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Behind the scenes with "To the best of our knowledge"

  • April 02, 2020
  • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Oakwood Village University Woods, Art and Education Center
  • 95



Those of us (and there are many!) who listen to public radio might wonder how some of our favorite shows come up with their unusual topics and guests and keep their listeners riveted, even at the wee hours of the morning. To the Best of Our Knowledge is one of these programs.

We are fortunate to be offered a peek behind the scenes of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the award-winning national public radio show produced right here in Madison, WI. Anne Strainchamps and Steve Paulson are the couple who founded the show. Anne is the host; Steve is the Executive Producer and principal interviewer. In this program they will play selections from some of their favorite radio pieces and talk about learning how to listen. What changes when you take in the world through your ears? What can sound teach us about the natural world and the environment? How can listening be a moral and spiritual practice?

Anne is an award-winning public radio host and producer who has worked in public broadcasting for more than 30 years, beginning at National Public Radio. She was the founding producer (with Steve Paulson) of To the Best of Our Knowledge. The Peabody Award-winning interview show is a public radio institution, a magazine of ideas with an unmatched expertise in bringing popular and academic audiences together. Strainchamps has hosted the show since 2014. She also created the Emmy Award-winning essay series, Wisconsin Life. She has produced and hosted live events and on-stage radio shows in Madison, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and at the National Writers Series in Traverse City.

Steve is the Executive Producer of the Peabody Award-winning radio program To the Best of Our Knowledge, which is produced at Wisconsin Public Radio and syndicated by PRX. His radio reports have also been broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. In 2006 he was a Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science & Religion. For the past eight years, he has co-organized and moderated an annual series of panel discussions at the New York Academy of Sciences, including The Emerging Science of Consciousness, Rethinking Mortality, and The Will to Meanng. Steve has written for Salon, Slate, Nautilus and The Los Angeles Review of Books. His book, Atoms and Eden: Conversations on Religion and Science, was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press.

To the Best of Our Knowledge is a nationally syndicated, Peabody award-winning radio show where long-form interviews lead us to dive headlong into the deeper end of ideas. There are conversations with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and activists—anyone with a big idea and a passion to have a creative and engaging conversation about it.with novelists and poets, scientists and software engineers, journalists and historians, filmmakers and philosophers, artists and activists—anyone with a big idea and a passion to have a creative and engaging conversation about it.

This presentation will be videotaped.

Food pantry contributions   

Both cash and checks payable to  Mt. Zion Baptist Church Food Pantry will be accepted.


Enter Oakwood grounds at the traffic light at Island Drive and Mineral Point Road. Take the left fork and then the second driveway on the right to enter visitor underground parking. Push the button for assistance. Park in any visitor stall; take elevator to first floor lobby where signs or a receptionist will help. When you exit the underground parking the garage door opens automatically. You may also park in a surface visitor spot (marked spaces along the drive and up the hill toward the large lot).

On foot, enter Heritage (6205 Mineral Point Road) at its main entrance (third driveway on the right, at stop sign) or enter the auditorium doors directly from the lower drive.

If taking the bus, Madison Metro Bus Routes 14 and 67 stop on Mineral Point Rd in front of Oakwood, if traveling easterly, or across Mineral Point Rd from Oakwood if traveling westerly. 

Here is a link to the Oakwood Village University Woods campus map showing the location of underground parking lot and surface parking spaces. The location of the Arts and Education Center is also highlighted in yellow.


Advance registration is required.  You are encouraged to register online. If you are not registered, we cannot guarantee that there will be sufficient handouts available.  If you or your companion registered for this seminar but cannot attend, please email or call the UWRA Office.

To register by phone or email, call or email 

UW-Madison Retirement Association
21 N Park St, Room 7205
Madison WI 53715-1218

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For More Information Contact UWRA

Sandi Haase, Executive Director

UW-Madison Retirement Association

21 North Park Street, Room 7205

Madison, WI 53715-1218


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