Last updated

Hosted byJenny Attiyeh
Genre Talk, Education

ThoughtCast is a podcast and public radio interview program with authors and academics. The interviews are conducted by Jenny Attiyeh, [1] a former public radio and TV reporter from Manhattan and elsewhere whose previous work focused on covering the arts and ideas. ThoughtCast aims to offer a "bridge between the publications and pursuits of the intellectual world and a curious, informed, mainstream audience." [2]


ThoughtCast has a strong New England emphasis, with a majority of the interviewees being Harvard professors. Guests have included Lisa Randall, [3] a Harvard theoretical physicist; Nobel laureate Amartya Sen; [4] Alan Dershowitz; [5] Sam Huntington [6] of Clash of Civilizations ; public radio program directors; biographers Megan Marshall [7] and Carol Bundy; [8] philosopher Simon Blackburn; [9] David Weinberger; and others. [10]

In summer 2008, ThoughtCast introduced video to its lineup. [11] The video includes interviews with Scottish historian Niall Ferguson on the "American Empire", [12] Internet gurus on neologisms gleaned from life online, and Joshua Micah Marshall, [13] the creator of Talking Points Memo. A conversation on Steve Reich's Different Trains with the Borromeo String Quartet was also picked up by New Hampshire Public Radio. [14] The program examines how Reich, in this challenging composition, compares the train trips he took as a child to the very different train trips Jews were forced to take during the Holocaust. [15]


ThoughtCast is released on its website and iTunes. The program is also available through the Public Radio Exchange. [16] WGBH, an arts and culture public radio station in Boston, has broadcast many ThoughtCast interviews, and has featured the program on its Forum Network. [17] [18]

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  1. "About Jenny Attiyeh". ThoughtCast.
  2. "About ThoughtCast".
  3. "Lisa Randall, Harvard physicist". ThoughtCast. 11 April 2006.
  4. "Amartya Sen talks about identity and violence". ThoughtCast. 19 November 2006.
  5. "Alan Dershowitz on Preemption and the Hezbollah". ThoughtCast.
  6. "Sam Huntington discusses immigration and American identity". ThoughtCast. 16 January 2018.
  7. "The Peabody Sisters — with biographer Megan Marshall". ThoughtCast. 8 December 2005.
  8. "Carol Bundy, Civil War biographer". ThoughtCast.
  9. "Faith and Philosophy with Harvey Cox and Simon Blackburn". ThoughtCast. 8 June 2007.
  10. "The Web 2.0 and beyond — a conversation". ThoughtCast. 6 December 2005.
  11. "ThoughtCast channel on".
  12. "Our American "Empire" with Niall Ferguson". ThoughtCast. 23 July 2008.
  13. "More Neologisms with TPM's Josh Marshall". ThoughtCast. 25 May 2008.
  14. "Taking on 'Different Trains'". NHPR.
  15. "Steve Reich Meets The Borromeo String Quartet". ThoughtCast. 22 February 2008.
  16. "Thoughtcast host Jenny Attiyeh's profile". PRX.
  17. "Arts & Ideas archive". WGBH.

Further reading

PRX reviews