Humanities? Fair Game for Radio!

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Lisa Spiro, director of the Digital Media Center at Rice University’s Fondren Library brings us some interesting news today (emphasis mine):

Rice University (my employer) just announced that it will be working with the PRI [Public Radio International] program Fair Game to produce a series of segments profiling cutting-edge humanities research. Through this initiative, Rice’s School of Humanities hopes to engage leading humanities researchers more fully in public conversations. The first shows will focus on democracy, taking on complex issues such as the role of religion in politics and the tension between justice and liberty. The host of Fair Game, Faith Salie, is a Rhodes Scholar and a comedian, so you get smart and funny together. Indeed, the show is a sort of Daily Show for the radio–it doesn’t take itself too seriously even as it examines serious ideas.

As an avid listener to PRI and NPR [National Public Radio] shows such as This American Life, RadioLab, and Speaking of Faith, I find radio is the best medium for carrying out (or listening in on) rich conversations about ideas, since I can really focus my attention on what is being said.

By bringing this series to the air, Rice Universityand PRI are illustrating one of the major strengths of radio: its ability to communicate ideas as well as entertainment. This series should make a welcome addition to the array of broadcast talent already on the air waves.

The educational and intellectually stimulating aspects of radio are oft ignored by those who consider its focus to be purely entertainment or the playground of talk radio political pundits. In reality, the situation is far broader.

photo courtesy of Rice MBA, used under this Creative Commons license

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