thought is a series of talks with a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0308Paddy Docherty2012053020120603
20120530 (R4)
20120603 (R4)

Entrepreneur Paddy Docherty says business is best placed to bring prosperity to impoverished and post conflict nations, arguing that only the commercial sector can supply the scale and dynamism needed to make a lasting impact on development. Four Thought is a series of talks with a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

says business is best placed to bring prosperity to impoverished nations.

Paddy Docherty says business is best placed to bring prosperity to impoverished nations.

0310Sir Terry Farrell2012061320120613 (R4)

explains why architects are uniquely placed to solve the problems of Britain's public spaces - and why doing the work for free is crucial to its success.

Sir Terry explains how working pro bono can bring together businesses, councils and community groups who would otherwise find it hard to work together, and how these architectural schemes or 'masterplans' can transform the public spaces we all share. And he describes some of the schemes he has worked on - and how, even though it sometimes takes years, the benefits are clear to see.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0311Mitu Khandaker2012062020120624

Computer games offer many opportunities for self-reflective thought, says Mitu Khandaker.

Computer games present a wonderful opportunity to know ourselves - a slow bombardment of opportunities for self-reflective thought - says Mitu Khandaker.

She argues that to look beyond the violent and mindless games of popular caricature is to see a new medium which represents the culmination of all our previous artistic forms - literature, film, painting, music. Parts of all of these, she says, can coalesce in games.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0312Colin Crooks2012062720120701

argues that we are wrong to focus on youth unemployment.

Serial social entrepreneur Colin Crooks argues that politicians and the media are wrong to focus on youth unemployment.

Instead, he says, we should all be worried about the very high levels of persistent unemployment amongst the 'let-down generation' who were failed by poor education between the seventies and nineties. Teaching them the lessons of being in work, he argues, would not only benefit them, but their children, too.

And he believes that to make a meaningful impact in these unemployed people's lives, we should stop developing skills for jobs which often do not exist, and instead focus on creating real jobs where they live.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0313Alice Bell2012070420120708

tackles the myth of scientific literacy as a panacea to understanding science.

Alice Bell argues that better engagement by scientists, rather than lessons in 'scientific literacy', is the solution to the lack of public understanding of science.

She is frustrated how often this apparent panacea is rolled out as the solution to the problem. But on some controversial subjects the scientific evidence does not point in a single direction, she says. More than that, the specific bit of science needed to understand the subject at hand varies from issue to issue.

Instead, scientists should work to provide structures where non-experts can learn about science as and when they become important to them.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0314Leisa Rea2012071120120715

With the pressure on for victory at the Olympics, comedian Leisa Rea ponders the delights of losing.

She ponders late development, the terror of being asked 'what is it that you do', and reveals what happened when she told a group of school children that she would only be rewarding them for appalling work which fell way below the expected standard.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0315Naif Al-mutawa2012071820120722

discusses the importance of interpreting and translating between cultures.

Naif created The 99, the comic books featuring characters based on Islamic culture and religion, but appealing to universal virtues. In his Four Thought talk, he uses his own experiences running up against extremism and wilful misunderstanding, to meditate on the importance of cultural interpretation. And he argues that art and religion co-existed for centuries, and should be able to do so again.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London, speakers take to the stage to air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0315Naif Al-mutawa: Art And Religion2012071820120722

Naif Al-Mutawa discusses the importance of interpreting and translating between cultures.

Naif created The 99 - comic books featuring characters based on Islamic culture and religion, but appealing to universal virtues.

In his Four Thought talk, he uses his own experiences running up against extremism and wilful misunderstanding, to meditate on the importance of cultural interpretation. And he argues that art and religion co-existed for centuries, and should be able to do so again.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0316Gillian Wheeler: Flower Design As Art20120725

The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers' Gillian Wheeler

argues that flower design is evolving into an art, with tremendous variation in design and even sculpture.

Flowers can both look and smell beautiful, and she says this powerful combination has the power to overcome tremendous obstacles.

Cut flowers will first grow, and then eventually die away. Gillian believes that this transience, which sees both the way they look and smell transformed several times over a matter of days, is the most important characteristic, and one which marks flowers out from other forms of art.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Flower design is evolving into an art, argues Gillian Wheeler.

0317James Bridle: Computers And Cultural Memories20120801

Publisher and technologist James Bridle asks how computer networks will affect cultural memories. In this Four Thought, James brings his two lives together to look for the crossing points between books and technology.

How will storing our memories and experiences on 'the network' change how we relate to them? They are no longer spread through time and geography, and instead much more visible to us, but what does that mean?

When we have read a book, the book remains as a souvenir of the experience, but we do not yet have a similar way of accounting for the time we spend online.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

James Bridle asks how computer networks will affect cultural memories.

0318Ali Mangera: The Future Of Shopping20120808

Architect Ali Mangera discusses the closely-connected futures of cities and shopping.

He describes how the retail industry is coming to terms with the major challenges it faces: from internet shopping to increasing demands for a local and sustainable experience. And, through the prism of his own experience working between Barcelona and London, he shares his vision for the future of shopping.

Ali argues that the two sides to the current retail experience - need, and hedonism - will be much more closely intertwined in future, with shopping being as much about entertainment and even education as it is about filling our bellies or clothing ourselves.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0319Katarina Skoberne: Family History Repeating20120815

Katarina Skoberne describes how history repeating itself taught her valuable lessons.

Does history repeat itself? Entrepreneur Katarina Skoberne describes how in her family's case it did, and discusses the thought-provoking lessons it taught her.

Katarina's great-grandfather was an admiral in the Russian imperial navy. His life was often interrupted by disaster, and he twice lost everything and was forced to start again.

But Katarina recently discovered some of his writing, and more than 100 years later found interesting parallels to her own life and experiences.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0320Joe Dunthorne: Lessons From The Mosh Pit20120822

Writer Joe Dunthorne asks what we can all learn from rock gigs about living together.

Writer Joe Dunthorne asks what we can all learn about living together from the mosh pit at a rock gig.

Joe asks whether we should we all be a bit more open to social interaction. He contrasts the boisterous pushing and shoving at a rock gig with the quiet carriage on the train.

In one, he argues, everyone rubs along, and if you need something, you say it. The same cannot be said for the quiet carriage.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0321Ian Robertson: The Winner Effect20120829

Ian Robertson is Professor of Psychology at Trinity College, Dublin.

He argues that success and being a winner has an effect on us that is "as strong as any drug" - and so does that mean there is a neurological explanation to the old idea that power corrupts?

Ian Robertson argues that success and being a winner has a drug-like effect on us drug.

0322Niall Iain Macdonald: Rowing The Minch20120905

Niall Iain MacDonald describes his extraordinary fight back against depression.

Gaelic broadcaster Niall Iain MacDonald vanished from his Stornoway home on May 17th 2007.

In this powerful talk he discusses his extraordinary fightback against depression: to row 45 miles of grey water in a challenge to himself and his illness: Rowing the Minch.

032320120919

Where is the next growth economy? Ruchir Sharma spends his time looking for economic growth in unlikely places. Here he describes his search.

0324Margaret Heffernan20120926

Entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan challenges the negative view of whistle-blowers and argues that people who dare to speak uncomfortable truths are vital to the success of businesses and other organisations. All too often important information is available, but acting on it is avoided because it would cause conflict. As a former CEO, she believes that a positive attitude to dissent is the key to progress.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0325Colin Murray Parkes20121003

The eminent psychiatrist Colin Murray Parkes illuminates the importance of secure attachments for human happiness and sees insecurity at the root of conflict and extremism. Accepting advice from wise outsiders is crucial, he argues, whether healing the emotional wounds of bereavement or breaking the cycle of political violence. "Out of this support new national and personal identities are emerging with subtle changes in the feelings that go with them."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0326Mark Vernon20121010

, writer and former priest, says we should rehabilitate the concept of narcissism as a valuable form of self-love. "Love others as if they were yourself, yes. But also, love yourself so you can love others. Proper self-regard resources other regard."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0327Rabina Khan20121017

, author and independent local councillor, calls for a new understanding of multiculturalism which acknowledges people's multiple identities and avoids simplistic labels. "Regardless of which label we choose, there are different experiences for each label, and so there are many different ways of observing any religion or culture or lifestyle...By valuing multiple identities, multicultural Britain enhances rather than undermines British identity among minority communities."

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0328Ben Dyson20121024

, founder and director of Positive Money, tells how his disillusionment with mainstream economics led him to campaign for a proper understanding of how money works as the first step in fixing a failed banking system.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0329Anna Minton20121031

, author of "Ground Control", argues that the increasingly high security surrounding public and private buildings creates a sense of fear rather than safety.

Four Thought is a series of talks offering a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0330James Friel20121107

Novelist James Friel, author of "The Posthumous Affair", defends the value and virtues of the single life against the widespread cultural view that being in a couple is a superior state of being.

Four Thought is a series of talks offering a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0330James Friel: In Praise Of The Single Life2012110720130504

Novelist James Friel, author of "The Posthumous Affair", defends the value and virtues of the single life against the widespread cultural view that being in a couple is a superior state of being.

Four Thought is a series of talks offering a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0331Ismail Einashe - Challenge For British Somalis20121114

Ismail Einashe, who came to Britain as a child refugee from Somalia, reflects on the link between childhood war trauma suffered by young Somali men and the way some are drawn to violent gang culture.

Four Thought is a series of talks offering a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0331Ismail Einashe: The Challenge For British Somalis2012111420130511

Ismail Einashe, who came to Britain as a child refugee from Somalia, reflects on the link between childhood war trauma suffered by young Somali men and the way some are drawn to violent gang culture.

Four Thought is a series of talks offering a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London.

Producer: Sheila Cook

0332Maria Popova: The Architecture Of Knowledge20121121

Maria Popova, Editor of Brainpickings, discusses how, with the world's knowledge more readily available to us than ever before, the fragmentation of our interests is driving us to seek out more and more of what we're already interested in. How, she asks, can we master the architecture of human knowledge in a way that takes advantage of the "Information Age", yet broadens rather than contracts our intellectual and creative horizons, both as individual consumers and as publishers of information?

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0333Sara Ziff: The Problem With Fashion20121128

Model and activist Sara Ziff discusses the problems with fashion and modelling. Sara maintains that fashion modelling, far from being a glamorous profession, has a dark side. She argues that what links this dark side within the industry to its sometimes ugly public face is an unhealthy obsession with very young models.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0334Amber Dermont: The Benefits Of An Unhappy Childhood2012120520130518

Amber Dermont explains the benefits of an unhappy childhood.

"Though my parents were caring people, I could not escape my own sense of despair," she says. She discusses the influence of sadness on the imagination, and describes how this upbringing took her on a journey that gradually helped her imagine a life for herself as a fiction writer.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0335Nancy Lublin: 21st-century Social Activism2012121220121216

Nancy Lublin argues that the web has transformed social activism for the better.

Nancy Lublin, CEO of DoSomething.Org, discusses how the next generation are doing social activism. She describes the impact of the web on social activism, making it faster, cheaper and easier to do than ever before, and argues that this has big implications for societies around the world.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded live in front of an audience, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0336Georgie Fienberg: Saying No To Pity2012121920121223

Georgie Fienberg argues that charities doing development work should want to close.

Georgie Fienberg believes that endless fundraising by overseas aid charities is not sustainable, and she argues that charities should want to close.

Georgie is Founder of Afrikids, a charity which supports poor children in Ghana. When she started the organisation she set a deadline for closing its UK fundraising arm, so that the organisation in Ghana would be sustainable and self-sufficient.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded live in front of an audience, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0337Tom Armitage: The Coded World2012122620121230

Designer and technologist Tom Armitage argues that learning to write computer code means learning to think in a modern way, and that it should spur creativity: the possibility of doing entirely new things.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded live in front of an audience, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Tom Armitage says learning to write computer code means learning to think in a modern way.

0338Sally Kettle: Does Hope Help?2013010220130106

Adventurer Sally Kettle argues that hope is not helpful, and suggests some alternative strategies.

Sally has twice rowed the Atlantic Ocean, and worries that hope can lead to a passive state of mind. There is nothing, she believes, like taking concrete steps to make things happen.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded live in front of an audience, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0339Anwar Akhtar: The Meaning Of Pakistan2013010920130113

Anwar Akhtar, Director of The Samosa, argues that Pakistan should think of itself as an Asian nation, not as an Arab one. And after years of working between Britain and Pakistan, he says British Pakistanis are uniquely placed to help Pakistan embrace its multicultural history - and to create a prosperous and peaceful future with India.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded live in front of an audience, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0339Anwar Akhtar: The Meaning Of Pakistan2013010920130427

Anwar Akhtar, Director of The Samosa, argues that Pakistan should think of itself as an Asian nation, not as an Arab one. And after years of working between Britain and Pakistan, he says British Pakistanis are uniquely placed to help Pakistan embrace its multicultural history - and to create a prosperous and peaceful future with India.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine thought provoking ideas and engaging storytelling. Recorded live in front of an audience, speakers air their latest thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect our culture and society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0401Ranjini Obeyesekere: Lost In Translation?20130403

William Dalrymple introduces Ranjini Obeyesekere in Four Thought at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Obeyesekere - the Sri Lankan writer, translator and academic - argues that "translations are often considered a second-class activity, done by hacks" but that, however imperfect the result, making a work written in one language available in another, is a profoundly important art. But there are difficult questions. Is a bad translation better than no translation? Is true translation, in fact, the art of the impossible?

0402Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: Forget Impartiality20130410

William Dalrymple introduces the Oscar-winning documentary-maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, in Four Thought at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Obaid Chinoy, whose films include Saving Face, argues that although her work is reportage, she cannot be - and should not be - impartial. There is a difference, she says, "between story-telling and journalism".

0403Explaining Anorexia20130417

Emma Woolf explores how people suffering from eating disorders might now have a proper explanation for the condition. Emma has suffered from anorexia and written and talked about it extensively. A proper explanation for her illness has remained elusive - until now.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience. It is recorded in front of a live audience at Somerset House in London.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0404Mat Paskins: The Future In History20130424

Historian Mat Paskins argues that history can be made real when we bring back to life the excitement which previous generations felt at new developments: to make us, who live in our ancestors' future, feel their wonder when first confronted with future possibility. And he tells the story of two experiments - an ambitious attempt in the eighteenth century to use black sand to make steel, and his own youthful efforts to see if he could eat everything.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience. It is recorded in front of a live audience at Somerset House in London.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0405Daniela Papi: The Problem With Volunteering20130501

Daniela Papi explores the dark side of volunteering overseas, and asks how local people and wealthy 'voluntourists' alike can ensure a positive experience.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience at Somerset House.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0406Stewart Henderson: Poetry In Politics20130508

Stewart Henderson argues that a lack of poetry in politics is fuelling disengagement. He draws on past and current speeches from Winston Churchill to Aneurin Bevan and David Cameron to Ed Miliband to make the case for putting poetry back in political rhetoric.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience. It is recorded in front of a live audience at Somerset House in London.

Producer: Laura Francis.

0407Emma Byrne: Why We Swear2013051520130519

Science writer Emma Byrne explores the benefits of swearing.

The science writer Emma Byrne argues that, far from tuning out, we should listen carefully when people swear, because they often do so for good reasons.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience at Somerset House.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0408Henry Stewart: Choose Your Boss2013052220130526

Henry Stewart argues that we should choose our own bosses.

Henry Stewart argues that bad management blights the working lives of millions of people, and that the solution is to let everyone choose their own bosses.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience at Somerset House.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0409Anna Woodhouse: Windows To The Soul2013052920130607

Anna Woodhouse explores what looking through glass and glasses means for us.

When she was a call centre worker Anna could see the towers of Leeds University through the window of her high rise block on a Leeds council estate. For her, this symbolised both possibility and disconnection from the object of her desire. When she eventually left the estate, she completed a study on the place of glass in our culture.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience at Somerset House.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0409Anna Woodhouse: Windows To The Soul2013052920130602

Anna Woodhouse explores what looking through glass and glasses means for us.

When she was a call centre worker Anna could see the towers of Leeds University through the window of her high rise block on a Leeds council estate. For her, this symbolised both possibility and disconnection from the object of her desire. When she eventually left the estate, she completed a study on the place of glass in our culture.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience at Somerset House.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0410Steven Poole: Think For Yourself2013060520130609

Steven Poole argues that we should resist the idea that humans are irrational.

Steven Poole argues that we should resist the modern message, from pop science and brain scans, that humans are irrational creatures, driven by instant judgement and primordial urges.

Instead, he says we should stand up together and say we can think, and that's what makes us human.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience. It is recorded in front of a live audience at Somerset House in London.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0411Dick Moore2013061220130616

calls for urgent action to tackle the problems of adolescent mental health. Driven by personal experience, he sees a growing need for society to provide young people with more emotional support.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience. Presenter:David Baddiel.

Producer: sheila Cook.

Dick Moore calls for urgent action to tackle the problems of adolescent mental health.

Dick Moore calls for urgent action to tackle the problems of adolescent mental health. Driven by personal experience, he sees a growing need for society to provide young people with more emotional support.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their latest thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

0412Judith Shapiro2013061920130623

Economist Judith Shapiro argues that the next steps towards equality for women will be far harder than those which went before.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks which combine personal stories with ideas of contemporary relevance. Speakers air their thinking in front of a live audience, hosted by David Baddiel.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Economist Judith Shapiro believes the next steps towards women's equality will be harder.

0413Jamie Tehrani2013062620130630

Social anthropologist Jamie Tehrani dissects our obsession with celebrity culture.

Social anthropologist Jamie Tehrani sees our obsession with celebrity culture as a result of our maladapted brains.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks which combine personal stories with ideas of contemporary relevance. Speakers air their thinking in front of a live audience, hosted by David Baddiel.

0414Kevin Allen2013070320130707

explains how missing airline cutlery shows where business leaders go wrong.

Advertising guru Kevin Allen tells a tale of missing cutlery on passenger jets to show where business leaders go wrong. Success, he says, belongs to the "buoyant" leader, riding high on the esteem of the workforce, rather than ruling by fear.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks combining personal stories with ideas of contemporary relevance. Speakers air their thinking in front of a live audience, hosted by David Baddiel.

0415Andrew Graystone20130807

speaks from personal experience to argue that we're using the wrong language to talk about cancer. Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

0416Jad Adams20130814

thinks we're dealing with homelessness less well than in the 1930s. Speaking from his experience helping homeless people, he argues that current policy - which he says ties the homeless to hostels funded by their benefits - is not the answer. Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

0417Yasmin Hai20130821

says it's not Western foreign policy that is radicalising British Muslims but more pedestrian psychological factors closer to home. Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0418Greg Votolato20130828

confesses his addiction to cars while arguing for more sustainable designs to meet our desire for status and private space. Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories. Speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0419Alan Bissett20130904

In the 1990s, author Alan Bissett was a lad and women were 'birds'.

In a frank and personal account, Alan talks about why he turned to the work of the late American radical feminist Andrea Dworkin after becoming concerned over his use of internet pornography.

He dissects elements of what he describes as our "sex saturated culture" and argues that men need to start engaging with feminism for the good of all.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories.

Recorded during the Edinburgh festival, speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

Producer: Caitlin Smith.

0420Emily Bell20130911

We might think the web is something different, another world somewhere out there - or indeed in our devices - but as Emily Bell argues, the web is actually mapped onto our physical world: the real and the virtual are the same thing.

Emily spent almost twenty years working at the Observer and then the Guardian, setting up Media Guardian website in 2000. Three years ago she and her family moved to New York and Emily became the Director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School.

Living her life over two continents has caused her to consider the affect of cyberspace on actual space. Are we, as so many promised in the 90s, witnessing the death of distance?

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories.

Recorded during the Edinburgh festival, speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

0421Danny Dorling20130918

The United Nations recently predicted that the world's population will grow to nine billion by 2050 and ten billion by the end of the century.

Whilst news of population growth is often greeted with panic and dismay Danny Doring, a human geographer at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, argues that, in fact, there's nothing to fear in the future, because the population bomb has already diffused.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories.

Recorded during the Edinburgh festival, speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

Producer: Caitlin Smith.

0422Mona Siddiqui20130925

As the first Muslim chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Mona Siddiqui regularly engages on inter-faith issues.

Reflecting on her own life, Mona says that far from being a private matter, friendship is more of a societal good that is achieving ever greater significance in the globalized world.

Four Thought is a series of talks which combine new ideas and personal stories.

Recorded during the Edinburgh festival, speakers explain their thinking on the trends and ideas in culture and society in front of a live audience.

Producer: Caitlin Smith.

0423Language Is Power20131002

Author and broadcaster Lindsay Johns argues that language is power, and makes the case for speaking English properly.

Lindsay, who has mentored young people in Peckham, south London, for years, believes that street slang and what he calls 'ghetto grammar' disempower and limit the life chances of those who speak it.

And he says that those who make excuses for this language, or argue that it is good for young people, are really just encouraging them to ostracize themselves even further from mainstream society.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0424Drugs In Sport20131009

Paul Dimeo argues that drugs made modern sport what it is today, and that we ought to take a more sympathetic view of those athletes whose will to win takes them outside the rules of the game.

Paul believes the entire Olympic movement was saved by the drug-fuelled rivalry between the United States, Soviet Union and East Germany, and makes the case that drugs dramatically enliven sport as a spectacle and as a talking point.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0425Hello Cheeky20131016

Farrah Jarral puts the case for more cheekiness, arguing that it is a core British value and a creative, playful way of checking power and subverting the status quo.

Farrah, a GP by day, tells the story of how one patient smashed the usual doctor-patient power gradient. She sets out to discover whether any other language has a concept quite like cheekiness, and she explains why she is convinced that there is far greater depth to it than first meets the eye.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0426Empires Of Attention20131023

Matt Locke traces the stories of three 'empires of attention' to examine how our attention, and the way it was measured, has shaped our culture.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Matt Locke examines how our attention has shaped our culture.

0427Learning From Our Teenage Selves20131030

Molly Naylor has spent years thinking how much she could teach her teenage self. But in this talk, Molly turns her thinking on its head. What if her teenage self has something to teach her?

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0428How To Remember20131106

Sam Edwards argues that we should think again about how and what we memorialise - including wars and other major events in our national history.

Sam is a lecturer in American History at Manchester Metropolitan University, and has long been fascinated with memorials. He tells the story of how, as a young man, he would journey around the Suffolk countryside visiting the many memorials to the US 8th Air Force, and the effect it had on him.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0429Putting Profit In Its Place20131113

Jane Burston argues that by placing too much emphasis on profit, companies behave in an unethical way, and it is time for social purpose to take centre stage.

Jane describes what she sees as a systematic problem in big companies and argues that only by viewing profit as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself, can we create an ethical business sector. And she believes that shareholders will embrace her plan, even if it means business leaders taking on the mantle of moral leaders and sometimes compromising profit for social good.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0430Ambivalence: For And Against20131120

Mark O'Connell argues that in an age of strong opinions, we should embrace ambivalence.

As a child, Mark's constitutional ambiguity meant his mother considered printing the phrase 'I might and I mightn't' on a t-shirt. Today, Mark's job as a writer for Slate magazine is to take strong positions. In this fascinating look at the role of ambiguity in our society, he attempts to square the circle - or should that be circle the square - in his determination to have the courage of his own ambivalence.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0431Chemophobia20131127

Chemistry lecturer Mark Lorch asks why we are all so afraid of chemicals.

Mark Lorch asks why we are all so afraid of chemicals.

Biology has plants, animals and David Attenborough. Physics has lasers, stars and Brian Cox. Meanwhile chemistry, by reputation, has chemical weapons, pollution and Walter White from Breaking Bad.

Mark, himself a chemistry lecturer at Hull University, explores why we have the wrong end of the stick, and what can be done about it.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0432Courage And Effect20131204

Brian Lavery tells the remarkable story of Mrs Lillian Bilocca, and how a fishwife from Hull changed the country's most dangerous industry. He examines how the fame and misfortune she suffered as a result might have played out in our current social media age and asks how much life has really changed.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0433Refugee Stories20140108

0433Refugee Stories2014010820140112

Agnes Woolley examines what is missing from the stories told by, and about, refugees.

Agnes Woolley examines what is missing from the stories told by, and about, refugees. She laments what she calls the 'hard authenticity of testimony' - the way in which refugees to the UK are forced to tell their own stories, and never to change them, despite any number of changes in perspective. And she asks why the stories told about those seeking refuge - by politicians and newspapers - are equally unchanging.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0434Curtis Blanc20140115

0434Curtis Blanc2014011520140119

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0435Emile Simpson20140122

0435Emile Simpson2014012220140126

Former soldier Emile Simpson argues we need to rethink the way we fight wars.

Former soldier Emile Simpson draws on his experience in Afghanistan to argue that we need to rethink the way we fight wars now the boundary with politics has been blurred.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which the speakers tell personal stories that give rise to their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: David Baddiel

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0436Matthew Engel2014012920140202

Matthew Engel makes a secular case for reclaiming the peace and quiet of the Sabbath.

Matthew Engel makes a secular case for reclaiming the peace and quiet of the Sabbath, arguing that a proper day of rest will make us healthier, happier and more productive.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which the speakers tell personal stories that give rise to their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: David Baddiel

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0437Heaven Crawley2014020520140209

Heaven Crawley argues for a different approach in our attitude towards asylum seekers.

Heaven Crawley, Professor of International Migration at Swansea University, argues for compassion and curiosity in place of hostility in our attitude towards refugees and asylum seekers.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which the speakers tell personal stories that give rise to their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: David Baddiel

Producer: Sheila Cook

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0438Role Modelling2014021220140216

Anne-Marie Imafidon argues that we need to think differently about role models.

Anne-Marie Imafidon argues that we need to think differently about role models. She believes we need to stop looking at them as superhuman and instead embrace their mistakes as well as their successes, their personal foibles as well as their strengths. Once we do that, we can understand that everyone has something to contribute, we can all be members of what she calls the 'role model club'.

Presented by David Baddiel.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0439Nothing to Lose20140219

0439Nothing to Lose2014021920150817 (R4)

Byron Vincent discusses nature versus nurture, and society's obligations to its weakest.

In a powerful, personal talk, Byron tells the story of his own childhood on a troubled housing estate, of how his surroundings shaped him, and of the choices he felt forced to make. Faced with similar circumstances he asks who can say they would make different choices. Byron explores the moral consequences of this for the rest of our society.

Introduced by Kamin Mohammadi.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0439Nothing to Lose2014021920150817 (R4)

Byron Vincent discusses nature versus nurture, and society's obligations to its weakest.

In a powerful, personal talk, Byron tells the story of his own childhood on a troubled housing estate, of how his surroundings shaped him, and of the choices he felt forced to make. Faced with similar circumstances he asks who can say they would make different choices. Byron explores the moral consequences of this for the rest of our society.

Introduced by Kamin Mohammadi.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0439Nothing To Lose2014021920140308

Byron Vincent discusses nature versus nurture, and society's obligations to its weakest.

In a powerful, personal talk, Byron tells the story of his own childhood on a troubled housing estate, of how his surroundings shaped him, and of the choices he felt forced to make. Faced with similar circumstances he asks who can say they would make different choices. Byron explores the moral consequences of this for the rest of our society.

Introduced by Kamin Mohammadi.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0439Nothing To Lose2014021920140223

Byron Vincent discusses nature versus nurture, and society's obligations to its weakest.

In a powerful, personal talk, Byron tells the story of his own childhood on a troubled housing estate, of how his surroundings shaped him, and of the choices he felt forced to make. Faced with similar circumstances he asks who can say they would make different choices. Byron explores the moral consequences of this for the rest of our society.

Introduced by Kamin Mohammadi.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0440Cult Of Girls2014022620140302

Sharon Kinsella explores the Japanese 'cult of girls'.

Ranging from the surprising role of schoolgirls in Japanese culture to an unusual encounter with an intriguing figure in the Japanese men's movement, Sharon undermines the idea of a playful Japanese popular culture. Having studied Japan for 15 years, she describes how the almost warlike state of male-female relations instead plays out in unexpected ways.

Introduced by Kamin Mohammadi.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0441Making A Home2014030520140309

Becky Manson discusses the meaning of home, as home ownership becomes less common.

Becky Manson discusses the meaning of home as homeowning becomes less common.

Becky has moved home numerous times over the last decade, and has used art to explore the relationship between the idea of 'home' and the architectural reality of the houses or flats where we live. As houses become increasingly expensive and the average age of homeowning rises, she suggests a different way of thinking about our home.

Introduced by Kamin Mohammadi.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0443Benet Brandreth2014042320140519

Benet Brandreth argues that our current political discourse is bankrupt, so he proposes a novel solution: a legislature by lot.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter:Ben Hammersley

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0444Philippa Perry2014043020140503

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0445Rebecca Mott2014050720140511

0445Rebecca Mott2014050720140511

Rebecca Mott says we should come to see prostitution exactly as we now see slavery - as an abuse of human rights - and therefore only total abolition is acceptable.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Ben Hammersley

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0445Rebecca Mott2014050720140511

Rebecca Mott calls for the abolition of prostitution.

0445Rebecca Mott2014050720140510

Rebecca Mott says we should come to see prostitution exactly as we now see slavery - as an abuse of human rights - and therefore only total abolition is acceptable.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Ben Hammersley

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0445Rebecca Mott2014050720140511

Rebecca Mott calls for the abolition of prostitution.

0445Rebecca Mott2014050720140510

Rebecca Mott says we should come to see prostitution exactly as we now see slavery - as an abuse of human rights - and therefore only total abolition is acceptable.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Ben Hammersley

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0446Mark Graham2014051420140518

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0446Mark Graham2014051420140517

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0447Sf Said2014052120140525

SF Said believes fiction can help to bridge the divide between 'us' and 'them'.

0447Sf Said2014052120140524

Children's author SF Said believes the power of fiction can help to bridge the divide when people identify themselves as "Us" and reject everyone else as "Them".

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Rohan Silva

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0448Rachel Armstrong20140528

0448Rachel Armstrong20140528

Rachel Armstrong proposes we should harness the computing power of the natural world to create new sustainable ways of living.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Rohan Silva

Producer: Sheila Cook.

0448Rachel Armstrong2014052820140601

Rachel Armstrong proposes we should harness the computing power of the natural world.

Rachel Armstrong proposes we should harness the computing power of the natural world to create new sustainable ways of living.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Rohan Silva

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0449Jonathan Ree2014060420140608

Jonathan Rée explains why he's never been happy with the idea of morality and warns against the current fashion for confusing it with politics.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Rohan Silva

Producer: Sheila Cook.

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0450Jono Vernon-powell2014061120140615

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0451Sandra Newman2014061820140622

The American author Sandra Newman explains why, while most of us would like to be cool, it is best not to try too hard.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Kamin Mohammadi

Producer: Estelle Doyle.

Thought-provoking talks with a personal dimension.

0453Serena Kutchinsky2014070220140706

Serena Kutchinsky reflects on a fateful obsession with the Faberge egg.

explains the impact an obsession with the Faberge egg had on her family and why she now believes such priceless objects should belong to all.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Kamin Mohammadi

Producer: Estelle Doyle.

0454Jasper Fforde2014070920140713

Jasper Fforde asks whether humans have reached the limit of creative thought.

Jasper Fforde explains why he is concerned that humans have reached the limits of intellectual creative thought.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Kamin Mohammadi

Producer: Estelle Doyle.

0454Jasper Fforde20140709

Jasper Fforde explains why he is concerned that humans have reached the limits of intellectual creative thought.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking, in front of a live audience, on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society.

Presenter: Kamin Mohammadi

Producer: Estelle Doyle.

0455Noreena Hertz20140716

When economist Noreena Hertz became very ill she confronted a difficult question: who should she trust?

The answer was much more complicated than it first appeared and her quest to find out more about her treatment led her to a deep scepticism about expertise.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society in front of a live audience.

Presenter: Ben Hammersley

Producer: Mike Wendling.

0456Rupert Goodwins20140723

0456Rupert Goodwins20140723

Technology writer Rupert Goodwins was an early user of internet message boards which he idealistically thought would bring the world closer together.

The truth hit him when he waded into a forum debating creationism and ended up being attacked by both sides.

He argues that the fundamental problem of incivility on the internet has never gone away - in fact it has got much, much worse.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society in front of a live audience.

Presenter: Ben Hammersley

Producers: Mike Wendling and Smita Patel.

0457Adjoa Andoh20140730

Actor Adjoa Andoh's son sensed from a very young age that although he inhabits the body of a girl, he was born a boy. "In the imperfect language we have to describe people," she says, "we call him transgender."

Adjoa talks movingly about raising a transgender child, and about what really defines who we are or who we might become. "In too many places today," she says, "and in too many ways, we suffocate our true potential selves at birth."

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society in front of a live audience.

Presenter: Ben Hammersley

Producers: Mike Wendling and Smita Patel.

0458Philip North20140806

When Revd Philip North was tending the spiritual needs of people on an estate in Hartlepool he saw at close range the way a poor community could become self-sufficient.

But in the years since, he argues, the working class has been systematically de-skilled by middle class professionals.

In this provocative talk he argues that top-down meddling has replaced grassroots community-building, and that society is worse off for it.

Four Thought is a series of thought-provoking talks in which speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society in front of a live audience.

Presenter: Ben Hammersley

Producer: Mike Wendling.

0459Americans Abroad20140813

Mara Oliva argues that we need to think differently about ordinary Americans' views and the making of their nation's foreign policy.

Mara has spent countless hours in US presidential archives examining how public opinion was assessed and understood in several administrations. In this talk she compares her research into the series of crises in East and South-East Asia from the 1940s to the 1970s - Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China - to the Middle East today. She argues that the American public then and now took a more nuanced and cautious approach towards foreign policy than political leaders.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0460A New Currency Of Commitment20140820

Comedian Rosie Wilby proposes the end of monogamy. She first discussed the idea in a show at last year's Edinburgh festival, since when it has taken an unexpectedly serious turn. That show prompted many people to get in touch with Rosie to share their stories, and it has even had knock-on effects in her own life. Now she shares her thinking on how it might affect ours, too.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0461In Defence Of Anger20140827

Philosopher Amia Srinivasan makes the case for anger, arguing that it can be a huge source of strength and power, particularly for the apparently weak and powerless.

Using the personal experiences and political beliefs of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to advance her case, Amia argues that we should seriously question why people in power criticise or dismiss those who are angry.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0462The Trouble With Paradise20140903

Carrie Gibson argues that we need to re-think what we mean by paradise.

Carrie has recently completed a major history of the Caribbean, and in this talk she explores the complicated interwoven history of the Caribbean and of how it has been understood in the wealthy west. And she argues that we may need to re-evaluate our understanding of the meaning of paradise.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0463Creative Women20140910

Anna Beer asks why we don't hear more music composed by women.

She argues that many creative women still live, as they have for centuries, in the shadow of the courtesan. Using the stories of female composers from Medici-era Florence to twentieth-century Britain, she shows how excellent music composed by women has been ignored or overlooked, and explains why.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0464Judgement At Last20140917

Tiffany Jenkins argues that we need more judgement about quality in art, culture and life.

Tiffany's field of expertise is the arts. She says that judgement about quality is unfashionable in today's art world, and this is a problem. She believes that only by being clear about how judgements are reached, and discussing them openly, can we hope to reach a consensus on a common culture.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0465A World for Children20140924

0465A World for Children2014092420150814 (R4)

Daniel Hahn argues that as a society we would benefit from having more children's books translated into English.

A translator himself, and author of a major book about children's literature, Daniel is concerned that few books are being translated today to sit alongside Tintin, Asterix and the Moomins.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0465A World for Children2014092420150814 (R4)

Daniel Hahn argues that as a society we would benefit from having more children's books translated into English.

A translator himself, and author of a major book about children's literature, Daniel is concerned that few books are being translated today to sit alongside Tintin, Asterix and the Moomins.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0465A World for Children20140924

Daniel Hahn argues that as a society we would benefit from having more children's books translated into English.

A translator himself, and having recently completed work on a major book about children's literature, Daniel is concerned that few books are being translated today to sit alongside Tintin, the Swiss Family Robinson and the Moomins.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0467High Street Revival20141008

We are trying to revive our high streets the wrong way, argues Clare Richmond.

Clare has many years' experience in helping to revive the fortunes of high street shops. But she has grown disenchanted with the current expectation that councils, town managers and government hit squads can improve things.

Her own experience has taught her that real and lasting change for the better can only happen when businesses get fully involved and believe they hold their futures in their own hands.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0468Migration, Separation and Wales20141015

Wyn James tells the story of the Welsh settlements in Patagonia. On their 150th anniversary, he asks what lessons they might offer about migration and integration.

Wyn blends stories from his own visits to Welsh Patagonia and the history of the settlements themselves. The original idea was to retain a distinct Welsh identity and to remain separate. Over time that has changed, to a distinct Welsh identity within wider Argentine society, and Wyn asks what lessons this might offer our own and other societies today for how to deal with separation and difference.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0469Risk and Reward20141022

Entrepreneur Robyn Scott tells the remarkable story of her transformative work with murderers and other violent criminals in one of South Africa's most notorious jails, and she argues that accepting more risk will improve public services.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0470Killing The Consumer20141029

Jon Alexander argues that consumer power has become an idea which from parenting to politics is damaging society.

He argues that the age of the internet offers an alternative path, but that it is one we as a society must choose proactively.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0471Claire Cunningham20141105

Acclaimed disabled dancer and choreographer, Claire Cunningham, offers up a starkly honest and intriguing challenge to anyone who's ever just assumed that someone with a disability would want to be 'cured' if they could be. For Claire being disabled makes her unique and gives her a fresh insight into life. In this compelling edition of Four Thought she considers why on earth she'd opt to be just the same as everyone else when she can be different, utterly individual, unlike anyone else.

0472Andy Kirkpatrick20141112

- acclaimed mountaineer, author and stand-up - challenges us to let our children be exposed to greater risk. He argues that we shouldn't be wrapping up children in cotton wool, that children will naturally seek out risky, challenging, scary experiences and that by over protecting them we might just be encouraging them to seek out much more dangerous situations. Using a terrifying mountain climb he did with his young daughter as an example, Andy argues that if we're brave enough to allow our children to experienced managed risk they'll enter adulthood better prepared for life's challenges.

0473Kenneth Steven20141119

Author, poet and translator, Kenneth Steven, draws on the magical experience of a long dreamed for trip to Greenland to consider the dangers of cruise ship tourism. While Kenneth understands the desire of tourists to experience the extraordinary landscape and culture of the Arctic, after all he has a long held personal passion for northern places and people himself, he worries the arrival of the cruise ships does more damage than good to the fragile Inuit communities. Might there not be a better way to experience these vulnerable indigenous communities, sustaining their history, traditions and culture than through mass tourism which might change it beyond all recognition?

0474Esther Woolfson20141126

Is it time to radically re-think pet ownership? In this highly challenging and thought provoking Four Thought the writer Esther Woolfson argues that a lifetime spent sharing her home with a variety of birds and animals - rook, magpie, crow, starling, canaries, parrots, rats and rabbits - has led her to understand just how little we really know about the capacities and feelings of other beings. Pushing us to consider why we own pets in the first place Esther's talk promises to have you looking at Rover, Ginger, Fluffy or Socks in a whole new light.

0475Writing For A Living20141203

Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of the seminal memoir book Prozac Nation, revisits the process of writing the book. And on the twentieth anniversary of its publication, she explores the relationship between writing and the need to pay the bills.

Speaking in front of an audience at McNally Jackson Books in New York City, Elizabeth argues that people have lost their minds trying to write great literature. Instead, she says, "If your whole thing is 'I can't starve', you'd be stunned with what you come up with. You'll be thinking of what you need, not what you want. You'll definitely come up with the next right thing."

The host is Amanda Stern.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0476Black In America20141210

Professor Christina Greer asks what it means to be black in America today.

Speaking at McNally Jackson Books in New York City, Professor Greer describes herself as a 'JB' - 'just black' - a black American without a hyphenation. She argues that many new black immigrants into the United States are increasingly keen to avoid that designation, choosing instead to retain their accents, their citizenship or their separate identity.

She argues that this is caused by the poor status of black people in the United States, and asks whether it presages an historic change in what American immigration has meant: a nation where new immigrants do all they can to integrate, not to remain separate.

The presenter is Amanda Stern.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0477The Shadow Of The Cold War2014121720141221 (R4)

Jeffrey Sachs argues that many of today's global problems are hangovers from bad, ungenerous decisions at the end of previous conflicts.

Professor Sachs is one of the world's leading economists, and amongst the many governments he has advised over 30 years were Poland and Russia at the end of the Cold War.

In this very personal talk, recorded at McNally Jackson books in New York City, Professor Sachs describes how a stunned Russian Prime Minister, facing economic calamity and desperate for western support, was told instead by western governments that there would be no help forthcoming. And he argues that decisions like this - similar to those taken by the Entente powers at the end of the First World War which sowed the seeds of today's conflicts in the Middle East - are a large part of the explanation of Russian attitudes today, including in Ukraine.

The presenter is Amanda Stern.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Jeffrey Sachs argues that many global problems were caused by mistakes at the end of wars.

0478Art, Design and Politics20141224

0478Art, Design and Politics2014122420141228 (R4)

Paola Antonelli explores the politics in art and design.

The curator of design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Paola uses examples from a recent exhibition to show how curatorial decisions can be extremely political, and to examine the role of museums and curators in stimulating political debate and discussion.

The programme is presented by Amanda Stern, from McNally Jackson Books in New York City.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0478Art, Design and Politics2014122420141228 (R4)

Paola Antonelli explores the politics in art and design.

The curator of design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Paola uses examples from a recent exhibition to show how curatorial decisions can be extremely political, and to examine the role of museums and curators in stimulating political debate and discussion.

The programme is presented by Amanda Stern, from McNally Jackson Books in New York City.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0478Art, Design and Politics20141224

Paola Antonelli explores the politics in art and design.

The curator of design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Paola uses examples from a recent exhibition to show how curatorial decisions can be extremely political, and to examine the role of museums and curators in stimulating political debate and discussion.

The programme is presented by Amanda Stern, from McNally Jackson Books in New York City.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

0479Keeping It Personal2014123120150104 (R4)

Paralympian Darren Harris argues for a person-centred approach in the age of big data.

0479Keeping It Personal20141231

Darren Harris, a double paralympic athlete and mathematics graduate, draws similarities between people and prime numbers: each is indivisible and unique. In the age of big data, he makes the case for a more person-centred approach in public services. And he finds it in an unexpected place, somewhere more usually associated with a 'win at all costs' mentality: elite sport.

Producer: Giles Edwards.