Uncommon Knowledge — audio edition
About This Show
Updated every two weeks, the Uncommon Knowledge podcast brings you fascinating discussions with today's biggest thinkers. View full episodes at http://www.hoover.org/uk Also check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UncKnowledge.
Most Recent Episode
A Conversation with Stanford President John Hennessy
John Hennessy discusses his tenure as president of Stanford University and how he helped make it into an elite school: encouraging technological innovation on campus, working on ideas that push humankind forward and maintain academic excellence, and having one of the best athletic programs in the country. Hennessy notes that one key to Stanford’s success is building quality infrastructure around interdisciplinary themes in a cross-disciplinary space, making it possible to fire up smart people and challenge them with colleagues from varied backgrounds to develop innovative ideas and solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems.
Rated 5 out of
Peter Robinson does a great job as an interviewer. He's always done his homework and you can always know he'll help you learn about the subject. He seeks truth, not gotcha moments.
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 5 out of
Best production podcasts ever
Informative, accurate, and thoughtful comments on current events. Nice to hear a carefully considered point of view.
Date published: 2014-01-07
Rated 4 out of
Reliably Informative and Engaging
Peter Robinson and his trademarked "Last Question" always make for interesting interviews. He knows how to stay out of responses, letting guests make answer questions at length, but he also knows when to steer guests back to the original topic for discussion. His best interviews are normally with Thomas Sowell, though I loved the one he did with Harvey Mansfield. For the unaware, Sowell and Mansfield are famous conservative academics. The show features a strongly conservative focus, normally featuring the best the American right has to offer.
Perhaps one issue with Robinson, however, is that he is a bit too deferential with his guests. While I certainly would not enjoy him tearing into guests--there's enough of that on the 24 Hour Cable News networks--I would like him to press harder when a guest makes a questionable assumption. Also, the variety of guests could be wider. Robinson too often pulls out of the Hoover Institute, where he and the show are located. The effect is something of a public relations wing for the HI, though you have to follow the show closely to notice.
For those who do not know, Robinson is somewhat infamous for posing his "last question" five or six times before he is really finished. By this, I do not mean he poses the same question so many times but that he discovers his last question opened up a new question he simply has to ask. If you aren't keeping track of the time passing while listening to the podcast, you know you have about ten or twenty minutes left (out of forty to fifty) when Robinson first says he's asking his "last question."
Date published: 2013-12-10