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Four Thought

Author: BBC Radio 4

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Series of thought-provoking talks in which the speakers air their thinking on the trends, ideas, interests and passions that affect culture and society

380 Episodes
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In the final episode of Four Thought, Sheila Cook reflects on what she has learned from producing it for eleven years.Sheila, who left the BBC in 2022, produced around 150 episodes on Four Thought, and in this reflection on the power of hope she looks back at some of the talks which have reminded her that - amidst bad news - we are often surrounded by remarkable people, doing remarkable things.Producer: Giles Edwards
Life Without Chilli

Life Without Chilli

2023-02-1522:29

Three years on from her first appearance on Four Thought, Dr. Dina Rezk returns to Four Thought. Her first talk was about the shocking and unexpected death of her mother; this time, as she describes another bereavement, the tone is unexpectedly positively, even exultant, as Dina reflects on the difference between the two experiences.Producer: Giles Edwards
Care to Care

Care to Care

2023-02-0821:03

Farrah Jarral explains why she believes we need to put care at the centre of our society.Sharing a story about how her beloved grandmother's lifetime of caring for others - family members and others - meant many people wanted to care for her when the need arose, Farrah reflects on what care does for us as individuals.Producer: Giles Edwards
Turning to Art

Turning to Art

2023-02-0122:31

Ted Harrison argues that only art can truly capture the essence of spirituality.Ted is a former journalist who, close to turning sixty, decided to turn away from using words and instead chose art. It was, he says, because he realised the limitations imposed by words, and the way in which art can capture the ineffable, the spiritual.Producer: Giles Edwards
Martin Warde is the first Irish Traveller to become a professional comedian. In this talk he recounts his early years travelling before his family settled down and he and his brothers attended school in Galway. His school days weren't easy, he and other traveller boys were treated differently. One teacher however inspired him to pursue his dream of being a performer. Now as a writer and comedian focussing on Traveller life Martin examines the surprising ways people in which respond to his material - both travellers and the settled community. Martin argues it's important to engage in comedy that can make you feel uncomfortable.
Sarah Williams always wanted to become a mum. But the more she learnt about the climate crisis, the more she questioned her decision. In this talk Sarah explains why she's chosen not to have children in order to save the planet, and how she encourages others to think twice about it. She says that she is not anti-child but that overpopulation is something that should concern everyone. Sarah also points out there are more sustainable ways to start a family, like adoption.
Martin Hibbert's life changed forever in 2017. He survived the Manchester Arena bomb but was left with life-changing injuries. Now a wheelchair user, Martin says he doesn't dwell on his old life but instead embraces his new one. He says he's determined to turn an act of terror into a force for good, and now campaigns to make sure others with spinal injuries receive the support that they need.
Meg Sunshine, a 21 year old professional gamer is dedicated to becoming one of the best in the industry. Gaming is her life. But her journey has not been an easy one. She’s experienced threats of sexual violence from male gamers and has frequently felt unsafe online. She’s determined to bring about change however. In this episode she argues gaming needs to tackle its toxic culture, encourage a more diverse range of players and keep girls gaming.
Moral Animals

Moral Animals

2022-12-2120:49

Philosopher Virginie Simoneau-Gilbert describes a change in how philosophers are beginning to think about the moral capacity of animals, and asks us to think differently about our pets. Beginning with her own pet dog showing compassion for her when she is injured, Virginie explains why new research may fundamentally affect some of what we have long held to be true about animals.Producer: Giles Edwards.
On Regret

On Regret

2022-12-1421:20

Author Rachel Genn describes her fascination with regret. Rachel tells stories of regret, beginning in her earliest childhood. “An early adopter of regret,” she says, “I was displaying the prodigy’s irritating flair for it.” Producer: Giles Edwards
Anna Wardley argues that we should better support children whose parents kill themselves.Beginning her talk in the dark waters of the English Channel as she attempts to swim non-stop around the Isle of Wight, Anna describes darkness of a different kind as she explains the need for children whose parents kill themselves to be better supported. And that should start with counting them.Producer: Giles Edwards
Piracy on the Page

Piracy on the Page

2022-11-3019:50

Author Joe Nutt argues we need to fight back against what he calls 'linguistic piracy'.Joe is concerned that activists are challenging the commonly-understood meaning of words. "The trust which becomes naturally embedded over time in any shared language, is under threat," he argues, and now "the English language itself is creaking under the strain of a sustained barrage of abuse".Producer: Giles Edwards
From Care to Cambridge

From Care to Cambridge

2022-10-1221:06

Kasmira Kincaid opens up about the challenges of her childhood and her experiences of the care system. Despite her many personal challenges Kasmira found solace in learning and successfully graduated from Corpus Christi College. She now argues that a good education should be a basic right for everyone, no matter of age, background, or educational attainment, and that the current exam system is arbitrary.“Like most winners I never really questioned the rules of the game I was playing. But exams are some of the most artificial activities human beings can engage in. They are, after all, a closed system: the exam board sets the marking criteria, which most schools then teach to, and their students are judged by how well they fulfilled the marking criteria the exam board set.”
After an incident at school which shattered Lizi Jackson-Barrett’s confidence in her appearance, she spent much of her life chasing what society thinks of as beautiful. Only when she suffered from Alopecia at the age of forty, did she find confidence in herself and her beauty. She urges society to question engrained ideas of what beauty is.“I can’t remember ever crying as much as I did in those first months of being bald. I felt a grief that was deeper than any I’d known before. Everything I’d ever done felt so pointless: I’d spent my entire life trying to make myself look “right” and now I was further from that goal than ever.”Image Credit: The Woman And The Wolf
Crime writer Amit Dhand shares his experiences of growing up in Bradford in the 1980s. His family actively integrated with the local community.“We simply had to integrate; to talk to the locals, to create friendships. Sharing language and food was a key part of this process. It wasn’t optional – it was vital and it is how Bradford succeeded in creating a new future.”But Amit argues some of that willingness to mix has now been lost. In recent times an abandoned redevelopment project known locally as the “hole in the ground" dominated Bradford city centre for years and he says it set life in the city back. Different communities no longer had a space to congregate. Integration is, he argues, an "active process" and in this talk Amit offers solutions from sports, arts and health to get it back on track.
Former Love Island contestant Malin Andersson reflects on how reality TV changed her outlook on life and her relationship with social media. In an honest and open talk, Malin shares what led her to go on reality TV, her experience of eating disorders, how grief forced her to examine her relationship with social media, and what she learnt from being on reality TV.“Once you’re in the limelight your whole life is out there for people to see and comment on and it isn’t easy. You feel like you are constantly comparing yourself to others, you have to do more – and if you aren’t booking work or TV you feel like a failure.”Image Credit: Kimmie Hoo
A Friendship

A Friendship

2022-08-2620:18

Novelist Richard Owain Roberts shares a story about a friendship.Producer: Giles Edwards
Who Tells the Story?

Who Tells the Story?

2022-08-1720:122

Chloe Juliette welcomes the movement for those with 'lived experience' of public services to share their stories, but says more stories are needed.In this extraordinary talk Chloe, a social researcher who has experienced the care system and been invited many times to share those experiences with professionals, takes us inside one of those talks. She tells us the stories she shares with professionals, and explains why she feels now is the time for more voices to join the conversation.Producer: Giles Edwards.
Somewhere, not Nowhere

Somewhere, not Nowhere

2022-08-0320:01

Jonathan Evershed argues that we should re-imagine how we think of the Irish Sea.Jonathan is a political anthropologist who has been studying the relationship between Ireland and his native Wales since Brexit. And he believes it's time to start thinking of the Irish Sea not just as a space between the two, but as an important place itself - a place with its own history and natural history.In this talk, Jonathan invites us to join him on cliffs, in ports and on ferries, looking at the Irish Sea, as he asks us to think differently about it.Producer: Giles Edwards
Meeting Up

Meeting Up

2022-08-0319:49

Laura Simpson argues that online meetings have good for individuals and companies, and that we should be wary of returning to the status quo.The meeting, says Laura, is the fundamental unit of white collar working life. And in the last couple of years it's undergone a revolution - out have gone the suits, glass tables and rigid hierarchy; in have come moments of vulnerability, the hand raise function, and unannounced visits from children. It's happened in plain sight, but its consequences have been little discussed. Laura is a Global Director at advertising and marketing company, McCann Worldgroup. As she shares stories from some of the meetings she has been in, she explains why she believes this change has created a re-imagining of what meetings could be, and a rebalancing of power within them - with more people, and in particular more junior people and those who previously felt marginalised, empowered to contribute. Producer: Giles Edwards
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Comments (6)

Fjdyj

hi is there any transcript available?

Sep 25th
Reply (1)

ForexTraderNYC

hmm.. disagree.. social media is tool of connection with world.. i suffer from social anxiety n internet chatting (irc)has help me remain sane n connected with ppl with normal lives, being able to converse validated me in sense that i am not too different from them n need to tweak lil bit..without social media n chatting id. be depressed staring at walls n one goin thru similar conditions may end up committing suicide if left totally isolated.. social media definately has it amazing usage.. connecting of families across 7 seas on wknds via group chats n calls n buddies on whatsapp/snapchat sharing life as it happens builds strong bonds n connections .. so all depends on how u utilize tools.. happiness n joy may be 1 app away. ps: stop following celebs rather build own communities..meetup.com inventor deserves nobel peace prize. platform unites ppl.. without connection n relationships life is dull n boring.

Jul 29th
Reply (2)

ForexTraderNYC

wow I love how articulatly she puts it.. almost brought me to tears... I feel for the people who miss the value of a human being n connection.. we are all ONE, yet so divided...*sobs* love human beings with all of our flaws, we are capable of giving sharing so much more... let's hold ourselves to highest standards. 😃

Jul 3rd
Reply