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Philosophy & Other Big Ideas

Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights)

CBC Radio

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Ideas is all about ideas \x96 programs that explore everything from culture and the arts to science and technology to social issues.
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54:36 | May 4th, 2018

The unfulfilled promise of the internet has been a long-term concern of Digital Media and Global Affairs expert Dr. Taylor Owen, who delivers the 2017 Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism. He argues the reality of the internet is now largely one of cont...Show More

55:03 | Mar 14th

Lawyers and doctors have a code of ethics. Teachers have them. Even journalists have them. So why not the tech sector, the people who create and design our very modes of communication? Coders and designers make products that allow to us communicate w...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 21st

Ross King is one of the most popular historians Canada has ever produced. Yet originally, he wanted to be a novelist. And after researching his doctoral thesis on T. S. Eliot, he published his first book, which fictionalized the story of a castrato ...Show More
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54:42 | Nov 19th, 2018

Christopher Hedges believes that America may well be in its last act. Addiction, income disparity and hollowed-out towns and cities are becoming the norm, he argues, while the political and financial sectors increasingly merge with each other to the ...Show More

54:09 | Sep 3rd

For 70 years, a book by American academic Joseph Campbell called The Hero With A Thousand Faces has shaped western storytelling, from comics to novels to videogames to movies -- including Star Wars, which was directly inspired by it. In particular, t...Show More

54:24 | Apr 23rd

From the inventive journalism of "Serial", to the sexual horror of "The Keepers", to the chatty storytelling of "White Wine True Crime", we appear to be obsessed by tales of murder and mayhem. It's a darkly popular form of entertainment in this era o...Show More

55:03 | Mar 22nd

Under the eyes of the law, animals that live in our homes or on a farm are 'property.' But there's a growing movement to grant some animals like chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins 'non-human persons' status. Harvard Law School doctoral candidate Jes...Show More

55:03 | Mar 15th

There have never been as many cities across the world as there are right now, nor with such high populations. Yet urban loneliness is a virtual pandemic, and one with huge social, medical and financial consequences. Why are cities the new capitals o...Show More

54:42 | Feb 6th

While the idea that we're living in a post-truth era is still highly contested, there is greater agreement that facts themselves have also become contestable. Belief and feeling have sideswiped facts, especially when it comes to news stories about po...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 23rd

Polarization in Poland. The success of Sweden's far right. Brexit threatens Britain's economic and social order. But populism got an early start In Turkey, where "the supremacy of the people" reigns. Everywhere, populism is winning big. The question...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 9th

Deregulation. Infinite growth. Self-correcting markets. All are hallmarks of neoliberal thinking. But they're more than just assumptions about the economy. They undergird much of the most influential thinking about governance right now, and dominate ...Show More
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54:47 | Dec 13th, 2018

Authoritarian populists have won elections across a large swath of western liberal democracies. Populist leaders have formed government through free and (mostly) fair elections by riding a wave of popular disaffection with the status quo. But once in...Show More
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54:39 | Feb 21st, 2018

We think we know what money is. We use it every day and our lives are unimaginable without it. But look more closely and you find that coins and dollar bills aren't "real". They're promises, symbols, ideas. And exactly what money is has evolved enorm...Show More

54:09 | Sep 13th

Blue jeans evolved from being the uniform of cowboys to a symbol of rebellion, and are now the most popular — and possibly the most polluting — garment in the world. Ideas contributor and fashion expert Pedro Mendes explores the 150-year history of j...Show More

54:08 | Sep 4th

In an episode called Technical Salvation, Ideas host, Nahlah Ayed, talks with Princeton sociologist, Dr. Ruha Benjamin. Together, they explore her argument that technology reproduces the same kind of racial segregation we see in our physical world.

54:44 | Aug 6th

In this rare, personal interview, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison talks candidly about her life as an African-American writer with IDEAS producer Marilyn Powell in 2002.

54:44 | Aug 5th

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous

54:38 | Jun 3rd

The Irish may just be the most literary of peoples. Only a few million people live in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but that island has produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Enright Files explores Irish writers ...Show More

54:39 | May 31st

What is our common ground -- and common benefit -- when everyone in society has their own strong set of opinions? How do leaders lead or represent us? This episode takes a philosophical look at the interaction between morality and the public good, wi...Show More

54:39 | May 30th

Highlights from the most recent edition of The Munk Debates. On one side, H. R. McMaster and Michael Pillsbury argue that free and open societies must push back against the policies of the Chinese Communist Party to preserve a rules-based internation...Show More

54:39 | May 29th

In his final appearance at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal -- after twenty years of hosting on-stage interviews and panel discussions that were later broadcast on IDEAS -- Paul Kennedy talks with American novelist Annie Proulx (The ...Show More

54:39 | May 27th

The term "coup d'état" usually applies to the violent takeover of a nation. But the phenomenon has occurred within American cities as well. In the decades after the Civil War, four American cities over four decades saw white civilians -- and official...Show More

54:42 | May 23rd

Fake news. Foreign meddling. Fraud. Deliberate deception: the list goes on. And we consume all of it, sometimes not knowing the source or what is truth. What can we do to confront the epidemic of disinformation? A recent panel discussion presented a...Show More

54:42 | May 22nd

Is atheism getting too big for its britches? And why is that a problem? Christian Smith is Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. In his new book "Atheist Overreach: What Atheism Can't Deliver", he argues that contemporary atheists a...Show More

54:42 | May 10th

Harvard historian James Kloppenberg traces the long and tortuous tradition of American liberal democracy. He argues that the United States has arrived at such a precarious place in its political evolution that the very conditions that make democracy ...Show More

54:42 | May 6th

Some of the crises facing contemporary Christianity are obvious, such as the ever-widening revelations of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy and the role of bishops in covering it up. Some are less obvious, such as the embrace of anti-immigr...Show More

54:44 | Apr 18th

Variously called 'Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery', 'Jesus and the Accused', and the 'Pericope Adulterae', this story, found in the Gospel of John, still throws off reflections and refractions today. Jesus' message is stark: "Let anyone among ...Show More

54:45 | Apr 16th

Young couples face a complicated decision at a time when the dire consequences of climate change are becoming clearer, is it ethical to bring a child into the world? Science journalist Britt Wray talks with parents, prospective parents, ethicists and...Show More

54:45 | Apr 12th

Freedom of the press is a Holy Grail in western societies, supposedly giving us the facts about what's happening in the world. But in an era of fake news, post-truth and a 24-hour news cycle, what are journalists to hang onto? A discussion with journ...Show More

54:45 | Apr 9th

Fanned by the Internet, the war over our right to say anything at all has created silos of intolerance. Fewer people are listening to differing points of view. And with less dialogue, nothing changes. But are there things that should not be said? A ...Show More

54:45 | Apr 8th

Faith and spiritual traditions have always shaped our ideas of right and wrong, both in the private and the public sphere. How do the values that come from faith shape secular society - and should they? And are social values necessarily secular? Jour...Show More

54:49 | Apr 4th

The evidence is in: if the earth is to survive catastrophic climate change, the economies of the world can't continue to grow infinitely. Maintaining the status quo makes ecological viability impossible. But imagining a world without capitalism also ...Show More

55:03 | Mar 19th

The intelligentsia mocked her writings and lampooned her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. But Ayn Rand's books, especially her two major works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, continue to sell millions of copies. There are Ayn Rand think...Show More

54:37 | Feb 21st

Polarization in Poland. The success of Sweden's far right. In Turkey, "the supremacy of the people" reigns. And Brexit threatens Britain's economic and social order. Everywhere, populism is winning big. The question is why? Part 2 of a 2-part series...Show More

54:38 | Feb 18th

Why is it common knowledge that we saved runaway slaves from the United States, but few know that Africans and Indigenous peoples were bought, sold and exploited, right here? In the first of a two part series, contributor Kyle G. Brown asks how slave...Show More

54:41 | Feb 13th

Michael Tremblay holds a black belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and competes at world championships. He is also a PhD student in philosophy at Queen's University, who's studying Stoicism. In fact, he hopes to become a Stoic 'sage' himself, and focuses his wo...Show More

54:41 | Feb 11th

Michel de Montaigne was many things: a 16th century French writer, bureaucrat, and self-defined accidental philosopher. He's also the inventor of a new literary form we now call the essay. His Essais - various "trials" or "experiments" in ideas - hav...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 25th

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was disease and plague - as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how germs and d...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 24th

To Highlanders, it was "uisage beatha," the water of life. Scottish poet Robert Burns proclaimed: "Freedom and whisky gang thegither!" Single malt whisky has captured the imagination, as well as thirst: it remains one of Scotland's most popular and ...Show More
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54:47 | Dec 19th, 2018

Each year, up to five Killam Prizes of $100 000 each are awarded to Canadian scholars who have made "substantial and significant" contribution to their field of studies in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences or engineer...Show More
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54:47 | Dec 17th, 2018

Seen from today, the novelist Joseph Conrad's early 20th century views on the world, particularly on race, can be offensive. But at the same time, his observations were deeply prescient of modern times. V.S. Naipaul, who was also a harsh critic, once...Show More
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54:48 | Dec 11th, 2018

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: it is only with the heart that we see correctly; what is most important is invisible to the eye." The Little Prince was first published in 1943. And since then, it's sold 200 million copies, in 300 la...Show More
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54:47 | Dec 10th, 2018

What does it mean to be free? All societies place restrictions on what citizens can do, but some restrictions (speed limits) may be more important than others (limiting the right to vote.) But one-size freedom doesn't really fit all: "democracy" has ...Show More
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54:26 | Nov 29th, 2018

We've heard it so much that it's almost become a cliché: America is on the road to fascism. The debate over that claim continues, but renowned scholar Henry Giroux argues that "Donald Trump is not just some impulsive rich guy who marketed his way int...Show More
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54:25 | Nov 26th, 2018

In our age, many societies look like they're hurtling towards disorder and disunity. For all of our technological sophistication, the centre isn't holding, great civilisations seem less united than ever. Wade Davis thinks we need to pay more attentio...Show More
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54:42 | Nov 7th, 2018

For more than 40 years, Gareth Peirce has fought to expose and overturn miscarriages of justice and free the wrongfully accused. Based in London, she was instrumental in freeing members of the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of carrying ou...Show More
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54:43 | Oct 29th, 2018

If you're not a socialist at twenty, you have no heart; and if you're not a conservative at forty, you have no brain." The saying has been around since at least the late 19th century, and it's not entirely clear who coined it. But the fact that it's ...Show More
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54:42 | Oct 25th, 2018

Narrative thinking is how we process and understand our own story. American psychologist, Dan McAdams wrote, "We are all storytellers, and we are the stories we tell." But some of us have no unfolding internal autobiography that helps us bridge our ...Show More
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54:43 | Oct 11th, 2018

Two hundred and fifty years ago, a relatively remote and economically-challenged country called Scotland became the surprising host to one of the most exciting intellectual developments in the world. Magically, the best and the brightest minds were b...Show More
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54:47 | Oct 4th, 2018

Approximately 250 years ago, the windswept and unwelcoming capital of a relatively insignificant northern nation became a beacon of intelligence for the entire world. Paul Kennedy walks up and down 'The Royal Mile', and through the planned streets an...Show More
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54:39 | Oct 1st, 2018

Decades after the civil rights era, the post-colonial movement, and the beginning of the multiculturalism project, racism that had lain in the shadows of Western democracies is out in the open and thriving. On this month's edition of The Enright File...Show More
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54:36 | Sep 26th, 2018

Deregulation. Infinite growth. Self-correcting markets. All are hallmarks of neoliberal thinking. But they're more than just assumptions about the economy. They undergird much of the most influential thinking about governance right now, and dominate ...Show More
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54:53 | Sep 20th, 2018

Paul Kennedy has his understanding of reality turned-upside-down by Dr. Robert Lanza in this paradigm-shifting hour. Dr. Lanza provides a compelling argument for consciousness as the basis for the universe, rather than consciousness simply being its ...Show More
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54:53 | Sep 18th, 2018

There are trillions of them on -- and in -- our bodies. Microbes have existed on earth for more than three and a half billion years. Makes you wonder who's playing host to whom, and whether we humans are merely vessels for these tiny survivors. They ...Show More
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55:01 | Sep 11th, 2018

Political institutions in disarray, brutal behaviour on every side, narcissistic leaders lying to the public - sound familiar? It certainly was to Shakespeare. His plays reveal the toxic psychology that fuels a despot, as well as those who enable th...Show More
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55:01 | Sep 10th, 2018

Truth and lies. Ideology and imagination. Politics and polarization. Novelist Salman Rushdie, performance artist Andrea Fraser, filmmaker Charles Officer, and musician Iskwé wrestle with making sense of our chaotic world through their work. This AGO ...Show More
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55:02 | Sep 7th, 2018

What does a novelist owe to the past? How does a writer walk the tightrope between telling a story and accurately reflecting history and geography? Acclaimed novelist Michael Crummey reflects on these questions in the annual Henry Kreisel Lecture in ...Show More
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55:02 | Sep 6th, 2018

We rely on our handy smartphones to remember everything from phone numbers to our friend's birthdays. Those sleek devices serve as a type of 'external hard drive' for our memory. Contributor Jess Shane explores what happens when the art of memorizati...Show More
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55:02 | Sep 4th, 2018

These are anxious times for liberal democracy's true believers. They've seen the rise of strongman autocrats and xenophobic populists across a full spectrum of democratic countries, not to mention the disruptive force of Donald Trump. Cyber attacks, ...Show More
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54:55 | Aug 31st, 2018

Universities are supposed to be dedicated to the exchange of ideas. But according to social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, campuses now skew so far to the left that they've become "political monocultures".
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54:57 | Aug 24th, 2018

As Canada turned 150, the final talk brought the series back home, with Indigenous education advocate Roberta Jamieson. Roberta was the first woman chief of Six Nations of the Grand River, the first Indigenous woman to earn a law degree in Canada, an...Show More
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54:57 | Aug 21st, 2018

Naheed Mustafa tells the story of philosopher-physician Ibn Tufayl who wrote the first Arabic novel "Hayy ibn Yaqzan". It may be the most important story you've never heard.
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54:58 | Aug 20th, 2018

Celebrated historian Carlo Ginzburg uncovers the past by telling the stories of the marginalized, the forgotten, and the suppressed.
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54:58 | Aug 14th, 2018

For most of the 20th century, everyone, from the janitor on up to the CEO, was employed by the company. But now large corporations are outsourcing work to small companies. A lecture and interview with scholar and former Obama appointee David Weil.
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54:54 | Jul 30th, 2018

People have reported "near death experiences", or NDE's, over centuries and across cultures. The nature of them has historically been the territory of religion and philosophy. But now science has staked its claim in the discussion. And the questions ...Show More
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54:57 | Jul 25th, 2018

A little over fifty years ago, the friendly folks on Fogo Island - most of whom were fishers - were ordered to abandon their homes and resettle in larger communities on the larger island of Newfoundland. Memorial University's Extension Department inv...Show More
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54:58 | Jul 16th, 2018

Eating meat: some say we've evolved to do it. It's in our DNA. It's how we got our big brains. Yet others, as far back as Pythagoras, have argued that eating meat is bad for our bodies, cruel to animals, and toxic to the planet. Now -- perhaps more t...Show More
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54:57 | Jul 6th, 2018

Canada's 150th anniversary highlighted its evolving relationship with Indigenous people. Too often in that history, voices other than those from First Nations did the talking for them. In this episode, Brielle Beardy-Linklater, Sandra Henry, and Theo...Show More
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54:56 | Jul 6th, 2018

Gabrielle Scrimshaw delivers the third annual Vancouver Island University Indigenous Lecture on the challenges Indigenous youth face, what reconciliation looks like, and how people can engage on that journey.
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54:42 | Jun 29th, 2018

Acclaimed Globe & Mail journalist Doug Saunders argues in his book "Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough" that Canada has had trouble keeping the immigrants it attracts. This "minimizing impulse", as he terms it, has to be jettison...Show More
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54:42 | Jun 18th, 2018

Jay Olson performed his first magic trick when he was five years old. The former professional magician turned McGill University PhD student reveals how the power of suggestion can be used to help treat medical conditions. Central to his research is w...Show More
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54:42 | Jun 13th, 2018

We're all familiar with the idea of the "bad seed". Incorrigible children and unruly adolescents who later commit terrible crimes. Over the last decade, they've increasingly been referred to as psychopaths. But unlike the way their adult counterparts...Show More
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39:40 | Jun 1st, 2018

Foreign policy is usually defined in "masculine" terms: arms trade, intervention, war, sanctions, and MAD (mutually-assured destruction). But what would international relations look like if food security, family planning, and workplace equity were al...Show More
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54:34 | May 17th, 2018

Students taking to the streets to protest — it looked like a simple thing, fifty years ago in May 1968. But it proved to be the spark that started a conflagration. Thousands of demonstrators turned into hundreds of thousands, barricades were built, c...Show More
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54:35 | May 7th, 2018

As universities come under increasing pressure to prove their economic value — to both students and the business world — the humanities seem to be the first things put on the chopping block. And more than most disciplines, a philosophy degree is cons...Show More
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54:37 | May 2nd, 2018

How does a just society reconcile the desire for peace, with the desire, most often by men, for violence? How much does nature stir boys, men, to fight? And to what extent can they control that stirring? Author Daemon Fairless takes IDEAS producer Ma...Show More
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54:49 | Apr 20th, 2018

Why were we born? Is life just a dream? What makes something wrong or right? Children often ask questions like these — sometimes to the exasperation of their parents. But children really want to know why the world is the way it is. And they want to k...Show More
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54:49 | Apr 10th, 2018

It has been 500 years since Martin Luther supposedly nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. There's no proof he ever did that — and it may not matter. We're still living in the aftershocks of the religious, poli...Show More
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54:49 | Apr 10th, 2018

By the end of the Cold War, liberalism had emerged triumphant around much of the developed world -- until the recent rise of populism in Europe and the U.S. Suddenly, the political landscape is looking ominous. What is liberalism's future? A debate a...Show More
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54:49 | Apr 5th, 2018

It's been 75 years since Albert Camus published "L'Étranger". And it continues to be the most translated book from French into English. Radio Canada producer Danny Braun speaks with a novelist, a rapper, some academics and a former death row inmate ...Show More
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54:49 | Apr 5th, 2018

Does democracy have a future? It's a question is being asked in democracies everywhere. People are frustrated with politics and politicians. And politicians appear weary of democracy. Now populist uprisings to protect the status quo are threatening t...Show More
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54:32 | Apr 3rd, 2018

On this month's edition of The Enright Files, some of North America’s most astute political philosophers discuss the perplexing and troubling political trends of our times.
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54:47 | Mar 14th, 2018

When NHL legend Ken Dryden was about to publish his book, "Game Change", he got in touch with Harvard psychologist and linguist, Steven Pinker, who was about to publish "Enlightenment Now". Their common ground: what does it actually take to change so...Show More
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54:46 | Mar 12th, 2018

We've usually thought that people in comas or 'vegetative' states are completely cut off from the world. But groundbreaking work shows that as much as 20 per cent of patients whose brains were considered non-responsive, turn out to be vibrantly alive...Show More
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54:46 | Mar 9th, 2018

Whether it’s redressing historical wrongs, new hate speech legislation, or safe spaces as a human right: when does the desire to accommodate aggrieved groups become censorship? And what's truly at stake? A debate from London’s “Battle of Ideas”.
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54:45 | Mar 8th, 2018

Was Adolph Eichmann not ultimately responsible for the destruction of six million Jews? Or were Jews themselves partially to blame for their own fate? Fifty years ago, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt published a famous book that seemed to imp...Show More
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54:46 | Mar 5th, 2018

Our relationship with technology has intensified in this century with a rapturous embrace of Internet technologies and the gadgetry put in our hands by big technology companies. But even as we've made these technologies an extension of ourselves and ...Show More
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54:47 | Mar 2nd, 2018

Is it a positive wave or a troubling pattern? In this age of anxiety over joblessness and immigration, populist leaders in Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Sweden and the Philippines are tapping in. Is populism, as the 1960's American historian Richard Hofst...Show More
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54:39 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Authoritarianism is on the rise around the world. And Timothy Snyder wants to push back against this tide. A history professor at Yale University who's written widely on Europe and the Holocaust, he takes an unusual approach in his little book, "On T...Show More
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54:40 | Feb 8th, 2018

As computers and Artificial Intelligence grow in power and capability, it seems ever more likely that we're approaching "the Singularity": the point where machine intelligence exceeds human intelligence. Could this be the dawn of a technological para...Show More
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54:38 | Feb 7th, 2018

With so much wealth in the world, why is there so much poverty? In the end, we're all better off when everyone has a chicken in the pot. Poverty slows the development of all societies, and it seems obvious that we should try to eradicate it, but it s...Show More
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54:40 | Jan 31st, 2018

AI and robots seem to be everywhere, handling more and more work, freeing humans up -- to do what? Contributor Jill Eisen takes a wide-angle lens to the digital revolution happening in our working lives. What will happen when robots and algorithms s...Show More
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54:40 | Jan 19th, 2018

It’s been one year since Donald Trump’s inauguration. His official swearing-in compelled many Americans reflect on what America actually is now, politically, socially and culturally. Contributor David Zane Mairowitz is originally from America, and ha...Show More
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54:39 | Jan 9th, 2018

Anthrolopogist Galia Sabar has devoted her professional life to what she calls the new tribe of Israel: Jewish-African and non-Jewish labour migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.
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54:39 | Jan 3rd, 2018

This month's edition of The Enright Files explores how the works of Viktor Frankl, Anton Chekhov and Joan Didion wrestle meaning and solace from tragedy, horror and suffering.
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54:40 | Dec 22nd, 2017

PhD student Katie Hunt ties together lines of Romantic era poetry with scientific research on sleep... to reveal how our concept of insomnia evolved, and how the poems still have power to open our minds.
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54:42 | Dec 19th, 2017

Why were we born? Is life just a dream? What makes something wrong or right? Children really want to know why the world is the way it is. They're open, curious and inquisitive — they're natural philosophers.
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54:43 | Dec 15th, 2017

Dr. Taylor Owen delivers the 2017 Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism. He argues the reality of the internet is now largely one of control, by four platform companies -- Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple and their impact on democracy is deeply troubli...Show More
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54:43 | Dec 8th, 2017

It's been 75 years since Albert Camus published L'Étranger and it continues to be the most translated book from French into English. Danny Braun explores the enduring appeal of L'Étranger — both to the intellect and to the heart.
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1:09:12 | Nov 10th, 2017

A call to action for our times, Payam Akhavan's 2017 CBC Massey Lectures is a powerful survey of some of the major human rights struggles of our times. Lecture 5, "The Spirit of Human Rights", was recorded in front of an audience in Toronto.
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1:01:48 | Nov 6th, 2017

A call to action for our times, Payam Akhavan's 2017 CBC Massey Lectures is a powerful survey of some of the major human rights struggles of our times. Lecture 1, "The Knowledge of Suffering", was recorded in front of an audience in Whitehorse, Yuk...Show More
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54:45 | Nov 2nd, 2017

The Munk Debates put it starkly: Be It Resolved, American democracy is in its worst crisis in a generation, and Donald J. Trump is to blame. Andrew Sullivan and E. J. Dionne argue in favour of the resolution, Kimberley Strassel and Newt Gingrich agai...Show More
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54:44 | Oct 23rd, 2017

"Playing for Their Lives" - a documentary by Philip Coulter about El Sistema: a radical music education programme in Venezuela designed to get young people off the streets founded by Juan Antonio Abru.
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54:47 | Oct 17th, 2017

In 1917, Russia's tsarist dynasty was overthrown and a Communist government took power. A century later, Russia is very much the state of Vladimir Putin, who rules as a strange hybrid of tsarism, Stalinism and post-Cold War turbocharged capitalism.
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54:47 | Oct 4th, 2017

In 1970, outspoken Harvard biologist George Wald became the first natural scientist to give the CBC Massey Lectures. Lewis Auerbach produced the 1970 Wald lectures. He tells the remarkable backstory of Wald and his Massey talks.
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54:37 | Sep 27th, 2017

In Part 3 of her series on the future of work, Jill Eisen looks at the promise of technology — and how it can lead to a better world.
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54:36 | Sep 25th, 2017

Naheed Mustafa tells the story of philosopher-physician Ibn Tufayl who wrote the first Arabic novel "Hayy ibn Yaqzan". It may be the most important story you've never heard.
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54:37 | Sep 20th, 2017

Digital platforms have been well received by customers, but for workers, they often have a dark side. And they present a major challenge for governments who are grappling with how to regulate them.
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54:35 | Sep 13th, 2017

AI and robots seem to be everywhere, handling more and more work, freeing humans up -- to do what? Contributor Jill Eisen takes a wide-angle lens to the digital revolution happening in our working lives. Part 1 of 3.
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54:35 | Sep 1st, 2017

If we could go to the moon, we could go anywhere, right? Stephen Humphrey and a stellar crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards, risks and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving and living on the Red P...Show More
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54:33 | Aug 29th, 2017

The CBC Massey Lectures inspire a lot of provocative questions -- and thoughtful answers -- in each city on the tour. In this episode, you'll hear the best of those audience questions with a bonus: questions posed by our radio and online audiences.
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53:58 | Aug 28th, 2017

The novel -- an art form that's centuries old -- still has the capacity to hold our attention from subway commute to library chair. But what is the future of literary writing in our hyperfast, overcaffeinated, 140-character, social-media-blasted worl...Show More
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53:58 | Aug 21st, 2017

Has the future ever looked like the past? Sailing in the 21st century, perhaps we are in uncharted waters. A discussion from the Stratford Festival, featuring historian Margaret MacMillan, former politician Bob Rae and journalist Karin Wells.
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53:58 | Aug 14th, 2017

We have the best communications in history, except for the kind that matters -- nations and states understanding each other. Jennifer Welsh, Paul Heinbecker, Peter Boehm, Arne Kislenko and Daniel Eayrs in conversation from the Stratford Festival.
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53:59 | Jul 20th, 2017

In his book “Homo Deus”, Yuval Harari argues that humankind is on the verge of transforming itself: advances creating networked intelligences will surpass our own in speed, capability and impact. But where will this leave us?
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53:58 | Apr 27th, 2017

An encore presentation of Philip Coulter’s 2007 documentary, “The Zone of Absolute Exclusion” about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that occurred on April 26, 1986. Thirty-one years later, it remains the worst nuclear accident in history.
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53:59 | Jan 23rd, 2017

Dr. Tracey Lindberg explores the importance of reconciliation with self, with community, and with Indigenous peoples in advance of reconciliation with Canada.

54:09 | Sep 12th

Human rights lawyer Agnès Callamard investigated the murder of Jamal Khashoggi for the UN. Shocking as it was, the horrific killing speaks of our times — it's also the disturbing but fitting departure point for our discussion with her on human right...Show More

54:09 | Sep 11th

Tom Thomson's is one of the most mythologized Canadian painters of his time — and ours. Now, 102 years after his mysterious death, IDEAS contributor Sean Foley asks one central question: does the mortal and material fascination with Tom Thomson leave...Show More

54:09 | Sep 10th

Intelligent minds have disagreed, vehemently, ever since Karl Marx wrote his ideas down in the mid-1800s. They disagree some more in this IDEAS episode about Marx and the modern political left, featuring Sheila Copps, Charlie Foran, and Rick Salutin.

54:09 | Sep 9th

After 20 years of peace, the looming uncertainty of a hard Irish border has sparked fear and rancour in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The tension over the fate of the now invisible border splitting north and south has renewed sectarian tensions. IDEA...Show More

54:08 | Sep 6th

Meet the five top Canadian scholars who won the 2019 Killam Prize for reaching new heights in their disciplines. Lynne Viola exposes hidden stories of Stalin's Russia. Keith Hipel takes an engineer's approach to fixing the climate change debate. Yosh...Show More

54:09 | Sep 5th

Is The Change always “women’s hell?” Is it possible that the negative way we think about menopause has an effect on how women actually experience menopause? Writer Darcey Steinke and historian Susan Mattern reframe an often-dreaded transition and rec...Show More

54:09 | Sep 2nd

More than 20 years after the Good Friday peace agreement was signed, the so-called peace walls remain in Northern Ireland. Host Nahlah Ayed heads to Belfast to find out if the walls are helping or hindering community reconciliation between Catholic a...Show More

54:10 | Aug 27th

On the CBC Massey Lectures tour, each lecture concluded in an audience discussion with Tanya Talaga ⁠— most of which was never broadcast. This episode includes a conversation with IDEAS' Greg Kelly and Tanya Talaga speaking about her experience deliv...Show More

54:10 | Aug 26th

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. This...Show More

54:09 | Aug 19th

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples. In this lecture, ...Show More

54:09 | Aug 12th

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

54:44 | Jul 29th

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples.

54:39 | Jun 21st

The Gwich'in language — like too many Indigenous languages in Canada — is seriously endangered. Paul Kennedy recently spent some time in Whitehorse, co-hosting a series of radio plays with people from Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, in Old Crow and wit...Show More

54:39 | Jun 20th

Some call it "self-similarity." Others define it vaguely as "wheels within wheels" or refer to the image of nesting Russian dolls. For such a fundamental concept, recursion is strangely less famous and more often overlooked than it deserves to be. Wi...Show More

54:39 | Jun 19th

An ordinary cup of Joe just won’t do anymore. It’s now gourmet, fair trade and organic. Whether the method is pour over, French press, or vacuum pumps, coffee is now described with terms like “mouthfeel”, just as fine wines are. Contributing producer...Show More

54:39 | Jun 18th

Two decades ago, Portugal was in the grip of a nation-wide drug epidemic. The dire situation led the country's leaders to a radical solution: the decriminalization of all drugs and a health-care approach — rather than a criminal law approach — to dea...Show More

54:39 | Jun 17th

French philosopher Denis Diderot was one of a small group of 18th-century thinkers who began to explore a radical new way of thinking about the totality of human knowledge. In his magisterial Encyclopédie, he proposed a new way of organizing everythi...Show More

54:39 | Jun 14th

The absurdities and humiliations of late capitalism — social atomization, the gig economy, brutalizing inequality — have given new life to Karl Marx. While known best for his economic theorizing, Marx has found new favour for his rigorous humanism. T...Show More

54:38 | Jun 13th

In his acclaimed new book, Nicholas A. Christakis argues that genes influence not only who we are, but also what our society can be. The physician and sociologist says natural selection has given us many laudable features — not just the well-studied,...Show More

54:40 | Jun 12th

Since the invention of public relations, companies have championed progressive values as a way to sell their products. Some call this tactic brilliant PR. Others call it 'woke washing,' arguing that these companies are merely adopting the veneer of p...Show More

54:39 | Jun 11th

In Victorian England, the Brontë sisters published under male pseudonyms. They did so to have their female-centred work (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights) taken seriously. Two centuries later, when Canadian playwright Jordi Mand came to write about the d...Show More

54:39 | Jun 10th

French philosopher Denis Diderot was one of a small group of 18th-century thinkers who began to explore a radical new way of thinking about all knowledge. Fear of prison kept Diderot from publishing much in his own lifetime, apart from his magisteria...Show More

54:39 | Jun 7th

At a time when most Europeans died within a day's journey from where they were born, Pierre-Esprit Radisson criss-crossed the Atlantic 10 times, was adopted into an Iroquois family and was kidnapped by pirates. Historian Mark Bourrie documents the ex...Show More

54:39 | Jun 6th

What's wrong with responsible adults using psychoactive drugs in the pursuit of happiness? Nothing, according to Carl Hart, Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. He is a neuropharmacologist and believes healthy adults have the...Show More

54:39 | Jun 5th

One of the most powerful types of resistance to authority is also barely perceptible. To catch sight of this 'hidden resistance,' PhD student Safaneh Mohaghegh Neyshabouri pores over journals-recently discovered and never seriously studied before-wri...Show More

54:39 | May 28th

Hubert Reeves is one of the world's foremost experts on the Big Bang and the origins of time. He lives in France, where the acclaimed astrophysicist has the status of a rock star. In Quebec, where he was born, he is called their Einstein. And yet he'...Show More

54:42 | May 21st

Hubert Reeves is one of the world's foremost experts on the Big Bang and the origins of time. He lives in France, where the acclaimed astrophysicist has the status of a rock star. In Quebec, where he was born, he is called their Einstein. And yet he'...Show More

54:42 | May 20th

Trees and forests could hold the key to the survival of life on our planet. Meg Lowman started climbing trees when she was still a painfully shy primary school student, in a small town in upstate New York. They became her closest companions whenever ...Show More

54:43 | May 17th

"Denial is about hiding from the truth. Denialism builds a 'new and better' truth." Keith Kahn-Harris, a researcher and lecturer at the University of London, says the challenge of confronting denialism is that denialists don't see themselves as rejec...Show More

54:42 | May 15th

It was the biggest labour action in Canadian history: on May 15, 1919, over 35,000 workers took to the streets of Winnipeg for six weeks. It began peacefully and passionately; it ended in lethal violence, and disagreement over what it meant. Contribu...Show More

54:43 | May 14th

Historian Adam Tooze wrote Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World as the decade was unfolding. The giant waves from the crash of 2008 are still hitting shore, both politically and economically. The 2019 Gelber Prize-winner talks ...Show More

54:42 | May 13th

The songs and stories of prehistoric humans are gone. All that remains of their culture is their art. It's the one thing that can bridge the vast, silent chasm of time between then and now. IDEAS contributor Neil Sandell introduces us to the French a...Show More

54:42 | May 8th

"Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world." Jean Vanier, who founded the l'Arche movement in 1963 for people with profound disabilities, quickly learned that "normal" people have much to learn about being human by watching t...Show More

54:42 | May 7th

"Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world." Jean Vanier, who founded the l'Arche movement in 1963 for people with profound disabilities, quickly learned that "normal" people have much to learn about being human by watching t...Show More

54:44 | May 2nd

n 2015, the poet-musician Grzegorz Kwiatkowski made a strange discovery at the site of the former Stutthof concentration camp in Poland - something he calls "a carpet of abandoned shoes". But these were more than shoes: they're both artifacts and sym...Show More

54:35 | Apr 30th

Dany Laferrière is one of the most celebrated writers in Canadian literary history. He has over 27 books to his name, and a raft of awards and honours - including the Order of Canada, and the Prix Medicis. In 2013, he was elected to the prestigious A...Show More

54:24 | Apr 22nd

They said it couldn't be done, but Sudbury did it! Forty years ago, nickel mines and smelters around a relatively small city in Northern Ontario had created one of the most dramatic examples of environmental devastation in the history of this planet....Show More

54:44 | Apr 15th

The National Baseball Hall of Fame quotes trailblazer Jackie Robinson: "a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Robinson's life had a huge impact, especially when he broke down the colour barrier in Major League Baseball ...Show More

54:45 | Apr 11th

Poverty has always been a defining issue in the quest to build a better world. How do we go about making things more equitable, making sure that wealth is distributed to those in need and creating opportunity for the weak to become strong? Journalist...Show More

54:45 | Apr 10th

Oppression takes many forms. It can be political or cultural, or even social. There's the weight of inherited oppression, and there's the question of how oppression shapes who we are - both individually and collectively. This episode features a discu...Show More

54:49 | Apr 2nd

Poetry may not have the same place in our culture that it once had, but it remains an art form of singular power to those who immerse themselves in it. It has the capacity to inspire and enthrall, and to befuddle and infuriate. It can electrify a soc...Show More

54:49 | Apr 1st

On the CBC Massey Lectures tour, each lecture concluded in an audience discussion with Tanya Talaga - most of which was never broadcast. In the original broadcast of the Massey Lectures, we invited you -the radio audience - to send in your questions ...Show More

55:03 | Mar 25th

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples. For Talaga, that ...Show More

55:03 | Mar 25th

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

54:49 | Mar 25th

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

55:03 | Mar 25th

In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples.

55:03 | Mar 25th

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

55:04 | Mar 21st

Gay priests are often rolled into the blame game in the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis. There's a Vatican prohibition on gay men entering seminaries, even as the stories swirl about how many high-level clerics are sexually active. Producer Sean F...Show More

55:03 | Mar 20th

The intelligentsia mocked her writings and lampooned her philosophy, which she called Objectivism. But Ayn Rand's books, especially her two major works, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, continue to sell millions of copies. There are Ayn Rand thin...Show More

55:03 | Mar 18th

One sound invented two centuries ago was said to drive all those who heard it insane, even to to the point of suicide. Contributor Chris Brookes in St. John's takes us into the astonishing history of the glass harp, from the parlour to the paranormal...Show More

55:03 | Mar 13th

Neil Stonechild was an Indigenous adolescent who was picked up by police in downtown Saskatoon in mid-winter, driven to the industrial suburbs late at night, and intentionally abandoned. He ultimately froze to death. Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmor...Show More

55:03 | Mar 12th

How much should humans try to "fix" nature? That question gets at the heart of our relationship with the entire natural world. Contributor Brad Badelt travels to isolated Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, where a controversial decision has ...Show More

55:03 | Mar 11th

The world, the universe, is a mess of molecules and muck. Within the chaos, though, a cosmic harmony plays the secret song of nature, and the music of matter. You just have to be able to read the music. Contributor Ian Wilkinson unravels the universa...Show More

55:03 | Mar 8th

After finally ousting the Shah, and just mere weeks after Ayatollah Khomeini took power, Iranian women marched to show their fury at the revolution, which now seemed to be turning against them. On the 40th anniversary of their protests, CBC Radio pro...Show More

54:24 | Mar 7th

Public bathrooms are something we all need, yet they are a public amenity few of us talk about openly and that cities often get wrong. How should governments and businesses provide for this most basic bodily need and what does it mean for citizens wh...Show More

54:24 | Feb 27th

Seven years ago, a large group of interdisciplinary scholars from all parts of Canada (and beyond) started to examine issues connected with 'work-related mobility'. How are new technologies changing the nature of employment? Some people now find it d...Show More

55:00 | Feb 25th

Is there a connection between the enslavement of African-Canadians and their overwhelming presence in the criminal justice system today? The United Nations has sounded the alarm on anti-black racism in Canada, stating it can be traced back to slavery...Show More

54:38 | Feb 20th

The massacre of over 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1890 is often taken to be the "end" of Native American history - a notion unintentionally reinforced by Dee Brown's groundbreaking 1970 book, "I Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee". This idea of history...Show More

54:38 | Feb 19th

Love, fear -- even office politics -- are what drive the world of espionage in Len Deighton's great novels. To celebrate his 90th birthday, Philip Coulter profiles one of the masters of the modern spy thriller.

54:40 | Feb 14th

You might think that the heart symbol ? and romantic love have always been bedfellows. But you'd be wrong. At times, the symbol was just a decoration. At others, it meant spiritual, chaste love. At still others, romantic and carnal. Marilyn Yalom the...Show More

54:41 | Feb 12th

It's easy to identify a painting by Kent Monkman. His work is almost always monumental. Some of his canvasses as so big that buildings need to be built around them. Beyond that, Monkman often works with historical subjects -- either quoting famous im...Show More

54:42 | Feb 7th

Sewers are a relatively modern phenomenon. For centuries, people in cities lived intimately with their waste. The price paid for that lack of awareness about hygiene was of course disease and plague - as well as unbearable stench. Understanding how g...Show More

54:42 | Feb 5th

Producer Mary Lynk in conversation with Sobey Art Award finalists Jeneen Frei Njootli (West Coast & Yukon), Joi T. Arcand (Prairies and the North) and winner Kapwani Kiwanga (Ontario).

54:42 | Feb 4th

It doesn't seem strange that the best-loved and best-selling English language poets should be women, but that wasn't always the case. In fact, arguably the greatest American poet of the 19th Century - Emily Dickinson - wrote in total obscurity during...Show More

54:42 | Jan 31st

A powerful, simple and essential message is delivered by Doug White, presenter of the fourth annual Vancouver Island University Indigenous Speakers Series. He challenges us all to begin and end our relationships with each other with one thing: love.
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54:42 | Jan 29th

Mary Lynk in conversation with the 2018 Sobey Art Award finalists Jordan Bennett and Jon Rafman.
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54:42 | Jan 22nd

Each day in Canada, the government effectively puts a dollar value on people's lives by deciding which medications to cover. The issues of coverage and cost are magnified exponentially when it comes to expensive drugs for rare diseases. On one side, ...Show More
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54:43 | Jan 18th

War reporter Janine di Giovanni approaches her work like an anthropologist by embedding herself in conflict zones. Her goal is to understand how war, disease, and poverty have impacted human lives in war torn communities. In the 2018 Peter Stursberg ...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 16th

Trump was just the tip of the iceberg. Since his election in 2016, populism has blazed a disquieting trail across Europe, North America and around the world. While many of these movements are marred by racist and nationalistic rhetoric, they also rep...Show More

54:42 | Jan 15th

World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paper-boy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 14th

For people of Shakespeare's time, the idea of "empire" was something new. As Britain's power spread, the eternal questions remained: what makes a great empire successful, and what pitfalls need to be watched out for? No ancient empire offered more le...Show More
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54:43 | Jan 10th

A hundred years from now the planet will have 3-billion more people to feed. Global food security expert Evan Fraser considers possible solutions by contrasting two distinct visions of utopia -- one found through embracing science and technology, and...Show More
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54:42 | Jan 8th

Theatre artist Jani Lauzon, documentary filmmaker James Cullingham, and CBC host and journalism teacher Duncan McCue discuss the realities of working in teams with Indigenous and non-Indigenous professionals, and how they view the idea of collaborati...Show More
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54:43 | Jan 7th

It may well be that poetry has rarely had a lower profile than it does today. It may be that poetry is simply not all that relevant to a digitized, hyperconnected world in which we spend our reading hours churning through a blizzard of information. B...Show More
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54:47 | Dec 20th, 2018

Once upon a time, Izaac Walton Killam was the richest man in Canada, although he guarded his privacy even more carefully than he stockpiled his profits. He died in 1955. His wife Dorothy was almost the opposite - an American, a bit of a social butter...Show More
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54:47 | Dec 18th, 2018

Now that cannabis is legal in Canada, we look at that other drug that many of us already have in our homes and use on a daily basis: alcohol. How did we start using it? How does it affect our health and society? And given the latest scientific resear...Show More
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54:47 | Dec 14th, 2018

IDEAS contributor Sean Foley explores the landscapes of Algonquin Park, Ont., which inspired Tom Thomson's work - while also examining Indigenous artists' perspectives of the same landscapes that Thomson and the Group of Seven may have missed.
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54:47 | Dec 12th, 2018

Winners of the 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards address our challenge to create an original piece of writing on the theme of borders. In forms ranging from poetry to fiction and personal essay, they reflect on the idea of divisions, and on the...Show More
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54:26 | Dec 7th, 2018

What makes a good leader - someone with the ability to get others to follow, sometimes into the unknown? From the Stratford Festival, a discussion about leadership three successful (women) leaders: Chief Ava Hill from the Six Nations, Anita Gaffney, ...Show More
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54:26 | Dec 6th, 2018

Although he's not yet officially eligible to collect his pension, Dr. David Naylor is already President Emeritus of the University of Toronto - having occupied the office itself for eight turbulent years from 2005 - 2013. Before that, Naylor was Dean...Show More
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54:26 | Dec 5th, 2018

PhD graduate Laura Hare taught herself Biblical Hebrew so she could analyse male and female speech patterns in the original text of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament). She found the women characters consistently using language that shows deference t...Show More
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54:25 | Nov 28th, 2018

Four centuries of fur-trade trapping nearly wiped beavers off the North American map. Now they're back, big time, and we're discovering that sharing the landscape with such tenacious ecosystem engineers isn't always easy. We're also learning that the...Show More
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54:26 | Nov 23rd, 2018

Environmental problems are well-known and have been for decades, but we still appear to be edging towards a global catastrophe. Why? Environmentalist Graham Saul believes that part of the problem is environmentalism itself. He believes it has a messa...Show More
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54:26 | Nov 22nd, 2018

A guest checks into a Las Vegas hotel suite, and makes it a fortress, staging a mass shooting on the city below. It's a horrific act that seems to subvert the very ethos of hotels - places of hospitality and calm. Yet hotels contain multitudes. They ...Show More
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54:42 | Nov 9th, 2018

IDEAS contributor Sean Foley asks one central question: does the mortal and material fascination with Tom Thomson, leave us with something enduring - something to carry us through the next century, and beyond?
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54:42 | Nov 8th, 2018

We live in a glut of data. Individually we produce vast amounts of information about ourselves simply by living our lives: where we go, what we like, where we shop, our political views, which programs we watch. Each day we produce 2.5 quintillion byt...Show More
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54:42 | Nov 6th, 2018

The U.S. midterms are yet another prompt for many Americans - and people around the world - to reflect on what America actually is now, politically, socially and culturally. Contributor David Zane Mairowitz is originally from New York, and has been l...Show More
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54:43 | Nov 5th, 2018

The U.S. midterm elections have been billed as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump. And many think the elections will chart the future course of American democracy at a time when anger, xenophobia, chaos and bitter partisanship and polariz...Show More
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54:42 | Oct 16th, 2018

Irish-born Oscar Wilde was Britain's most famous playwright in the late 19th century. He was also famous, or infamous, for being gay. But the people who arguably had the most important influence on him and his work were women. From the Stratford Fest...Show More
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54:46 | Oct 9th, 2018

PhD student Mei Lan Fang's parents survived the Cultural Revolution and immigrated to Canada with dreams of settling in a country where human rights are protected and social mobility is possible. After years of financial struggle in Vancouver, the fa...Show More
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54:46 | Oct 8th, 2018

"Innovation is actually built into our DNA. It's who we are. It's what makes us different". This is the provocative thesis of Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Our true evolution he argues, is the result of trial an...Show More
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54:36 | Sep 25th, 2018

In his book "How to Change Your Mind", Michael Pollan explores how psychedelic drugs have been used to enhance spiritual experiences and treat many conditions from depression to anxiety. He speaks to IDEAS producer, Mary O'Connell.
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54:39 | Sep 21st, 2018

It was a simple file folder, enigmatically labelled "B". But it was the key to learning how a small secret society of key scientists in the federal government in the 1920s, thwarted an ill-conceived plan to move Plains Bison into Wood Buffalo Nationa...Show More
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54:53 | Sep 17th, 2018

How does a just society reconcile the desire for peace, with the desire, most often by men, for violence? How much does nature stir boys, men, to fight? And to what extent can they control that stirring? Author Daemon Fairless takes IDEAS producer Ma...Show More
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55:01 | Sep 13th, 2018

What is consciousness? Why does it even exist? It has long been treated as the byproduct of biological complexity. The more complicated the brain, the more self-aware. Other thinkers have seen consciousness as totally distinct from the body -- dualis...Show More
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55:01 | Sep 12th, 2018

There's a lot more happening at a restaurant than simply ordering from a menu and getting your food. Restaurants are sites of self-expression - spaces in which status and distinction are performed and lines between class, race, and gender are reflect...Show More
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55:02 | Sep 5th, 2018

Yuval Harari is a global intellectual. And the internationally bestselling author is worried: our brains are getting hacked. Artificial intelligence, biotechnology and ever-sophisticated algorithms are tapping into our values, habits, tastes, desires...Show More
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54:53 | Aug 30th, 2018

How can we fix our broken world? And what does it actually mean to love your neighbour? Those are some of the questions raised by Payam Akhavan in the 2017 CBC Massey Lectures - on air, and on tour. We also invited you, our listeners, to send us your...Show More
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54:55 | Aug 29th, 2018

In his final lecture, Payam Akhavan looks through the eyes of a suicide bomber to chart the rise of extremism and the decline of 'basic human dignity'. He concludes the series explaining how we can end hate and see how interconnected we all are.
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54:54 | Aug 28th, 2018

In 1818, the world was introduced to an entirely new kind of monster. Mary Shelley published Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus and for two centuries her creation has stalked the stage, then the screen; inspired art, and filled the pages of count...Show More
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54:57 | Aug 27th, 2018

It's a horror classic from the 1960s that still unnerves us. It's influenced generations of filmmakers. It's part of the exclusive Criterion Collection of world cinema. And it turns 50 this year. But director Roman Polanski is a convicted rapist. Fil...Show More
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54:58 | Aug 23rd, 2018

The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. Stephen Humphrey and a crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving - and living - on the Red Planet...Show More
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54:56 | Aug 22nd, 2018

Payam Akhavan's fourth Massey Lecture focuses on how the world can move forward after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the implosion of Afghanistan and the deadly 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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55:17 | Aug 20th, 2018

They're bigger, faster and hotter than before, torching more of our world: wildfires, like those now ravaging British Columbia, the one that ripped through Fort McMurray in 2016, or through Slave Lake, Alberta in 2011, leveling a third of that commun...Show More
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54:58 | Aug 17th, 2018

Sociologist Aladin El-Mafalaani sees anti-immigrant cries to build walls, and hate-fuelled politics counter-intuitively: a sign that integration is working. Conflict, he argues, is the necessary consequence of new arrivals at a metaphoric dinner tabl...Show More
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54:58 | Aug 16th, 2018

The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. Stephen Humphrey and a crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving - and living - on the Red Planet...Show More
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54:58 | Aug 15th, 2018

In his third Massey Lecture, Payam Akhavan revisits the genocide in Rwanda, talks about the work he did there, and what can be done to prevent such abuses from happening again.
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