Philosophy & Other Big Ideas

Intelligence Squared

Intelligence Squared

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Intelligence Squared is the world’s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world’s sharpest minds and most exciting orators. Join the deba...Show More

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Yes, he Can! No, he couldn't. Obama Is A Failed President

1:10:42 | Jun 23rd, 2016

Eight years ago the banners said ‘Behold the new Kennedy!’ Tears flowed and expectations were sky-high as Obama spoke on election night surrounded by his young family. Here was America’s saviour, the man who could overcome the legacy of slavery, heal...Show More

Stephen Fry and Friends on the Life, Loves and Hates of Christopher Hitchens

56:01 | Apr 11th, 2014

In this historic event, Stephen Fry and other friends of Christopher Hitchens came together to celebrate the life and work of this great writer, polemicist and orator. Fry was joined on stage in London by Richard Dawkins where the two discussed Hitc...Show More

Thomas Friedman On The World In 2019

1:00:14 | Apr 12th

Earlier this month we were joined by Thomas Friedman as he brought his wisdom and insight to the world’s current predicaments: How should the West respond to an emboldened China? How do we rebuild the global economy so that it creates prosperity for ...Show More

Viral Sensation Rutger Bregman On How Utopian Ideas Can Become Reality

45:05 | Apr 5th

This week's episode features Rutger Bregman, historian and author of Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There. In conversation with Helen Lewis, associate editor of the New Statesman, he discusses subjects ranging from Universal Basic Income, th...Show More

How I Found My Voice: Rose McGowan

37:56 | Mar 29th

This week's episode is something a little different: an episode of Intelligence Squared's new podcast How I Found My Voice. How I Found My Voice is the podcast that explores how some of the world's greatest artists and thinkers became such compelling...Show More

Nationalism is a Delusion: Our Futures Depend on Ever Closer Union

1:01:35 | Mar 22nd

This week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast is a special episode produced by Intelligence Squared Germany in collaboration with the ECFR. Arguing for the motion "Nationalism is a Delusion: Our Futures Depend on Ever Closer Union" were P...Show More

Letters That Changed The World

1:25:15 | Mar 15th

Following on from Intelligence Squared’s acclaimed events on great speeches and poetry, when Carey Mulligan, Simon Russell Beale, Helena Bonham Carter and other stars took to our stage, we now present Letters That Changed The World, based on award-wi...Show More

On The Brink Of A No-Deal Brexit: The Town Hall Debate

1:21:55 | Mar 8th

Britain is now facing one of the biggest constitutional crises in its history. As Brexit looms, Intelligence Squared staged a special town hall meeting with some of the country’s most prominent political leaders. We were joined on stage by former C...Show More

China: Friend or Foe?

1:22:30 | Mar 1st

Is China, with its unfair trade policies and shameless theft of intellectual property, an enemy that needs to be reined in? Or is it in the West’s best interests to view China as a strategic partner and aim for mutual respect and cooperation? We we...Show More

Blame Liberals For the Rise of Populism

1:01:47 | Feb 22nd

Have the left’s policies of high immigration and multiculturalism caused the disaffection which has given rise to populism? Or is it the right, with its tabloid scare stories about foreigners eroding national identity? We were joined by Matthew Goo...Show More

David Wootton and Giles Fraser on the Philosophy of Profit, Power and Pleasure

49:53 | Feb 15th

This week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast features David Wootton, historian and author of Power, Pleasure, and Profit, in a wide-ranging conversation with the journalist and Anglican priest Giles Fraser. They examined the four centuries...Show More

The West Should Cut Ties With Saudi Arabia

1:01:12 | Feb 8th

Should the West end its alliance with the Saudi regime? Or should we give its Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman a chance? In this Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Mehdi Hasan, Madawi al-Rasheed, Mamoun Fandy, Crispin Blunt and Lyse Douce...Show More

Leonard Mlodinow and Rosamund Urwin on the Power of Elastic Thinking

55:11 | Feb 1st

In this episode we were joined by Leonard Mlodinow, the theoretical physicist, Star Trek screenwriter and author of Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change in conversation with Sunday Times journalist Rosamund Urwin. In a wide-ranging discussi...Show More

Germany Is Endangering European Stability

1:02:06 | Jan 25th

This week's podcast comes from an event hosted by Intelligence Squared Germany, in collaboration with ECFR Berlin. Our panel of speakers, including representatives of the Five Star Movement, Fidesz and the ECFR asked: is Germany really the bastion of...Show More

Bruce Daisley and Jamie Bartlett on Re-Envisioning the World of Work

59:50 | Jan 18th

In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Twitter's European VP and author of The Joy of Work Bruce Daisley and tech journalist Jamie Bartlett, for a wide-ranging conversation on how to to re-imagine the world of work and ...Show More

Rachel Botsman and Helen Lewis on Technology and Trust

49:24 | Jan 11th

In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Rachel Botsman, world renowned trust expert, Oxford academic and author of Who Can You Trust? She was interviewed by Helen Lewis, associate editor of the New Statesman, for a wide-...Show More

Siva Vaidhyanathan and Helen Lewis on How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy

40:39 | Jan 4th

In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by the cultural historian, media scholar and author of Antisocial Media Siva Vaidhyanathan in conversation with the New Statesman's Helen Lewis. In this wide-ranging discussion, they ...Show More

Bruno Maçães and Linda Yueh on the Chinese World Order

37:09 | Dec 28th, 2018

In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Bruno Maçães, the former Europe minister of Portugal, in conversation with Oxford economist and broadcaster Linda Yueh. They talked about China's Belt and Road strategy, widely ack...Show More

Mishal Husain and Martha Lane Fox on Careers, Life and Leadership

59:56 | Dec 21st, 2018

Equal pay. Gender bias. Sexual harassment. A year on from the start of the #MeToo movement, conversations around these topics have exploded – and progress on many fronts can seem slow. Nearly 80 percent of British companies have a gender pay-gap; mor...Show More

LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman on Building a Billion-Dollar Business at Lightning Speed

1:00:50 | Dec 14th, 2018

Some of the world’s most successful and powerful companies began as tiny startups and became global giants within only a few years. The list is long and includes world-changing companies like Amazon, Google, Airbnb, Facebook, Uber and Alibaba. But wh...Show More

The Battle Over Free Speech: Are Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces and No-Platforming Harming Young Minds?

59:40 | Dec 7th, 2018

Many would argue that these are the fundamental goals of a good education. So why has Cambridge University taken to warning its students that the sexual violence in Titus Andronicus might be traumatic for them? Why are other universities in America a...Show More

Bonus Episode - The Brexit Deal: Decision Time

59:59 | Dec 4th, 2018

It’s a defining moment for British democracy. This December, Parliament will vote on whether to approve or reject Theresa May’s draft Brexit withdrawal agreement. With the nation’s future hanging in the balance, some have called this the greatest cri...Show More

Jeanne Marie Laskas and Bonnie Greer on Love, Hate, Anger, and Hope in the Obama Years

41:34 | Nov 30th, 2018

In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we had Jeanne Marie Laskas, the American professor, journalist and author of To Obama, looking back at the Obama presidency through the lens of tens of thousands of letters the President received ev...Show More

Parenting Doesn't Matter (Or Not As Much As You Think)

1:00:41 | Nov 23rd, 2018

The multibillion-pound parenting industry tells us we can all shape our children to be joyful, resilient and successful. But what if it’s all bunk? Intelligence Squared are bringing together a panel of top geneticists and parenting experts to explore...Show More

Special episode with Anthony Scaramucci, former White House Director of Communications

42:52 | Nov 16th, 2018

In this episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House Director of Communications for a whopping 11 days. He was interviewed by Josh Lowe, Deputy Editor of Apolitical, for a wide-ranging and o...Show More

Kamal Ahmed and Razia Iqbal on Identity, Race and Prejudice

50:46 | Nov 9th, 2018

This week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast was a wide-ranging conversation about race and identity in Britain. In the studio we had Kamal Ahmed, BBC Editorial Director and author of The Life and Times of a Very British Man alongside the ...Show More

Bonus Episode: The Impeachment Election? Trump, Mueller and the Fight for America

1:00:03 | Nov 6th, 2018

Is this the last stand for American democracy? That’s what many of Donald Trump’s opponents believe. The upcoming US midterm election is the last chance to prevent the United States from becoming a truly authoritarian state. That fear has the Democra...Show More

James Barr and Catherine Philp on the Secret British-American Rivalry in the Middle East

1:00:25 | Nov 2nd, 2018

In this week’s episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast, the historian and author of Lords of the Desert James Barr sat down with Times journalist Catherine Philp to reveal the the story of the hidden 25-year rivalry between Britain and the United...Show More

Kate Raworth and Matthew Taylor on Rethinking Economics For The 21st Century

42:48 | Oct 26th, 2018

In this week’s episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast, Oxford economist and author of Doughnut Economics Kate Raworth sat down with Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, to discuss her transformative ideas for a new economy. 

Mistaken Identities: The Conflict Over Culture, Class, Gender and Nation with Kwame Anthony Appiah and John Gray

59:06 | Oct 19th, 2018

Race, religion and identity are being talked about as never before. While minority groups raise their voices for recognition and inclusion, others feel that their culture is being eroded. In these increasingly febrile times, Intelligence Squared brou...Show More

Dickens vs Tolstoy: The Battle Of The Great 19th-century Novelists

1:29:44 | Oct 12th, 2018

Dickens. Tolstoy. Their names and reputations shake the ground – and so do their books, if you drop one. They are the two greatest novelists from the century when novels were really great. Both captured their countries’ very souls and, as vastly infl...Show More

Peter Biskind and Helen Lewis on Vampires, Zombies, X-Men and Political Extremism

48:09 | Oct 5th, 2018

In this Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Peter Biskind, cultural critic and author of The Sky Is Falling, alongside the New Statesman's Helen Lewis, in an examination of how popular culture has fuelled extremism in our politics. 

Tristan Harris and Helen Lewis on how tech has hijacked our brains

48:58 | Sep 28th, 2018

In this episode of Intelligence Squared we were joined by Tristan Harris, former design ethicist at Google in conversation with the New Statesman's Helen Lewis, as they discussed the threat that technology poses to society and our minds.

Mariana Mazzucato and Stella Creasy on Making and Taking in the Global Economy

59:57 | Sep 21st, 2018

In this week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast, Mariana Mazzucato, UCL economics professor and author of The Value of Everything, sat down with the UK Labour MP Stella Creasy in a wide-ranging discussion of how real wealth is created in o...Show More

Jeremy Corbyn Is Unfit To Be Prime Minister

1:02:45 | Sep 14th, 2018

When Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership he was shrugged off as an unelectable oddball in a scruffy suit who would doom Labour to certain defeat. But last year’s shock election result forces us all to consider the real possibility of a Corbyn-led...Show More

Linda Yueh and Jesse Norman on the Economists That Shaped History

39:30 | Sep 6th, 2018

Linda Yueh, renowned economist, broadcaster and author of The Great Economists, in conversation with Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire and author of Adam Smith: What He Thought, and Why it Matters, discussed the transformative leg...Show More

Tom Baldwin and Nina Schick on How the Information Age Crashed Our Democracy

48:54 | Aug 30th, 2018

Tom Baldwin, former Director of Communications for the UK Labour Party under Ed Miliband and author of Ctrl Alt Delete, has spent the best part of three decades at the centre of politics and journalism. In a wide-ranging conversation with Nina Shick,...Show More

Tim Marshall in conversation with Catherine Philp on Why We're Living in an Age of Walls

46:51 | Aug 23rd, 2018

Tim Marshall, renowned journalist and author of Divided, in conversation with the Times diplomatic correspondent Catherine Philp, examine the fault lines that will shape our world for years to come. Walls are going up around the world. Nationalism an...Show More

Jamie Susskind in conversation with Helen Lewis On How Tech Is Transforming Our Politics

43:44 | Aug 16th, 2018

Jamie Susskind, author of Future Politics, in conversation with the New Statesman's Helen Lewis, discuss how digital technology will radically transform how we live together, exploring how the very concepts of democracy, liberty, justice and power co...Show More

James Bloodworth in conversation with Matthew Taylor on the Gig Economy and the Reality of Low-Wage Work

48:57 | Aug 9th, 2018

Journalist James Bloodworth spent six months working undercover across Britain, taking on some of the country's most gruelling and menial jobs for his recent book Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain. In this Intelligence Squared podcast ...Show More

Tom Whipple in Conversation With Rosamund Urwin on Why Gender Still Matters

56:50 | Aug 2nd, 2018

Referencing the latest research on the science of sexuality, Tom Whipple talks about dating apps, Love Island, the relative testicle size of bonobos and chimpanzees, and gay penguins, to throw light on why men and women behave the way they do when it...Show More

Blockchain: Quantum leap forward or digital snake oil?

59:43 | Jul 27th, 2018

Blockchain, the technology on which Bitcoin is based, has gone mainstream. Evangelists describe it as a thrilling and versatile foundation that will revolutionise everything from finance to governance. But is it really the radical new paradigm its ad...Show More

The Rise of the Smart City: Urban Wonderland or Fool’s Paradise?

45:51 | Jul 20th, 2018

More humans than ever before live in cities. Technology is now being rolled out across the world’s urban areas, making day-to-day city living more pleasant, more efficient and more sustainable. For example, traffic flows are being improved by sensors...Show More

The Battle for the Countryside: Britain Should Rewild its Uplands

59:59 | Jul 12th, 2018

Imagine if swathes of the British countryside were allowed to be wild once again, if trees and rare plants could flourish and beavers, boars and white-tailed eagles could retake their place in the ecosystem. That’s the goal of the growing numbers of ...Show More

Mary Beard on Women and Power, with Miriam González and Laurie Penny

1:00:13 | Jul 5th, 2018

Mary Beard is Britain’s best known classicist. Widely admired for her scholarship and popular television programmes about the ancient world, she is also one of this country’s most prominent feminists. By refusing to be cowed by the misogynistic troll...Show More

James Comey in Conversation with Emily Maitlis on Speaking Truth To Power

1:12:37 | Jun 29th, 2018

When President Trump sacked James Comey as FBI Director in May last year, he ignited a political firestorm with huge implications for American democracy. Comey’s dismissal led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to look at possible l...Show More

The World Should Recognise Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

1:00:20 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Many of Israel's supporters, including Donald Trump, claim Jerusalem should be recognised as the country's capital city. After all, it has been the Jewish people's spiritual capital for millennia. But will recognising Jerusalem be the death blow for ...Show More

Anshel Pfeffer in conversation with Catherine Philp on Netanyahu and The Future of Israel

58:54 | Jun 14th, 2018

This week's Intelligence Squared podcast features Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz journalist and author of Bibi - The Turbulent Life And Times Of Benjamin Netanyahu in conversation with Catherine Philp, diplomatic correspondent on The Times. In this in-depth...Show More

The Threat From Russia: Can Putin Be Stopped?

59:22 | Jun 7th, 2018

Is Vladimir Putin the most powerful – and dangerous – man in the world? With Putin in the Kremlin, we have returned to an era where former Russian spies are mysteriously poisoned on British soil and where Russia feels emboldened to roll its tanks int...Show More

The Disunited States: Is the Trump presidency causing irreparable damage to America?

58:08 | May 31st, 2018

America has never seen anything like this. Time and again, Donald Trump has attacked the very fabric of US democracy. He has called the press ‘the enemy of the American people’. He says that claims that Russia interfered in the US election are a hoax...Show More

Jordan Peterson on Gender, Patriarchy and the Slide Towards Tyranny

57:32 | May 23rd, 2018

In May 2018, we recorded a special episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast in London. Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was joined by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor at The Economist and head of Economist Radio, to d...Show More

Revere or Remove? The Battle Over Statues, Heritage and History

58:40 | May 17th, 2018

Statues and memorials to famous figures of the past adorn our towns and cities. But what should be done when some of these figures have come to be seen by many people as controversial symbols of oppression and discrimination? In Britain, the Rhodes...Show More

The nuclear deal with Iran won't make the world a safer place

1:01:41 | May 10th, 2018

For this week's episode we're revisiting our debate from November 2015, "The nuclear deal with Iran won't make the world a safer place". Alan Dershowitz, one of America’s most formidable and celebrated lawyers, and Emily Landau, one of Israel’s top...Show More

Send Them Back: The Parthenon Marbles Should be Returned to Athens

45:52 | May 3rd, 2018

What’s all this nonsense about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? If Lord Elgin hadn’t rescued them from the Parthenon in Athens and presented them to the British Museum almost 200 years ago, these exquisite sculptures – the finest embodim...Show More

Jamie Bartlett in conversation with Helen Lewis on how the internet is threatening our freedoms

53:58 | Apr 26th, 2018

This week's Intelligence Squared podcast features Jamie Bartlett, tech journalist and author of The People vs Tech in conversation with the New Statesman's Deputy Editor Helen Lewis. In this in-depth discussion on the politics of technology, they exp...Show More

Psychiatrists & the pharma industry are to blame for the current ‘epidemic’ of mental disorders

1:00:11 | Apr 12th, 2018

Drug pushers. We tend to associate them with the bleak underworld of criminality. But some would argue that there’s another class of drug pushers, just as unscrupulous, who work in the highly respectable fields of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical in...Show More

Hilton Als and Afua Hirsch on Race, Gender and Identity

37:25 | Apr 5th, 2018

In March 2018, we recorded a special episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast at the Acast studio in east London. Pulitzer prize winning writer and chief theatre critic for The New Yorker Hilton Als was in conversation with Guardian columnist and ...Show More

Stop Brexit

1:00:23 | Mar 29th, 2018

It’s time we came to to our senses. Brexit is a disaster and must be stopped. Leave campaigners promised our exit from the European Union would herald a glorious new era – the sunlit uplands of ‘global Britain’, with new trade deals signed in a matte...Show More

If You Believe You Are a Citizen of the World, You Are A Citizen of Nowhere

1:11:01 | Mar 23rd, 2018

When Theresa May uttered these words at the Tory party conference in 2016, there was uproar. May was targeting the liberal establishment, who flit business class from Mayfair to Monaco, from Davos to Doha; those in positions of power, who, as May put...Show More

Disruption Ahead: Will Future Transport Systems Benefit Society Or Drive It Apart?

1:04:52 | Mar 16th, 2018

A transport revolution in our cities is under way. Ride-sharing schemes, driverless cars and electric vehicles look set to bring us all kinds of benefits, such as lower pollution, faster flowing traffic and fewer accidents. But these benefits won’t...Show More

The Power of Poetry, with William Sieghart, Jeanette Winterson and Helena Bonham Carter

1:34:53 | Mar 9th, 2018

For 15 years, the power of the spoken word has been at the heart of Intelligence Squared’s mission. Argument and debate, we believe, can move, persuade and create real change. Now, in these anxious and divided times, we held a special event that cele...Show More

Western Parents Don't Know How to Bring Up Their Children

1:09:46 | Mar 2nd, 2018

Why are there so many Chinese maths and music prodigies? Because Chinese mothers believe schoolwork and music practice come first, that an A-minus is a bad grade, that sleepovers, TV and computer games should never be allowed and that the only activi...Show More

The Left has right on its side

1:10:31 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Letís be honest. Itís the political Left that has societyís best interests at heart, that works for the good of all. It has always been the Left that has struggled to protect the weak from the strong, that has fought for workersí rights, for sexual a...Show More

James Rhodes And Armando Iannucci on the Transformative Power of Music

1:11:19 | Feb 16th, 2018

In February 2018 Intelligence Squared brought Armando Iannucci and James Rhodes to our stage to discuss the transcendent power of music. Rhodes is known as the wild man of concert pianists. His approach to the piano is raw and unbridled, his tousled ...Show More

Ten Years On: The Financial Crisis and the State of Modern Capitalism

1:10:08 | Feb 9th, 2018

It’s been ten years since we saw suddenly unemployed Lehman Brothers bankers carrying their possessions out of their offices in boxes; since whole neighbourhoods in suburban America turned into empty ghost towns; since the British and American govern...Show More

Karen Armstrong on Religion and the History of Violence

1:09:13 | Feb 2nd, 2018

Karen Armstrong has written over 16 books on faith and the major religions, studying what Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common, and how our faiths have shaped world history and drive current events. She came to the Intelligence Squared st...Show More

Brian Cox and Alice Roberts on the Incredible Unlikeliness of Human Existence

1:09:21 | Jan 26th, 2018

Who are we? Why are we here? Are we alone in the universe? How did we become the creatures that we are? How might we further evolve? These are some of the big questions that Brian Cox and Alice Roberts tackled when they came to the Intelligence Squ...Show More

Break Up The Tech Giants

1:10:08 | Jan 19th, 2018

It is time to call the tech companies to account. In the space of just ten years, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have become the biggest companies on the planet and have accrued a level of power that threatens us all. They control our ...Show More

Caitlyn Jenner on Identity and Self-Realisation

1:07:22 | Jan 12th, 2018

This week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast was recorded in a studio in London's Soho. We were joined by Caitlyn Jenner, the world's most famous transgender woman, as she talked with the Guardian's Jonathan Freedland about US politics, Ca...Show More

David Brooks on the Road to Character

1:09:06 | Jan 5th, 2018

In May 2015, New York Times columnist David Brooks came to the Intelligence Squared stage to share the insights of his latest book, 'The Road to Character'. Brooks argued that today’s ‘Big Me’ culture is making us increasingly self-preoccupied: we li...Show More

Inside The Head Of Terry Gilliam

1:10:01 | Dec 29th, 2017

Terry Gilliam is one of the most multifaceted, visionary talents alive. He first found fame as a member of Monty Python, the surreal comedy troupe that has had a cult following since its inception in 1969 right up to today. Had Gilliam stopped there,...Show More

Joseph Stiglitz on the Great Divide

1:09:02 | Dec 22nd, 2017

Inequality is an increasing problem in the Western world, leaving everyone – the rich as well as the poor – worse off. The dream of a socially mobile society is becoming an ever more unachievable myth. That’s the view of Nobel Prize-winning economist...Show More

Stephen Fry and Friends on the Life, Loves and Hates of Christopher Hitchens

56:50 | Dec 15th, 2017

In this historic event, Stephen Fry and other friends of Christopher Hitchens came together to celebrate the life and work of this great writer, iconoclast and debater. Fry was joined on stage at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall by Richard ...Show More

Words that Changed The World, with Jeremy Irons and Carey Mulligan

1:49:34 | Dec 8th, 2017

For 15 years, Intelligence Squared has vigorously championed the spoken word. The finest speakers from across the globe have come to our stage — to argue, to move, to persuade and change minds. Their speeches epitomise the vital role that public spea...Show More

Brave New World vs Ninety Eighty-Four

1:39:25 | Dec 1st, 2017

Dystopian books and films are in the zeitgeist. Reflecting the often dark mood of our times, Intelligence Squared are staging a contest between two of the greatest dystopian novels, Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Each book captured the nig...Show More

Michael Lewis On How Behavioural Economics Changed The World

1:10:19 | Nov 24th, 2017

Michael Lewis is one of the most successful non-fiction authors alive. He has been acclaimed as a genius by Malcolm Gladwell and as the best current writer in America by Tom Wolfe. In a series of titles that have sold 9 million copies worldwide, he h...Show More

Jaron Lanier on the Future of Our Digital Lives

1:07:07 | Nov 17th, 2017

Jaron Lanier is one of the foremost digital visionaries of our times. One of Silicon Valley’s key early innovators, this dreadlocked digital prophet has been dubbed the ‘father of virtual reality’ and named as one of Time’s 100 most influential peopl...Show More

Neville Chamberlain did the right thing: Appeasement of Hitler was the best policy for the British government in the 1930s

1:10:44 | Nov 10th, 2017

If ever a politician got a bum rap it’s Neville Chamberlain. He has gone down in history as the British prime minster whose policy of appeasement in the 1930s allowed the Nazis to flourish unopposed. He has never been forgiven for ceding part of Czec...Show More

Me, My Selfie and I: Self-Expression in the Digital Age

1:08:48 | Nov 3rd, 2017

We are living in the age of selfie mania. Everyone from the Pope to Obama has appeared in one. In the past, only a handful of people were able to propagate their own images, whether it was artists like Rembrandt or Van Gogh painting self-portraits, s...Show More

Warfare: The New Rules - The Cyber Threat to States, Businesses and All of Us

1:10:56 | Oct 26th, 2017

We are at war: cyberwar. Cyber attacks are becoming the weapon of choice for states, terrorists and criminal organisations. Through the fragile, interconnected structure of the web, anything can be hacked – from national infrastructure to an individu...Show More

Oslo: Can We Bring Peace Between Enemies?

1:06:32 | Oct 19th, 2017

On October 17th Intelligence Squared staged a pre-theatre discussion, ‘Can We Bring Peace Between Enemies?’ before a performance of the award-winning play Oslo. The play is a political thriller which tells the true story of two maverick Norwegian dip...Show More

Niall Ferguson on History's Hidden Networks

1:10:50 | Oct 12th, 2017

Have historians misunderstood everything? Have they missed the single greatest idea that best explains the past? Niall Ferguson is the preeminent historian of the ideas that define our time. He has challenged how we think about money, power, civilis...Show More

Randall Munroe with Marcus du Sautoy on Making the Complicated Simple

1:11:17 | Oct 5th, 2017

On 2nd October, Intelligence Squared brought together two of the world’s best-loved masters of explaining and popularising science, who lifted the lid on the technology we love and on the cutting edge of current scientific research. Randall Munroe i...Show More

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on hitting refresh and seizing the opportunity of the digital revolution

1:10:28 | Sep 28th, 2017

Satya Nadella is one of the world’s most inspirational business leaders, as much a humanist as a technologist and executive. On September 28th, he comes to the Intelligence Squared stage to discuss his personal journey from a childhood in India to be...Show More

Napoleon the Great? A debate with Andrew Roberts, Adam Zamoyski and Jeremy Paxman

1:10:12 | Sep 21st, 2017

How should we remember Napoleon, the man of obscure Corsican birth who rose to become emperor of the French and briefly master of Europe? In 2014, as the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo approached, Intelligence Squared brought together t...Show More

The Great Realignment: Britain's Political Identity Crisis

1:11:04 | Sep 14th, 2017

Is Britain facing an identity crisis? The traditional dividing lines of left and right seem to be dissolving into new political tribes – metropolitan liberals versus the culturally rooted working classes, graduates versus the uneducated, the young ve...Show More

Sam Harris on the Science of Good and Evil

1:10:03 | Sep 7th, 2017

Where do our ideas about morality and meaning come from? Most people - from religious extremists to secular scientists - would agree on one point: that science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, science's failure to explain me...Show More

Is London too rich to be interesting?

1:10:56 | Aug 31st, 2017

It used to be so easy. You left university, came to London and got yourself a flatshare in one of the cheaper areas: Notting Hill, Maida Vale or Highgate. Living was cheap and if it took you a while to find out what you really wanted to do with your ...Show More

Atheism is the new Fundamentalism, with Richard Dawkins and Richard Harries

1:11:18 | Aug 24th, 2017

Does God exist? Has atheism replaced religion as the new faith of the secular age? Are today's atheists as blinkered and dogmatic as they claim religious believers to be? This Intelligence Squared debate from November 2009 was recorded at Wellington...Show More

The Elders in conversation with Jon Snow (Pres. Jimmy Carter, Archbp. Desmond Tutu & Mary Robinson)

1:11:14 | Aug 17th, 2017

Independent, free now from the constraints of office, with a wealth of experience and the ability to open doors at the highest level, The Elders are helping tackle some of the world's most intractable problems. Brought together by Nelson Mandela in ...Show More

The Allied bombing of German cities in World War II was unjustifiable

1:08:48 | Aug 10th, 2017

No one doubts the bravery of the thousands of men who flew and died in Bomber Command. The death rate was an appalling 44%. And yet until the opening of a monument in Green Park in 2012 they had received no official recognition, with many historians ...Show More

Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War

1:09:39 | Aug 4th, 2017

The First World War is not called the Great War for nothing. It was the single most decisive event in modern history, as well as one of the bloodiest: by the time the war ended, some nine million soldiers had been killed. It was also a historical ful...Show More

Marina Abramović on art, performance, time and nothingness

1:09:14 | Jul 27th, 2017

Marina Abramović is the most celebrated performance artist in the world. Over a career spanning four decades she has pioneered performance as an art form and accumulated a devoted following that includes Jay-Z and Lady Gaga. Using her body as both s...Show More

The EU is Failing Europe's Citizens

1:06:42 | Jul 20th, 2017

In the eyes of pro-Europeans, the founding of the EU after WWII secured peace across the continent for decades. But one needn’t look further than Brexit to see that the EU is teetering on the edge. By showing itself blind to the concerns of ordinary ...Show More

Francis Fukuyama with David Runciman - Democracy: Even the Best Ideas Can Fail

1:09:33 | Jul 13th, 2017

In September 2014, Professor Francis Fukuyama came to the Intelligence Squared stage to square up with one of Britain’s most brilliant political thinkers, David Runciman, to assess how democracy is faring in 2014. We certainly haven’t attained the ro...Show More

Naomi Klein on Donald Trump and the new shock politics

1:00:03 | Jul 6th, 2017

Earlier this week we recorded a special episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast at the Acast studio in east London. We were joined by author and activist Naomi Klein and BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed as they discussed Klein's bestselling new b...Show More

Sheryl Sandberg, Malala Yousafzai and Adam Grant on Facing Adversity, Building Resilience And Finding Joy

1:10:17 | Jun 29th, 2017

‘I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.’ – Sheryl Sandberg Sheryl Sandberg is the COO at Facebook and ...Show More

Daniel Dennett on Tools To Transform Our Thinking

1:09:22 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Daniel Dennett is one of the world's most original and provocative thinkers. A philosopher and cognitive scientist, he is known as one of the 'Four Horseman of New Atheism' along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. In...Show More

It's time to bring Russia in from the cold: Rapprochement is in the West's best interests

1:09:30 | Jun 15th, 2017

Is it in the West’s interests to bring Russia in from the cold? Or should we be on our guard against an ascendant, belligerent country on Europe’s borders? For this major debate, Intelligence Squared put together a stellar line-up. Making the case f...Show More

Europe on the Edge

1:10:55 | Jun 8th, 2017

What’s happening to Europe? The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was seen as a triumph for liberal democracy. True, the ‘end of history’ narrative didn’t play out across the world as many predicted. But in Europe political liberalism seemed unshakable...Show More

Can innovation transform London into a carbon neutral city?

1:01:15 | Jun 1st, 2017

Could London be the first carbon neutral city? Listen to this exciting debate hosted by Intelligence Squared. Gadget guru Jason Bradbury is the chair, plus guests including award winning actor and broadcaster Richard Ayoade.

Fake News: The Facts

1:11:40 | May 25th, 2017

There are lies, damn lies, and then there’s fake news. Manipulating the facts for political gain is as old as politics itself, but due to the rise of social media and search engine algorithms false stories can now spread like wildfire. In the run-up ...Show More

How to Think Like a Freak: Learn How to Make Smarter Decisions with the authors of "Freakonomics"

1:09:47 | May 18th, 2017

The books 'Freakonomics' and 'SuperFreakonomics' have been worldwide sensations, selling tens of millions of copies. They have come to stand for challenging conventional wisdom using data rather than emotion. Questions they examine are typically: Whi...Show More

Between You and I The English Language Is Going To The Dogs

1:13:34 | May 11th, 2017

Speaking and writing correct English are the hallmark of an intelligent person. No one who cares about language wants to be caught splitting an infinitive or muddling up ‘infer’ and ‘imply’. Which is why the bestseller lists are regularly topped by b...Show More

An Evening with Slavoj Žižek

1:10:55 | May 4th, 2017

Radical philosopher, polymath, film star, cult icon, and author of over 30 books, Slavoj Žižek is one of the most controversial and leading contemporary public intellectuals, simultaneously acclaimed as the ‘Elvis of cultural theory’ and denounced as...Show More

Trump is Making America Great Again

1:10:45 | Apr 27th, 2017

As Donald Trump approaches the first 100 days of his presidency, things couldn’t be worse. His administration has been more gaffe-prone, incompetent and unstable than any other in American history. Trump has been engulfed in a scandal over his campai...Show More

Anne-Marie Slaughter on Our Hyper-Networked World

1:10:47 | Apr 20th, 2017

Anne-Marie Slaughter is one of the world’s top foreign policy thinkers, admired by influential global leaders such as Joe Biden, Condoleeza Rice and Eric Schmidt. A former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton in the State Department, she hit the headlin...Show More

Has the Political Establishment Failed America?

1:10:58 | Apr 13th, 2017

Has the political establishment failed America? Whether they voted for Trump or Sanders or none of the above, millions of Americans say the answer is yes – and that the system benefits the elites at the expense of everyone else. Others say that despi...Show More

Whose Prosperity? How Can We Build Inclusive and Sustainable Economies?

1:11:04 | Apr 6th, 2017

A debate on the eve of the Second PAGE Ministerial Conference (http://bit.ly/2jhYyaX). Filmed at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) in Berlin on March 26th 2017. Globalisation has create...Show More

Social Media is Killing Art

1:09:55 | Mar 30th, 2017

Social media is like fast food – rapidly consumed for instant gratification. No wonder social media demeans art. Artworks that instantly seduce online become tedious when contemplated over time in the flesh. Once art goes viral, it gains traction, pa...Show More

Niall Ferguson On The Six Killer Apps Of Western Civilisation

1:09:24 | Mar 24th, 2017

Niall Ferguson is the most brilliant British historian of his generation. In this talk from February 2011, based on his book 'Civilisation: The West and the Rest', he asks how Western civilization came to dominate the rest of the world. His answer i...Show More

Don’t give them what they want: Terrorists should be starved of the oxygen of publicity

1:11:06 | Mar 17th, 2017

Why do they do it? Again and again, after every attack, our media react by giving the terrorists exactly what they want – maximum publicity. Of course, the public should be told that an atrocity has taken place. But each attack dominates the news for...Show More

Feminism Is For Everyone

1:09:44 | Mar 10th, 2017

A year ago, you could have been forgiven for thinking that gender equality was on an unstoppable trajectory. America stood poised to elect its first female president. On this side of the Atlantic, members of the political and cultural establishment p...Show More

Jeffrey Sachs on America and a New World Order

1:10:55 | Mar 3rd, 2017

'America first!' Donald Trump hammered out this message over and again in his inauguration speech a week ago today. He promised tariffs, a crackdown on immigration, and a restoration of American military might. He entered the White House as the least...Show More

Daniel Dennett on the Evolution of the Mind, Consciousness and AI

1:10:58 | Feb 24th, 2017

How come there are conscious minds? How do language and culture evolve? Should we still teach children things which computers can do better? Will our smart electronic devices rob us of our intelligence? Will human intelligence and AI co-evolve? Thes...Show More

The Bittersweet Truth About What We Eat

1:10:36 | Feb 17th, 2017

What should we be eating to live a long and healthy life? How is it that some people can eat absolutely anything and stay slim, while others on a ‘healthy’ diet get fat? Why is it that Cubans are much healthier than Americans, despite eating on ave...Show More

Steven Pinker on Good Writing, with Ian McEwan

1:10:50 | Feb 10th, 2017

Steven Pinker is one of the world’s leading authorities on language, mind and human nature. A professor of psychology at Harvard, he is the bestselling author of eight books and regularly appears in lists of the world’s top 100 thinkers. In 2014 he ...Show More

Queen Elizabeth I vs Queen Victoria

1:25:33 | Feb 3rd, 2017

Intelligence Squared’s historical and cultural combat events have been thrilling our audiences with their unique blend of entertainment, information and live performance. Here we present the battle of the queens. Both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Vict...Show More

Thomas Friedman on Thriving in the Age of Acceleration

1:10:54 | Jan 27th, 2017

He has been called ‘the most influential columnist in America’, and is read by everyone from small-business owners to President Obama. As a star columnist of The New York Times, Thomas Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times. Although he has ...Show More

The New Optimism, with Matt Ridley, Johan Norberg, David Runciman and Laura Kuenssberg

1:11:18 | Jan 20th, 2017

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? And why should it matter? After what for many of us has been an annus horribilis in 2016, pessimists seem to have all the best tunes. Terror attacks, horror headlines from Syria, a tide of hatred and resentment poi...Show More

Steven Pinker on The Better Angels of Our Nature

1:11:15 | Jan 13th, 2017

In 2011, we welcomed world renowned American cognitive scientist Steven Pinker to the Intelligence Squared stage. He argued that, contrary to popular belief, we are living in the least violent period of history, and that even the horrific carnage of ...Show More

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Cannot Rock the Boardroom

55:53 | Jan 6th, 2017

Is it a myth that women can have it all, all of the time? Or do the rising numbers of female executives in Hong Kong and around the world suggest otherwise? Does the glass ceiling exist as a barrier to the boardroom, or is the only limitation to a wo...Show More

William Gibson on 'Zero History', with Cory Doctorow

1:09:19 | Dec 30th, 2016

On 5th October 2010, Intelligence Squared paired author William Gibson with popular blogger and science fiction writer Cory Doctorow in a wide-ranging conversation that gives a fascinating insight into the mind of the man heralded as the "architect o...Show More

Dan Pink on the Science of Buoyancy

1:09:58 | Dec 23rd, 2016

It happens to all of us every day. You get rejected. Your customer doesn’t buy. Your boss doesn’t agree. Your crush doesn’t say yes. In this provocative and entertaining talk, exclusive to Intelligence Squared, American author Daniel H. Pink harveste...Show More

Tim Harford on the Importance of Being Messy

1:10:08 | Dec 16th, 2016

Have the forces of tidiness marched too far? Would we all benefit from being a bit messy? That’s the big question that the FT’s star economist Tim Harford will be asking in this exclusive Intelligence Squared event. In Harford’s view, we need to be t...Show More

Trump: An American Tragedy?

1:11:21 | Dec 9th, 2016

It’s one month since we woke up to the shock news that the next president of the United States will be Donald Trump, and the whole world is trying to read the runes and work out what the next four years will hold for America and the rest of the world...Show More

Ian Fleming vs John le Carré

1:47:33 | Dec 2nd, 2016

They are the titans of the spy novel, who have elevated thrillers to the level of literary fiction. Much imitated, much adapted by the big and small screens, Ian Fleming and John Le Carré have painted our picture of post-war espionage: Fleming throug...Show More

The Rise of Populism and the Backlash Against the Elites

1:10:36 | Nov 25th, 2016

What is going on in the Western democracies? From Britain’s vote for Brexit, to Donald Trump’s election victory in America and the growth of populist movements across Europe, voters are expressing their dissatisfaction with the status quo. Economic a...Show More

One size doesn’t fit all: Democracy is not always the best form of government

56:18 | Nov 11th, 2016

Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. So said Winston Churchill and who would disagree? One man, one vote, the rule of law, equality and a free press. These are the Enlightenment principles the West has...Show More

Let Them Eat Meat: There is Nothing Wrong With Rearing and Killing Animals for Human Consumption

1:11:00 | Nov 4th, 2016

Fancy a nice juicy steak? Most of us do from time to time, and we don’t trouble our consciences too much with the rights and wrongs of eating meat. Others, while vaguely aware that we ought to go vegan, just can’t face the rest of our lives denying o...Show More

An Anatomy Of Truth: Conversations on Truth-Telling

1:10:40 | Oct 27th, 2016

Not everyone tells the truth. ‘Read my lips: no new taxes.’ ‘This isn’t going to hurt.’ ‘I see no ships, my lord.’ ‘Of course I love you.’ When can we know what to believe? Four out of five of us don’t think politicians tell the truth, according to a...Show More

Pornography is Good For Us: Without it We Would Be a Far More Repressed Society

1:09:56 | Oct 20th, 2016

Hooray for porn! What would we be without it? Bored, repressed, frustrated. Porn allows the timid to indulge fantasies they’d never live out in real life and the adventurous to experiment with new forms of pleasure. Now that it has stepped down from ...Show More

PJ O'Rourke on the US Presidential Clash

1:10:21 | Oct 14th, 2016

As Donald Trump faces Hillary Clinton in what has been one of the most vitriolic and unpredictable races in recent US election history, we were joined by America’s leading political satirist PJ O’Rourke, just a month ahead of US election day, as he c...Show More

The Gene: Unlocking the Human Code, with Siddhartha Mukherjee

1:10:42 | Oct 7th, 2016

Genetics has revolutionised not just how we think of biology but how we think of ourselves. We are, in the words of one geneticist, the first organism that has ‘learned to read its own instructions’. Now, with the breakthrough of gene-editing technol...Show More

Karl Marx Was Right

1:09:41 | Sep 30th, 2016

We can’t say Karl Marx didn’t warn us: capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. In their chase for ever higher profits, the capitalists shed workers for machines. The higher return on capital means that the share of profits rises and the...Show More

The End of Antibiotics?

1:18:38 | Sep 23rd, 2016

This panel discussion took place at the New York Academy of Sciences in September 2016 and was produced by Intelligence Squared, in partnership with the World Health Organisation and the Wellcome Trust. There’s a time bomb ticking that is going to a...Show More

Yuval Noah Harari on the Myths we Need to Survive

1:11:02 | Sep 19th, 2016

Myths. We tend to think they’re a thing of the past, fabrications that early humans needed to believe in because their understanding of the world was so meagre. But what if modern civilisation were itself based on a set of myths? This is the big ques...Show More

David Eagleman on the Science of De- (and Re-) Humanisation (and Why it Matters)

1:10:24 | Sep 16th, 2016

Which side were you on? The Jets or the Sharks? The Capulets or the Montagues? The Greeks or the Trojans? Antony or Caesar? William or Harold? And so the list goes on ... Indeed, maybe the whole of human history is the story of group-making and group...Show More

Yuval Noah Harari on the Rise of Homo Deus

1:11:28 | Sep 9th, 2016

“Studying history aims to loosen the grip of the past… It will not tell us what to choose, but at least it gives us more options.” – Yuval Noah Harari Yuval Noah Harari is the star historian who shot to fame with his international bestseller 'Sapien...Show More

Museums are Bad at Telling us Why Art Matters

1:08:34 | Sep 2nd, 2016

Museums are our new churches, as is commonly agreed. Millions of people flock to them to be uplifted, inspired, or distracted from everyday cares for an hour or two by encountering magnificent art. But while churches know exactly how to present art i...Show More

P J O'Rourke: The Funniest Man in America

1:09:34 | Aug 10th, 2016

P.J. O'Rourke is America's premier political satirist and has more citations in 'The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations' than any other living writer. In this live appearance for Intelligence Squared in 2010, he discussed his new book, 'Don't ...Show More

Brexit Britain – Our Divided Nation

1:00:05 | Jul 31st, 2016

This panel session was part of Brexit Britain, an afternoon of debate and discussion produced by BBC Newsnight in partnership with Intelligence Squared at the Royal Geographical Society in London. In this, the first session of the day, folk singer/s...Show More

Brexit Britain - Political Fallout

54:49 | Jul 31st, 2016

This panel session was part of Brexit Britain, an afternoon of debate and discussion produced by BBC Newsnight in partnership with Intelligence Squared at the Royal Geographical Society in London. In this, the second session of the day, Guardian col...Show More

Carlo Rovelli and Christophe Galfard on the Architecture of the Universe

1:10:12 | Jul 29th, 2016

Does time exist? Was our universe born from a Big Bang, or from a Big Bounce triggered by a former universe imploding? Is this the only universe, or are there infinite ones, all expanding in parallel and out of sight of each other? These are just ...Show More

Richard Dawkins: The Rational Revolutionary

1:10:06 | Jul 22nd, 2016

In the 1960s and 70s, a revolution took place in the way we understand human nature. Out went Marx and Freud, and in came a rational, scientific approach to the way we see ourselves. At the vanguard of that revolution was Richard Dawkins, the evoluti...Show More

Ancient Worlds: A Meeting of East and West

1:10:13 | Jul 15th, 2016

There’s a new school of history that’s revolutionising the way we look at the past. For centuries, our history has been taught in separate chunks, with the classical, European world divided from China and the East. This traditional, somewhat lazy his...Show More

Brexit: What Next?

1:33:43 | Jul 5th, 2016

The UK has made the momentous decision to leave the EU. Intelligence Squared staged an emergency event to discuss the ramifications. A panel including Douglas Carswell, Jonathan Freedland, Josef Janning, Liz Kendall, Anand Menon and Adair Turner will...Show More

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Democracy is Not Always the Best Form of Government

49:31 | Jun 22nd, 2016

Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. So said Winston Churchill and who would disagree? One man, one vote, the rule of law, equality and a free press. These are the principles which tens of thousands ha...Show More

The Return of History and the Death of Democracy, with Peter Frankopan and Kwasi Kwarteng

1:10:36 | Jun 17th, 2016

25 years ago, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the future looked rosy. Liberal democracy, freedom and individual rights were on the march, triumphing over tyranny and repression. The end of the Cold War had brought an end to history, declared Franci...Show More

The Benefits System Perpetuates Misery

1:09:45 | Jun 11th, 2016

Beveridge would be turning in his grave. The benefits system that his 1942 report introduced has become a travesty. Right now there are some 4.5m people in the UK living in households where nobody has a job. Behind that figure lies a subsection of so...Show More

Let the bad guys be: foreign intervention does more harm than good

1:09:41 | Jun 3rd, 2016

In February 2012 Intelligence Squared Asia presented leading voices and influential figures in a debate about foreign intervention. This discussion raised questions such as: Does foreign intervention lend itself to long-term partnerships characterize...Show More

The Great Intelligence Squared Brexit Debate

1:29:12 | May 27th, 2016

How do we decide? The in-out referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union on June 23 is a once-in-a-generation vote. For some of us it’s a matter of gut political instinct: we are natural inners or outers. But for many, coming to an inform...Show More

Is the Party Over for Economic Growth? When economic stagnation becomes the new normal

1:09:48 | May 20th, 2016

It was a blast. Since the Industrial Revolution, we enjoyed unprecedented economic growth, propelled by a seemingly unstoppable wave of technological innovation. For 100 years from around 1870, life in the West was transformed by inventions such as e...Show More

Assisted suicide should be legalised

1:10:21 | May 13th, 2016

The law allows me to kill myself, but what if I have a progressive illness and reach a stage when I long to end my life but cannot do so unaided. Isn't it needlessly cruel and illogical that as the law stands, no friend or family member or doctor can...Show More

Michael Sandel on the Moral Limits of Markets

1:10:20 | May 6th, 2016

Michael Sandel is one of the world's most acclaimed and popular political philosophers. He has given the Reith lectures, been called "the most influential foreign figure of the year" by China Newsweek, and his online video lectures for Harvard Univer...Show More

Tony Blair on Trial

1:11:08 | Apr 29th, 2016

When Tony Blair became prime minister in May 1997, he had a landslide majority, an approval rating of 93 per cent, and he went on to become Labour’s longest-serving premier. At his last PMQs he got a standing ovation in the chamber of the House of Co...Show More

The Future of Health: When Death Becomes Optional

1:10:08 | Apr 22nd, 2016

What if doctors no longer played God and you became CEO of your own health? What if medicine were tailor-made for your own DNA? What will the world be like when people start living to 150 – or even forever? If only the wealthy can afford super-lon...Show More

Art Today Has Sold Out To The Market

1:10:15 | Apr 15th, 2016

Today’s global art market is reminiscent of a roller coaster - even as it rotates and retrenches - the ride continues to propel, excite and surprise. With a tenfold increase in buyers over the last decade, unprecedented numbers of influencers are pla...Show More

Democracy is India's Achilles' heel

1:09:54 | Apr 8th, 2016

We assume that democracy is what every country should have. But what has democracy done for India? Easy. It has stimulated corruption on a massive scale, and if you want to get rich in India the most direct way is to run for parliament and reap the p...Show More

George Steiner on the Poetry of Thought

1:10:29 | Mar 31st, 2016

Renowned polyglot and polymath, George Steiner has long been recognised as one of the most original minds and brilliant lecturers of our generation. In this talk from April 2009, he argued that at the deepest level there is no essential difference be...Show More

The United Nations is terminally paralysed: the democratic world needs a forum of its own

56:18 | Mar 24th, 2016

In January 2009, a panel of experts came to the Intelligence Squared stage to debate the motion "The United Nations is terminally paralysed: the democratic world needs a forum of its own". Speaking for the motion were Radek Sikorski, Foreign Ministe...Show More

Obama's foreign policy is a gift to America's enemies

56:41 | Mar 18th, 2016

Barack Obama’s foreign policy came under expert scrutiny in this Intelligence Squared debate from 2010, as influential hawks and doves debated whether the president’s policies have left America looking feeble on the world stage. Historian and academi...Show More

Both Britain and the EU would be happier if they got divorced

56:33 | Mar 10th, 2016

Some people just can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that a relationship is over. Finished. Unsalvageable. David Cameron, for instance. His long awaited speech on Europe has been one big exercise in denial. Yes, we should stay married to Europe, he...Show More

The Trouble with This Country Is the Daily Mail

1:09:23 | Mar 4th, 2016

"Immigrant-bashing, woman-hating, Muslim-smearing, NHS-undermining, gay-baiting”. That’s how one critic has described the Daily Mail. It depicts a world where traditional British values are under siege – from the EU, rising crime, and benefit scroung...Show More

Umberto Eco in conversation with Paul Holdengräber

1:09:18 | Feb 26th, 2016

RIP Umberto Eco, bestselling Italian author and semiotician perhaps best-known for his novel 'The Name of the Rose', who sadly died aged 84 earlier this week. This week's podcast revisits our event from November 2011, when we were lucky enough to hos...Show More

Defeating Isis means Western Boots on the Ground

1:11:17 | Feb 19th, 2016

Enough is enough. Paris, Sharm El-Sheikh, Istanbul, Jakarta. Isis is the global crucible of terrorism and must be stopped using all means available. After the Paris attacks last November, the US and its allies stepped up the bombing of Isis targets i...Show More

The Catholic Church is Beyond Redemption: Pope Francis Cannot Save it

1:08:34 | Feb 12th, 2016

Mired in allegations of sexual abuse, corruption in the Vatican and the first papal resignation in six centuries, the Catholic Church is in crisis. Two thousand years of arcane methods, tired dogma and unpalatable lies have left the papacy crippled a...Show More

Greece versus Rome, with Boris Johnson and Mary Beard

1:11:59 | Feb 5th, 2016

On November 19th Intelligence Squared hosted the ultimate clash of civilisations: Greece vs Rome. It was also the ultimate clash of intellectual titans. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and ardent classicist, made the case for Greece; while Mary Beard,...Show More

What Next For Feminism?

1:10:56 | Jan 29th, 2016

Anne-Marie Slaughter is the Washington power player who upset the feminist applecart. At the peak of her career — as first female Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department — she turned her back on her dream job with Hillary Clinton in or...Show More

From The Library: The Art World Is A Boys' Club

1:10:08 | Jan 18th, 2016

Botticelli's Venus. Warhol's Marilyn. Chen Yifei’s Beauties. Historically, the creation of art has been largely the preserve of men. And not a lot has changed. In recent years, the top 100 highest grossing living artists at auction were men, selling...Show More

Anthony Sattin on Cairo

1:07:19 | Jan 15th, 2016

Cairo. The facts say one thing: the biggest city in Africa and the Middle East and now so chaotic and polluted that most visitors to Egypt prefer to avoid it. This same city also speaks to us of history and humanity – Moses and Jesus, Arab poets and ...Show More

From the Library - Daniel Goleman On Focus: The Secret to High Performance and Fulfilment

1:11:02 | Jan 8th, 2016

Psychologist Daniel Goleman shot to fame with his groundbreaking bestseller 'Emotional Intelligence'. The premise of the book, now widely accepted, is that raw intelligence alone is not a sure predictor of success in life. A greater role is played by...Show More

From the Library: The Parthenon Marbles Should Be Returned To Athens

56:14 | Dec 30th, 2015

What’s all this nonsense about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? If Lord Elgin hadn’t rescued them from the Parthenon in Athens and presented them to the British Museum almost 200 years ago, these exquisite sculptures – the finest embodim...Show More

From the Library: Terry Eagleton in conversation with Roger Scruton

1:12:32 | Dec 18th, 2015

What really divides the left and the right? To answer this question, Intelligence Squared brought together two giants of British intellectual culture for an ideological reckoning: Terry Eagleton, literary critic and long-time hero of the radical left...Show More

The Right To Bear Arms Is A Freedom Too Far

1:00:31 | Dec 10th, 2015

Filmed at the Sadler's Wells Lilian Baylis Studio on 27th March 2013. Arguing in favour of the motion was journalist, novelist and broadcaster Will Self. Arguing against the motion was author and Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens. Joining us...Show More

Effective Altruism: A Better Way to Lead an Ethical Life

1:10:59 | Dec 4th, 2015

Almost all of us want to make a difference in our lives. So we give to charity, recycle, volunteer, or cut down our carbon emissions. But are we getting it right? In a world where ever more data is available, shouldn’t we be paying closer attention t...Show More

The Great European Refugees And Migrants Debate

1:11:22 | Nov 27th, 2015

Europe is gripped by the biggest migrant crisis since the Second World War. The parallels with that earlier crisis are hard to avoid. When in 1938 tens of thousands were fleeing Nazi Germany, not a single European country agreed to raise its quotas. ...Show More

Fight Your Own Battles: Foreign powers shouldn't intervene in the Middle East

1:11:09 | Nov 18th, 2015

Filmed at Sadler's Wells on 17th July 2013. Speaking for the motion were Palestinian-American writer, human rights campaigner and political commentator Susan Abulhawa and Former British Ambassador to Syria Sir Andrew Green. Speaking against the mot...Show More

The Nuclear Deal With Iran Won't Make the World a Safer Place

1:12:05 | Nov 12th, 2015

What’s not to like? The deal reached between Iran and six world powers in July is a major diplomatic breakthrough. In exchange for Tehran halting its nuclear weapons programme, the West will lift the sanctions that have been crippling Iran’s economy ...Show More

Karl Ove Knausgaard: The Alchemist of the Ordinary

1:10:59 | Nov 6th, 2015

Novelists worship him. Critics fall over themselves to explain his genius. His celebrity fans say his books are like drugs. ‘I just read 200 pages and I need the next volume like crack. It’s completely blown my mind,’ Zadie Smith tweeted. What they’...Show More

The Art of Political Power, with Robert Caro and William Hague

1:11:16 | Oct 30th, 2015

Every industry has its guru. And when it comes to the dark arts of political statecraft, the American biographer Robert Caro is the mentor politicians turn to for guidance. His biography of President Lyndon B. Johnson has been described as ‘the great...Show More

China picks better leaders than the West

1:08:48 | Oct 23rd, 2015

As Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the UK for a four-day state visit and David Cameron hails a "golden era" in the relationship between the two countries, we revisit the Intelligence Squared Asia debate "China picks better leaders than the West",...Show More

Niall Ferguson: Henry Kissinger Reappraised, with Andrew Roberts

1:11:04 | Oct 16th, 2015

No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. To the late Christopher Hitchens he was a war criminal who should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. To his admirers he is the greatest strategic thinker America has...Show More

Inside The Head Of Terry Gilliam

1:10:25 | Oct 9th, 2015

Terry Gilliam is one of the most multifaceted, visionary talents alive. He first found fame as a member of Monty Python, the surreal comedy troupe that has had a cult following since its inception in 1969 right up to today. Had Gilliam stopped there,...Show More

Let's end the tyranny of the test. Relentless school testing demeans education

1:22:06 | Oct 2nd, 2015

British children are the most tested in the industrialised world. Is regular testing worthwhile training for success in later life, or have our schools become exam sausage factories? Our panel of experts debated whether regular school testing helps o...Show More

Yuval Noah Harari on the myths we need to survive

1:11:02 | Sep 25th, 2015

Myths. We tend to think they’re a thing of the past, fabrications that early humans needed to believe in because their understanding of the world was so meagre. But what if modern civilisation were itself based on a set of myths? This is the big ques...Show More

From the Library: Western Liberal Democracy Would Be Wrong for China

1:13:23 | Sep 18th, 2015

People everywhere are better off living in liberal democracy: that has been the reigning assumption of the western world. But could it be we’ve got it wrong? If you were one of the world’s billions of poor peasants might you not be better off under a...Show More

Ten Years After 9/11: The World Remade

1:11:06 | Sep 11th, 2015

Fourteen years on from 9/11, we revisit our event "Ten Years after 9/11: The World Remade" from 2011. In this special Intelligence Squared event, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband and other leading experts from Oxford Analytica, the global stra...Show More

From the Library: Jimmy Carter in Conversation with Jon Snow

1:09:47 | Sep 4th, 2015

President Jimmy Carter is a Nobel Prize winner, author, humanitarian, professor, farmer, naval officer and carpenter. In this special Intelligence Squared interview with Channel 4 News's Jon Snow, which took place in October 2011, President Carter t...Show More

Europe is failing its Muslims

56:37 | Aug 28th, 2015

The debate "Europe is failing its Muslims" took place on February 23rd at Cadogan Hall in London, in association with BBC World News and the British Council. Arguing in favour of the motion were Tariq Ramadan and Petra Stienen; against the motion wer...Show More

From the Library: Robert Macfarlane on Landscape and the Human Heart

1:11:49 | Aug 20th, 2015

How do the landscapes we love shape the people we are? Why do we walk? For several years and more than a thousand miles, celebrated travel writer Robert Macfarlane has been following the vast network of old paths and routes that criss-cross Britain a...Show More

Norman Stone on Istanbul

1:10:00 | Aug 14th, 2015

In this talk from October 2011 the historian Norman Stone, who has lived in Turkey since 1997, took us on a journey through the country's turbulent history, from the arrival of the Seljuks in Anatolia in the 11th century to the modern republic applyi...Show More

Israel Is Destroying Itself With Its Settlement Policy

1:10:38 | Aug 7th, 2015

Patriacide. Nationcide. Whatever you want to call it, that is what Israel is doing with its settlement policy: it is killing itself. If ever greater numbers of Jewish settlers are installed on land regarded by Palestinians as the basis for a state of...Show More

Roberto Saviano on the War Against Organised Crime

58:33 | Jul 31st, 2015

Roberto Saviano made a rare appearance in the UK in July 2015 when he came to the Intelligence Squared stage. In conversation with Intelligence Squared's very own Robert Collins, Saviano talked about his life in hiding and his beginnings as a reporte...Show More

John Gray and Adam Phillips in conversation on humankind's search for immortality

1:10:06 | Jul 24th, 2015

Political philosopher John Gray and psychotherapist and essayist Adam Phillips came to the Intelligence Squared stage in 2011 to discuss themes of science and immortality. Can we in the 21st century claim to be no longer gripped by the hope that some...Show More

Digital Summit Highlights: 'London's Star Tech Enterprise' and 'Who we are on the Web'

1:03:00 | Jul 15th, 2015

This week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast features two sessions from our recent Digital Summit with Vanity Fair. In the first session, 'Who are we on the web?' we examined how deeply the internet is affecting us as human beings. Our pa...Show More

Churchill was more a liability than an asset to the free world

1:05:02 | Jul 10th, 2015

Does the fact that Winston Churchill is routinely cited as Britain’s greatest hero say more about us than it does about him? Yes, he warned us of the need to face down Hitler when others were urging appeasement and yes, he gave a good speech. But wha...Show More

Digital Summit Highlights: 'The Hopes of the Pioneers' and 'Artificial Intelligence'

58:55 | Jul 2nd, 2015

This week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast features two sessions from our recent Digital Summit with Vanity Fair. In the first session, 'This is For Everyone: The hopes of the pioneers', we explored the hopes and memories of the interne...Show More

From the library: Angela Merkel is destroying Europe

58:45 | Jul 1st, 2015

The stakes couldn’t be higher, as Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras seeks a new agreement on a bailout and German chancellor Angela Merkel refuses any talks before this Sunday’s referendum. What will happen is anyone’s guess, but for anyone looking...Show More

The West should get out of bed with the House Of Saud

56:55 | Jun 25th, 2015

Have we no morals? We know that the Saudis created the monster that is Islamic terrorism, allegedly spending some $100 billion on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to other Muslim nations around the world. We know about the public beheadings and flogging...Show More

The internet is a failed utopia

1:02:32 | Jun 18th, 2015

This week's podcast comes from the closing session of our recent Digital Summit with Vanity Fair. See intelligencesquared.com for more information about the summit. To many the hopes we had for the internet when it first emerged have been smashed by...Show More

Faramerz Dabhoiwala on the Origins of Sex

1:06:38 | Jun 10th, 2015

Rising star historian Faramerz Dabhoiwala came to the Intelligence Squared stage in February 2012 to describe how the permissive society arrived in Western Europe, not in the 1960s as we like to think, but between 1600 and 1800. It began in England a...Show More

David Brooks on the Road to Character

1:09:30 | Jun 4th, 2015

On May 26th 2015, New York Times columnist David Brooks came to the Intelligence Squared stage to share the insights of his latest book, 'The Road to Character'. Brooks argued that today’s ‘Big Me’ culture is making us increasingly self-preoccupied: ...Show More

Joseph Stiglitz on the Great Divide

1:09:23 | May 28th, 2015

Inequality is an increasing problem in the Western world, leaving everyone – the rich as well as the poor – worse off. The dream of a socially mobile society is becoming an ever more unachievable myth. That’s the view of Nobel Prize-winning economist...Show More

Spotlight On Piketty

1:07:40 | May 21st, 2015

In this rare appearance in London, French economist Thomas Piketty appeared centre stage for Intelligence Squared, along with a panel of experts, to debate his findings of his book 'Capital in the 21st Century', an analysis of the causes and growth o...Show More

Post-Election Dissection

1:09:10 | May 14th, 2015

On May 12th, before the dust had settled on the General Election, Intelligence Squared hosted a post-election dissection with pundits and politicians of all persuasions. They battled it out over what the outcome means for the future of British politi...Show More

Simon Sebag Montefiore on Jerusalem

1:13:06 | May 8th, 2015

Jerusalem. How did this small, remote town became the Holy City, the desire of every empire, and the key to Middle East peace? In this dazzling talk from February 2011, Simon Sebag Montefiore revealed the ever-changing city through its many incarnati...Show More

The World Needs Religion Even if it Doesn't Need God

1:12:42 | Apr 29th, 2015

God is dead and man has no need of the myths and false consolation that religion offers. That’s the battle-cry of Richard Dawkins and other tough-minded critics of religion. And yet millions cling to their faith, finding value and meaning in the conc...Show More

The Future of Parliamentary Democracy

1:16:56 | Apr 24th, 2015

In the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal (May-June 2009), we brought a panel of politicians and journalists to the Intelligence Squared stage to discuss the state of democracy in Britain – is the system rotten to the core, or was the expenses scandal...Show More

Can art be taught to the Facebook generation?

1:10:37 | Apr 17th, 2015

We were joined at the Saatchi Gallery in July 2009 by Turner Prize-winning artists Grayson Perry and Antony Gormley; author, philosopher and television presenter Alain de Botton; design critic, author and columnist Stephen Bayley and founder of the c...Show More

Burgundy vs Bordeaux, with Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson

1:11:49 | Apr 9th, 2015

Among wine lovers, there is no greater divide than that between Burgundy and Bordeaux. These are the world’s most celebrated wine regions, different places producing different styles of wine. What separates them and why the great rivalry? Many wine ...Show More

The Extreme Present: An Evening of Self-Help for Planet Earth

1:10:59 | Apr 2nd, 2015

Shumon Basar, writer, thinker and cultural critic, Douglas Coupland, the renowned author of 'Generation X', and Hans Ulrich Obrist, one of the world’s best-known curators, joined forces for a special event with Intelligence Squared to explore the cha...Show More

The Art World is a Boys' Club

1:10:08 | Mar 26th, 2015

Botticelli's Venus. Warhol's Marilyn. Chen Yifei’s Beauties. Historically, the creation of art has been largely the preserve of men. And not a lot has changed. In recent years, the top 100 highest grossing living artists at auction were men, selli...Show More

Muhammad Yunus on a new kind of capitalism

1:10:01 | Mar 20th, 2015

‘Making money is a happiness. And that’s a great incentive. Making other people happy is a super-happiness.’ These are the words of Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bangladeshi economist world-famous for starting the microfinance moveme...Show More

Be afraid, be very afraid: the robots are coming and they will destroy our livelihoods

1:08:37 | Mar 13th, 2015

They are coming to an office near you: job-gobbling robots that can do your work better and more cheaply than you can. One in three jobs could be taken over by a computer or a robot in the next 20 years. Most at risk are less skilled workers such as ...Show More

Rembrandt Vs Vermeer: The Titans of Dutch Painting

1:10:11 | Mar 5th, 2015

Rembrandt van Rijn is the best known of all the Dutch masters. His range was vast, from landscapes to portraits to Biblical scenes; he revolutionised every medium he handled, from oil paintings to etchings and drawings. His vision encompassed every e...Show More

Money can grow on trees: what's good for nature is good for business

1:10:37 | Feb 27th, 2015

Capitalists don’t care about the environment. Industry, agriculture and commerce have long exploited nature’s resources. The pursuit of profit pays scant regard to the underlying cost of using up the planet’s capital. That’s the familiar story that ...Show More

Keep 'em off the streets and behind bars: tough prison sentences mean a safer society

1:10:10 | Feb 19th, 2015

Lock them up. That’s the way we’ve always dealt with offenders. Criminals deserve to be put away for their crimes. Prison works because it keeps those criminals out of circulation, and acts as society’s most effective deterrent. Rehabilitation is all...Show More

Magna Carta: Myth and Meaning

1:10:13 | Feb 12th, 2015

June 2015 will see the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the ‘Great Charter’ which was signed at Runnymede by King John to resolve a political crisis he faced with his barons. Buried within its 69 clauses is one of immeasurable importance. This is th...Show More

Art must be beautiful

1:08:40 | Feb 5th, 2015

In May 2011, Intelligence Squared Asia presented four leading voices in the arts to argue the motion "Art must be beautiful". Can aesthetic standards of the day dictate the long-term value of art? Who defines taste? Do parameters of institutional val...Show More

An evening with Britain's best poets

1:34:05 | Jan 29th, 2015

Love. Sorrow. Anger. Death. Laughter. God. Sex. Hell. Home. Only one profession can get to the heart of that lot – the poets. And not any old poets but amongst Britain's very best: Wendy Cope, Andrew Motion and Don Paterson – plus Clive James who's ...Show More

The High Street is dead, long live the High Street

1:39:33 | Jan 22nd, 2015

A screen, an image, a click. Proceed to checkout. Sign for it the next day. We are the first generation to enjoy the thrill and convenience of online shopping. No queuing, no frustration at going home empty-handed, because we can always find what we’...Show More

The War on Terror was the right response to 9/11

57:06 | Jan 15th, 2015

Have the West’s efforts to eradicate Al-Qaeda around the world simply been fuelling the flames of hatred and violence? Or would we have suffered even more atrocities if we’d left the militants to plot in their hiding places? Is the US right to be pu...Show More

Bernard-Henri Lévy on the Libyan intervention and universal values

1:30:34 | Jan 8th, 2015

Bernard-Henri Lévy is France’s best-known public intellectual, passionately committed to the causes he believes to be just. A writer, journalist, and film-maker, he has the status of a rock star in France where he is known simply as BHL, and has rep...Show More

Beware of the dragon: Africa should not look to China

1:48:15 | Dec 23rd, 2014

We all know that the Chinese are the neo-colonialists of Africa. They've plundered the continent of its natural resources, tossing aside any concern for human rights and doing deals with some of the world's most unsavoury regimes. The relentless purs...Show More

Umberto Eco In Conversation With Paul Holdengräber

1:41:18 | Dec 18th, 2014

The persistence of conspiracies. Grasping the infinity of lists. Writing fiction about the real. The future of books. These are some of the topics Umberto Eco discussed with Paul Holdengräber, Director of LIVE at the New York Public Library, when he...Show More

Brian Cox & Alice Roberts on the Incredible Unlikeliness of Human Existence

1:37:32 | Dec 11th, 2014

Who are we? Why are we here? Are we alone in the universe? How did we become the creatures that we are? How might we further evolve? These are some of the big questions that Brian Cox and Alice Roberts tackled when they came to the Intelligence Squa...Show More

P.J. O'Rourke: The Funniest Man in America

1:40:34 | Dec 4th, 2014

P.J. O'Rourke is America's premier political satirist and has more citations in The Penguin Dictionary of Humorous Quotations than any other living writer. In this live appearance for Intelligence Squared in 2010, he discussed his new book, "Don't Vo...Show More

I'd rather Be a Roundhead than a Cavalier

1:38:16 | Nov 26th, 2014

In the 1640s England was devastated by a civil war that divided the nation into two tribes – Roundheads and Cavaliers. Counties, towns, even families and friends were rent apart as the nation pledged its allegiance either to King Charles I (supported...Show More

David Grossman in conversation with Linda Grant

1:36:09 | Nov 20th, 2014

One of Israel’s most acclaimed writers, David Grossman is the author of numerous pieces of fiction, nonfiction and children's literature. His work has dealt with Jewish history, the occupation of the West Bank, the cost of war and the dramas of famil...Show More

Psychiatrists & the pharma industry are to blame for the current ‘epidemic’ of mental disorders

1:42:50 | Nov 13th, 2014

Drug pushers. We tend to associate them with the bleak underworld of criminality. But some would argue that there’s another class of drug pushers, just as unscrupulous, who work in the highly respectable fields of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical in...Show More

William Gibson on 'Zero History' with Cory Doctorow

1:26:36 | Nov 7th, 2014

On 5th October 2010, Intelligence Squared paired author William Gibson with popular blogger and science fiction writer Cory Doctorow in a wide-ranging conversation that gives a fascinating insight into the mind of the man heralded as the "architect o...Show More

Stop Bashing Christians! Britain has become an anti-Christian country

1:58:55 | Oct 30th, 2014

Are Christians victims of a hateful animus, or are they demanding special treatment in a secular state which in fact applies the law equally to all? Peter Hitchens fears that without Christianity, we might end up undermining the whole foundation of l...Show More

Is London too rich to be interesting?

1:36:05 | Oct 23rd, 2014

It used to be so easy. You left university, came to London and got yourself a flatshare in one of the cheaper areas: Notting Hill, Maida Vale or Highgate. Living was cheap and if it took you a while to find out what you really wanted to do with your ...Show More

Karen Armstrong on Religion and the History of Violence

1:33:42 | Oct 16th, 2014

Karen Armstrong has written over 16 books on faith and the major religions, studying what Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common, and how our faiths have shaped world history and drive current events. She came to the Intelligence Squared sta...Show More

Napoleon The Great?

1:35:42 | Oct 9th, 2014

How should we remember Napoleon, the man of obscure Corsican birth who rose to become emperor of the French and briefly master of Europe? As the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo approaches in 2015, Intelligence Squared brought together tw...Show More

Steven Pinker on Good Writing with Ian McEwan

1:28:45 | Sep 30th, 2014

Steven Pinker is one of the world’s leading authorities on language, mind and human nature. A professor of psychology at Harvard, he is the bestselling author of eight books and regularly appears in lists of the world’s top 100 thinkers. On Septembe...Show More

Francis Fukuyama in Conversation with David Runciman

1:33:37 | Sep 25th, 2014

Professor Francis Fukuyama came to the Intelligence Squared stage in September, to square up with one of Britain’s most brilliant political thinkers, David Runciman, to assess how democracy is faring in 2014. We certainly haven’t attained the rosy fu...Show More

Marina Abramović on art, performance, time and nothingness

1:32:14 | Sep 18th, 2014

Marina Abramović is the most celebrated performance artist in the world. Over a career spanning four decades she has pioneered performance as an art form and accumulated a devoted following that includes Jay-Z and Lady Gaga. Using her body as both s...Show More

History Shows Us That Scotland and England Would Be Better Off as Separate Kingdoms

1:09:24 | Sep 11th, 2014

This event was recorded at the Chalke Valley History Festival in July 2014. The future of the Union will be voted for in a referendum soon, and this debate explored the historical relationship between Scotland and England, and the direct bearing tha...Show More

London Should Love Its Bankers

1:45:02 | Sep 4th, 2014

Do the British have a death wish? You’d be forgiven for thinking so the way so many of them seem to want to cripple the most dynamic part of their own economy. What is the world’s largest market for dollars? London. Where does the Chinese State Admin...Show More

Has Martin Luther King's Dream Been Realized?

1:15:14 | Aug 29th, 2014

This event was on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. On 28 August 1963, civil rights campaigners marched on Washington to secure equality before the law. Today, America’s first black president sits in the White Hous...Show More

Money Can't Buy Happiness

1:40:57 | Aug 21st, 2014

Leading voices from the fields of science, philosophy came to the Intelligence Squared Asia stage for this thought-provoking debate about the pursuit of wealth and its relationship to happiness. Among other topics, this debate raised questions about...Show More

University is an unwise investment

1:12:52 | Aug 14th, 2014

For many Western teenagers university has long been considered a passport to the good life: a rite of passage consisting of mind-expanding reading and writing or the acquisition of a professional qualification, and meeting like-minded people often ov...Show More

It's Time to End The War on Drugs

2:21:11 | Aug 4th, 2014

To liberalise or prohibit, that is the question. Prohibitionists argue that legalising anything increases its consumption. The world has enough of a problem with legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, so why add to the problem by legalising cannabis...Show More

"Contemporary Art Excludes the 99%"

1:26:56 | Jul 31st, 2014

What is the role of contemporary art museums today? Are biennales and art fairs platforms for experiment and exchange, or little more than social attractions for the elite? Have collectors become the new curators? Are private and corporate interests ...Show More

America's Drone Campaign Is Both Moral And Effective

2:06:31 | Jul 24th, 2014

Bug splats. That’s what the American operators of drones, sitting in safety thousands of miles away, call the casualties of a drone attack in Pakistan or Yemen. Why bug splats? Because that’s what a human body zapped by a drone looks like on those Am...Show More

Sex, bugs & video tapes: the private lives of public figures deserve more protection from the press

56:31 | Jul 17th, 2014

Would you like the details of your sex life, private conversations, and hidden passions splashed across the pages of a British tabloid or published online? Could you do anything to stop it? In Britain, unlike in the USA or France, there is no right t...Show More

Art Schools Are Bad At Producing Good Artists

1:41:28 | Jul 10th, 2014

What makes a good artist? Can creativity can be taught? What kind of education ups the ante for success in today’s global culture? These are some of the questions that were explored in this Intelligence Squared Asia debate in Singapore in January 20...Show More

Jesus Would Have Voted Democrat

1:51:20 | Jul 3rd, 2014

Remember the rich man and the eye of the needle? Blessed are the meek? The last shall be first? Jesus didn’t hold much truck for wealth or power, nor was he exactly a supporter of family values. He didn’t even encourage hard work (“Consider the lilie...Show More

Shakespeare vs Milton: The Kings of English Literature Debate

2:22:09 | Jun 26th, 2014

Nearly four centuries after his death, no writer has come close to matching Shakespeare’s understanding of the world – or his gift for dramatic poetry. It’s not just kings and queens that he captured so uniquely in his transcendent verse. Shakespeare...Show More

A Journey Into Outer Space, With Brian Cox

2:04:11 | Jun 19th, 2014

Are they out there? Intelligent beings from another world. Will we ever make contact with them? Is it even sensible to make guesses about whether life exists in other galaxies billions of light years from our own? How much do we know about outer spac...Show More

VS Naipaul in Conversation With Geordie Greig

1:28:03 | Jun 12th, 2014

Nobel laureate and giant of Western letters, Trinidad-born V. S. Naipaul has excelled in both fiction and non-fiction. His latest book The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief is a travelogue in which Naipaul sets out to discover how far the ...Show More

Stop Poking the Bear: The West Needs to Engage with Putin Not Castigate Him

56:38 | Jun 5th, 2014

You don’t have to like Vladimir Putin, or doubt that he’s a nasty piece of work, to recognise that the Russian president’s reaction to the crisis in Ukraine is largely justified. The promise that Russia managed to extract from the West, as it watched...Show More

How to Think Like a Freak: Learn How to Make Smarter Decisions with the authors of "Freakonomics"

1:39:00 | May 29th, 2014

The books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics have been worldwide sensations, selling tens of millions of copies. They have come to stand for challenging conventional wisdom using data rather than emotion. Questions they examine are typically: Which i...Show More

Look West Not East: South America Will be the 21st Century's Superpower

1:49:59 | May 21st, 2014

Conventional wisdom tells us that a new star will rise in the East, and all eyes have been looking towards China or India as the 21st century’s new superpower. But remarkable as their recent economic growth may have been, the institutional frailty of...Show More

The Allied Bombing of German Cities in World War Two Was Unjustifiable

1:37:24 | May 12th, 2014

No one doubts the bravery of the thousands of men who flew and died in Bomber Command. The death rate was an appalling 44%. And yet until the opening of a monument in Green Park this year they have received no official recognition, with many historia...Show More

Calm Down Dears: State Snooping Is A Price Worth Paying For Our Security

1:43:15 | May 7th, 2014

So now we know: our spooks and their spooks are hoovering up and exchanging massive amounts of data on our private lives: not just whom we phone and email but the actual content of our communications; not just which websites we visit but what we choo...Show More

Western Parents Don't Know How to Bring Up Their Children

1:39:03 | May 1st, 2014

Why are there so many Chinese maths and music prodigies? Because Chinese mothers believe schoolwork and music practice come first, that an A-minus is a bad grade, that sleepovers, TV and computer games should never be allowed and that the only activi...Show More

The Making Of The Modern Middle East: Lawrence of Arabia and King Faisal I

1:38:45 | Apr 24th, 2014

How much blame for the current troubles in the Middle East lies with the decisions made by the West in 1919 – when the Ottoman Empire was carved up arbitrarily into the modern states we know today? Is it true that Arab society has tended to define it...Show More

Britain Should Not Have Fought In The First World War

1:50:20 | Apr 17th, 2014

As we approach the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, books, television documentaries and articles on the subject abound. So do different opinions, especially as to whether Britain’s engagement was worth it. Was it a vitally important...Show More

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Cannot Rock the Boardroom

56:18 | Apr 3rd, 2014

Is it a myth that women can have it all, all of the time? Or do the rising numbers of female executives in Hong Kong and around the world suggest otherwise? Does the glass ceiling exist as a barrier to the boardroom, or is the only limitation to a wo...Show More

The Best Chance For Peace In Israel And Palestine Is For Uncle Sam To Butt Out

1:58:05 | Mar 27th, 2014

Is it surprising that the Israelis and Palestinians are still unable to come to some sort of agreement? After all if the adjudicator in a mediation is firmly on your side why bother to concede anything to the enemy? Conversely, why accept anything pr...Show More

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Democracy is Not Always the Best Form of Government

56:05 | Mar 20th, 2014

Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. So said Winston Churchill and who would disagree? One man, one vote, the rule of law, equality and a free press. These are the principles which tens of thousands ha...Show More

Sam Harris on the Science of Good and Evil

1:32:50 | Mar 13th, 2014

Where do our ideas about morality and meaning come from? Most people - from religious extremists to secular scientists - would agree on one point: that science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, science's failure to explain me...Show More

Between You and I The English Language Is Going To The Dogs

1:52:30 | Mar 6th, 2014

Speaking and writing correct English are the hallmark of an intelligent person. No one who cares about language wants to be caught splitting an infinitive or muddling up ‘infer’ and ‘imply’. Which is why the bestseller lists are regularly topped by b...Show More

Jane Austen Vs Emily Bronte: The Queens of English Literature Debate

2:07:57 | Feb 27th, 2014

Who was the Queen of English literature. Was it Jane Austen with her sensitive ear for the hypocrisy lurking beneath the genteel conversation in the drawing rooms of Georgian England? Or Emily Brontë with the complex tale of violent attraction, thwar...Show More

Niall Ferguson On The Six Killer Apps Of Western Civilisation

1:33:16 | Feb 20th, 2014

Niall Ferguson is the most brilliant British historian of his generation. In this talk from February 2011, based on his book 'Civilisation: The West and the Rest', he asks how Western civilization came to dominate the rest of the world. His answer ...Show More

"Let The Bad Guys Be: The Perils of Foreign Intervention" with David Aaronovitch and Rory Stewart

1:33:34 | Feb 13th, 2014

Some leaders are so objectionable – Bashar al-Assad, Robert Mugabe – that it may seem only right to strain every sinew to get rid of them. But ghastly as their regimes may be, is there any reason to think that foreign intervention makes the situation...Show More

Daniel Goleman On Focus: The Secret to High Performance and Fulfilment

1:28:31 | Feb 7th, 2014

Psychologist Daniel Goleman shot to fame with his groundbreaking bestseller 'Emotional Intelligence'. The premise of the book, now widely accepted, is that raw intelligence alone is not a sure predictor of success in life. A greater role is played by...Show More

We've Never Had It So Good

1:46:20 | Jan 31st, 2014

It's 2014 and what does Britain have to look forward to? Osborne’s welfare cuts. An umpteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother. Adult children still living at home and cadging off the Bank of Mum and Dad (repayment not guaranteed). That’s the gripe o...Show More

An Evening With Slavoj Zizek

1:40:16 | Jan 24th, 2014

Radical philosopher, polymath, film star, cult icon, and author of over 30 books, Slavoj Žižek is one of the most controversial and leading contemporary public intellectuals, simultaneously acclaimed as the ‘Elvis of cultural theory’ and denounced as...Show More

Let Them Come: We Have Nothing To Fear From High Levels Of Immigration

1:58:01 | Jan 17th, 2014

Does mass immigration boost our economy and cultural richness or undermine them? Hear Times columnist David Aaronovitch, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and the economist Susie Symes go head to head with UKIP's Nigel Farage, Demos director Dav...Show More

Steven Pinker on The Better Angels of Our Nature

1:38:04 | Jan 10th, 2014

We launch our first podcast of the year today – our 2011 talk by the world renowned American cognitive scientist Steven Pinker. In it he argues that, contrary to popular belief, we are living in the least violent period of history. And that even the ...Show More

Verdi vs Wagner: The 200th Anniversary Debate with Stephen Fry

2:00:16 | Dec 24th, 2013

Think opera and you think Verdi. Verdi created some of the most beloved operas of all time, from the romantic tragedy of La traviata and Rigoletto to the Shakespearian dramas of Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff Verdi’s music transcends the barriers betw...Show More

Eric Schmidt On The New Digital Age

1:29:37 | Dec 21st, 2013

Eric Schmidt is one of the leading visionaries of our time. He has taken Google from a small start-up to one of the world’s most influential companies. In this conversation with Bryan Appleyard from May 2013, he sets out the themes of his new book ...Show More

An Anatomy Of Truth: Conversations on Truth-Telling

1:46:58 | Dec 20th, 2013

Not everyone tells the truth. ‘Read my lips: no new taxes.’ ‘This isn’t going to hurt.’ ‘I see no ships, my lord.’ ‘Of course I love you.’ When can we know what to believe? Four out of five of us don’t think politicians tell the truth, according to a...Show More

Putin Has Been Good For Russia

1:46:28 | Dec 20th, 2013

There’s not a lot to like about Vladimir Putin: he’s autocratic, vain and runs a corrupt government. And he doesn’t give a fig for human rights. The repression in Chechnya, the jailing of the (now pardoned) businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Pu...Show More

Nate Silver On The Art And Science Of Prediction

1:34:30 | Dec 19th, 2013

Nate Silver is the 35-year-old data engineer and forecaster with superstar status. He shot to fame in 2008 for correctly predicting the outcome in 49 out of 50 states in the US presidential election. In 2012, when most media pundits and political ana...Show More

Angela Merkel is Destroying Europe

57:11 | Dec 19th, 2013

They're calling her the devil. Inflammatory words, but Europe has every reason to be livid with the German Chancellor. Angela Merkel’s austerity measures are strangling the economies of the southern nations of Europe, creating huge unemployment and p...Show More

Jimmy Carter in Conversation with Jon Snow

1:21:44 | Dec 18th, 2013

President Jimmy Carter is a Nobel Prize winner, author, humanitarian, professor, farmer, naval officer and carpenter. In this special Intelligence Squared interview with Channel 4 News's Jon Snow, which took place in October 2011, President Carter ...Show More

Send Them Back: The Parthenon Marbles Should be Returned to Athens

56:22 | Dec 16th, 2013

What’s all this nonsense about sending the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece? If Lord Elgin hadn’t rescued them from the Parthenon in Athens and presented them to the British Museum almost 200 years ago, these exquisite sculptures – the finest embodim...Show More

The West Has Failed Syria

1:38:05 | Dec 16th, 2013

To say “The West has failed Syria” tempts us into the dangerous belief that had we only got stuck into this conflict from the off, things would now be better. It’s a belief, as recent history shows, we badly need to resist. So speaks the voice of ca...Show More

The Catholic Church is a Force For Good in The World

56:26 | Dec 13th, 2013

Can anything good really be said of an institution that has such a warped attitude to sex that it tries to stop the world from wearing a condom, is bitterly opposed to gays leading a fulfilled life and regards women as unworthy of officiating in its ...Show More

Daniel Dennett on Tools to Transform our Thinking

1:33:09 | Dec 12th, 2013

Daniel Dennett is one of the world’s most original and provocative thinkers. A philosopher and cognitive scientist, he is known as one of the ‘Four Horseman of New Atheism’ along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. On...Show More

Thomas Friedman: A Manifesto For Rescuing America

1:10:44 | Dec 11th, 2013

14. Thomas Friedman: A manifesto for rescuing America Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist – the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six bestselling books, and writes a twice-weekly colum...Show More

David Eagleman on the Science of De- (and Re-) Humanisation (and Why it Matters)

1:27:04 | Dec 11th, 2013

Which side were you on? The Jets or the Sharks? The Capulets or the Montagues? The Greeks or the Trojans? Antony or Caesar? William or Harold? And so the list goes on ... Indeed, maybe the whole of human history is the story of group-making and group...Show More