About The Open Mind

About the Host About the Series About the Archive

About the Series

Premiered in May 1956, Open Mind was created and hosted by Richard D. Heffner, American historian, broadcaster, and University Professor of Communications and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Always true to its roots of nonadversarial conversation, the program explores the ideas of the most compelling writers, technologists, artists, practitioners of law, policy and other realms of American life.

Available here are various programs Mr. Heffner has produced and often hosted over the years, donated to public broadcasting for non-commercial, educational and informational use. Through the unguarded immediacy of video recordings and text transcripts, this online archive offers the benefit of historical hindsight and insight into America’s near-term past.

Past guests have included Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel discussing a new anti-Semitism; historian/journalist Robert Caro analyzing biography as literature; Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis parsing a reality based health care system; famed television producer Norman Lear discussing how his iconic 70’s and 80’s television comedies — All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons and others — impacted upon American thought and behavior; Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian exploring our nation’s need to invest in higher education; senior statesman Mario Cuomo discussing “the words that make our history”; and British Nobel Laureate Sir Paul Nurse on nurturing the scientific enterprise.