Back to overview

Bright Minds: the podcast from the John Adams Institute.

The Antwerp America Foundation is proud to share the new podcast ‘Bright Minds’ to our audiences. This podcast is a treasure trove of outstanding speakers at The John Adams Institute, one of our partner organizations with whom we have a close collaboration.
The Antwerp America Foundation believes in the power of the spoken word and dialogue. So we invite you to listen to a wide range of bright American speakers from former vice-president Al Gore to film director Spike Lee.

Let us tenderly and kindly cherish…the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.

John Adams, the first American ambassador to the Netherlands

The John Adams Institute brings the best and the brightest of American thinking to Amsterdam. Now they’re sharing their treasure trove of great thinkers, speakers and writers with you. From Amsterdam, this is Bright Minds: the podcast from the John Adams Institute.

Below you can find the first 8 episodes. Every 2 weeks The John Adams Institute publishes a new podcast. Visit their website to discover more podcasts.

Ep 8: Megan Twohey & #MeToo

This week’s guest is New York Times journalist Megan Twohey, whose reporting about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse of women in Hollywood was, as she put it, “an X-ray into the abuse of power”. The #Metoo movement really got going after Megan Twohey and her colleague Jodi Kantor published their investigative articles about Harvey Weinstein in ‘She Said’, a book sometimes called the feminist “All the President’s Men

Ep 7: Garry Kasparov

Seven years ago, Garry Kasparov came to Amsterdam and predicted the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He also described Vladimir Putin’s psychology and motivations in a way that you hear in every current affairs program nowadays.

Ep 6: Joseph Stiglitz

In this episode, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz talks about his book, People, Power, and Profits. The renowned economist states that the U.S. is in need of some serious reform and that government and democracy must be freed from the grasp of wealthy corporate forces in finance and other sectors.

Ep 5: From New Amsterdam to New York

Russell Shorto is an American historian, journalist and author. In 2004, he published The Island at the Center of the World: the Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America, for which he spent many hours in the New Netherland archives. It’s an eye-opening book, and a marvelous historical retelling of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam before it became New York.

Between 2008 and 2013, he lived in Amsterdam, where he was the director of the John Adams Institute.

Download the transcript

Ep 4: Dr. Anthony Fauci

As John Adams was one of the great men of his era, we thought our next episode should be with one of the great people of our time: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Brooklyn born and raised, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to President Biden. This was an online interview conducted by Damiaan Denys, himself a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Amsterdam. You heard him earlier on the podcast interviewing Michael Pollan.

This was a wide ranging conversation, including topics like, “Will we wear masks even after the pandemic ends? Why air travel made the covid pandemic so much worse. The upside of the pandemic. And why, in the end, telling the truth is always worth it!

Download transcript (PDF)

Ep 3: Timothy Snyder

Democracy and the rule of law in Western societies are under threat, according to Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University. In his book The Road to Unfreedom, Snyder examines how Western societies left themselves open to anti-democratic forces after the Cold War, and how Russia fell into Putinism, and the rise of Donald Trump, which has become a major threat to democracy around the globe.

Download Transcript (PDF)

Ep 2: Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan’s book, How To Change Your Mind, delves into the world of psychedelics and their medical use. In the past decade, there has been renewed interest in psychedelic research as a form of psychiatric therapy, and to Pollan’s mind this renaissance is long overdue. In this episode, Pollan makes a strong case for researching these drugs further.

Download Transcript (PDF)

Ep 1: Madeleine Albright

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talks with former Dutch foreign minister, current EU Vice President, Frans Timmermans, about how the current state of world leadership inspired her book, the ominously titled: Fascism: a Warning.

Download Transcript (PDF)

Trailer ‘Bright Minds’

Discover the talks and interviews from the John Adams Institute in the form of the podcast Bright Minds. Every two weeks you can listen to a new 30 minute talk and/or interview from our rich archive of American speakers.

Back to overview