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How To Academy’s podcast series takes you backstage to meet the thinkers shaping the 21st century. From polar explorers to climate activists, CEOs to cabinet ministers, you’ll hear from the men and women making the world of tomorrow.
Season 5, Episode 17
Kate Bowler – The Meaning of Life
At thirty-five, Divinity Professor Kate Bowler was diagnosed with colon cancer. She joins us to explore what life really means, as she approaches its close.
Season 5, Episode 16
1 hour 16 min
Stephen Fry Meets Steven Pinker – The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
In anticipation of Steven Pinker’s return to How To Academy later this month, this episode of the podcast revisits his conversation with Stephen Fry on stage in London in 2018.
Season 5, Episode 15
James Nestor – the Art and Science of Breathing
Sunday Times bestselling author James Nestor joins us with a guide that will forever change the way you think about health and wellbeing.
Season 5, Episode 14
Bonus Episode: With Reason – Learning from our Ancestors, with Alice Roberts
In this special bonus episode by our friends at New Humanist magazine and the Rationalist Association, Professor Alice Roberts takes us through important archaeological discoveries to help us better understand life today.
Series 5, Episode 13
1 hour 3 mins
Fiona Shaw – A Life on Stage and Screen
The BAFTA and Olivier award-winning Irish actor and director explores her life and career on stage and screen.
Season 5, Episode 13
Rutger Bregman and Philippe Sands – Are Humans Naturally Good?
Philippe Sands meets Rutger Bregman, one of the greatest young thinkers of our time, to hear a new story of human nature that places our capacity for kindness, not selfishness, at its heart.
Season 5, Episode 12
Dennis Duncan – Index, a history of the
In this week’s podcast, literary scholar Dennis Duncan takes us into the secret world of the index and reveals how it transformed the way we read and process knowledge forever.
Season 5, Episode 11
Mary Portas – How To Thrive in the New Kindness Economy
In 2021, it’s not only possible to build healthy businesses that do less bad and add more good – it’s a commercial imperative. Mary Portas is here to show us how.
Season 5, Episode 10
Gordon Brown – How to Change the World
It is time for a new era of global order. The former Prime Minister Gordon Brown joins us with authoritative solutions to the greatest challenges of our age.
Season 5, Episode 9
Anish Kapoor – a Life in Art
An icon whose spectacular works occupy a liminal space between sculpture, engineering and architecture, Anish Kapoor is one of the world’s most ambitious living artists.
Season 5, Episode 8
Sarah Gilbert and Catherine Green – The Inside Story of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine
Robin Ince meets two of the leading scientists behind the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, marking this historic moment for science and humanity.
Season 5, Episode 7
Charles Yu – Interior Chinatown
Enter the genre-bending metafictional world of National Book Award winner Charles Yu, one of the most exciting young American novelists.
Season 5, Episode 6
Mike Rothschild – The Rise of QAnon
Join the conspiracy culture expert Mike Rothschild for an in depth look into how QAnon became a movement, cult, and conspiracy theory of everything.
Season 5, Episode 5
Lisa Taddeo and Hadley Freeman – Madness, Transgression and Power
Lisa Taddeo’s THREE WOMEN changed how we think about desire. She returns to the podcast to explore what drives women to extremes and how they can take back power.
Season 5, Episode 4
Daniel Kahneman – Why We Make Bad Judgments
Why are humans so bad at making good judgements? Join ground-breaking psychologist Daniel Kahneman, strategist Olivier Sibony, and Nudge co-author Cass Sunstein for a guide to a little-known but profoundly important phenomenon: noise.
Season 5, Episode 3
John Higgs – William Blake vs the World
Join us for a wild journey through culture, philosophy and religion to better understand the mercurial genius William Blake in the twenty-first century.
Season 5, Episode 2
Katrine Marcal and Caroline Criado Perez – Mother of Invention
In conversation with author and activist Caroline Criado Perez, Katrine Marçal shows us how, in a time of crisis, the ingenuity and intelligence of women is that very thing that can save us.
Season 5, Episode 1
Bill Clinton and James Patterson – The President’s Daughter
The 42nd President of the United States and the World Record-breaking master storyteller share insights into their thrilling new collaboration.
Series 4, Episode 20
Sir David Hare – A Life in Theatre
The legendary playwright joins us to reflect on his life and career as the most prolific, influential and respected dramatist of his generation.
Series 4, Episode 19
Ginny Smith – The Neuroscience of Everyday Life
How do we learn? Why we do sleep, or fall in love? Can we trust our memories? In this week’s podcast Ginny Smith explores the latest science of the mind and brain to answer the big questions about human behaviour.
Series 4, Episode 18
Maggie O’Farrell – The Life of Hamnet Shakespeare
‘The story of Hamnet Shakespeare has been waiting in the shadows for over four hundred years. Maggie O’Farrell brings it dazzlingly, devastatingly, into the light’ – Kamila Shamsie
Series 4, Episode 17
Michio Kaku – The Quest for a Theory of Everything
Michio Kaku takes Robin Ince on the mind-bending ride through the twists and turns of an epic scientific journey: the quest to find a Theory of Everything.
Season 4, Episode 16
Anna Ploszajski – Finding Meaning Through Making
Sitting at the intersection of art, science, and history, this week’s podcast reveals fresh perspectives and fascinating insights into our material world.
Series 4, Episode 15
George Saunders – Lessons in Writing and Life
What makes great stories work? What can they tell us about our world today? How can they make us better readers and how can we write them ourselves?
Series 4, Episode 14
Matthew d’Ancona – Why the Old Politics is Useless and What to Do About It
Political journalist Matthew d’Ancona’s issues a call to arms to challenge this age of political extremism, lazy populism and democratic torpor.
Series 4, Episode 13
Isabel Allende – The Soul of a Woman
One of the most acclaimed and beloved figures in world literature, legendary novelist Isabel Allende joined us for a meditation on feminism, activism and revolution.
Series 4, Episode 12
1hr 7 mins
Ian McEwan – A Life in Literature
The country’s most prolific and celebrated novelist reflects upon a life in literature.
Series 4, Episode 11
Rowan Hooper – How to Spend a Trillion Dollars
If you had a trillion dollars and a year to spend it for the good of the world and the advancement of science, what would you do?
Series 4, Episode 10
Derren Brown – How To Be a Little Happier
Learn how to think differently and overcome anxiety in a difficult world with the legendary star of stage and screen.
Series 4, Episode 9
Tim Harford Meets Adam Grant – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know
If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom. One of the world’s most influential business professors, psychologist Adam Grant is here to teach us how to think again.
Series 4, Episode 8
Ethan Kross – How to Harness the Voice Inside Your Head
Turn your ‘inner critic’ into a supportive coach with award-winning psychologist Ethan Kross, one of the world’s leading experts on controlling the conscious mind.
Series 4, Episode 7
George the Poet Meets Mariana Mazzucato – A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
Join one of the world’s most exciting and original economists for a powerful new approach for dealing with inequality, disease and climate change.
Season 4, Episode 6
Toby Ord – Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity
We live during the most important era of human history. In the twentieth century, we developed the means to destroy ourselves – without developing the moral framework to ensure we won’t.
Season 4, Episode 5
Owen Jones Meets Claudia Rankine
The first and only poet to write a New York Times bestseller, the winner of every significant literary prize in the United States, Jamaican-born Claudia Rankine is an icon of contemporary American letters.
Series 4, Episode 4
Iain McGilchrist – The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning
A tour de force of neuroscience and philosophy, Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary speaks to everyone searching for happiness, meaning and understanding in the modern world.
Series 4, Episode 3
Malcolm Gladwell – How to Make a Good First Impression
From Blink to Outliers, Revisionist History to David and Goliath, no-one challenges our shared assumptions and invites us to rethink human nature like Malcolm Gladwell.
Series 4, Episode 2
Caitlin Moran – More Than a Woman
‘First, you have to learn how to be a woman. Then middle age arrives, and you realise you have to become … more than a woman. To those around you, you’re now the Fourth Emergency Service.” – Caitlin Moran
Series 4, Episode 1
Simon Schama – The World in 2021
What lessons does the past hold for our future? Join Britain’s pre-eminent public historian to explore his thoughts on the world to come.
Series 3, Episode 21
Richard Dawkins – The Meaning of Life
Richard Dawkins has done more than any other scientist to promote and celebrate the origins of life on Earth.
Series 3, Episode 20
Yanis Varoufakis Meets Owen Jones
The global crisis of COVID-19 presents an opportunity for a radical rethink of Britain as we know it. Join two icons of the Left as they imagine a future for progressive politics.
Series 3, Episode 19
Len Mlodinow and Robin Ince – The Life of Stephen Hawking
Not since Einstein has a scientific figure held such a place in popular consciousness. Leonard Mlodinow tells Robin Ince the story of his friend and collaborator, Stephen Hawking.
Series 3, Episode 18
Philip Lymbery – How to Live Sustainably in a Changing World
Our meat and dairy intensive diets are destroying the planet. In this podcast, animal welfare environmentalist Philip Lymbery shares the new science of living sustainably and makes a powerful case for changing how we eat.
Season 3, Episode 17
Jung Chung – Three Women at the Heart of 20th Century China
Wild Swans author Jung Chang presents a true story of love, war and betrayal: the lives of the Soong sisters, who each rose to the heights of power and left an indelible mark on modern China.
Season 3, Episode 16
Elizabeth Gilbert Meets Julia Cameron – The Path to Higher Creativity
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has inspired millions to realise their passions – including Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. Coming together for this podcast, they show us the path to a creatively-fulfilling life.
Series 3, Episode 15
Brian Cox Meets Rebecca Wragg Sykes – The Lost World of Neanderthals
In conversation with particle physicist Brian Cox, archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes reveals the Neanderthals as curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable.
Series 3, Episode 14
David Mitchell – Dishonesty is the Second Best Policy
Are smartphones more dangerous than nuclear weapons? Should we uninvent the Internet? The comedian and columnist joins us with witty reflections upon our dumbfounding post-truth age.
Series 3, Episode 13
Jess Phillips – How to Speak Truth to Power
At a time when many of us feel the world isn’t listening, Jess Phillips is here to teach us how to get organised, speak out and fight against injustice in all its forms.
Series 3, Episode 12
Thandie Newton Meets Gloria Steinem
For decades Gloria Steinem has helped women empower themselves. Now the legendary feminist meets Emmy and BAFTA winning actress and activist to share her insights. >>
Series 3, Episode 11
Sid Meier – The Rise of Civilization
As the inventor of an entirely new genre of entertainment, legendary video-game designer Sid Meier is a true creative pioneer, and godfather to a multi-billion dollar industry.
Series 3, Episode 10
Geoffrey Robertson – Who Owns History?
The question of whether Western nations must return the artefacts plundered under colonial rule is the most pressing issue in the art world today.
Series 3, Episode 9
Roman Krznaric – How to Think Long-Term in a Short-Term World
The greatest challenge facing humankind is not climate change or terrorism; it is our inability to think long term. Britain’s leading public philosopher is here to change the way we think to ensure a tomorrow.
Series 3, Episode 8
Anthony David – Mental Health After COVID
From anxiety to PTSD, the consequences of the pandemic for global mental health are profound. Neuropsychiatrist Anthony David explores what we know so far – and what we can do about it.
Season 3, Episode 7
Maria Konnikova – The Biggest Bluff
When bestselling author Maria Konnikova set out to investigate the science of decision-making, she never expected to become a world-class poker player under the wing of a legend of the game.
Season 3, Episode 6
Clive Woodward – How to Win
Sir Clive Woodward has spent a lifetime in high-performance environments, from the rugby field to the boardroom.
Series 3, Episode 4
Kiley Reid – Such a Fun Age
In this week’s podcast Hannah MacInnes meets Kiley Reid, whose Booker nominated debut SUCH A FUN AGE announces her as an extraordinarily astute new voice of a generation.
Series 3, Episode 4
1 hour 13 mins
Owen O'Kane – How To Manage Anxiety and Stress
Owen O’Kane was the NHS Clinical Lead for Mental Health. He joined Matthew Stadlen to explore evidence-based techniques for developing a healthier perspective.
Series 3, Episode 3
1 hour 6 mins
Madeleine Albright – Hell and Other Destinations
Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright may be the most widely admired diplomat of our age.
Series 3, Episode 2
Rahul Jandial – How to Rewire Your Brain
It’s time to turn the tide against mental decline. Learn how to make your mind fitter, healthier and stronger using the insights of cutting-edge neuroscience in this week’s podcast.
Season 1, Episode 1
Richard Eyre – How to Make Theatre
Join one of Britain’s most acclaimed directors of stage and screen for a masterclass in the art of making plays.
Season 2, Episode 21
Glennon Doyle – How to Find Yourself
The legendary author of Love Warrior explores the themes of her latest book, Untamed — the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet the expectations of the world, and start trusting the voice deep within us.
Season 2, Episode 20
1 hour 7 m
Martin Wolf – The World After the Pandemic
Revered by politicians and business leaders, the FT’s Martin Wolf may be the world’s most influential economic commentator.
Season 2, Episode 19
Max Brooks – How to Survive a Global Catastrophe
How can we build resilient societies? Novelist Max Brooks writes about horrifying fictional catastrophes to teach us how to survive real ones.
Series 2, Episode 18
L. David Marquet – Leadership is Language
‘David Marquet is the kind of leader who comes around only once in a generation… His ideas and lessons are invaluable’ – Simon Sinek
Series 2, Episode 17
Julia Ebner – Undercover With Extremists
Frustrated by the limits of an outsider’s perspective, counter-extremism expert Julia Ebner secretly infiltrated five fanatical groups.
Series 2, Episode 16
John Browne – How to Engineer the Future
Fans of Steven Pinker and Yuval Noah Harari ought not to miss this eloquent blueprint for building a brighter future from engineer, John Browne.
Series 2, Episode 15
Layla Saad – How to Fight White Supremacy
How can white people challenge racism — whether in the form of their own unconscious biases or the wider systems of white supremacy?
Series 2, Episode 14
Brian Greene – How to Find Meaning in an Evolving Universe
The bestselling author of The Elegant Universe joins the How To Academy Podcast to explore humankind’s search for purpose in the vastness of the cosmos.
Series 2, Episode 13
Julia Samuel – How to Adapt and Survive in a Time of Crisis
Psychotherapist Julia Samuel joined Hannah MacInnes on the How To Academy Podcast to tell us how to find unknown strengths in times of difficulty and change.
Series 2, Episode 12
Anil Seth – How to Make Sense of Consciousness
How do our brains produce the magic show of conscious experience?
Series 2, Episode 11
Mervyn King – How to Make Decisions for an Unknowable Future
Can we make better decisions by acknowledging radical uncertainty? Mervyn King and John Kay build a powerful case.
BONUS EPISODE – Global GoalsCast
The How To Academy Podcast presents an episode of one of our favourite shows: the Global GoalsCast.
Series 2, Episode 10
William Gibson – How to Create the Future
He coined the word ‘Cyberspace’ and envisioned the Internet and Virtual Reality before they ever existed. Now William Gibson turns his prophetic eye to the 21st century.
Series 2, Episode 9
Elif Shafak – How to Build Bridges in an Age of Division
Author and activist Elif Shafak is the most widely read female writer in her home nation of Turkey — but her fight to preserve and extend human rights is urgent no matter where you live.
Series 2, Episode 8
Ai Weiwei – Human Rights in the 21st Century
Ai Weiwei is living proof that creativity can change our world for the better.
Series 2, Episode 7
Paul Krugman – Politics, Economics, and the Fight for a Fairer Future
Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman shares his insights into the Trump administration and beyond.
Series 2, Episode 6
How to Be a Polar Explorer
Two of the greatest living adventurers meet Hannah MacInnes to reflect on what motivates their journeys across the polar ice.
Series 2, Episode 5
Joseph Stiglitz – How to Save American Capitalism
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz challenges us to throw off the free market fundamentalists and reclaim our democratic power.
Series 2, Episode 5
Lisa Taddeo and Hadley Freeman On Sex and Desire
Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women is a world-wide sensation – forever changing how we think about women and desire.
Series 2, Episode 4
BJ Fogg – How to Hack Your Habits
Never make a New Year’s Resolution again after hearing this podcast from the world’s most renowned expert in forming new habits –Stanford behavioural scientist, BJ Fogg.
Series 2, Episode 3
Eric Schmidt – How to Make a Trillion Dollars
In this week’s episode, Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt, VP Jonathan Rosenberg and Director of Executive Communications Alan Eagle present a blueprint for farsighted leadership.
Series 2, Episode 3
Life Lessons from Gina Miller
After her first Supreme Court victory, Gina Miller was asked how she could keep going at the cost of so much pain and aggravation. To her the answer was obvious: she’d been doing it all her life.
Series 2, Episode 2
Hilary Cottam – How To Revolutionise the Welfare State
Dr. Hilary Cottam meets Matthew Stadlen to reveal her vision of a system that puts human connection first.
Season 2, Episode 1
Reflections From an Astrophysicist
Neil deGrasse Tyson joins the How To Academy Podcast to ask: what is our place in the universe?
Series 1, Episode 21
Chetna Gala Sinha – How to Fight Global Poverty
Matthew Stadlen meets activist and microfinance pioneer Chetna Gala Sinha, whose work in rural India empowers some of the world’s poorest women.
Series 1, Episode 20
Rory Stewart – The Truth About Politics
Rory Stewart tells Hannah MacInnes what he’s discovered about British democracy in his time an MP and minister.
Series 1, Episode 19
Matthew Syed – a Radical Blueprint for Creative Problem-solving
Where do the best ideas come from? Matthew Syed takes Matthew Stadlen on a fascinating journey through the new science of creative problem-solving.
Series 1, Episode 18
Speeches That Changed the World
Simon Sebag Montefiore and an all-star cast of actors take you on a journey from ancient times to the present day with the greatest speeches in history.
Series 1, Episode 17
Roger McNamee – How to Stop Facebook From Destroying Democracy
Roger NcNamee was Mark Zuckerberg’s mentor in the first days of Facebook. He explains why he’s now devoted to stopping the behemoth he helped to create.
Series 1, Episode 16
Marie Forleo – How to Create Unstoppable Success
The athlete and entrepreneur Marie Forleo joined the How To Academy Podcast to teach us what she’s learned on her path to success.
Series 1, Episode 15
Jonathan Safran Foer – How to Save the Planet
Feeling impotent in the face of the climate crisis? The bestselling author of EATING ANIMALS joined us to how how we really can make a difference.
Series 1, Episode 14
When the Body Says No: The Costs of Hidden Stress
Learn how to prevent and heal illnesses related to hidden stress with the help of acclaimed physician Dr. Gabor Maté.
Series 1, Episode 13
Juliet Stevenson – How to Be an Actor
This week’s How To Academy Podcast is a masterclass with one of the greatest British actors of her generation.
Series 1, Episode 12
Rory Sutherland – How to Be Less Rational (and More Brilliant)
The advertising legend Rory Sutherland joins us for a masterclass in improving business with the insights of psychological science.
Series 1, Episode 11
Melinda Gates – How To Empower Women
In this week’s podcast, Melinda Gates makes a timely and necessary call to action for women’s empowerment.
Series 1, Episode 10
John Humphrys – How to Make the News
Our greatest living current affairs journalist sits down with Matthew Stadlen to look back on a lifetime of holding our leaders to account.
Series 1, Episode 9
Marcus du Sautoy – A.I. and the Secret of Creativity
The nation’s most loved science communicator, Oxford mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy, explores the potential of artificial intelligence to think creatively.
Series 1, Episode 8
Giles Coren – A Man For All Seasons
In Episode 8 of the How To Academy Podcast, Matthew Stadlen meets restaurant critic and raconteur Giles Coren, for a freewheeling and hilarious conversation about truth, love and clean cutlery.
Series 1, Episode 7
Michael Pollan – How to Change Your Mind
Could psychedelic drugs change our worldview? In Episode 7 of the How To Academy Podcast, Michael Pollan tells Matthew Stadlen about his journey to the frontiers of the human mind.
Series 1, Episode 6
Elizabeth Gilbert – On Life and Love
The author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE and BIG MAGIC joins the How To Academy podcast for an open-hearted conversation exploring all she has learned in her journey through life.
Series 1, Episode 5
An Insider’s Guide to Crime in America
Matthew Stadlen meets the former US district attorney who successfully prosecuted some of the most high-profile crimes in America.
Series 1, Episode 5
An Insider's Guide to Crime in America
Matthew Stadlen meets the former US district attorney who successfully prosecuted some of the most high-profile crimes in America.
Series 1, Episode 4
How to Survive Climate Change
A terrifying vision of unfolding climate catastrophe may just be the wake-up call we need to save the future.
Series 1, Episode 3
The Gendered Brain Debate
Two giants of cognitive science – Gina Rippon and Simon Baron-Cohen – debate one of the most contested ideas in the history of science: do men and women have essentially different brains?
Series 1, Episode 2
How to Make Change Happen
In this podcast, the author of Nudge, Professor Cass Sunstein, presents a guide for anyone who wishes to fuel – or block – transformative social change.
Series 1, Episode 1
How to Lead in the 21st Century
Matthew Stadlen meets Simon Sinek – perhaps the 21st century’s most acclaimed thinker in the field of business leadership.