Little Atoms

Little Atoms

United States

Little Atoms is a weekly show featuring the worlds of science, journalism, politics, religion, academia, human rights and the arts in conversation. Produced and presented by Neil Denny, Padraig Reidy, Richard Sanderson and special guests. It's broadcast in London every Friday from 19:00 GMT on Resonance 104.4 FM. The podcast is graciously hosted for peanuts by Positive Internet.


471: Rachel McCormack's Chasing the Dram  

Rachel McCormack is a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4s The Kitchen Cabinet, and has also broadcast on the station's From Our Own Correspondent, the Food Programme and appeared as an expert guest on BBC Radio 2 on both the Simon Mayo show and the Chris Evans show. Rachel is the author of Chasing the Dram: Finding the Spirit of Whisky.

470: Jean Hanff Korelitz & Kanishk Tharoor  

Jean Hanff Korelitz was born and raised in New York City and graduated from Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge. She is the author of the novels A Jury Of Her Peers, The Sabbathday River, The White Rose and Admission. A film version of Admission starring Tina Fey, Paul Rudd and Lily Tomlin was released in 2013. Jean’s latest novel is The Devil and Webster. Kanishk Tharoor is a writer based in New York City and the author of the short story collection Swimmer Among the Stars. His stories and essays have appeared in publications in India, the US, the UK, and the Middle East. He has been nominated for the National Magazine Award.

Little Atoms 469: John Grindrod's Outskirts  

John Grindrod grew up on 'the last road in London' on Croydon's New Addington housing estate, surrounded by the Green Belt. He is the author of Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain, described by the Independent on Sunday as 'a new way of looking at modern Britain'. He has written for the Guardian, Financial Times, Big Issue and The Modernist and has worked as a bookseller and publisher for over twenty-five years. He runs the popular website and his latest book is Outskirts: Living Life on the Edge of the Green Belt.

468: Jason Hickel's the Divide  

Jason Hickel is an anthropologist at the London School of Economics. Originally from Swaziland, he spent a number of years living with migrant workers in South Africa, studying patterns of exploitation and political resistance in the wake of apartheid. Alongside his ethnographic work, he writes about development, inequality, and global political economy, contributing regularly to the Guardian, Al Jazeera and other online outlets. His work has been funded by Fulbright-Hays Program, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust. Jason Hickel is the author of The Divide.

467: Beau Lotto's Deviate  

Beau Lotto is Professor of Neuroscience at University of London Goldsmiths, and a visiting scholar at NYU, where he specialises in the biology and psychology of perception. He has conducted research on human perception and behaviour for more than 25 years. In 2001 Beau founded Lab of Misfits, which had a two year residency at the Science Museum, London. Beau is the author of Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently

466: Hari Kunzru's White Tears  

Hari Kunzru is the author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission, My Revolutions and Gods Without Men, and the story collection Noise. His latest novel is White Tears.

Little Atoms 465 - Ottessa Moshfegh & Lucy Hughes-Hallett  

Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from Boston. Her novel Eileen was awarded the 2016 Pen/Hemingway Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her short fiction has earned her the Paris Review Plimpton Prize, a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and an O. Henry Award. Her collection Homesick for Another World was published in January 2017. McGlue was her debut novel, and the winner of the Fence Modern Prize for Prose and the Believer Book Award, and is being published in the U.K. for the first time. Lucy Hughes-Hallett is the author of The Pike, a biography of Gabriele d’Annunzio, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non Fiction, the Costa Biography Award, the Duff Cooper Prize and the Paddy Power Political Biography of the Year Award. Her other books are Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions which was published in 1990 to wide acclaim, and Heroes: Saviours, Traitors and Supermen, published in 2004, which garnered similar praise. Cleopatra won the Fawcett Prize and the Emily Toth Award. Lucy Hughes-Hallett is also a respected critic who has reviewed for all the major British newspapers, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Lucy's first novel is Peculiar Ground.

From the archive: Adam Curtis's All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace  

This interview was first broadcast on 21 November 2008. Adam Curtis is a producer, writer and director of documentaries such as Bitter Lake, HyperNormalisation, The Century of the Self, and The Power of Nightmares. In this episode, Adam talks about the concept of hyper-individualism and his series All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace.

Little Atoms 464 - Natalie Haynes and The Children of Jocasta  

Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. She is the author of The Amber Fury, which was shortlisted for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year award, and a non-fiction book about Ancient History, The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. She has written and presented two series of the BBC Radio 4 show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics. In 2015, she was awarded the Classical Association Prize for her work in bringing Classics to a wider audience. Her latest novel is The Children of Jocasta.

Little Atoms 463: Phillip Lewis and The Barrowfields  

Phillip Lewis was born and raised in a small town called West Jefferson in the mountains of North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later received a law degree from Campbell University. While his law practice is based in downtown Charlotte, much of his work has been in the western part of North Carolina, in the mountains. Phillip's debut novel is The Barrowfields.

Little Atoms 462: Mark O'Connell's To Be A Machine  

Mark O'Connell is a writer based in Dublin. He is Slate’s books columnist, a staff writer at The Millions, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker’s “Page-Turner” blog; his work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Observer, and The Independent. Mark’s first book is To Be a Machine.

461: Neil Wood's Good Cop Bad War  

Neil Woods was an undercover cop whose brief was to infiltrate Britain’s most dangerous drug gangs. Starting out in the early 90s and making the rules up as he went, Neil was at the forefront of police surveillance. He quickly earned a name as the most successful operative of his time and his expertise was called upon by drugs squads around the country to tackle an ever growing problem. But after years on the streets, spending time with the vulnerable users at the bottom of the chain, Neil began to question the seemingly futile war he was risking both his life and sanity for. Good Cop, Bad War is an intense account of the true effects of the War on drugs and a gripping insight into the high pressure world of British undercover policing.

Little Atoms 460: Wellcome Prize 2017 Special - 2  

The second of two episodes of Little Atoms with shortlisted writers for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize. This week, Ed Yong on his book I Contain Multitudes, plus a repeat of our interview with the winner of the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize Suzanne O'Sullivan on her book It's All In Your Head.

459: Wellcome Book Prize 2017  - Part one  

The first of two episodes of Little Atoms with shortlisted writers for the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize. This week, Sarah Moss on her novel The Tidal Zone, David France of his history of AIDS How To Survive a Plague, and novelist Maylis de Kerangal on Mend the Living.

From the Little Atoms archive: Sarah Churchwell's Careless People  

Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of East Anglia. She is the author of The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, writes regularly for the Guardian and the New Statesman, and often appears on television and radio talking about the arts, culture and all things American. In this podcast, Sarah discusses Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby. First broadcast on 10th September 2013.

From the archive – Noam Chomsky  

In this episode of Little Atoms from 2009, Noam Chomsky examines the Obama administration and asks what has really changed. Chomsky describes the first term of the Bush administration as “off the spectrum” in both aggression and arrogance. US international prestige sank to the lowest point since measured. It is hardly surprising therefore that the next candidate should have moved towards the centre. Violent interventionism has gone hand in hand with American exceptionalism for centuries, says Chomsky. Obama’s ideology, according to Chomsky has been “less extreme but basically hasn’t changed.” Chomsky explores the history and dangers of humanitarian intervention. “You can’t say it can never be benevolent but there is a heavy burden of proof. It makes sense to talk about the responsibility to protect, but it should not be left in the hands of violent, aggressive powers”. The internet played a prominent role in changing popular activism and proliferating conspiracy theories under the Bush regime. Through the internet, the 9/11 movement diverted people away from activism on serious issues. “It stopped questions on things the administration would rather keep secret.” But Obama has found the internet useful. Chomsky argues has it been “a very effective cult generator” and crucial in the construction of Brand Obama. Obama, like Bush, used the internet to distract activists from protesting state crimes.

458: George Saunders & Kathryn Hughes  

458: George Saunders & Kathryn Hughes George Saunders is the author of nine books, including Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the inaugural Folio Prize (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short-story collection). He has received MacArthur and Guggen­heim fellowships and the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University. His debut novel is Lincoln in the Bardo. Kathryn Hughes is the author of award-winning biographies of Mrs Beeton and George Eliot, both of which were filmed for the BBC. For the past fifteen years she has been a literary critic and columnist for the Guardian. Educated at Oxford University, and with a PhD in Victorian Studies, she is currently Professor of Life Writing at the University of East Anglia and Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society. Her latest book is Victorians Undone: Tales of Flesh in the Age of Decorum.

Little Atoms 457: Christine Negroni and the Crash Detectives  

A journalist, aviation blogger, documentary producer and crash investigator, Christine Negroni has more than fifteen years' experience observing and participating in the international effort to create safer skies. She currently reports for the New York Times, ABC News and Air & Space. Christine is the author of The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters.

456: Brenna Hassett's Built on Bones  

Brenna Hassett is an archaeologist who specializes in using clues from the human skeleton to understand how people lived and died in the past. She has worked on excavation sites all over the world including Roman-period burials near the Giza pyramids, remote Greek islands, a Buddhist monastery in northern Thailand, and the famous central Anatolian site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey. Brenna is one-quarter of the TrowelBlazers project, an outreach, advocacy and academic effort to celebrate women’s contributions to archaeology. Brenna is the author of Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death.

Little Atoms 455 - Mark Stevenson and Rory Clements  

Mark Stevenson is a writer, broadcaster, futurologist and founder of The League of Pragmatic Optimists. He has written for Radio 4, The Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian and New Statesman, and is the author of the critically acclaimed An Optimist’s Tour of the Future. He lives in London and is an adviser to (among others) The Virgin Earth Challenge, Civilised Bank and The Atlas of the Future. Mark’s latest book is We Do Things Differently: The Outsiders Rebooting Our World. Rory Clements won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award in 2010 for his second novel, Revenger. He is the author of the John Shakespeare series of novels which are currently in development for TV by the team behind Poldark and Endeavour. Since 2007, Rory has been writing full-time in a quiet corner of Norfolk, England, where he lives with his family. Rory’s latest novel is Corpus.

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