How To Academy Podcast

How To Academy Podcast

By How To Academy

How To Academy is London's home of big thinking. From Nobel laureates to Pulitzer Prize winners, we invite the world’s most influential voices to share new ideas for changing ourselves, our communities, and the world. Our biweekly podcast is your chance to hear in-depth from the most exciting thinkers in global culture.


Vex King and Kaushal - Get Closer to Love

Do you love your partner but want to rekindle that ‘in love’ feeling? Do you go on plenty of dates but can’t seem to click with the right person? Do you keep having the same conflicts with your partner? The bestselling author of Healing is the New High Vex King and his wife Kaushal have the answers. Drawing on their own relationship, they joined us in London to share practical guidance for learning to love authentically and unconditionally. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/03/23·1h 20m

Amantha Imber - How to Use Time Wisely

As one of Australia's most influential behavioural scientists, Amantha Imber's advice is in-demand everywhere from Disney to Google. She's an expert in helping people do their best work without burning out, ensuring that the third of our waking lives we spend in the office is both impactful and meaningful. She joins the podcast to share her insights into the way you think about and use your time: the subject of her new bestselling book, Time Wise. From dealing with imposter syndrome to knowing when and how to say 'no', her hacks and tricks are unmissable for anyone who wrestles with the challenges of a modern working life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/03/23·42m 42s

Sir Tony Robinson Meets Peter Frankopan - How a Changing Climate Shaped Civilisation

Peter Frankopan’s ground-breaking history, The Silk Roads, brought a dazzling new perspective to the story of humankind; its sequel, The New Silk Roads, mapped China’s emerging global empire. He joined us to share the story of how the climate has shaped the rise and fall of civilisations across time with actor and presenter Sir Tony Robinson. Discover how harvests built empires, drought fanned the flames of war and storms and floods buried civilisations...   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/03/23·1h 22m

Mariana Mazzucato and Rosie Collington - How the Consulting Industry Weakens Our Democracy

In conversation with former Editorial Director of BBC News, Kamal Ahmed, world-renowned economist Mariana Mazzucato and her collaborator Rosie Collington expertly debunk the myth that consultancies always add value to the economy. Presenting a wealth of original research, they argue for investment and collective intelligence within all organizations and communities, and for a new system in which public and private sectors work innovatively for the common good. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/03/23·1h 24m

Nicholas Humphrey - The Invention of Consciousness

We feel, therefore we are. Conscious sensations ground our sense of self. They are crucial to our idea of ourselves as psychic beings: present, existent, and mattering. But what does this magical dimension of experience amount to? What’s it for, and why has it evolved? Humphrey's solution implies that phenomenal consciousness, far from being primitive, is a relatively late and sophisticated evolutionary development. The implications, for the existence of sentience in nonhuman animals, are startling and provocative. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/03/23·1h 3m

Bernie Sanders Meets Frankie Boyle - It's Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism

An underdog who became an international icon, unafraid to speak truth to power and defend ordinary people against vested interests and the billionaire class, Bernie Sanders is more than a politician: he is an inspiration to anyone unwilling to accept a system fuelled by uncontrolled greed. Senator Sanders joins comedian and bestselling author Frankie Boyle live on stage at How To Academy to demand fundamental economic and political change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/03/23·1h 28m

Blake Morrison - The Power of Art in Grief

Thirty years ago the poet and critic Blake Morrison forged the way for a new genre of confessional memoir with his groundbreaking book And When Did You Last See Your Father?. His new memoir Two Sisters is an even more poignant and profound exploration of family and human frailty, fusing personal storytelling with an examination of sibling relationships in history and literature. Esme Bright sat down with Blake to find out more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/02/23·53m 12s

Caroline Dodds Pennock - How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe

Our guest on this episode, Caroline Dodds Pennock, is the UK's only Aztec historian. Countless books have been written about Europeans in the Americas in the age of Discovery but Caroline's new book On Savage Shores is the first to tell the story of the tens of thousands of indigenous Americans who came to Europe: as enslaved people, diplomats, explorers, servants and traders. She sat down with Luke Naylor Perrott to tell us more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/02/23·1h 0m

Ray Nayler - What Octopuses and AI Teach Us About Consciousness

Ray Nayler's The Mountain in the Sea is a speculative novel about the possibilities of interspecies communication that draws deeply upon contemporary philosophy and neuroscience, as well as his extensive experience working in central and south east Asia. Mountain tells the story of Dr Ha Nguyen, a marine biologist invited by a shadowy tech company to the Con Dao archipelago in Vietnam to investigate whether a colony of octopuses have developed language and culture. It's a novel blending high adventure and big ideas and will thrill anyone with an interest in discovering modern answers to that most ancient of questions: what makes us human? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/02/23·1h 0m

Tracey Shors - A Neuroscientist's Guide to Trauma

Distinguished neuroscientist Tracey Shors has dedicated her life to explaining how the mind and body respond to stressful events we can’t control – from difficult childhoods to bereavements, stressful jobs to pregnancy. Some dissipate with time; while other, long-term stresses – like the experience of the pandemic - can change the structure of our brains. Now, drawing on years of research into the long and short-term effects of stress and trauma, she joins the podcast to share her insights into strengthening our resilience and improving difficult symptoms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/02/23·1h 5m

Mervyn King Meets Martin Wolf - The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism

We are living in an age when economic failings have shaken faith in global capitalism. Political failings have undermined trust in liberal democracy and in the very notion of truth. The ties that ought to bind open markets to free and fair elections are being strained and rejected, even in democracy's notional heartlands. Some now argue that capitalism is better without democracy; others that democracy is better without capitalism. What can be done? In this episode of the podcast, Martin Wolf and Mervyn King consider the present and future of our political and economic framework. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/02/23·1h 19m

Julia Samuel Meets John and Julie Gottman - How to Make Love Last

What can science tell us about why love lasts? Why do some couples stay together forever, while others fall apart? Is there a formula for building a relationship that endures the test of time? Widely regarded as America’s leading relationship experts, Drs John and Julie Gottman have studied love for more than fifty years. In conversation with eminent psychotherapist and author Julia Samuel, they share ideas for realising deeper intimacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/02/23·1h 4m

Daniel Finkelstein Meets Adam Wagner - The Freedoms We Lost in the Pandemic

On 26 March 2020, a new law appeared. In 11 pages, it locked down tens of millions of people, confined us to our homes, banned socialising, closed shops, gyms, pubs, places of worship. It restricted our freedoms more than any other law in history, justified by the rapid spread of a deadly new virus. A state of emergency was declared, lasting for 764 days, during which time ministers brought in over 100 new restrictions, almost never debated, increasingly confusing the public, and some - we would find out - stained with corruption. Adam Wagner was described in the House of Lords as ‘the only person in the country who can make sense of [the COVID-19] regulations’. In conversation with peer and Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein, he tells the startling story of the state of emergency which became an emergency state and how extreme measures caused constitutional chaos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/02/23·1h 6m

Tom Rob Smith - Antarctica and Apocalypse

One of the outstanding storytellers of his generation, Tom Rob Smith is best-known for his historical thrillers and acclaimed work as a screenwriter. His new novel Cold People exploring the history of colonialisation and the future of genetic engineering through the lens of speculative fiction. Alien occupiers force the last remanants of humanity to begin a new civilisation in the one place on Earth they cannot survive: Antartica. What will remain of human nature and morality when threatened with the prospect of extinction? Do scientists still need ethics, and who should decide? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/02/23·28m 53s

Morgan Levine - How to Reverse the Ageing Process

Research suggests that only 10-30% of our lifespan is determined by our genetics. This means that the vast majority of how we age is directly related to choices we make everyday - how and what we eat, exercise and sleep quality, to name a few. Dr Morgan Levine, Head of the Ageing in Living Systems Lab at Yale University, joins the podcast to share her insights into the cutting-edge developments in the science of aging and longevity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
31/01/23·1h 6m

Nouriel Roubini - Megathreats That Imperil the World's Future

Former White House economic advisor Nouriel Roubini joins the podcast for a frightening glimpse into the world’s future. From the worst debt crisis the world has ever seen, to governments pumping out too much money and causing inflation, to borders that are blocked to workers and many shipments of goods, to the rise of a new superpower competition between China and the US, to pandemics and climate change that strike directly at our most populated cities, to the threat to jobs coming from AI, we are facing ten causes of disaster. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/01/23·1h 24m

Dr Gabor Maté - Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture

Illness and trauma are defining how we live. 45% of Europeans suffer high blood pressure, and nearly 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug. The renowned physician, addiction expert and author Gabor Maté joined us live on stage in London to dissect the underlying causes of this malaise - physical and emotional, and connect the dots between our personal suffering and the pressures of modern-day living. Over four decades of clinical experience, Dr Gabor Maté has found that the common definition of 'normal' is false: virtually all disease is actually a natural reflection of life in an abnormal culture, as we grow further and further apart from our true selves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/01/23·1h 16m

Maria Ressa - How to Stand Up to a Dictator

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize, TIME Person of the Year, and countless further accolades, her work tracking disinformation networks seeded by her own government, spreading lies to its own citizens laced with anger and hate, has landed her in trouble with the most powerful man in the country: President Duterte. Now, hounded by the state, she has multiple arrest warrants against her name. In this episode of the podcast, Maria joins us to tell the story of how democracy dies by a thousand cuts, and how an invisible atom bomb has exploded online that is killing our freedoms.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/01/23·1h 19m

Alan Moore - The Magic of Storytelling

Few figures make such a seismic impact on their artistic medium that they transform its reputation from childish pulp entertainment to a vital and exhilarating creative form, capable of exploring the great mysteries of metaphysics, science, and the human spirit – but Alan Moore is one. A modern-day alchemist who transmuted comic books into literary gold, his works not only inspired a later generation of authors who are now household names, from Neil Gaiman to Susanna Clarke, but filmmakers, artists, and storytellers in every medium. He joined us to celebrate Illuminations, his first ever collection of short stories. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/01/23·1h 4m

Katy Milkman Meets Annie Duke - How To Quit

We are often told that the secret to success is hard work, determination, and hours of practice. But in a fast-changing world, what if the really crucial skill is knowing when to stick at something and when to change track and walk away? Former pro poker player turned decision making expert Annie Duke joins Wharton School economist Katy Milkman to make the under-appreciated case for quitting and also shows you how to get really good at it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/01/23·1h 3m

Felix Flicker - The Magic of Matter

Arthur C Clarke famously declared that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Felix Flicker joins the podcast to make that case, sharing some of the wonders that his own field of condensed matter physics has revealed and offering a glimpse of breathtaking new technologies to come. If you've ever wanted to know about the *real* magical properties of crystals, how to make sense of the quantum realm, or why mirrors reverse you from left to right but not top to bottom, this episode has the answers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/01/23·40m 18s

Jools Holland and Mark Cooper – Celebrating Thirty Years of Music and Mayhem

Join Jools Holland and Mark Cooper as they recount their journey hosting and producing the incredible show, Later... with Jools Holland. Passion for music has never shone brighter: listen to Jools and Mark as they pull back the curtain on classic performances to reveal that the show is just as magical, if even more chaotic, than you imagined. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/12/22·1h 15m

Sathnam Sanghera – Marriage Material

Acclaimed author of Empireland and The Boy with the Topknot Sathnam Sanghera takes us on a journey to a fictional cornershop where a story of three generations unfolds. Love, loyalty and betrayal merge within immigrant histories; from breaking Asian stereotypes to discussing the amazing women who inspired his new novel, Sathnam Sanghera tells all in this moving conversation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/12/22·56m 28s

Chelsea Manning – Information is Power

In 2010, Chelsea Manning, working as an intelligence analyst in the United States Army in Iraq, disclosed classified military documents that she had smuggled out via the memory card of her digital camera. The army sentenced her to thirty-five years in prison. The day after her conviction, Manning declared her gender identity as a woman and began to transition. In 2017, President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released. From her struggles as an adolescent, to her decision to send classified documents to WikiLeaks, to her journey ever since, join Manning as she shares her life story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/12/22·1h 21m

Meik Wiking – Hygge, Home, and Happiness

When Meik Wiking introduced the world to the Danish art of Hygge in 2016 he gave us a revolutionary new way of nurturing happiness at home. Now the internationally bestselling author of The Little Book of Hygge and The Art of Making Memories joins us to share fresh insights into making our homes into a sanctuary – somewhere to be ourselves, to unwind and create special memories. No matter how much space you have or what your budget is, Meik shows how you can use colour, light and space to create your happy place and celebrate cosiness the Danish way.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/12/22·1h 10m

Marie Kondo – Kurashi At Home

Marie Kondo became a global superstar when she introduced the world to the life-changing magic of tidying up. Now Marie joins us to share the art of kurashi – or “way of life.” She elevates her focus from the physical act of tidying to include a more holistic and personal approach to transforming our homes into spaces of calm. As a mother of three young children, Marie not only reveals a personal glimpse of her own way of living and an enhanced approach to the pursuit of joy, but also how we can find that joy for ourselves too. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/12/22·36m 2s

Lost Realms – An Epic New History of Britain from the Romans to the Vikings

As Tolkien knew, Britain in the ‘Dark Ages’ was an untidy mosaic of kingdoms – an age of saints and gods and miracles, of giants and battles and the ruin of cities. Leading historian Thomas Williams explores those lands and peoples who fell by the wayside: the lost realms of early medieval Britain. From the Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coastline, from the Welsh borders to the Thames Estuary, he will uncover the forgotten life and untimely demise of realms that hover in the twilight between history and fable. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/12/22·1h 2m

The Pursuit of Growth is a Disaster for Our Country and Our Planet

From Westminster to Beijing, politicians and economists believe growth is the path to progress and prosperity. But are they blindly leading us towards catastrophe? Join us as we debate one of the most important ideas in the history of the modern world – one that a growing number of advocates believe is no longer fit for purpose. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/11/22·1h 17m

Harry Sidebottom - The Mad Emperor Heliogabalus

The teenage emperor Heliogabalus was a polyamorous, sex positive, trans person who began life as a refugee; he was also a profiligate, irresponsible, bloodthirsty, fundementalist tyrant who built a gold statue of himself and murdered his own tutor. In this episode of the podcast we explore the decadence of the Roman empire through the lens of the life of an almost forgotten, remarkable young man and ask whether it is ever right to make heroes or villains from historical actors. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/11/22·40m 14s

Siddhartha Mukherjee - The Song of the Cell

The literary heir to Oliver Sacks and Paul Kalanithi, a scientist and doctor with the eloquence and humanitarian sensibility of a philosopher-poet, Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee’s work answers the question of what it means to be alive. He joined Adam Rutherford live on stage in London to tell a story that is both panoramic and intimate, taking us on a journey from the first days of the Scientific Revolution into the present day and beyond: the story of cells. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/11/22·1h 11m

Danielle Keats Citron - How to Protect Dignity and Identity in the Digital Age

Law Professor and MacArthur fellow Danielle Citron takes the conversation about technology and privacy out of the boardrooms and op-eds to reach readers where we are - in our bathrooms and bedrooms; with our families and our lovers; in all the parts of our lives we assume are untouchable - and shows us that privacy, as we think we know it, is largely already gone. In this episode of the podcast, she shows us the way to fight back and build a better protected future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/11/22·39m 39s

Live Debate: "Now is the Time to Make Peace in Ukraine"

Support for the policy of arming Ukraine remains hugely popular. Zelensky is a hero to millions and has become an icon, while many of us in the UK wear the Ukrainian flag with pride. But dissenting voices from across the political spectrum question whether a Ukrainian victory is truly possible, or whether a compromise with Putin is the only way to end the multiple global crises, from surging inflation to the energy emergency, and to bring back the world from the brink of nuclear war. Are they right to seek an end to the conflict? Or is the very idea a betrayal of the ideals of liberal democracy – a weakening of resolve that will serve the interests of dictators and tyrants, signalling a retreat of Western power with serious consequences from the Baltics to Taiwan? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/11/22·1h 29m

Joyce Tyldesley - The Life, Death, and Afterlife of Tutankhamun

The pharaohs ruled Egypt for two and a half thousand years but none continue to excite the world's imagination like Tutankhamun. Joyce Tyldesley is a leading Egyptologist whose career was directly inspired by an early encounter with the legacy of that famous teenager. Now she joins the podcast to share his story and explore his enduring legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/11/22·38m 57s

Yuval Noah Harari Meets Katherine Rundell - Unstoppable Us

Have you ever wondered how we got here? From hunting mammoths, to flying to the moon? Historian Yuval Noah Harari introduced millions of readers to the story of the human species with his global bestseller Sapiens. His new book Unstoppable Us is the first in a new four-book series telling that story to younger readers. Over the summer he joined children's author and essayist Katherine Rundell on stage to tell us more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/11/22·1h 12m

George Saunders - Liberation Day

George Saunders' first new collection of stories in ten years is a powerful reminder of why he is widely considered to be the greatest short story writer in the English language. In Liberation Day, we meet the disillusioned employees of a Hell themed underground theme park, the philanthropists of a dystopian near-future America, and brainwashed political protesters for hire. Mixing satirical fantasies with razor-sharp observations of human nature, Saunders' new stories walk a fine line between comedy and pathos, realism and playfulness. He joins us on the podcast for a journey inside his creative process and dazzling imagination. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/10/22·37m 36s

Geena Davis - Dying of Politeness

At the age of three Geena Davis announced to her parents she was going to be an actor. With a slew of iconic film and television roles now under her belt, as well as numerous awards including two Oscars, she has surpassed her childhood dreams in ways she never could have imagined. In this episode of the podcast, the actor and advocate offers a surprising and touching account of her journey to fight for herself and ultimately live a bolder, freer, more authentic life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/10/22·1h 1m

Kate Summerscale - The History of Phobias and Manias

'Fascinating ... Phobias and manias create a magical space between us and the world' Malcolm Gaskill, author of the No 1 bestseller, The Ruin of All Witches 'A new book from Summerscale is always a treat ... Her sub-title might echo Neil MacGregor, but this reads more like a book by Oliver Sacks, with dashes of Roald Dahl' Spectator Our phobias and manias are contradictory and multiple: deeply intimate, yet forged by the times we live in. Discover how our fixations have taken shape, from the Middle Ages to the present day, as bestselling author Kate Summerscale deftly traces the threads between the past and present, the psychological and social, the personal and the political. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/10/22·31m 2s

Kate Mosse - Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries

Kate Mosse has dedicated her life to promoting women’s stories – through her award-winning fiction, plays and essays, the creation and leadership of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and most recently, her phenomenally successful social media campaign, #WomanInHistory. In conversation with the writer Erica Wagner, she joins the podcast to share the stories of women whose incredible achievements helped build the world, and yet have been routinely omitted from the history books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/10/22·1h 4m

Amy Jeffs - Tales of the Medieval Wilderness

Amy Jeffs brings legends of the medieval world to life through art, music, and the written word. Her debut book Storyland retold Britain's myths of origin for modern audiences, captivating us with stories of heroes and adventure from the Middle Ages. The sequel, Wild, transports us into the wilderness, giving voice to marginalised and forgotten figures - women, outcasts, monsters - and reveals Amy's own journeys across the rugged landscapes of the British isles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/10/22·29m 26s

Irvine Welsh - Confessions of a Novelist

Junkie, DJ, punk, pill popper, petty criminal, binge drinker, screenwriter, TV repairman: Irvine Welsh has lived more lives than the average man of letters and survived to tell the tale. In his hallucinogenic fiction, God turns men into flies as punishment for wasting their lives, babies and ravers swap bodies, and tapeworms tell stories about the humans in whose guts they reside. The most important Scottish novelist of his generation joins How To Academy to take us inside his life and world, and offer a preview of The Long Knives, the second in his hugely acclaimed CRIME trilogy. This episode contains lots of swearing. If you would prefer a beeped version please visit our website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/10/22·1h 1m

Stephen Fry Meets Steven Pinker - Enlightenment Now

In anticipation of our next in-person live event with Steven Pinker in conversation with Richard Dawkins, we wanted to share a previous appearance from 2019, in conversation with actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/10/22·1h 21m

Clover Stroud - The Red of My Blood

A few weeks before Christmas, Clover Stroud’s sister Nell Gifford, founder of Gifford’s Circus, died of breast cancer, aged forty-six. Just days before, she had been given years to live. Nell’s sudden death split Clover's life apart. Clover charts her fearless passage through the first year after her sister's death. This is the story of what life feels like when death interrupts it, and about bearing the unbearable and describing an experience that seems beyond words.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/09/22·1h 0m

Dr Gabor Maté - Why We Get Sick

Dr Gabor Maté will return in-person to How To Academy next month. In anticipation, we're sharing our podcast interview recorded on his last visit in 2019. Find out how you can join us at Gabor's next talk at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/09/22·28m 58s

John Higgs - Bond, the Beatles, and the British Psyche

60s Britain produced not only the most biggest band in the history of music, but the most successful movie character of all time. In this episode of the podcast, cultural historian and novelist John Higgs investigates how and why the Beatles and James Bond defined our aspirations and fantasies, and the role they continue to play in shaping British identity. Why did the Beatles really split up? Is Daniel Craig's James Bond "superwoke"? And how did these twin icons of British culture change the way we think about ourselves? John answers all these questions and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/09/22·42m 55s

Dr Ellen Vora - The Anatomy of Anxiety

Backed by the latest scientific research and her own clinical work, Dr Ellen Vora offers a fresh, much needed look at mental health, offering actionable strategies for managing our moods. Dr Vora challenges the conventional view of anxiety as a mental disorder, suggesting instead that much of what we call anxiety begins in the body. Rather than our troubled thoughts creating physical symptoms, she argues that many types of anxiety are the result of states of imbalance in our bodies, whether blood sugar crashes, caffeine highs or sleep deprivation. Her clinical observation shows this type of anxiety is far more preventable than we may realise, responding almost immediately to straightforward adjustments to diet and lifestyle. And other forms of anxiety, when listened to and honoured instead of suppressed, can be seen as a course correction to help nudge us back to a more balanced life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/09/22·1h 4m

Adrian Hon - How Corporations and Governments Use Videogames to Control Us

The creator of the wildly successful running app Zombies, Run! and a columnist for the prestigious videogame industry magazine EDGE, Adrian Hon makes games that make real world activities more rewarding and fun. He joins the podcast not to celebrate the gamification of real world activities, but warn us against the abuse of these techniques -- from corporations using games to exploit and control their workers to governments gamifying the rights of and privileges of their citizens. And not all gamification is imposed upon us by authorities. From terror attacks to far right conspiracy theories, elements of gamification have spread into political extremism with horrifying and tragic consequences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/09/22·45m 22s

Cornelia Parker Meets Carlo Rovelli - The Hidden Nature of Things

One of Britain's most acclaimed visual artists, Cornelia Parker's sculptures challenge our sense of what an artwork can be. Both an eminent theoretical physicist and a bestselling author, Carlo Rovelli has not only advanced humanity's understanding of its place in the cosmos but made the revelations of physics intelligible to the rest of us, in books such as The Fabric of Reality, The Order of Time, and his latest, Helgoland, This episode of the podcast brings the two together with science filmmaker David Malone for a journey into the hidden depths of reality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/09/22·1h 11m

Mark Bergen - Inside YouTube's Chaotic Rise to Global Domination

In conversations about the role of Big Tech in the spread of misinformation and propaganda, YouTube rarely receives the same attention as Facebook, Twitter, and its parent company Google. But alongside the cat videos and video game streamers, counteless extremists have found a found on the platform - and their actions sometimes have real-world, life-and-death consequences. In this episode of the podcast, Bloomberg News journalist Mark Bergen tells the story of YouTube: how it upended traditional media, created stars of everyday people, and grew into a ruthless advertising conglomerate with little regard for its impact beyond the bottom line. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/09/22·1h 2m

Charlotte Fox Weber - A Journey Into Human Desire

The lives and problems of psychotherapist Charlotte Fox Weber's clients vary, but all are united by a common question: what do I really want? In this episode of the podcast Charlottes brings us behind the closed doors of her practice. She reveals how she gently guides her clients towards a deeper understanding of themselves, she invites them - and us - to find a fuller way of living. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/09/22·56m 43s

Melanie Joy - How to Get Relationships Right

Relationships are complicated. Yet it's an unfortunate reality that while most of us have to learn complex geometry that we'll probably never use, we don't get a single formal lesson in how to relate to others. In conversation with David Malone, Melanie Joy reveals the common psychological dynamics that underlie all kinds of relationships. Understanding these dynamics can enable you to make all your relationships healthier and more resilient, and help you contribute to creating a better world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/09/22·1h 5m

David Mitchell - Dishonesty is the Second Best Policy (Summer Repeat)

Lying is probably as old as human language itself – an inevitable consequence of humanity’s greatest superpower. And comedian, Observer columnist and Peep Show star David Mitchell lies quite often (mostly about whether he is free to come to social events). But even he never expected to live in the post-truth age. In conversation with broadcaster and journalist Hannah MacInnes, he joins us to rail against the times with the characteristic wit, warmth, originality and insight we’ve come to expect. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/08/22·1h 3m

Glennon Doyle - How to Find Yourself (Summer Repeat)

There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, and overwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? Glennon Doyle joined the How To Academy to show us that another way is possible. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/08/22·1h 4m

Richard Dawkins - The Meaning of Life (Summer Repeat)

The creator of the word ‘meme’ and of the hugely influential ‘selfish gene’ model of evolution, he is the epitome of the truly public intellectual – a scientist whose ideas have proven extraordinarily influential both within his own discipline and far, far beyond. In this week’s episode of the How To Academy Podcast, Richard shares his reflections on perhaps the most important and puzzling topic in all of human existence: the meaning of life. Credit for Richard Dawkins’ Portrait to Frederic Aranda @fredericaranda Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/08/22·1h 11m

Layla Saad - How to Fight White Supremacy (Summer Repeat)

Hannah MacInnes meets author, influencer and activist Layla Saad, whose Instagram challenge #MeAndWhiteSupremacy encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviours. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/08/22·31m 30s

Derren Brown - How To Be a Little Happier (Summer Repeat)

Since he introduced us to his singular and inimitable brand of psychology, stagecraft and magic in 2000, Derren Brown has played Russian Roulette on live television, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery in the street, led the nation in a séance and exposed psychic and faith-healing charlatans. He joined How To Academy to teach a lesson none of us can afford to miss: what we can do to be a little happier and less anxious in a difficult world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/08/22·1h 8m

Patrick Radden Keefe - True Stories of Killers, Grifters, and Crooks

The New Yorker’s Patrick Radden Keefe is America’s most celebrated living reporter. He documented the hunt for the drug lord Chapo Guzman and the tragic personal history of the Harvard educated neurobiologist turned mass shooter Amy Bishop. He wrote a definitive, revelatory account of the Troubles in Say Nothing; investigated the strange convergence of espionage and hair metal in his blockbuster podcast Winds of Change; and most famously – exposed the role of the Sackler family in the US opioid crisis. He joined the podcast with more stories of secrets and lies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/08/22·1h 0m

Philip Ball - How to Make Sense of Inhuman Minds

Acclaimed science writer Philip Ball joins us to explore the rich diversity of thinking minds – from human to other mammals, insects, computers and plants. In conversation with filmmaker David Malone, he illuminates how many different ways there are to think and engage with the world. Science has begun to have something to say about the properties of mind. And the more we learn about the minds of other creatures, from octopuses to chimpanzees, to imagine the potential minds of computers and alien intelligences, the more we can begin to see our own.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/08/22·1h 3m

Alice Sherwood - How to Fight Back Against Counterfeit Culture

We live in an age when the pursuit of authenticity – from living our 'best life' to eating artisan food – matters more and more to us, but where the forces of inauthenticity seem to be taking over. Policy expert and author Alice Sherwood joins us to argue that, although our counterfeit culture is shaped by the most powerful forces of evolution, economics, and technology, we can still come together to reclaim reality. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/08/22·59m 46s

Daniel Pink - The Power of Regret

Daniel Pink, the New York Times bestselling author of When and Drive and one of the world’s leading thinkers on business, creativity and human behaviour, says it’s time to forget everything we think we know about regrets. He believes that regret is our most misunderstood emotion – and can in fact be the pathway to our best life. It’s a subject he investigates in-depth in his new book The Power of Regret: and he joined Hubertus Kuelps, Pictet’s Head of Communications and Branding, to share his ideas. This episode of the How To Academy Podcast is part of the Found in Conversation series we co-produce each month with the team at Pictet. Find Found in Conversation on Apple or Spotify. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/07/22·37m 14s

Daniel Pick - a New History of Thought Control

In 1953, a group of prisoners of war who had fought against the communist invasion of South Korea were released. They chose - apparently freely - to move to Mao's China. Among those refusing repatriation were twenty-one American GIs. Their decision sparked alarm in the West: why didn't they want to come home? What was going on? Soon, people were saying that the POWs' had been 'brainwashed'. Was this something new or a phenomenon that has been around for centuries? Today, brainwashing is almost taken for granted - built into our psychological and political language, rooted in the way we think about minds and societies. Historian of science Daniel Pick joins the podcast to reveal how we got to this point, and why. Find out more about the Hidden Persuaders research group at Birkbeck here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/07/22·39m 55s

Tara Porter - A Psychologist's Guide to Life for Girls and Young Women

For girls and young women these are shifting times: never before have they had so much freedom and choice; but never before have they had so many demands placed upon them - by themselves as well as others. Dr Tara Porter pulls together everything she has learnt to provide accessible explanations and suggestions for teenagers, young women, and their parents on topics including exams, friendship, families and love. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/07/22·59m 26s

Chris Patten - The Future of Hong Kong

In June 1992 Chris Patten went to Hong Kong as the last British governor, to try to prepare it not for independence, but for handing back in 1997 to the Chinese, from whom most of its territory had been leased 99 years previously. He joined Channel 4 Europe Editor Matt Frei live on stage in London to tell the story of what happened as the handover approached, and share his assessment of recent events in the city. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/07/22·1h 12m

Jeremy Hunt - The Future of the NHS

Every week there are 150 avoidable deaths in England; tragedies that could have been prevented if we were better at learning from mistakes. As the former Secretary of State for Health and current Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, Jeremy Hunt believes it is possible to reduce the number of preventable deaths in the NHS to zero – in the process saving money, reducing backlogs and improving working conditions. In this episode of the podcast, he shares insights from his new manifesto for the future of the health service, thinking through everything from technology to culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/07/22·1h 15m

Bonnie Wright - How to Nurture Yourself and the Planet

Bonnie Wright and Evanna Lynch rose to fame as Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter series, and now use their public platforms to help change the world for the better. As an ambassador for Greenpeace, Bonnie Wright has dedicated her life to advocating for climate justice – using her influence to draw attention to the most serious environmental issues of our time, from plastic pollution to fossil fuels. In conversation with Evanna, she joined us live on stage in London tell us about Go Gently, her new book of practical advice for reducing your environmental impact and helping to ensure a sustainable future for planet Earth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/07/22·1h 16m

Francesco Dimitri - The Search for Wonder

Born in Puglia, Italy and now resident in London, Francesco Dimitri is a member of an extremely exclusive club -- authors who write and publish in a language that is not their mother tongue. His latest novel Never the Wind is a magical realist fable about family, belonging and coming of age set his native Puglia and will appeal hugely to fans of Susanna Clarke, Eleanor Ferrente and Neil Gaiman. In this episode of the podcast, he reflects on the differences between Italian and British literary culture, the power of reading, and the importance of finding magic and mystery in ordinary life. There is some swearing in this episode; if you would prefer a beeped version, you can find it on our website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/07/22·33m 21s

Suzie Sheehy - The Matter of Everything

For millennia, people have asked questions about the nature of matter. In the twentieth century, this curiosity led to an unprecedented outburst of scientific discovery that changed the course of history. In this episode of the podcast, accelerator physicist Suzie Sheehy introduces us to the people who, through a combination of genius, persistence and luck, staged these ground-breaking experiments. Pulling physics down from the theoretical and putting it in the hands of the people, this podcast celebrates human ingenuity, creativity and curiosity: a powerful reminder that progress relies on the desire to know. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/07/22·1h 4m

Michael Ignatieff - Finding Solace in Dark Times

As a young historian at Cambridge and Oxford, he did not rest in the ivory tower but brought his erudition on the great stories and crises of the day, travelling widely and becoming one of our most celebrated broadcasters and influential public intellectuals. Later, he returned to his native Canada to become leader of the Liberal Party: a scholar whose commitment to democratic ideals earned him widespread admiration on the global stage. Now he joins the podcast to reflect upon a philosophical question touching upon each of our lives: how do we console one other and ourselves in an age of unbelief?   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/06/22·1h 12m

Ken Liu - Storytelling is Our Most Important Technology

The winner of major genre awards including the Nebula, the Hugo, and the World Fantasy Award, Ken Liu is an author and futurist whose fictions both interrogate the social consequences of new technologies, and investigate the value of concepts we do not typically think of as technology but ought to, including law, language, and even storytelling itself. In this episode of the podcast he outlines his vision for speculative fiction's purpose and value, and previews the ideas in the Dandelion Dynasty, a fantasy series investigating the foundational myths of nationhood through a science fictional extrapolation of the engineering and social structures of East Asian antiquity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/06/22·44m 59s

Susan Cain - How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

Some of us inhabit a bittersweet state instinctively, others avoid it as much as we can; some of us arrive there when we reach a certain age, or after facing life’s trials and triumphs. But we will all experience the bittersweet at some point in our lives. What are the powers of a bittersweet, melancholic outlook? And why has our culture been so blind to its value? Following a trail of centuries-old artistic and wisdom traditions as well as contemporary psychology and management research, Susan Cain joins us to explore how bittersweetness is the key to leading a full and satisfying life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/06/22·59m 41s

Jane McGonigal - How to See the Future Coming

Futurist Jane McGonigal creates games that predict and simulate hard to imagine futures. In this episode of the podcast, she teaches us to think like futurists and become more resilient to future shocks – both in our personal lives and when we are faced with unfolding global events. She shows us that 'unimaginable' events aren't unimaginable before they happen. It is possible to see them coming and feel ready for anything, even things that seem impossible today. By learning to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable we can better plan for a future we'd like to see. And by seeing what's coming faster, we can become more optimistic agents of change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/06/22·1h 5m

Colm Toibin and Terence Killeen - Ulysses Unbound

One hundred years since its publication confirmed James Joyce as one of the greatest writers in the English language and a fearless creative genius willing and able to reimagine the possibilities of literature for the modern age, Ulysses has become an undisputed canonical classic. In this episode of the podcast, Ireland’s greatest living novelist, Colm Toibin, and its foremost Joyce scholar, Terence Killeen, come together to celebrate this complex, controversial masterpiece, offering new and vital insights that will delight layman readers and seasoned Joyceans alike Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/06/22·1h 19m

Alice Roberts - Buried

Alice Roberts trained as a physician, and now employs her scientific knowledge to uncover new evidence about the history of Britain, combining scientific and historical insights to determine who we are and where we came from. She joins us to shed fresh light on how we lived in the so-called Dark Ages by examining the stories of the dead. What did people think about mortality? How did they feel about loss? What did they believe came after death? Find out in this in-depth exploration of Buried, her new history of Britain in the first millenium. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/06/22·1h 2m

Rory Stewart - The State of the Nation

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Malaysia, commissioned in the Black Watch when only a teenager, Rory Stewart’s career bears little resemblance to the typical 21st century career politician. After serving as a diplomat in Indonesia, the Balkans and Iraq, a foundation director in Afghanistan, and as Secretary of State for International Development, he left frontline politics altogether to work on a charitable project in Amman, Jordan. He joins to share his thoughts on Boris Johnson's government in this time of perpetual crisis, and explore the challenges facing politicians of all affiliations today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/06/22·55m 49s

Pandora Sykes Meets Tina Brown - The Inside Scoop on the House of Windsor

In her New York Times bestselling biography of Princess Diana, The Diana Chronicles, former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown wrote the definitive account of the extraordinary life and tragic death of the Princess of Wales. In this episode of the podcast, she joins Pandora Sykes to reveal how the royal family reinvented itself after the traumatic years when Diana's blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
31/05/22·1h 13m

Sam Knight - The Premonitions Bureau

In 1966, John Barker, a dynamic psychiatrist working in an outdated British mental hospital, established the Premonitions Bureau to investigate psychic visions. He found a network of hundreds of correspondents, from clerks to ballet teachers – including two unnervingly gifted “percipients”. The New Yorker’s award-winning Sam Knight joins us with an enthralling true story of madness and wonder, science and the supernatural – a journal to the most powerful and unsettling reaches of the human mind. Sam joins How To Academy in-person on the 7 June in conversation with the author of The Big Short and Flashboys, Michael Lewis. Find out more and get your tickets at   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/05/22·1h 3m

John Cleese Meets Iain McGilchrist - On Consciousness and Creativity

A creative pioneer whose genius has placed him alongside Chaplin, Keaton, and his fellow Pythons as one of the greatest British comedy talents of all-time, John Cleese’s name is synonymous with the very best popular culture our country has ever produced. From the subversive satire of Life of Brian and existential absurdity of The Meaning of Life to the precision-engineered farce and observational brilliance of Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda, his work is a testament to the power of the human imagination to change the way we see the world. Dr Iain McGilchrist is an intellectual icon whose singular vision has deeply affected Cleese and thousands more across the globe. Few if any works of neuroscience or philosophy have the power to evoke as much passion and infuse the lives of readers with as much meaning as The Master and His Emissary – an extraordinarily original and powerful investigation of the role of the mind and brain in shaping our experience that encompasses nothing less than the entire history of human culture and thought. We brought Cleese and McGilchrist together to explore the place of consciousness in our lives and culture, drawing both upon The Matter With Things, McGilchrist’s bravura new work of neuroscience and philosophy, and Cleese’s lifelong practice of creativity at the highest level. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/05/22·1h 17m

Minnie Driver - Managing Expectations

Minnie Driver joined us live on stage in London to tell transport us from her unconventional childhood to subsequent fame, sharing poignant stories and laugh-out-loud anecdotes from her life and career. It is a tale of acclaim, loss, fortitude and fortune: in short, the story of being human. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/05/22·1h 12m

Owen Jones Meets Michael Lewis - The Fifth Risk

Next month Michael Lewis will join us in-person in London for a live, on-stage event exploring his life and work from Liar's Poker through to the present day. In anticipation, this episode of the podcast revisits his last appearance on the How To Academy stage, in conversation with the Guardian's Owen Jones. Together they explore the corrosion of the federal government under the Trump administration - the subject of Michael's book The Fifth Risk. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/05/22·1h 18m

Robin Ince Meets Neal Stephenson - Termination Shock

With fans including Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, and Peter Thiel, no living fiction author has more influence among the elite technologists shaping our world. His ideas inspired Google Earth, Second Life and the Xbox, and Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook after Stephenson’s concept of the Metaverse, dedicating his company to the mission of creating a future inspired by Stephenson’s speculative vision. Now the legendary speculative novelist turns his attention to the cliamte crisis. In converastion with comedian and broadcaster Robin Ince, Neal sounds sounds a clarion alarm, ponders potential climate solutions and risks, and share his insights into the future of life on earth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/05/22·56m 33s

Eliot Higgins - We Are Bellingcat

How did a collective of self-taught internet sleuths end up solving some of the biggest crimes of our time? Eliot Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat, an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open-source and social media investigation to probe some of the world’s most pressing stories. He joins us to tell the story of how they created a whole new category of information gathering, galvanising citizen journalists across the globe to expose war crimes and pick apart disinformation, using just their computers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/05/22·1h 2m

The Metaverse - Hype or Hyperreality?

For forty years humans have dreamed of persistent virtual worlds. Today, video games and their peripherals are pushing the boundaries of digital immersion, whether in the form of imaginary play spaces like Roblox and Second Life, or rich sensory augmentations that affect our experience of the physical world. But what will become of the Metaverse and cyberspace? And in our era of rapid and accelerating change, how can we accurately imagine and forecast future – to include both dazzling new technologies like VR and AR and wider social trends? Starring in this episode Found In Conversation are David Chalmers, Professor of Philosophy at New York University and the author of Reality Plus; Jane McGonigal, game designer, futurist and author of Imaginable; and Shaniel Ramjee, a Senior Investment Manager in the International Multi Asset & Strategy team at Pictet. The host of the conversation is Clara Bertrand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/05/22·47m 49s

Ann Patchett - These Precious Days

A literary alchemist, Ann Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: essays that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. In this episode of the podcast, she explores her latest collection, These Precious Days. Offering a unique perspective on themes as diverse as failure, family, Snoopy the dog, children, publishing, teaching, and the actor Tom Hanks, join us for a dive into one of the most extraordinary minds at work in American letters today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/05/22·1h 2m

Robin Ince Meets Richard Dawkins

Have you ever dreamt you could fly? Or imagined what it would be like to glide and swoop through the sky like a bird? Do you let your mind soar to unknown, magical spaces? In conversation with comedian, author and broadcaster Robin Ince, scientists and science writer Richard Dawkins explores two interweaving forms of wonder of flight: both in its literal form, the dream we all share of soaring in the skies, and flights of the mind, enabled through science, ideas, and imagination. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/04/22·1h 5m

Ed Miliband - How to Fix Our World

For the past four years, Ed Miliband has been discovering and interviewing brilliant people all around the world who are successfully tackling the biggest problems we face, transforming communities and pioneering global movements. In this podcast, he draws on the most imaginative and ambitious of these ideas to provide a vision for the kind of society we need. He presents an inspiring array of real solutions to the toughest and most urgent of these problems, and argue that the key to success is to raise our sights and think big. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/04/22·1h 0m

Dispatches from Afghanistan

Bringing together leading Afghan politician and women’s rights advocate Fawzia Koofi, who was a member of the recent delegation negotiating peace with the Taliban; Sunday Times chief foreign correspondent Christina Lamb; and award-winning war correspondent and New Yorker writer Jon Lee Anderson, this podcast explores both the transformation of everyday life in Afghanistan and the major humanitarian and political questions presented by the new status quo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/04/22·56m 53s

Matthew Green - A Journey Into the Shadowlands

From Old Winchelsea to Skara Brae, Matthew Green transports us to Britain's shadowlands - the once thriving towns and cities that are now lost to time and memory. Drowned by storms. Buried by sand. Requisitioned by the army. One of Britain's most exciting young historians, Matthew Green has travelled the British Isles in search of the remnants of settlements that once adorned the nation's map - until nature, disease, politics or economics reduced them to ruins. In this episode of the podcast, he shares stories of medieval boomtowns, an ancient settlement that predates the pyramids, and many more highlights that cannot be found in any contemporary tourist's guidebook. In the face of climate change and other major historical forces, this tour of Britain's shadowlands serves as a powerful reminder of the transcience not only of our own lives, but of the manmade world itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/04/22·37m 42s

Julia Samuel - Every Family Has a Story

Our family relationships fundamentally influence our health and happiness -- but we think too narrowly about the impact of our families on our lives. In this episode of the podcast, bestselling psychotherapist Julia Samuel turns from her acclaimed work with individuals to draw on her sessions with a wide variety of families. She explores a range of common issu Uncovering how deeply we are influenced by our families, she offers a moving and reassuring meditation that, amidst trauma and hardship, will tell us unforgettable stories of forgiveness, learning and love. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/04/22·59m 30s

Philip Oltermann - The Stasi Poetry Circle

In 1982, East Germany's fearsome secret police - convinced that writers were embedding subversive messages in their work - decided to train their own writers, weaponising poetry in the struggle against the class enemy. Journalist Philip Oltermann spent five years rifling through Stasi files, digging up lost volumes of poetry from musty basements, and tracking down the surviving members of the circle to uncover the little-known story of this famously ruthless intelligence agency's obsession with literature. In this episode of the podcast, he joins us to reveal what he discovered. Praise for Philip Oltermann's The Stasi Poetry Circle: 'A magnificent book . . . at once touching, exquisite, devastating and extraordinary.' - Philippe Sands 'A vivid, funny, and imperturbable portrait of Soviet Russia's most loyal satellite.' - Nell Zink 'Grippingly well-written' Anthony Quinn, Observer 'Oltermann's own prose is fast-moving and lucid, with a enjoyably pulpy, hardboiled quality' Telegraph The podcast is presented in partnership with Surfshark. Get Surfshark VPN at - Enter promo code HOWTOPOD for 83% off and 3 extra months free. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/04/22·32m 20s

Simon Sebag Montefiore and Luke Harding - The History of the Ukraine-Russia Conflict

The concept of a shared, single heritage and culture is central to Vladimir Putin’s justification for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But what is the true story of the two nations, and how can it illuminate the nature of the conflict? This episode of the podcast brings together historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, whose books on Russia include The Romanovs and Stalin - The Court of the Red Tzar, and award-winning foreign correspondent Luke Harding, who was expelled from Russia by the Kremlin in 2011 in the first act of its kind since the end of the cold war. Together they reflect on the deep roots of the conflict and share their insights in the ongoing invasion. The podcast is presented in partnership with Surfshark. Get Surfshark VPN at - Enter promo code HOWTOPOD for 83% off and 3 extra months free. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/04/22·43m 45s

Max Porter - Why Art Should Challenge Us

Max Porter broke new ground with his highly-original debut Grief is a Thing With Feathers, and firmly established himself as a major literary talent with his second novel Lanny. The cult author joined us to explore his latest and most ambitious novel yet: The Death of Francis Bacon, a collection of 'verbal paintings' depicting the final moments of the artist’s life. What responsibility does an author owe to their subject, and to their audience, in the age of the Internet? Is culture becoming less tolerant of ambiguity? How far can a novelist experiment before commercial considerations kick in? Max answers all these questions and more -- and gives us a breathtaking performance from the new novel quite unlike any literary reading you've ever heard. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/04/22·44m 54s

Alan Moore and B. Catling - The Power of Imagination

Few figures make such a seismic impact on their artistic medium that they transform its reputation from childish pulp entertainment to a vital and exhilarating creative form, capable of exploring the great mysteries of metaphysics, science, and the human spirit – but Alan Moore is one. A modern-day alchemist who transmuted comic books into literary gold, his works not only inspired a later generation of authors who are now household names, from Neil Gaiman to Susanna Clarke, but filmmakers, artists, and storytellers in every medium. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez quotes him online; the Occupy and Anonymous movements adopt the mask of his hero V; and Time magazine honours Watchmen as one of the 20th century’s greatest works of literature. A sculptor, poet, performance artist and professor at Oxford’s Ruskin School, Brian Catling’s creativity transcends any given form. Late in his career he turned his attention to the novel, reimagining its possibilities from the ground up to produce one of the most startling rich and strange works of fantasy ever produced: The Vorrh. Now he returns to the literary world with Hollow: the mesmerising tale of a band of mercenaries journeying through the grotesque, monstrous landscapes of Hieronymus Bosch to deliver an oracle to the monastery at the foot of the Tower of Babel. Coming together to celebrate the magic of human creativity, this unmissable conversation will restore your faith in the power of art to transform life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/03/22·1h 4m

Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina - #CookForUkraine

Food writers Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina have been friends since university and together they have come together to launch #CookForUkraine - a campaign which aims to raise awareness and funds through a shared appreciation of the rich tradition of Ukrainian cooking with supper clubs, events and encouraging people to share recipes, along with the stories behind the dishes. In its first weeks they have whipped up an extraordinary amount of support from everyone from Jamie Oliver to Nigella Lawson as well as numerous restaurants and institutions. Here they talk to Hannah MacInnes about the campaign, about the war and the tragic impact it is having on both the people of Ukraine and of Russia, on their families and friends, the strong cultural ties between the two countries, their rich culinary traditions and much more. Please head to their website and justgiving page at to find out more and to donate. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/03/22·42m 43s

Yanis Varoufakis Meets David Wengrow - The Dawn of Everything

What if everything we thought we knew about the origins of human civilisation is a myth? In their book The Dawn of Everything, the late David Graeber and his collaborator David Wengrow tell an ambitious and revelatory new history of the world – one that overturns the notion of Rosseau’s innocent Noble Savage and the ‘nasty, brutish and short’ lives of Thomas Hobbes alike. In this episode of the podcast, Wengrow joins former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to transform your understanding of our past and offer a powerful, playful, and extraordinarily original vision of our future.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/03/22·1h 0m

Paul Craddock - The Surprising History of Organ Transplants

Medical historian Dr Paul Craddock joins the How To Academy Podcast to takes us on a journey from sixteenth-century skin grafting to contemporary stem cell transplants, uncovering stories of operations performed by unexpected people in unexpected places. Bringing together philosophy, science and cultural history, this podcast explores how transplant surgery constantly tested the boundaries between human, animal and machine, and continues to do so today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/03/22·36m 11s

Suzanne Simard - Finding the Mother Tree

Raised in the hardy forest communities of British Columbia, scientist Suzanne Simard overturned conventional beliefs in proving that trees and plants are connected underground by an immense web of fungal mycelia, at the centre of which lie the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful entities that sustain the forest. She joins author and traveller Sophy Roberts to tell the story of a lifetime spent uncovering startling truths about trees: their perceptions, behaviours, healing capacities, language, memory and wisdom. Simard's landmark work has been immensely influential, revealing the complex cycle of forest life - on which we rely for our existence - and offering profound lessons about resilience and kinship. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/03/22·1h 6m

Jon Ronson and Brian Klaas - On Psychopaths and Power

In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, author and documentarian Jon Ronson and political scientist Brian Klaas investigate the relationship between power, psychopathy, and corruption. Drawing on the insights from Jon's widely acclaimed book The Psychopath Test and Brian's new book Corruptible, for which he met some of the world's most reviled and dangerous leaders, this is a provocative and revelatory journey into what power is and who gets to wield to it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/03/22·1h 4m

Salena Godden Meets Yrsa Daley-Ward - How to Know Yourself

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s work explores all parts of the human condition, but especially those we don’t tend to speak of: mental health, sexuality, love, grief and addiction. Her words have resonated with hundreds of thousands of readers around the world: through her acclaimed books of poetry and memoir, bone and The Terrible and through her powerful writing for Beyoncé’s cultural touchstone Black Is King. In conversation with acclaimed novelist and poet Salena Godden, Yrsa joins the How To Academy Podcast to offer a compelling invitation for self-renewal. How can we remove our filters, and see and feel more of who we really are behind the preconceived notions of property and manners we've accumulated with age? Find out from one of the most celebrated young voices in contemporary culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/02/22·55m 32s

Jameela Jamil and Michael Schur - How to be Perfect

How can we live a more ethical life? This question has plagued people for thousands of years, but it's never been tougher to answer than it is now, thanks to challenges great and small that flood our day-to-day lives and threaten to overwhelm us with impossible decisions and complicated results with unintended consequences. The Good Place was the smash hit Netflix comedy that made moral philosophy fun. Now the series creator, Michael Schur and its star Jameela Jamil join us with a foolproof guide to making the correct moral decision in every situation you ever encounter, anywhere on earth, forever. This episode includes some unfiltered swearing. If you would prefer a bleeped version, you can find it on our website. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/02/22·1h 4m

Adam Rutherford - The Troubling History of Eugenics

In the Victorian era, in the shadow of Darwin's ideas about evolution, a new full-blooded attempt to impose control over our unruly biology began to grow in the clubs, salons and offices of the powerful. It was enshrined in a political movement that bastardised science, and for sixty years enjoyed bipartisan and huge popular support. Eugenics was vigorously embraced in dozens of countries. It was also a cornerstone of Nazi ideology, and forged a path that led directly to the gates of Auschwitz. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, bestselling author, geneticist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford tells the story of this dangerous pseudoscience, and investigates its modern day legacy: the prospect of tinkering with the DNA of our unborn children to make them smarter, fitter, stronger. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/02/22·49m 48s

William Dalrymple and Sathnam Sanghera - British Imperialism in India

How did the Mughal empire – which then generated just under half the world’s wealth – come to be replaced by the first global corporate power - the East India Company? And how does the legacy of British imperialism continue to shape life and culture in Britain today? Bringing together Empireland author and Times columnist Sathnam Sanghera and bestselling award-winning historian William Dalrymple, this episode of the How To Academy Podcast will tell a story that is barely taught in schools or mentioned in museums but is critically important to who we are as a nation in the 21st century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/02/22·1h 4m

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey - Did I Say That Out Loud?

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey are radio legends. Already major BBC stars in their own right, their podcast together, Fortunately… with Fi and Jane has grown from a cult following to become one of the nation’s most loved and celebrated shows. Described in their own words as a “podcast in which two women exchange random thoughts, occasional pleasantries, fatuous double-entendres, real-life challenges, and often sudden bursts of something approaching wisdom”, this witty, refreshing take on the drama and hilarity of the modern world has been an anchor and a lifeline for so many of us during the pandemic, coming to represent the best that British broadcasting has to offer. Just before Christmas, Fi and Jane joined us live on stage in London, sharing the wit and wisdom for which they have won the nation's hearts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/02/22·1h 9m

John Preston - The Rise and Fall of Robert Maxwell

In February 1991, Robert Maxwell made a triumphant entrance into Manhattan harbour aboard his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, to complete his purchase of the ailing New York Daily News. Crowds lined the quayside to watch his arrival, taxi drivers stopped their cabs to shake his hand and children asked for his autograph. But just ten months later, Maxwell disappeared from the same yacht off the Canary Islands, only to be found dead in the water soon afterward. As his empire fell apart, long-hidden debts and unscrupulous dealings came to light: and soon his reputation was in tatters. Journalist and author John Preston has interviewed everyone from Rupert Murdoch to Peter Mandelson, from Alistair Campbell to Nicholas Coleridge; seeking to uncover the true Robert Maxwell. On this week's podcast, he joins us to deliver a definitive account of his extraordinary rise and scandalous fall. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/01/22·55m 9s

Claire Fuller - Unsettled Ground

Described by The Times as a modern Daphne de Maurier, Claire Fuller’s writing is beautifully dark and vividly atmospheric. Her fourth novel, Unsettled Ground, follows the lives of two adult twins whose world is upturned after the death of their mother. After surviving for years off-grid and at the mercy of the seasons in their secluded cottage, the twins are tumbled into the present and forced to confront their change of circumstance and long-ignored family secrets. Unsettled Ground is at once a haunting study of our society's resistance to the unconventional and a sensitive portrait of familial love. Claire shares with us how writing the novel has changed her perception of modern life and asks why contemporary fiction has lost sight of the realities of rural poverty. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/01/22·37m 42s

Marcus du Sautoy Meets Steven Pinker - Why Rationality Matters

In the twenty-first century, humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding - and at the same time appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that discovered vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, quack cures and conspiracy theorising? In conversation with mathematician and Oxford Professor Marcus du Sautoy, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply an irrational species - cavemen out of time fatally cursed with biases, fallacies and illusions. Offering a guide to the tools of rationality, Rationality matters. It leads to better choices in our lives and in the public sphere, and is the ultimate driver of social justice and moral progress. Brimming with insight, this podcast will enlighten, inspire and empower. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/01/22·1h 2m

Bexy Cameron - How to Escape a Cult

Bexy was raised in a secret commune deep in the British countryside. At 10, she was placed on Silence Restriction, forced to be silent for a whole year. Even from an early age, she knew what was happening was not right. At the age of 15, she escaped, leaving behind her parents and 11 siblings. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, she tells us her family came to be part of the Children of God, and how she found the courage to get out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/01/22·48m 24s

Pandora Sykes Meets Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski has established herself as a multifaceted talent. As a model, she has appeared on the covers of major fashion magazines and is currently the face of L’Oréal’s hair care line Kerastase. As an actress, she has appeared in films including David Fincher’s Gone Girl and alongside Amy Schumer in I Feel Pretty. Ratajkowski is also outspoken politically, continually using her platform to advocate for her political beliefs, having campaigned for Bernie Sanders in both 2016 and 2020. She joined How To Academy live on stage in London to explore the themes of her essay collection My Body in conversation with journalist and broadcaster Pandora Sykes. Investigating the culture's fetishization fo female beauty and its obsession and contempt for women's sexuality, this is an must-hear discussion for everyone concerned with the dynamics of gender and power in the modern world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/12/21·1h 8m

Paul Bloom - The Surprising Secret of Happiness

A good life involves more than just pleasure. Suffering is essential too. It seems obvious that pleasure leads to happiness - and pain does the opposite. And yet we are irresistibly drawn to a host of experiences that truly hurt, from the exhilarating fear of horror movies or extreme sport, to the wrenching sadness of a song or novel, to the gruelling challenges of exercise, work, creativity and having a family. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, pre-eminent psychologist Paul Bloom explores the pleasures of suffering and explains why the activities that provide most satisfaction are often the ones that involve greatest sacrifice. He will argue that embracing this truth is the key to a life well lived. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/12/21·1h 4m

Philip Pullman Meets Iain McGilchrist - The Meaning of Life

Philip Pullman’s novels are a testament to the power of the human imagination and a celebration of our capacity for wonder, proving to millions of readers across the globe that enchantment still has a profound role to play in our age of reason. It is an ethos shared by the neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist, whose book The Master and His Emissary was that rare thing: a bestselling classic of modern philosophy with genuine relevance to human life. In this podcast, the two men will come together to explore The Matter With Things, McGilchrist’s ground-breaking sequel to The Master and His Emissary and the culmination of a lifetime of thought. How does the brain produce our experience of the world? What role do science, reason, and imagination play in the search for truth – and how much should we trust each of these paths to knowledge? On this week's show you'll hear new answers to these ancient questions - and many more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/12/21·1h 6m

Fatima Bhutto Meets Noam Chomsky

'For the left, elections are a brief interlude in a life of real politics, a moment to ask whether it's worth taking time off to vote . . . Then back to work. The work will be to move forward to construct the better world that is within reach.' – Noam Chomsky A giant of both 20th and 21st century intellectual life, Noam Chomsky’s influence on the development of linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science cannot be overstated; but it is as a political thinker, activist and social critic that his ideas have made the most impact outside of the academy. In conversation with the author Fatima Bhutto, he joins us live to shed light on the world in 2021, sharing his insights into the post-pandemic world, exposing the catastrophic nature and impact of authoritarian policies on people and the planet, and exploring the dynamics of our dog-eat-dog society. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/11/21·1h 2m

Robin DiAngelo and Beverly Daniel Tatum - Conversations About Race

What we can do to have better conversations with our children and with each other about race, and build a better world? Beverly Daniel Tatum and Robin DiAngelo have dedicated their lives to anti-racist education. The bestselling authors of, respectively, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and White Fragility, their insights are essential for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of race in the United States and beyond. In the age of Trump, Black Lives Matter, and increasingly polarisation, they join the How To Academy Podcast with an urgent call to embrace courage, lifelong commitment and accountability in the struggle for equality.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/11/21·58m 9s

Greg Jenner - How to Find the Comedy in History

Chief historian of the BBC's Horrible Histories TV show and the host of chart-topping podcast You're Dead to Me, Greg Jenner is a master in the art of turning the messiness of history into whip-smart comic entertainment. He joined us to explore his favourite historical questions and their often surprising answers - as submitted by the general public. From chariot racing to bank robbery, Egyptian mummies to Monty Python, this episode of the How To Academy Podcast is a ride through some of the wildest and weirdest episodes in ten thousand years of human civilisation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/11/21·49m 38s

Jane Goodall - A Survival Guide for an Endandgered Planet

World-renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace, has spent more than a half-century warning of our impact on our planet. From her famous encounters and research into the wild chimpanzees in the forests of Gombe which began more than sixty years ago and continues to this day, to her tireless campaigning for the environment in her late eighties, Jane has become the godmother to a new generation of climate activists. She joined the How To Academy Podcast to teach us how to find strength in the face of the climate crisis. Photo attibution: Vincent Calmel Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/11/21·57m 22s

Richard Powers - Why Stories Matter

Few works of literature have the power to change who we are and how we conceive our place in the universe – but Richard Powers Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning masterpiece The Overstory is one. For Barack Obama, Powers ‘changed how I thought about the Earth and our place in it’; for Emma Thompson, The Overstory was a ‘the best book I've read in 10 years… a lodestone’; for Ann Patchett, it was simply ‘one of the best novels, period’. This year's follow-up, the Booker shortlisted Bewilderment, is no less profound; an acclaimed exploration of the fragility of life on Earth that dares to ask the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet? Richard joined us on stage in London in conversation with broadcaster Razia Iqbal to explore why storytelling matters. In an age of impending ecological catastrophe, how can the novel help us to grow our empathy for one another and expand our awareness and love of the natural world? This podcast was produced in association with the Conduit. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/11/21·1h 11m

Bernard-Henri Lévy - Dispatches from a World of Misery and Hope

Bernard-Henri Levy is one of the world’s most esteemed philosophers and public intellectuals; but his understanding of philosophy is anything but theoretical. A humanitarian activist of deep conviction, for fifty years he has reported from the sites of human rights abuses and humanitarian crises that fail to receive global attention or an active response, shedding light on urgent stories that Western media and governments have chosen to ignore. He joined us on stage in London to issue a stirring rebuke to indifference and an exhortation to level our gaze at those most hidden from us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/10/21·1h 2m

Kate Bowler - The Meaning of Life

Kate Bowler had always accepted the modern idea that life is an endless horizon of possibilities. As many of us do, she saw life as a series of choices that, if made correctly, would lead us to a place just out of reach. But then, aged just thirty-five, Kate was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She was forced to ask one of the most fundamental questions of all: How do we create meaning in our lives when the life we hoped for is put on hold? In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, Kate explores how to navigate life with the knowledge that it could end at any moment. As we struggle to decipher what constitutes a meaningful existence in this strange new world, at a time when our lives have never been further from our control, Kate will demonstrate how we can find meaning without having to pretend that life is always getting better.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/10/21·56m 40s

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. The challenges we face today are formidable, including inequality, climate change, Artificial Intelligence and nuclear weapons. But the way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved other problems in the past. In conversation with actor and author Stephen Fry, Steven Pinker makes the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, urging us to use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe.   We will never have a perfect world, but - defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction - we can continue to make it a better one. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/10/21·1h 20m

James Nestor - the Art and Science of Breathing

In this week's podcast, science writer and Sunday Times bestselling author James Nestor joins us with a guide that will forever change the way you think about health and wellbeing. We breathe 25,000 times a day: yet as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly - with grave consequences for our health. James travelled the world to discover the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. He shared his story with Hannah MacInnes. You will never breathe the same again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/10/21·1h 0m

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 in Britain today. About With Reason: From New Humanist magazine and the Rationalist Association, With Reason is a podcast offering intelligent thinking for turbulent times. Interviews with thinkers who speak to our age – on subjects including religion, race, politics, sex, tech, work and much more. Find it on Apple, Spotify, Google, or their website.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/09/21·49m 35s

Fiona Shaw - A Life on Stage and Screen

From My Left Foot to Harry Potter, Fleabag to Killing Eve, Fiona Shaw is an integral presence in the Irish and British screen drama of the last three decades; and in collaboration with the foremost directors of our time – from Deborah Warner to Nicholas Hytner – is universally renowned as one of the most outstanding and distinguished stage actors of her generation.  Whether in her ground-breaking performance as Shakespeare’s Richard II or her unforgettable turn as Brecht’s Mother Courage, as Euripides’ Medea or Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, her work is experimental, provocative, and risk-taking, daring audiences to reassess what they thought they knew about theatre and the human condition. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, she explores her life and work with writer and broadcaster Matthew Stadlen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/09/21·1h 3m

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. It’s a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, human rights lawyer and award-winning author Philippe Sands QC meets the bestselling Dutch historian and viral superstar Rutger Bregman to hear a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/09/21·1h 5m

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. Charting its curious path from the monasteries and universities of thirteenth-century Europe to Silicon Valley in the twenty-first, Dennis Duncan reveals how the index has saved heretics from the stake, kept politicians from high office and made us all into the readers we are today. From the library of Alexandria to the coffee houses of Georgian London, an d with a cast including Plato, Sherlock Holmes, and Norman Mailer, this witty history of an invaluable and underappreciated tool is sure to delight bibliophiles everywhere. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/09/21·41m 50s

Mary Portas - How to Thrive in the New Kindness Economy

Mary Portas loves business. Fundamentally, she lives and breathes it. What she loves best about it is making businesses work. But in this week's podcast, she argues that we’ve been doing it wrong. In 2021, it’s not only possible to build healthy businesses that do less bad and add more good – it’s a commercial imperative. Rampant consumerism has been driving the economic machine and we have put the pursuit of profit above all else. Over the past thirty years the business of what we buy has been dominated by the biggest, fastest and cheapest. But those values no longer resonate. We've come to realize that more doesn't equal better. How we live, buy and sell is changing. The post-pandemic era is all about care, respect and understanding the implications of what we're doing. This 'Kindness Economy' is a new value system where in order to thrive businesses must understand the fundamental role they play in the fabric of our lives. They need to add, not just grow, balancing commerce with social progress. Because we don't just want to buy from brands - we want to buy into them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/08/21·59m 50s

Gordon Brown – How to Change the World

It is time for a new era of global order. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown joins us with authoritative solutions to the greatest challenges of our age. Gordon Brown knows more than most politicians about how to handle an international crisis. As Prime Minister during the 2008 financial crisis he played a major role in steering the global response and driving the recovery; and as the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education he is one of the world’s most prominent and influential frontline diplomats, working to widen access to education and break the poverty cycle. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, he joins Tom Fletcher, former diplomat and Principal of Hertford College, Oxford, to share his insights into the major crises of the 21st century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/08/21·1h 4m

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. The first living artist to take over the Royal Academy with a record-breaking blockbuster exhibition, the recipient of a Turner Prize, a knighthood, the LennonOno Prize for Peace, the $1 million Genesis Prize, an Oxford doctorate and the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour, Anish Kapoor holds the rare status of an artist both revered by critics and overwhelmingly loved by the public. From Chicago’s Cloud Gate to the London Olympic Park’s Orbit, the Rockefeller Center’s Sky Mirror to Paris’s Leviathan, Kapoor’s sculptures resonate with mythic significance, belonging to a tradition and a way of thinking that extends back to the great wonders of the world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/08/21·1h 4m

Sarah Gilbert and Catherine Green - The Inside Story of the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine

On New Year’s Day 2020, Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University, read an article about four people in China with a strange pneumonia. Within two weeks, she and her team had designed a vaccine against a pathogen that no one had ever heard of. Less than 12 months later, vaccination was rolled out across the world to save millions of lives from Covid-19. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, Professor Gilbert and her colleague Dr Catherine Green, who led on the manufacturing of the vaccine, join us to separate fact from fiction and explain how they made a highly safe vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/08/21·1h 2m

Charles Yu - Interior Chinatown

Willis Wu mostly gets to play Generic Asian Man. If he is lucky, sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son. For now he is a bit player: but he dreams that one day he will be offered the most coveted role someone who looks like him might aspire to: Kung Fu Guy. A coruscating satire of race, assimilation and Hollywood, Charles Yu's Interior Chinatown is both a groundbreaking experimental novel and a deeply personal and affecting family story heralded as one of the best books of 2020. A New York Times bestseller and the winner of the 2020 National Book Award, the novel confirms Yu as one of America's most exciting young authors. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, he explores the history of Chinese culture in the US, how his personal experiences as a first generation Taiwanese-American shaped the narrative, and what his own time in Hollywood has taught him about the art of storytelling. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/08/21·34m 35s

Mike Rothschild - The Rise of QAnon

In 2017, President Trump made a cryptic remark at a gathering of military officials, describing it as ‘the calm before the storm’-then refused to explain himself to puzzled journalists. But on internet message boards, a mysterious poster called ‘Q Clearance Patriot’ began an elaboration all of their own. In this week's podcast, Mike Rothschild explores his new book, The Storm Is Upon Us. With families torn apart and with the Capitol under attack, he argues that mocking the madness of QAnon will get us nowhere. Instead, he argues that QAnon tells us everything we need to know about global fear after Trump-and that we need to understand it now, because it’s not going away. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/07/21·38m 49s

Lisa Taddeo and Hadley Freeman - Madness, Transgression, and Power

Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women was a world-wide sensation – forever changing how we think about women and desire. A bestseller in the US and the UK, “Book of the Year” for more than thirty of the most respected media titles, including the FT, Times and Time magazine, an instant classic beloved by cultural icons including Gillian Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Elizabeth Gilbert, Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women is a global phenomenon. Now Lisa’s debut novel Animal is set to do the same for how we think about madness and trauma. Animal opens with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head of an unrequited lover and becomes a road-trip to California, centring on a woman who is driven to extremes by the violence of her past. In this episode of the podcast, Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman explores the inspiration behind this brazen and daring fictional debut. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/07/21·57m 34s

Daniel Kahneman - Why We Make Bad Judgments

The quality of professional judgments have a huge and lasting impact on all of our lives: the decision of an A&E doctor treating a patient, a teacher grading a paper, or a high court judge delivering a sentencing should not be a matter of personal taste. And yet there is huge, unwanted variability across human judgment. Bias has long been the star of the show when it comes to errors in decision making. Now Daniel Kahneman, Cass Sunstein and Olivier Sibony have uncovered a critical and overlooked factor: noise. Noise explains why police officers show greater leniency towards offenders who have the same name as they do; why doctors prescribe more drugs at the end of the day than at the beginning; why judicial sentences tend to be more severe in hot weather; and why stock-market performance is affected by sunshine. In conversation with Diana Fox Carney, Kahneman, Sunstein and Sibony reveal how noise and bias both shape our thought processes – and the remedies we can take to make far better decisions and judgments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/07/21·1h 4m

John Higgs - William Blake vs the World

Join us for a wild journey through culture, science, philosophy and religion to better understand the mercurial genius William Blake. Taking us on wild detours into unfamiliar territory, John Higgs places the bewildering eccentricities of a most singular artist into context. The journey begins with us trying to understand him, but we will ultimately discover that it is Blake who helps us to understand ourselves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/07/21·40m 57s

Katrine Marcal and Caroline Criado Perez - Mother of Invention

Every day, extraordinary inventions and innovative ideas are side-lined in a world that remains subservient to men. But it doesn’t have to be this way. From the beginning of time, women have been pivotal to our society, offering ingenious solutions to some of our most vexing problems. More recently, it is women who have transformed the way we shop online, revolutionised the lives of disabled people and put the climate crisis at the top of the agenda. For too long we have underestimated the consequences of sexism in our economy, and the way it holds all of us – women and men – back. In conversation with author and activist Caroline Criado Perez, Katrine Marçal sets the record straight and shows how, in a time of crisis, the ingenuity and intelligence of women is that very thing that can save us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/06/21·55m 58s

Bill Clinton and James Patterson - The President's Daughter

Drawing on his first-hand knowledge of life in the White House, global geopolitics and the upper echelons of power, Bill Clinton teamed up with one of the world’s best-known and best-selling authors, James Patterson, to tell the story of the most thrilling, frightening, and plausible tale of an American presidency yet devised. ‘Meticulous in its portrayal of Washington politics, gripping in its pacing, and harrowing in its depiction of the perils of cyberwarfare' (Ron Chernow), The President Is Missing was heralded as both a heart-pounding thrill ride and an authentic look inside the mind of the leader of the free world. Now President Clinton and James Patterson are back with a new novel: The President's Daughter. In this week's podcast, they share insights into their creative process and reflections on the world in 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/06/21·55m 9s

Sir David Hare - A Life in Theatre

Sir David Hare is renowned across the English-speaking world as the finest political storyteller alive today. In our age of blockbuster musicals and CGI superheroes, his oeuvre stands as a testament to the power of theatre and cinema to capture and even transform the soul of a nation. A student in that extraordinary year, 1968, Hare quickly emerged as a writer of courage, heart and coruscating satirical talent, fusing human drama with grand political narratives to map the convulsions of the post-war years. Whether depicting the crumbling institutions of church and state, ruthlessly mocking media tycoons, or engaging in a forensic analysis of the Suez Crisis and WMD debacle, his plays are not cold, calculating social commentary but a barometer of our age, revealing who we are and may become with a rare depth of romantic feeling. And his BAFTA winning, Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated screenplays – undisputed modern classics such as The Hours, The Reader and Damage – have brought his vision to a global audience.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/06/21·58m 42s

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, neuroscience expert, author and presenter Ginny Smith explores the latest science of the mind and brain to answer the big questions about human behaviour. From adrenaline to dopamine, our lives are shaped by the chemicals that control us. They are the hormones and neurotransmitters that our brains run on, and science writer Ginny Smith is here to explore the role they play in all aspects of our experiences. In this week's podcast, author Ginny Smith explores what these tiny molecules do: what roles do cortisol and adrenaline play in memory formation? How do hormones and neurotransmitters affect the trajectory of our romantic relationships? It's an eye-opening tour through the amazing world inside our heads. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/06/21·55m 30s

Maggie O'Farrell - The Life of Hamnet Shakespeare

On a summer's day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home? Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week. The winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 and a Sunday Times bestseller, Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, she explores how she came to write this remarkable novel, including insights into her hands-on research into the life in Elizabethan England - from learning falconry to mudlarking along the Thames. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/05/21·58m 52s

Michio Kaku - The Quest For 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. Einstein dedicated his life to seeking this elusive Holy Grail, a single, revolutionary 'god equation' which would tie all the forces in the universe together, yet never found it. Some of the greatest minds in physics took up the search, from Stephen Hawking to Brian Greene. None have yet succeeded. In this conversation with author, comic and science broadcaster Robin Ince, renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku shares the story of a mystery that has fascinated him for most of his life. The object of the quest is now within sight: we are closer than ever to achieving the most ambitious undertaking in the history of science. If successful, the Theory of Everything could simultaneously unlock the deepest mysteries of space and time, and fulfil that most ancient and basic of human desires – to understand the meaning of our lives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/05/21·1h 4m

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. Scientific progress has given us a good grasp on the properties of many different materials: But most scientists cannot measure the temperature of steel just by looking at it, or know how it feels to blow up a balloon of glass. Anna Ploszajski is here to change that. A materials scientist and engineer, she has journeyed into the domain of makers and craftspeople to comprehend how the most popular materials really work. With knowledge accumulated over generations through hands-on trial and error, these experimenters and tinkerers understand the materiality of objects far better than any scientist with a textbook. She joins us to share what she discovered, revealing the story of materials through making and doing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/05/21·56m 5s

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? George Saunders is one of the undisputed masters of American letters; a novelist, storyteller and essayist whose wisdom and insight have been rewarded with the highest accolades in literature. In a rare treat for authors and storytellers of all forms, he shares his insights from teaching some of the best young writers in America. Drawing on the works of Russian masters, he reminds us that the process of writing is as much a craft as it is a quality of openness and a willingness to see the world through new eyes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/04/21·1h 4m

Matthew d’Ancona – Why The Old Politics Is Useless and What We Can 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. The old tools of political analysis are obsolete - they have rusted and are no longer fit for purpose. We've grown lazy, wedded to the assumption that, after ruptures such as Brexit, the pandemic, and the rise of the populist Right, things will eventually go 'back to normal'. Award-winning political writer Matthew d'Ancona joins us with an invitation to think afresh: to seek new ways of challenging political extremism, bombastic populism and democratic torpor on both Left and Right. In this week's How To Academy Podcast, he will propose a new way of understanding our era and plots a way forward. With rigorous analysis, he argues that we need to understand the world in a new way, with a framework built from the three I's: Identity, Ignorance and Innovation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/04/21·1h 1m

Isabel Allende – The Soul of a Woman

Isabel Allende has been a feminist her whole life. From a young age she rebelled against male authority, after seeing her mother Panchita abandoned by her husband and left to provide for three small children. While growing up in Chile in her grandparents’ house, Isabel realised early on that the women in her family, from matriarch to housemaid, were at a disadvantage compared to the men, treated as subordinates with no voice. As a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, Isabel rode the first wave of feminism. While working at the newly launched feminist magazine, Paula, her journalism challenged the patriarchal mores imposed on women regarding sex, money, discriminatory laws, drugs, virginity, abortion, prostitution, alcoholism to name a few. In this week's How To Academy podcast, Isabel shares stories from her life as a feminist with broadcaster Belle Donati. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/04/21·57m 52s

Ian McEwan – A Life In Literature

The country’s most prolific and celebrated novelist reflects upon a life in literature. Since his rise to literary acclaim almost forty years ago for the dazzlingly grotesque short stories that earned him the moniker “Ian Macabre”, to his present-day voyages into the uncharted territories of climate change and Artificial Intelligence, one thing has remained consistent across Ian McEwan’s astonishing oeuvre: the exacting precision with which he can simultaneously dissect both the mysteries of the human psyche and the tribulations of our age. With a gift for creating scenes of heart-stopping anxiety, from the kidnapping that opens A Child in Time to Enduring Love’s iconic balloon ride gone wrong, drawing characters whose romantic longing and realistic flaws are recognisably our own, and exploring philosophical and moral ambiguities that speak to both to our time and to the great quandaries of life, Ian McEwan has proven himself time and again to be the foremost literary novelist of his generation. Whether you’re an aspiring novelist seeking to learn the craft from a veritable master of the form, a lifelong reader of his seminal novels, or simply intrigued to hear from one of the most exciting cultural figures working in any field or discipline, this is an unmissable opportunity to look inside the imagination of an author of the first order. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/03/21·1h 11m

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? It's an unimaginably large sum, yet it's only around one per cent of world GDP, and about the valuation of Google, Microsoft or Amazon. It's a much smaller sum than the world found to bail out its banks in 2008 or deal with Covid-19. In this week’s How To Academy Podcast, New Scientist senior editor and evolutionary biologist Rowan Hooper explores how $1 trillion could be used to change the course of human history: from creating artificial life to colonising the moon, helping in the fight against climate change to lifting millions out of poverty. It’s the ultimate thought experiment and a powerful reminder of the power of science and economics to shape our collective future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/03/21·34m 35s

Derren Brown – How To Be a Little Happier

Since he introduced us to his singular and inimitable brand of psychology, stagecraft and magic in 2000, Derren Brown has played Russian Roulette on live television, convinced middle-managers to commit armed robbery in the street, led the nation in a séance and exposed psychic and faith-healing charlatans. His live shows astonish audiences across the country and have captivated the West End and Broadway. He joined How To Academy to teach a lesson none of us can afford to miss: what we can do to be a little happier and less anxious in a difficult world. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/03/21·1h 8m

Adam Grant and Tim Harford – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Research shows that the smarter you are the more you might struggle to update your beliefs, yet some of the most successful people, from entrepreneurs to politicians, all have one thing in common: the ability to think like scientists, continually questioning their beliefs, and to embrace being wrong. As an organisational psychologist, Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people’s minds, and our own. He is one of the world’s most-cited, most prolific, and most influential researchers in business and economics, and, as Wharton’s top-rated professor, his research is sought-after by global powerhouses such as NASA and the Gates Foundation. In this week's podcast, economist, FT columnist and author Tim Harford joins Adam to discover how we can all learn to embrace the power of knowing what we don't know. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/03/21·1h 6m

Ethan Kross – How to Harness the Voice Inside Your Head

We all have a voice in our head that we tune into from time to time for guidance, ideas and wisdom. Except sometimes, this voice leads us down a rabbit hole of negative self-talk and endless rumination which undermines our performance at work, interferes with our ability to make good decisions, and negatively influences our relationships. Since we aren’t going to stop talking to ourselves— and, frankly, we don’t want to, since the voices in our heads have valuable things to say—it’s important we learn to use our introspection effectively. Drawing on more than twenty years of ground-breaking research, University of Michigan Psychologist Ethan Kross joined Matthew Stadlen to reveal the life-changing potential of a mind constructively channelled. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/03/21·1h 4m

George the Poet Meets Mariana Mazzucato – a Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, capitalism was stuck. It had no answer to the different challenges facing the world – from those related to health to digital privacy to the climate crisis. Taking inspiration from President Kennedy’s ‘moonshot’ programmes that successfully co-ordinated public and private sectors to put a man on the moon, Mariana Mazzucato calls for the same level of boldness and experimentation to be applied to the biggest social and political issues of our time. In conversation with George the Poet, she joins the podcast to argue that we need to rethink the capacities and role of government within the economy and society, and above all recover a sense of public purpose. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/02/21·59m 55s

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. This is the Precipice, and how we respond to it will be the most crucial decision of our time. In this week's podcast, Oxford moral philosopher Toby Ord explores the risks to humanity's future, from the familiar man-made threats of climate change and nuclear war, to the potentially greater, more unfamiliar threats from engineered pandemics and advanced artificial intelligence. Can we protect the legacy of the hundred billion who have come before us, and secure a future for the trillions that could follow? What can we do, in our present moment, to face the risks head on? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
15/02/21·49m 45s

Owen Jones Meets Claudia Rankine

How can we best approach one another across our differences? The first and only poet to write a New York Times bestseller, the winner of every significant literary prize in the United States, and recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant”, Jamaican-born Claudia Rankine is an icon of contemporary American letters. In this conversation with Guardian columnist Owen Jones, she explores her own prejudices and those of others, and celebrate vulnerability, openness and the willingness to be wrong. It’s an urgent call to enter into conversations which could offer humane pathways through this moment of division. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/02/21·59m 9s

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. For millennia humans have speculated upon the differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Why did evolution lead to humans and many other animals developing two cerebral hemispheres, separated by a groove? No neuroscientist would dispute that there are significant differences; but until now, no-one has understood why. Dr Iain McGilchrist has an empirical answer to this question – and his ideas have profound consequences for how humans understand themselves and their place in the world. This conversation between Dr McGilchrist and science journalist David Malone explores how the competition between the two hemispheres has shaped civilisation and progress and now, in our hyper-rationalist age, threatens to undermine the deepest and most sacred human values. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/02/21·59m 59s

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. Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers, his ideas have passed into common currency and made him one of the most recognisable and beloved public intellectuals of our time. He is uncannily tuned into the zeitgeist, able to fuse scholarly insights, human stories and a global perspective to illuminate truths about our world that were otherwise destined to remain hidden. In conversation with Hubertus Kuelps, Malcolm explores the theme of his latest book, Talking to Strangers: how can we make a good impression? This podcast is the latest episode of Found in Conversation, a podcast brought to you by the Pictet Group in partnership with How To Academy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/01/21·41m 39s

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 Caitlin Moran was home-educated on a Wolverhampton council estate and went onto become the most iconic columnist and critic of her generation. From How to Be a Woman to Moranifesto, How to Build a Girl to Channel 4 sitcom Raised by Wolves, her game-changing take on feminism, the patriarchy and becoming a woman is above all things a cry ‘to live a full, open-hearted, joyous life’ (Sunday Times). She joins the How To Academy Podcast for a riotous, heart-felt celebration of all those middle-aged women whose stories never get made into TV shows, or movies - but who, none-the-less, keep the world turning. As Caitlin says, “Take up your space, dude – you’ve earned it.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/01/21·1h 1m

Simon Schama – The World in 2021

The events of 2020 have upturned the order of the world, and the medical, economic and political crises we face will not fade quietly as the new year begins. Though so much of the present moment feels strange and unprecedented, there is wisdom in heeding to George Santayana’s famous proverb that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. To help ensure that we do not fall foul of the prophecy, Simon Schama joined How To Academy to share his insights into the past and near future. A natural storyteller with a deep grasp of human psychology and the broader forces that shape our world, Schama reflected upon the lessons history holds for the coming year in conversation with journalist and broadcaster Matthew Stadlen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/01/21·1h 3m

Richard Dawkins – The Meaning of Life

“My eyes are constantly wide open to the extraordinary fact of existence. Not just human existence but the existence of life and how this breathtakingly powerful process, which is natural selection, has managed to take the very simple facts of physics and chemistry and build them up to redwood trees and humans. That's never far from my thoughts, that sense of amazement.” – Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins has done more than any other scientist to promote and celebrate the origins of life on Earth. The creator of the word ‘meme’ and of the hugely influential ‘selfish gene’ model of evolution, he is the epitome of the truly public intellectual – a scientist whose ideas have proven extraordinarily influential both within his own discipline and far, far beyond. In this week's episode of the How To Academy Podcast, Richard shares his reflections on perhaps the most important and puzzling topic in all of human existence: the meaning of life. Credit for Richard Dawkins' Portrait to Frederic Aranda @fredericaranda Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/12/20·1h 11m

Yanis Varoufakis Meets Owen Jones

Whether exposing Britain’s powerful elites in The Establishment or defending the white working class in Chavs, fighting for equality and social justice as a Guardian columnist and broadcaster, Owen Jones may be the most influential and widely respected political journalist of his generation. In conversation with world-renowned economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, he gives an unflinchingly honest, insider’s account of Labour’s electoral defeat in 2019 – and explores where the Left can go next in the new world we find ourselves in. We have the opportunity to build a fairer country and a more equal world, but if our time is to come, then we must learn from our past. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/11/20·1h 4m

Len Mlodinow and Robin Ince – The Life of Stephen Hawking

An icon of the last fifty years, Stephen Hawking seems to encapsulate genius. In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, his colleague and collaborator Leonard Mlodinow offers an intimate account of this giant of science in conversation with comic and broadcaster Robin Ince. The two met in 2003, after Stephen asked Leonard if he would consider writing a book with him. As they spent years working on A Briefer History of Time followed by The Grand Design, they forged a deep connection and Leonard gained a greater understanding of Stephen's daily life and struggles -- as well as his compassion and humour. Together they obsessed over the perfect sentence, debated the physics, and occasionally punted on Cambridge's waterways with champagne and strawberries. In time, Leonard was able to finish Stephen's jokes, chide his sporadic mischief, and learn how the hardships of his illness helped forge that unique perspective on the universe. Weaving together their shared story with a clear-sighted portrayal of Hawking's scientific achievements, Mlodinow creates a beautiful portrait of Stephen Hawking as a brilliant, impish and generous man whose life was not only exceptional but also genuinely inspiring. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/11/20·1h 5m

Philip Lymbery - How to Live Sustainably in a Changing World

Our meat and dairy intensive diets are destroying the planet. In this week's podcast, animal welfare environmentalist Philip Lymbery shares the new science of living sustainably and makes a powerful case for changing how we eat. From vegan alternatives to free range pasturised meat, cultured meat to precision fermentation, Philips considers the new dietary habits, technological innovations and political developments that could change the way we farm and eat and make a seismic impact on the climate crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/11/20·52m 38s

Jung Chang – Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China

They were the most famous sisters in China. As the country battled through a hundred years of wars, revolutions and seismic transformations, the three Soong sisters from Shanghai were at the centre of power, and each of them left an indelible mark on history. Red Sister, Ching-ling, married the ‘Father of China’, Sun Yat-sen, and rose to be Mao’s vice chair. Little Sister, May-ling, became Madame Chiang Kaishek, first lady of pre-Communist Nationalist China and a major political figure in her own right Big Sister, Ei-ling, became Chiang’s unofficial main adviser–and made herself one of China’s richest women. All three sisters enjoyed tremendous privilege and glory, but also endured constant mortal danger. They showed great courage and experienced passionate love, as well as despair and heartbreak. They remained close emotionally, even when they embraced opposing political camps and Ching-ling dedicated herself to destroying her two sisters’ worlds. In this episode of the How To Academy podcast, internationally bestselling author Jung Chang joins us to tell their remarkable story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/11/20·57m 7s

Elizabeth Gilbert Meets Julia Cameron - The Path to Higher Creativity

For more than thirty years, Julia Cameron has helped ordinary people and world-renowned artists alike discover their passions and transform their lives. From Booker Prize winners like Anna Burns to world-famous musicians like Alicia Keys and Pete Townshend, actors like Reese Witherspoon and comedians like Russell Brand, the list of artists, innovators and creatives who cite a debt of gratitude to Julia Cameron and her bestselling creativity bible, The Artist’s Way is extraordinary. An icon to anyone who has ever dreamed of living a truly authentic life, bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert would not have written Eat, Pray, Love without The Artist’s Way to guide her. Now Elizabeth joins Julia to explore the wisdom and insight that have aided so many in their pursuit of passion, creativity and meaningful change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/11/20·59m 32s

Brian Cox Meets Rebecca Wragg Sykes – The Lost World of Neanderthals

Since their discovery over 160 years ago, Neanderthals metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. In conversation with particle physicist and broadcaster Brian Cox, archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes reveals the Neanderthals as curious, clever connoisseurs of their world, technologically inventive and ecologically adaptable. They ranged across vast tracts of tundra and steppe, but also stalked in dappled forests and waded in the Mediterranean Sea. Above all, they were successful: survivors of over 300,000 years of massive climate change. Rebecca reveals a deeper, more nuanced story where humanity itself is our ancient, shared inheritance. It is only by understanding them, that we can truly understand ourselves. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26/10/20·1h 3m

David Mitchell – Dishonesty is the Second Best Policy

Lying is probably as old as human language itself – an inevitable consequence of humanity’s greatest superpower. And comedian, Observer columnist and Peep Show star David Mitchell lies quite often (mostly about whether he is free to come to social events). But even he never expected to live in the post-truth age. In conversation with broadcaster and journalist Hannah MacInnes, he joins us to rail against the times with the characteristic wit, warmth, originality and insight we’ve come to expect. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/10/20·59m 58s

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. Jess Phillips is no stranger to speaking truth to power. Since becoming the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley in 2015, she has earned widespread acclaim as an authentic, fearless and uncompromising force for good in British politics, unafraid to stand up against injustice no matter the cost. Now she returns to How To Academy to teach you how to dig deep, get organised, and find the courage and the tools you need to take action. In this conversation with broadcaster and journalist Matthew Stadlen, she’ll share her own experiences speaking truth to power – and share the stories of the accidental heroes who have been brave enough to risk everything, become whistle-blowers and successfully fight back. This episode features some unbeeped bad language and may not be suitable for all listeners. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
12/10/20·1h 2m

Thandie Newton Meets Gloria Steinem

She is the most iconic American feminist of the 20th and 21st centuries: a journalist and activist whose career spanned the campaign trails of Bobby Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. As a co-founder of Ms. Magazine, Gloria Steinem demonstrated a unique gift for offering hope and inspiring action – and to this day her words continue to serve as a source of guidance, humour and unity for people around the world. As the Emmy and BAFTA winning star of Westworld and The Line of Duty, alongside a cinematic slate as diverse as the Academy Award winning Crash and blockbuster Solo: a Star Wars Story, Thandie Newton is one of the most accomplished British actresses of her generation. As an activist and philanthropist, she has campaigned tirelessly to end violence against women and girls, and her TED talk exploring the role of selfhood and the bonds that connect us has been viewed over 3 million times. In this conversation hosted by author and critic Erica Wagner, Thandie and Gloria explore the extraordinary progress towards equality achieved over their lifetimes - and consider the work that remains to be done. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/10/20·1h 1m

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 a godfather to a multi-billion dollar industry. When Sid Meier designed his first computer game at the University of Michigan in the early 1970s computer-games hardly existed – and there were certainly no professional computer-game designers. In the following decades he would create some of the most famous and celebrated video-game titles ever made – including Civilization, a simulator of all of human history that has accumulated over a billion hours of play across the globe. The subject of internet memes, innumerable academic studies, critical acclaim and sometime controversy, the Civilization series has since its earliest days served as a calling card for anyone who believes that video-games are a unique, mature and culturally significant form. In this in-depth interview Sid explores his life and career at the forefront of the industry, with advice for aspiring and professional game-designers that can be equally applied by artists and creatives in all media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
21/09/20·40m 33s

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. From the Elgin Marbles to the return of more than twelve thousand stolen artefacts from Belgium’s Africa Museum, the cry for the restitution of cultural objects once stolen under armed force or conquest is being heard across the globe. And the call is being heard in the highest echelons of power: from President Macron’s commitment to returning hundreds of artworks acquired by force or fraud in Africa to Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece. Geoffrey Robertson QC has earned a formidable reputation as the UK’s leading human rights lawyer advocating in the most important legal cases of our age - from representing Salman Rushdie during the fatwa to fighting for free speech in the world-famous OZ trial. He’s helped the Greek government with legal arguments to reunite the Parthenon Marbles, and Tasmanian Aborigines in their action against the Natural History Museum for the return of the remains of their ancestors. He joins the How To Academy Podcast to delve into the debate over the Elgin Marbles, and offer a system for the return of cultural property based on human rights principles that aims to ensure the past can be experienced by everyone, as well as by the people of the country of origin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/09/20·35m 39s

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. We are living in the age of now. Businesses can barely see beyond the next quarterly report nor politicians beyond the next election. Markets spike then crash in speculative bubbles. In this right here, right now society, we rarely stop to consider if we're being good ancestors. But the future depends on it. In this podcast, leading public philosopher and internationally bestselling author of Empathy and The Wonderbox Roman Krznaric explains how we lost sight of the future, and introduces simple, practical ways that we can change our thinking today to give our children, and our planet, a chance at a better tomorrow. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/09/20·41m 55s

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. Anthony David is one of the UK’s leading mental health professionals. As Director of UCL’s Institute for Mental Health, he has dedicated his life to treating illnesses at the edge of human understanding. Drawing on four decades of study and practice at the forefront of mental healthcare, he joins How To Academy to consider how the pandemic will impact upon the human psyche. Prof David will explore how policymakers, mental health professionals and individuals can respond to what some experts have dubbed the mental health “tsunami” anticipated after months of lockdown, hospitalisation and bereavement – and in light the coming global recession. Offering a global as well as local perspective, and taking heed of studies of mental health conducted after the closely related pandemics of SARS and MERS, this conversation with broadcaster Matthew Stadlen offers rich insights into the measures we can take to mitigate against the long-term psychological impact of the still unfolding crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
31/08/20·1h 12m

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. The author of two New York Times bestsellers, psychologist Maria Konnikova had never actually played poker before and didn’t even know the rules when she approached Erik Seidel -- Poker Hall of Fame inductee, winner of tens of millions of dollars in earnings -- and asked him to be her mentor. She had faced a stretch of personal bad luck, and her reflections on the role of chance in her life had pointed her to poker as the ultimate master class in learning to distinguish what can be controlled and what can’t. Seidel was in, and soon Konnikova was down the rabbit hole with him, a journey that would lead her to the following year’s World Series of Poker. Then something extraordinary happened. Under Seidel’s guidance, Konnikova began to have many epiphanies about life that derived from her new pursuit, including how to better read not just her opponents but far more importantly herself. She found her way to making better decisions and to a place where she could accept luck for what it is, and what it isn’t. But she also began to win. And win. She won a major title and got used to headlines like ‘How one writer’s book deal turned her into a professional poker player’. She even learned to like Las Vegas. In the end, Konnikova is a student of human behaviour, and ultimately the point of her incredible adventure was to render it into a container for its invaluable lessons. The biggest bluff of all, she learned, is that skill is enough. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/08/20·1h 1m

Clive Woodward – How to Win

Sir Clive Woodward has spent a lifetime in high-performance environments, from the rugby field to the boardroom. He gave broadcaster Matthew Stadlen a masterclass in achieving peak performance. After leading the England Rugby team to victory in the 2003 World Cup, delivering Olympic glory in 2012 as Director of Sport at Team GB, and going on to help some of the world’s biggest brands and businesses deliver peak performance, there are few if any men better qualified to teach the skills of leadership than Sir Clive Woodward. In this conversation with broadcaster and journalist Matthew Stadlen, Sir Clive distils the essence of his philosophy of leadership. Drawing on his unique perspective of the events of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Sir Clive blends analysis, insight and anecdote to reveal how to lead the culture of a winning team – in any environment. Every individual position in rugby requires a unique set of skills, knowledge and expertise that collectively form a balanced team; the same is true in any successful business or organisation. From 1 to 15, the former England and British and Irish Lions coach identifies the key attributes and uses these defining traits to explain his collaborative 'Teamship' leadership style. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/08/20·46m 10s

Kiley Reid – Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age is the literary sensation of the season, making the bestseller lists on both sides of the Atlantic following overwhelming critical acclaim. Its 32 year old author Kiley Reid ‘bites into the zeitgeist then spits it out with gusto' (Stylist), offering a piercing and emphatic take on the way we live now. Exploring the intersection of money, class and race with candour, empathy and satirical insight, as well as the politics of privilege, the complicated reality of being a grown-up, and what it means to make someone family, the book announces Reid as a formidable talent and astute commentator on the values and mores of 21st century America. Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right. Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend all they think they know about themselves, and each other. Don’t miss chance to meet a new voice of a generation in this week's How To Academy Podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/08/20·57m 58s

Owen O’Kane - How to Manage Anxiety and Stress

Psychotherapist and bestselling author Owen O’Kane was the NHS Clinical Lead for Mental Health. He joined us to explore evidence-based techniques for developing a healthier perspective. It is not necessary to sit on waiting lists and spend thousands of pounds to benefit from the insights of psychotherapy. Many of the tools from therapies including CBT, mindfulness and interpersonal therapy can be taught and practised simply and immediately. As one of the most experienced and senior therapists in the industry, Owen O’Kane is able to distil advice into concrete, jargon-free, step-by-step guide to steer you away from harmful patterns of thought and behaviour. In his Sunday Times bestseller Ten To Zen, and its sequel Ten Times Happier, he has developed a concrete plan to help you let go of what’s holding you back and move toward health and happiness. Owen grew up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, experiencing first-hand the anxiety that the conflict caused. As a Catholic, he struggled with his sexuality and even tried to cure himself at Lourdes before coming to terms with it. His understanding of the mental anguishes we face stems both from his first-hand experience and his decades of practice as a therapist. In this challenging time, he spoke to broadcaster and journalist Matthew Stadlen to reveal what we can each do to alleviate our troubled minds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/08/20·1h 17m

Madeleine Albright – Hell and Other Destinations

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright may be the most widely admired diplomat of our age; a tireless public servant whose new memoir Hell and Other Destinations is not only a record of living through history – but making it. In 2001, when Madeleine Albright was leaving office as America’s first female Secretary of State, interviewers asked her how she wished to be remembered. “I don’t want to be remembered,” she answered. “I am still here and have much more I intend to do. As difficult as it might seem, I want every stage of my life to be more exciting than the last.” In that time of transition, the former Secretary considered the possibilities: she could write, teach, travel, give speeches, start a business, fight for democracy, help to empower women, campaign for favoured political candidates, spend more time with her grandchildren. Instead of choosing one or two, she decided to do it all. For nearly twenty years, Albright has been in constant motion, navigating half a dozen professions, clashing with presidents and prime ministers, learning every day. Since leaving the State Department, she has blazed her own trail—and given voice to millions who yearn for respect, regardless of gender, background, or age. In this podcast with Hannah MacInnes, we see this remarkable figure at her bluntest, funniest, most intimate, and most serious. With stories from her life and work, and reflections upon Trump, the pandemic, and the tribulations of the 21st century, this is an unmissable chance to hear from one of the world’s most admired and respected public figures. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/07/20·1h 10m

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. Dr. Rahul Jandial is one of the world’s most eminent experts in the study and improvement of brain function. An award-winning, dual-trained neuroscientist and neurosurgeon, the author of ten books and a former faculty member at both Harvard and Stanford, Dr. Jandial is also a broadcaster and science communicator dubbed "world's most dashing neurosurgeon" (Variety). For years Dr Rahul Jandial, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, has transformed the lives of his neurosurgery patients by putting them through 'brain rehab', his specially developed boot camp for restoring brain function. In this eye-opening interview with Hannah MacInnes, he uses his expertise to show how healthy people can rewire their brains to work in a higher gear. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/07/20·43m 5s

Richard Eyre - How to Make a Play

The acclaimed director of stage and screen joins Matthew Stadlen for a masterclass in making theatre. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/07/20·40m 50s

Glennon Doyle – How to Find Yourself

‘Glennon shows us the clearest meaning of “To thine own self be true”. It’s as if she reached into her heart, captured the raw emotions there and translated them into words that anyone who’s ever known pain or shame – in other words, every human on the planet – can relate to.’ – Oprah Winfrey There is a voice of longing inside each woman. We strive to be good: good partners, daughters, mothers, employees, and friends. We hope all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, and overwhelmed. We look at our lives and wonder: Wasn't it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? Live from the US, Glennon Doyle joined the How To Academy to show us that another way is possible. The #1 New York Times bestselling author and humanitarian NGO founder is an inspiration to millions across the globe -- but for many years, she, like the rest of the us, denied her own discontent. In this talk, she’ll tell the story of how she quit living up to the world’s expectations of her and learn to be free. In this conversation with Hannah MacInnes, she describes how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honour our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts.. It’s time to quit pleasing -- and start living. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/06/20·1h 2m

Martin Wolf – The World After the Pandemic

Revered by politicians, financiers and his fellow economists alike, the FT’s Martin Wolf may be the world’s most influential economic commentator. Matthew Stadlen seeks his insights. Admired across the political spectrum for his level-head, independence and lack of dogmatism, Martin Wolf is far more than an astute analyst of global economic affairs. Through his columns in the Financial Times, books and documentaries, he is an opinion-maker deeply respected by business and political leaders, whose principled advocacy of the public interest inspires policy decisions across the anglophone world and far beyond. Now, as the world economy collapses, he joins the How To Academy in conversation with How To Academy Podcast host Matthew Stadlen. The world after 2020 will be very different from the world we left. But how? Will the pandemic lead to the greatest upheaval in the social contract since the second world war, the end of globalisation, the beginning of the Asian century? Will it lead to tax rises, inflation, further austerity? Tune in and discover what the world’s preeminent financial journalist thinks about the world to come. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
22/06/20·1h 11m

Max Brooks - How To Survive a Global Catastrophe

This week's podcast guest Max Brooks is the bestselling author of the zombie apocalypse cult classic World War Z, for which he also wrote the screenplay for the Hollywood adaptation with Brad Pitt. He is the son of Hollywood legends Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks – Max and Mel recently went viral with their #DontBeASpreader video which has had 16.1M views to date. As well as a bestselling author, Max is also a renowned global disaster preparation expert and works alongside the US government, the Atlantic Council (US global leadership and engagement in partnership with allies and partners) and lectures at West Point Military Academy on disaster preparedness. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post and beyond on everything from coronavirus and biowarfare to the form the real zombie apocalypse will come in. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/06/20·38m 21s

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 Few of us realize that our language in the workplace inhibits creative problem-solving and escalates uncertainty and stress. In both high-pressure situations and everyday scenarios, in each meeting and email, we have the opportunity to empower our colleagues by using the right words. David Marquet is a man who understands first-hand the power of words to make change happen. As commander of the nuclear-powered, fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe, he transformed the worst-performing submarine in the fleet to the best. Now he applies the same skills to businesses as an expert in leadership. In this conversation with LBC Presenter Matthew Stadlen, Marquet shows managers and leaders how to enable their team through communication. He outlines a set of principles and tools that help leaders inspire their people to take responsibility and address challenges without waiting to be told what to do, highlighting how small changes in language can lead to dramatic changes in a team's success and happiness. Praise for L. David Marquet: 'I don't know of a finer model of this kind of empowering leadership than Captain Marquet. And in the pages that follow you will find a model for your pathway'’ Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 'To say I'm a fan of David Marquet would be an understatement... I'm a fully fledged groupie. He is the kind of leader who comes around only once a generation. He is the kind of leader who doesn't just know how to lead, he knows how to build leaders. His ideas and lessons are invaluable to anyone who wants to build an organization that will outlive them'’ Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start with Why Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
08/06/20·47m 2s

Julia Ebner – Undercover With Extremists

Frustrated by the limits of an outsider’s perspective, counter-extremism expert Julia Ebner secretly infiltrated five fanatical groups. She joined the How To Academy Podcast to reveal her journey into the darkest recesses of extremist thinking. By day, Julia Ebner works at a counter-extremism think tank, monitoring radical groups from the outside, but two years ago, she began to feel that she was only seeing half the picture. She needed to get inside the groups to truly understand them. So she decided to go undercover in her spare hours – late nights, holidays, weekends – adopting five different identities, and joining a dozen extremist groups from across the ideological spectrum. Her journey would take her from a Generation Identity global strategy meeting in a pub in Mayfair, to a Neo-Nazi Music Festival on the border of Germany and Poland. She would get relationship advice from ‘Trad Wives’ and Jihadi Brides and hacking lessons from ISIS. She was in the channels when the alt-right began planning the lethal Charlottesville rally, and spent time in the networks that would radicalise the Christchurch terrorist. On this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, Julia reveals what she discovered on her terrifying and illuminating journey. She exposes how closely we are surrounded by their fanatical ideology every day, the changing nature and practice of these groups, and what is being done to counter them. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/06/20·1h 2m

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. In conversation with Matthew Stadlen, Lord Browne argues that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advance. Civilisation is founded on engineering innovation; all progress stems from the human urge to make things and to shape the world around us, resulting in greater freedom, health and wealth for all. Drawing on history, his own experiences and conversations with many of today's great innovators, he uncovers the basis for all progress and its consequences, both good and bad. He argues compellingly that the same spark that triggers each innovation can be used to counter its negative consequences. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/05/20·37m 35s

Layla Saad - How to Fight White Supremacy

'She is no-joke changing the world and, for what it's worth, the way I live my life.' - Anne Hathaway How can white people challenge racism -- whether in the form of their own unconscious biases or the wider systems of white supremacy? In this week's How To Academy Podcast, Hannah MacInnes meets author, influencer and activist Layla Saad, whose Instagram challenge #MeAndWhiteSupremacy encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviours. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and over 90,000 people downloaded her Me and White Supremacy Workbook. Awareness leads to action, and action leads to change. Listen to this week's podcast and find out what you can do to make the world a better place. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/05/20·31m 21s

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. World-renowned for his ground-breaking discoveries in string theory, Brian Greene is also one of our most eloquent and original storytellers in science, able to transport us across the vast reaches of time and space, bringing to life breakthroughs and trials, great discoveries and profound philosophical meditations. He joined Matthew Stadlen on the How To Academy Podcast to explore the quest to understand how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos of the big bang, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/05/20·34m 44s

Julia Samuel - How to Adapt and Survive in a Time of Crisis

In this unprecedented moment in global history, psychotherapist Julia Samuel joined the How To Academy Podcast to tell us how to find unknown strengths in times of difficulty and change. As the global coronavirus pandemic causes profound difficulties to our health, work, and family, Julia drew upon more thirty years of experience helping everyday people in times of uncertainty, and taught us the skills we need to adapt and hopefully thrive in this strange new normal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
01/05/20·55m 14s

How To Make Sense of Consciousness

How do our brains produce the magic show of conscious experience? The question remains one of the universe's unsolved mysteries -- and this week's podcast guest, Anil Seth, is working on the answer. This week's guest Anil Seth is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex. In his work he seeks to understand the biological basis of consciousness by bringing together research across neuroscience, mathematics, AI, computer science, psychology, philosophy and psychiatry. Matthew Stadlen caught up with him backstage at How To Academy's annual How to Change the World conference to find out more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/04/20·42m 10s

Mervyn King - How to Make Decisions for an Unknowable Future

Many of the world’s problems stem from the false belief that we can accurately predict the future. Can we make better decisions by acknowledging radical uncertainty? In this week's podcast, Mervyn King and John Kay build a powerful case. Uncertainty pervades the big decisions we all make in our lives. How much should we pay into our pensions each month? Should we take regular exercise? Expand the business? Change our strategy? Enter a trade agreement? Take an expensive holiday? We do not know what the future will hold. But we must make decisions anyway. So we crave certainties which cannot exist and invent knowledge we cannot have. But humans are successful because they have adapted to an environment that they understand only imperfectly. Throughout history we have developed a variety of ways of coping with the radical uncertainty that defines our lives. Mervyn King and John Kay know about the pressures of decision-making in the highest echelons of power. They’ve spent their lives and careers making decisions that reverberate across British society -- and beyond. As Governor of the Bank of England, King was responsible for the financial stability of the nation. And as a company director, FT columnist and Oxford Said Professor in the country, Kay’s decisions and opinions have been felt across the business world and wider economy for decades. In this eye-opening podcast interview with economist Linda Yueh, they highlight the most successful – and the most short-sighted - methods of dealing with an unknowable future. They will show how the prevalent methods of our age fall short, giving us a false understanding of our power to make predictions and leading to many of the problems we experience today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/04/20·1h 6m

BONUS EPISODE - Global GoalsCast

The How To Academy Podcast presents an episode of one of our favourite shows: the Global GoalsCast. The climate challenge is sprawling and extraordinarily complex. It is too much for any individual to hold all of it in their head. That knowledge void has become a major political obstacle to effective climate action (SDG 13) as we fill it in paralyzing ways, from denial to apocalyptic fear. The best way to learn that we can curb climate change is to do it. So Global GoalsCast co-host Edie Lush sat down with John Sterman, professor of Management at MIT, to solve the climate crisis on his ClimateInteractiv model of the world’s climate and economy. Edie tried everything from energy efficient homes to a steep tax on carbon in a search for solutions that would hold global temperature increases under 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit). How did she do? Listen to this special two-part episode of Global GoalsCast, timed to coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit and the global journalism effort to increase awareness of the climate challenge, #CoveringClimateNow. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/04/20·43m 29s

William Gibson – How to Create the Future

He coined the word ‘Cyberspace’ and envisioned the Internet and Virtual Reality before they ever existed. Now, in this week's How To Academy Podcast, William Gibson turns his prophetic eye to the 21st century. He is the prophet who first envisioned our fluid, hyperconnected, hallucinatory world; the internationally bestselling author whose visions of the near future reveal the strangeness of our contemporary moment as much as they illuminate potential worlds to come. But William Gibson is more than a thinker anticipating possible futures: an inspiration to successive generations of innovators, his searing imagination has not only defined the cyberpunk literary genre but shaped our reality. Advertising agencies inspired by his fictious company Blue Ant now manage global accounts; designer labels produce luxury fashions based on the clothing worn by his characters. U2 based an album on his 6 million selling debut, Neuromancer – and technologists from Tokyo to Silicon Valley are devoted to realising his ideas. Many people claim to understand the age of Trump and Brexit, global pandemics and climate change – but no-one else shares William Gibson’s ability to cut through the noise and synthesise a unique and powerful vision of the present and near future. In this interview, we hear in-depth form one of the most potent analytical minds of our age. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30/03/20·34m 28s

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 against populism and tribalism is urgent no matter where you live. She joined Matthew Stadlen on the How To Academy Podcast to explore our turbulent present and make an impassioned defence of tolerance and humanitarian values. In an age where the vision of a pluralistic, democratic global village no longer feels like possible, she explores how we can escape our echo chambers and work together to forge a better future. Elif writes in both Turkish and English, and has been published in 48 languages. Her most recent novel, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World was nominated for the Booker Prize. She has been longlisted for the Orange Prize, MAN Asian Prize; the Baileys Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award, and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize. She is a TED Global speaker, a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy in Davos and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). She has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2010 by the French government. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
23/03/20·47m 39s

Ai Weiwei – Human Rights in the 21st Century

Ai Weiwei is living proof that creativity can change our world for the better. Raised in a labour camp and later beaten, surveilled and imprisoned on trumped-up charges by the Chinese state, Ai Weiwei has dedicated his life to the struggle against corruption and oppression of all kinds. As a conceptual artist and activist fighting for justice, he has become an icon in his own lifetime, renowned world-wide for his work promoting freedom of thought and expression, compassion, and humanitarian values. For one unmissable night at the How To Academy, Weiwei was joined in conversation by Kenneth Roth, CEO of Human Rights Watch – an NGO investigating and reporting abuses in five continents. From the Syrian Civil War to the Rohingya Crisis, US immigration to the South Sudan Conflict, the lawyers, journalists and country experts of Human Rights Watch help hold abusers to account and bring justice to victims. Weiwei and Kenneth were hosted by Helene Cooper, Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times and herself a refugee to the United States, having fled a military coup in Liberia aged 14. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/03/20·1h 27m

Paul Krugman – Politics, Economics and the Fight for a Fairer Future

For more than forty years Nobel laureate, bestselling economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has fought for a fair, just and liberal future. Widely considered the voice of 21st century liberal thought both in the United States and across the globe, Paul Krugman combines the erudition and insight of a renowned scholar with the immediate relevance, clarity and originality of thought expected of a columnist at the New York Times. A former professor at LSE, Princeton, Yale and MIT, perhaps the world’s leading theorist of international trade relations, and a passionate advocate of a fairer and more democratic world, he joined the How To Academy Podcast to share his insights into the Trump administration and beyond. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/03/20·34m 57s

Erling Kagge and Ben Saunders - 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. Bringing together two record-breaking polar explorers –Norwegian Erling Kagge and his British counterpart Ben Saunders – this podcast offers a profound and illuminating meditation on the life of a polar explorer. The first man ever to reach the North and South Poles unsupported and the first to conquer both the Poles and Mt. Everest, a Cambridge educated philosopher, international art dealer, lawyer, politician, publisher and bestselling author, Erling Kagge’s achievements belie his faith in the sacred value of silence and solitude in the modern age. Joining him in the podcast is Ben Saunders, whose accomplishments include skiing solo to both poles and leading The Scott Expedition – the longest human powered journey in human history. 'After having put my shoes on and let my thoughts wander, I am sure of one thing - to put one foot in front of the other is one of the most important things we do.' – Erling Kagge Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
24/02/20·34m 28s

Joseph Stiglitz - How to Save American Capitalism

How can we escape our age of discontent? In this week's podcast, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz challenges us to throw off the free market fundamentalists and reclaim our democratic power. We all the sense that something has gone wrong with the American economy – with consequences that continue to reverberate across the globe. But just how did a few corporations come to dominate entire sectors, leading to skyrocketing inequality and sluggish growth? How did the financial industry write its own regulations, the tech companies accumulate reams of personal data without oversight, and the government negotiate international trade deals against the interests of workers? Joseph Stiglitz is America’s preeminent economic thinker. A Nobel laureate, bestselling author, advisor to Clinton and former chairman of the World Bank, he joins the How To Academy Academy Podcast to answer the question of why the economy is rigged in favour of elites - and rally us around a new vision of capitalism that puts people ahead of profits. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/02/20·34m 52s

Lisa Taddeo and Hadley Freeman On Sex and Desire

Nearly a decade in the making, Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women is a global phenomenon. Hailed instantly as a feminist classic, this staggering work of nonfiction is the result of thousands of hours spent in the company of its subjects – three women whose lives reveal profound and previously unspoken truths about life and love, womanhood and desire. Lisa joins the How To Academy Podcast to tell the Guardian's Hadley Freeman how Three Women came to be. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
10/02/20·1h 7m

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. There are entire worlds of advice on how to lose weight, how to sleep better, how to perform better on the job, how to have better sex, and every other aspect of human behaviour you might wish to change in the New Year. But we all know from bitter experience that none of these new habits last beyond February. The week's How To Academy Podcast will help you finally keep the promises you have made to yourself. BJ Fogg is the legendary Stanford researcher whose class inspired the founder of Instagram and whose ideas are cited by almost every guru of habit formation and behavioural change – from Tim Ferris to Robert Sutton. He joined Matthew Stadlen to introduce a simple method empirically proven to create results for all behavioural issues – from weight loss and better sleep to quitting smoking and exercising more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
03/02/20·44m 12s

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. They are among the most influential CEOs on the planet – bona fide icons of the digital age. But what else do Jeff Bezos, Sheryl Sandberg, Sundar Pichai, Marissa Meyer and Steve Jobs have in common? They all learned to lead from the legendary coach and business executive, Bill Campbell. His mentoring of some of the most successful modern entrepreneurs has helped to create well over a trillion dollars in market value, and played an instrumental role in the growth of many of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies. Google’s senior leaders Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle experienced first-hand how the man fondly known as Coach Bill built trusting relationships, fostered personal growth-even in those at the pinnacle of their careers, inspired courage, and identified and resolved simmering tensions that inevitably arise in fast-moving environments. They joined Matthew Stadlen on the How To Academy Podcast to tell us more about Bill’s ideas and methods, and honour his legacy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27/01/20·42m 30s

Life Lessons From Gina Miller

“There are times when I’ve gone back and cried, and I do think at times, ‘Is it worth it?’ But I have to carry on fighting because it can’t become a normalised thought pattern in our society that a woman of colour is not bright enough, can’t make her own money, can’t be successful, or is told she has made it on her back. I will stand up as long as I can.” – Gina Miller Gina Miller has taken the government to court not once but twice – and won. In the face of abuse and threats -- including a crowdfunded campaign to sponsor her assassination -- she has risen to become an icon to anyone who believes in transparency, democracy and the rule of law. Her life story is one of extraordinary resilience, and her courage is an inspiration whether we are striving to change the future of British politics or facing very different trials. Sent to England from Guyana to study aged 10, she worked as a teenage chamber maid when currency controls left her cut off from her family’s support. Aged 24, she gave birth to a daughter with brain damage, and after her first marriage ended, became a single mother. She was assaulted at law school and today faces death threats online and on the street. Letters are sent to her home telling her that her children are ‘mongrels’. Yet faced with a lifetime of hardship and flagrant abuse she has risen to become perhaps the most influential and inspirational activist of our age. In this week's How To Academy Podcast, Gina draws on a lifetime of fighting injustice and looks at the moments that made her; the trauma, failures and successes that gave her the confidence in her voice, the ability to know how to use it and the strength not to let others diminish it, even when it came at incredible cost. To those who say one person cannot make a difference, Gina Miller is irrefutable proof that you can. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
20/01/20·1h 7m

Hilary Cottam - How to Revolutionise the Welfare State

Imitated and envied across the globe, the British welfare state was once revolutionary. But in 2020, our society faces urgent challenges that can only be solved with new and highly innovative solutions. In this week's podcast, social designer and WEF Young Global Leader Dr. Hilary Cottam meets Matthew Stadlen to reveal her vision of a system that puts human connection first. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
13/01/20·39m 51s

Neil deGrasse Tyson - Reflections from an Astrophysicist

He is the world’s most beloved scientist – an inspiration for all who seek understanding, meaning and truth in the vastness of the cosmos. Now Neil deGrasse Tyson joins the How To Academy Podcast to ask: what is our place in the universe? Neil deGrasse Tyson has dedicated his life to exploring and explaining the mysteries of our universe. As Director of the Hayden Planetarium, the host of Cosmos and StarTalk, a New York Times bestselling author and owner of one of the 200 ‘most followed’ Twitter accounts on the entire planet, he might just be the most influential scientist alive today. Every year, Professor Tyson receives thousands of letters – from students to prisoners, scientists to priests. Some seek advice, others yearn for inspiration; some are full of despair, others burst with wonder. His replies are by turns wise, funny, and mind-blowing. In this podcast, Neil shares his favourite ideas from decades of correspondence - exploring issues from atheism to aliens, racism in America to the cosmic perspective on human life. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
06/01/20·1h 3m

Chetna Gala Sinha - How to Fight Global Poverty

On this week's podcast, Matthew Stadlen meets activist and microfinance pioneer Chetna Gala Sinha, whose work in rural India empowers some of the world's poorest women. When Chetna Gala Sinha moved from her home town of Mumbai to rural Mhaswad as a young economics graduate, she saw first-hand how lack of access to banking facilities deprived local women of the opportunity to employ their entrepreneurial skills and lift themselves out of poverty. Since then, she has dedicated her life to creating the financial, technological and educational infrastructure needed by women in rural India to support themselves -- and been acknowledged the world over as one of the most influential activists of her generation. Today the Mann Deshi Bank manages millions of dollars and the Mann Deshi Foundation educates hundreds of thousands of women in business skills -- with profoundly significant consequences. In our turbulent age, it is easy to become sceptical about the power of one person to make a difference in the world. This week's podcast is proof that they can. Apologies for the occasionally bumpy sound in this week's episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/12/19·37m 7s

Rory Stewart - The Truth About Politics

In this week’s podcast, independent politician and London Mayoral candidate Rory Stewart tells Hannah MacInnes what he's discovered about British democracy in his time an MP and minister. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Malaysia, commissioned in the Black Watch when only a teenager, a bestselling author and Professor at Harvard, Rory Stewart’s career bore little resemblance to the typical 21st century career politician - and that before he being fired by the Conservative Party for rebelling against a hard Brexit. In this conversation, he gives us the inside scoop on how government works - and how it doesn't. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/12/19·1h 10m

Matthew Syed - A Radical Blueprint for Creative Problem-Solving

Where do the best ideas come from? In this week’s podcast, Matthew Syed takes Matthew Stadlen on a fascinating journey through the new science of creative problem-solving. It’s time to think again about where the best ideas come from. Individual intelligence and homogenous teams are fine for addressing simple problems -- but groupthink can spell disaster for more complex tasks. That’s why Times columnist and former Olympian advocates a brave new idea: Cognitive Diversity. In this week’s podcast, he reveals how cognitive diversity strengthens any company, institution or team, providing a powerful new tool for creative problem-solving that breaks down echo chambers and gives a competitive advantage to leaders willing to listen. What’s the difference between the herd mentality and the wisdom of crowds? Why are so few problems solved in meetings? What do the CIA’s failings before 9/11, a communications breakdown on Mount Everest, and the differences between American and Japanese scientists have in common? You’ll discover the answers to all these questions and many more in this week’s How To Academy Podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
02/12/19·33m 58s

Speeches That Changed the World

For this week's podcast, Hannah MacInnes and bestselling historian Simon Sebag Montefiore assembled an all-star cast to bring to life history's greatest speeches - from conquerors and revolutionaries, activists and athletes, dreamers and killers. You'll meet Elizabeth I and Genghis Khan, Muhammad Ali and Winston Churchill, Greta Thunberg, Martin Luther King and many more - with insights from Simon revealing how these powerful speeches enlighten our past, enrich our present and inspire - and hold warnings for - our future. The cast includes Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones, Four Weddings and a Funeral); Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Star Trek: Discovery); Paapa Essiedu (Hamlet, RSC); Kate Phillips (Wolf Hall, The Crown), and Jade Anouka (Cleaning Up, Trauma). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/11/19·1h 24m

How to Stop Facebook From Destroying Democracy

Roger NcNamee was Mark Zuckerberg’s mentor in the first days of Facebook. In this week's How To Academy Podcast, he explains why he's now devoted to stopping the behemoth he helped to create. If you had told Roger McNamee three years ago that he would soon be devoting himself to stopping Facebook from destroying democracy, he would have howled with laughter. He had mentored many tech leaders in his illustrious career as an investor, but few things had made him prouder, or been better for his fund's bottom line, than his early service to Mark Zuckerberg. Still a large shareholder in Facebook, he had every good reason to stay on the bright side. Until he simply couldn't. In this week's How To Academy Podcast, Roger tells Matthew Stadlen about his reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world's most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
18/11/19·1h 19m

Marie Forleo - How to Create Unstoppable Success

With nothing more than passion, a laptop and a dream, Marie Forleo created a digital empire that inspires millions. She’s the star of the award-winning show MarieTV, with over 47 million views, and the author of a new guide to high achievement that Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert says ‘will change lives’. Named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation, Marie presents her award-winning online show, Marie TV and podcast to her 1.5 million fans around the world. She is the founder of B-School, a transformative online business school and she has mentored young business owners at the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. is one of Forbes magazine's Top 100 Websites for Entrepreneurs and her work has appeared in Inc. magazine, Women's Health and Entrepreneur among others. She joined the How To Academy Podcast to teach us what she’s learned on her path to success. In conversation with journalist Hannah MacInnes, Marie teaches us to train our brains to think more creatively and positively – especially in the face of setbacks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
11/11/19·1h 28m

Jonathan Safran Foer - How to Save the Planet

The climate crisis is the single biggest threat to human survival. And it is happening right now. We all understand that time is running out - but do we truly believe it? Caught between the seemingly unimaginable and the apparently unthinkable, how can we take the first step towards action, to arrest our race to extinction? Jonathan Safran Foer is on a mission to demystify climate change. His ability to spin beauty, wit and insight from tragedy in novels like 'Everything is Illuminated' and 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' have seen him lauded as the most gifted storyteller of his generation. And his ‘shocking, incandescent, brilliant’ (Times) bestseller 'Eating Animals' shifted attitudes away from industrialised farming and meat-eating for good. He joined Matthew Stadlen on stage at How To Academy to bring the climate crisis to life – and offer us a way out. They explored how the task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves - with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. But we have done it before and we can do it again. Collective action is the way to save our home and way of life. And it all starts with what we eat, and don't eat, for breakfast… Praise for Jonathan Safran Foer: 'Should be compulsory reading. A genuine masterwork. Read this book. It will change you' Time Out 'Everyone who eats flesh should read this book' Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall 'Universally compelling. Jonathan Safran Foer's book changed me' Natalie Portman 'Gripping [and] original. A brilliant synthesis of argument, science and storytelling. One of the finest books ever written on the subject of eating animals' Times Literary Supplement 'Horrifying, eloquent, timely' Spectator 'If you eat meat and fish, you should read this book. Even if you don't, you should. It might bring the beginning of a change of heart about all living things' Joanna Lumley Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
04/11/19·1h 17m

Dr. Gabor Maté - 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. Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a connection between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer’s disease? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality”? One of the world’s most sought after and celebrated physicians, Dr. Gabor Maté is the leading expert on the role the mind-body connection plays in illness and health. Drawing on scientific research and the author’s decades of experience as a practicing physician, he joined journalist Hannah MacInnes to explore the role that stress and emotions play in an array of common diseases, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. "Gabor Maté’s connections―between the intensely personal and the global, the spiritual and the medical, the psychological and the political―are bold, wise and deeply moral. He is a healer to be cherished." -- Naomi Klein Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/10/19·30m 58s

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: Juliet Stevenson. Best known for film work including TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY, EMMA and MONA LISA SMILE, acclaimed for her work on the stage including DEATH OF A MAIDEN (ROYAL COURT), MEASURE FOR MEASURE (RSC) and HAPPY DAYS (Young Vic), she joined Matthew Stadlen to impart what she's learned about the art, craft and business of acting over four decades. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
17/10/19·42m 16s

Rory Sutherland - How to Be Less Rational (and More Brilliant)

In this week’s How To Academy podcast, Matthew Stadlen meets advertising legend Rory Sutherland for a lesson in using the power of psychology to make ideas, products and businesses triumph. In our data-driven age, businesses usually try to use logic, algorithms and theory to drive sales and solve problems. But there’s a problem with this rational approach: humans are innately illogical, and make unconscious decisions based largely on our emotions. What if there was a deeper, underlying logic to explain our irrational selves? How can leaders tap into this ‘psycho-logic’ to drive their brands, products and businesses to global success? Ogilvy Vice Chairman Rory Sutherland’s has the answer. His inimitable flair and polymath’s curiosity has made him a TED Talk superstar with over 6.5 million views, a globally sought-after keynote speaker, and a Radio 4 regular with two acclaimed radio series under his belt. In this podcast, he presents his ground-breaking theory of creative alchemy. Blend cutting-edge behavioural science, jaw-dropping stories and a touch of branding magic, Rory shows why the demand for logic is stifling our ability to solve problems – and presents a startlingly original set of tools for finding creative solutions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
14/10/19·57m 55s

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. For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down. In this moving and compelling conversation with journalist Hannah MacInnes, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world – the people who’ve given focus and urgency to her life. She will help us to see ways in which we can all lift women up – wherever we live. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
07/10/19·58m 11s

John Humphrys - How to Make the News

For the last 33 years, John Humphrys has held politicians to account as the host of our most popular news programme - Radio 4's Today. In this week's How To Academy Podcast, Matthew Stadlen - a man who is himself no stranger to asking tough questions of those in power - sat down with him to explore what John has learned from a lifetime at the forefront of current affairs in the UK. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/09/19·49m 37s

Marcus du Sautoy - AI and the Secret of Creativity

In Episode 9 of the How To Academy podcast, the nation’s most loved science communicator, Oxford mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy, explores the potential of artificial intelligence to think creatively. From driving cars to writing legal contracts, new developments in AI are shaking up the status quo, as we find out how many of the tasks humans engage in can be done equally well, if not better, by machines. But can machines be creative? Will they soon be able to learn from the art that moves us, and understand what distinguishes it from the mundane? What will it mean to be human when an algorithm can paint like Rembrandt, compose like Mozart, and write like Shakespeare? In this podcast, Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy examines the nature of creativity with science filmmaker David Malone. How much of our emotional response to art is a product of our brains reacting to pattern and structure? Exactly what does it mean to be creative in mathematics and art, language and music? Will a computer ever compose a symphony or write a prize-winning novel? And if so, would we be able to tell the difference? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
16/09/19·32m 46s

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. Giles Coren is a man of many talents. A restaurant critic, Times columnist, TV presenter, and award-winning novelist, his taste, wit and inability to suffer fools have made him an icon to anyone who values great writing and clever opinions. He is perhaps the ultimate dinner party guest; and though we cannot offer supper with Giles in a world-class restaurant, How Academy proudly presents the next best thing: Giles in conversation with LBC’s Matthew Stadlen, on the subject of supper in world-class restaurants. Giles reflects on the most delicious, ethical and sustainable dining experiences in the UK - alongside a rambunctious and laugh out loud review of his relationships, career and life to date. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
09/09/19·52m 11s

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. For twenty years the author and activist Michael Pollan has been writing about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect, including, most famously, in his acclaimed books on the ethics and ecology of food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire. That path recently led him to investigate the role of mind altering drugs in humans culture - from shamans and magic mushroom hunts to the pioneering labs mapping our brains - and to put himself forward as a guinea-pig. In this podcast, LBC presenter Matthew Stadlen asks Michael about his dive into this extraordinary world, taking a tough but open-minded approach to the promises and perils of the new science of psychedelics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
28/08/19·41m 31s

Elizabeth Gilbert - On Life and Love

From the dive bars of the Lower East Side to the beaches of Bali, the Connecticut Christmas Tree farm where she was raised to the Mumbai ashram where she sought solace after a difficult divorce, Elizabeth Gilbert is a world traveller whose unending search for answers to life’s biggest questions have made her the voice of a generation. Aged 34, she left her home, husband and career to travel alone across the world; her chronicle of that journey became EAT, PRAY, LOVE, an international bestseller so popular TIME magazine declared her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Since then she has produced one critically acclaimed bestseller after another. From COMMITTED, her memoir about making her peace with the institution of marriage, to BIG MAGIC, a book encapsulating her the joyful spirit she brings to her creative work, her works resonate profoundly with all of us who wish to confront heartbreak, tragedy and desperation with openness, imagination and wisdom. In celebration of the release of her new novel CITY OF GIRLS, she joined the How To Academy to explore her life to date. In this conversation with journalist Hannah MacInnes, she considered her thoughts on genius and creativity, sex and adventure, wonder and fear, leaving no stone unturned in her remarkable story. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
19/08/19·1h 25m

Preet Bharara - An Insider's Guide to Crime in America

In Episode Five of the How To Academy Podcast, Matthew Stadlen meets Preet Bharara, the former US district attorney who successfully prosecuted some of the most high-profile crimes in America. Along the way he gained notoriety as the ‘Sheriff of Wall Street’, was banned from Russia by Vladimir Putin and earned the distinction of being one of the first federal employees fired by Trump. In this wide-ranging conversation Preet takes us into the gritty, tactically complex, often sensational world of America’s criminal justice system – and gives us his inside take on the Mueller Report and President Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
05/08/19·40m 4s

David Wallace-Wells - How To Survive Climate Change

Once a generation an environmentalist dares to speak truth to power with such force that they cannot be silenced. In Episode 4 of the How To Academy Podcast, Matthew Stadlen meets David Wallace-Wells, whose terrifying vision of unfolding climate catastrophe may just be the wake-up call we need to save the future. Climate change is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn't happening at all, and if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. In this podcast, David presents a sober, scientific but utterly terrifying vision of the unfolding 21st century. What will it be like to live on a pummelled planet? What will it do to our politics, our economy, our culture and sense of history? And what action can we all take, today, to minimise the damage? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
29/07/19·41m 15s

The Gendered Brain Debate

In this week's podcast, two giants of cognitive science - neuroscientist Gina Rippon and psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen - go head-to-head to debate one of the most contested and controversial ideas in the history of science: do men and women have essentially different brains? Setting this debate has potentially far-reaching consequences for the future of medicine and mental health treatment, the workplace and society as a whole. But do studies claiming to show differences between the brains of men and women actually uncover an inconvenient truth? Or are they merely attempts to justify the sexist status quo? It’s time to accept that brains should not be ‘sexed’, says Gina Rippon. It’s misleading to attribute any differences in behaviour, abilities, achievements, or personality to the possession of either a female brain or a male brain. And she argues that new techniques can prove it. After centuries of ingrained neurosexism, neuroscience’s cutting-edge breakthroughs should at last liberate us from outdated misunderstandings of what our brains can and cannot do. Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen takes a different perspective. Whilst he agrees that individuals’ brains should not and cannot be ‘sexed’, he reminds us that group studies of males and females do reveal differences on average: Men on average are better at analysing systems and women on average are better at empathising with people. And he marshals evidence from studies of prenatal hormones and genetics that these traits have both biological and cultural roots. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/06/19·1h 22m

Cass Sunstein - How To Make Change Happen

In this podcast, the bestselling author of Nudge, Professor Cass Sunstein, presents a ground-breaking guide for anyone who wishes to fuel – or block – transformative social change. Sometimes all it takes to change society is for one person to decide they will no longer remain silent. A child announces that the emperor has no clothes. A woman tweets, #MeToo. Suddenly, a taboo collapses for the better – or for the worse. Once white nationalism was kept out of the mainstream media and politics; now it is in the White House. Social movements can begin when rage is released – or quietly, with millions of people nudged into making different decisions until, without noticing, we live with a new status quo. Bringing together behavioural economics, psychology, politics and law, Cass Sunstein and LBC Presenter Matthew Stadlen explore Cass’s career new science of social movements. What can we as individuals do to harness the power of social movements to make change happen? What kinds of interventions make a difference, and what kind lead to bans and mandates? How can we overcome social division, cause transformative cascades, and employ political parties as a force for good? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/06/19·27m 15s

Simon Sinek - How to Lead in the 21st Century

In this episode of the How To Academy podcast, Matthew Stadlen meets Simon Sinek – perhaps the 21st century’s most acclaimed thinker in the field of business leadership. Simon Sinek’s Start With Why concept changed the face of modern business. Over 35 million people have watched his TED talk on how great leaders inspire everyone to take action, and millions more have read his books Find Your Why and Leaders Eat Last. In 2016, his insightful analysis of millennials at work was seen by more than 200 million people in the first month alone. He joined How To Academy to present his latest insights to LBC presenter Matthew Stadlen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
25/06/19·32m 41s
Heart UK