Ideas

by CBC Radio · · · · 186 subscribers

IDEAS is a deep-dive into contemporary thought and intellectual history. No topic is off-limits. In the age of clickbait and superficial headlines, it's for people who like to think.

In 1905, when Albert Einstein worked as a patent office clerk, he published a series of academic papers that revolutionized physics and our thinking about space and time, mass and energy. His ideas were a great leap forward. Panellists at the Stratford Festival discuss how Einstein revolutionized how we live our lives today. *Originally aired on December 3, 2019.

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In a compelling conversation, acclaimed journalist and author Kamal Al-Solayee discusses all things brown, from the psychology of the colour, to why he says, it’s always 'a bridesmaid, never the bride,' in the constructed hierarchy of human skin tone. *Originally aired on November 6, 2019.
Professor Bartha Knoppers is the 2019 recipient of the Henry G. Friesen International Prize for excellence in health research. Once a scholar of surrealist poetry, she has now become a world-renowned voice and a prolific researcher in the field of medical ethics. Her Friesen lecture is called: "Scientific Breakthroughs: The …
In his 2004 CBC Massey Lectures, Ronald Wright warned us a “progress trap” was closing around our technologically-advanced, but dangerously self-destructive, civilization. Wright tells IDEAS now he’s unsure as to whether there is any wiggle room left.
More than 20 years after the Good Friday peace agreement was signed, the so- called peace walls remain in Northern Ireland. Host Nahlah Ayed heads to Belfast to find out if the walls are helping or hindering community reconciliation between Catholic and Protestant, Republican and Unionist. This is the first …
Sigmund Freud had many radical ideas about our inner life and how mental illness or trauma might be treated. Perhaps his most radical idea was that the patient should be listened to. This episode features a panel discussion at the Stratford Festival about the current state of Freud's legacy on …
UBC President Santa J Ono is a renowned biologist. But he says it was the liberal arts education that he had as an undergraduate gave him the wisdom he needed to flourish. Ono argues that the values imparted by a liberal arts education are crucial for humanity to thrive. *Originally …
Deepfakes. Political bias. Contested facts. How can historians possibly nail the truth in our polarized times? A panel of top historians — all of them Cundill History Prize finalists and winners — explain why the challenge is formidable, yet nothing new. Guests: Jill Lepore, Julia Lovell, Maya Jasanoff, Mary Fulbrook, …
Climate change denialism has been around for years. And it's still here, even after four decades of scientific consensus that humans are causing the climate crisis. But why? Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes explains in a public talk how denying climate change came to be a personal and political belief.
The Joy of Mediocrity July 15, 2020
Sick of aiming for excellence and feeling miserable when you fall short? You’re not alone. Explore the upsides of imperfection, lowered expectations, and outright failure with philosopher Daniel Milo, writer Avram Alpert, School of Life teacher Sarah Stein Lubrano, and Zahra Dhanani, who has adopted the “good enough” life. *Originally …
As disruptors go, Donald Trump is the world's most powerful one right now — disrupting everything from national politics, to social issues, to international relations. How far will his disruptions go, and what will remain once he's gone? IDEAS convened a panel at the Stratford Festival to discuss the Trump …
Deborah Ahenkora has long believed there's a 'book famine' throughout Africa. The most acute shortage is in books written by Africans for Africans — especially children's books in which African children can see themselves reflected. So she decided to rewrite that history to ensure African stories are both told and …
In Part 2 of The Unconventional Diplomat, former UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein continues a fascinating tour through the backrooms of global diplomacy. He explains why he refused to go on bended “knee in supplication” before the UN Security Council and shares his advice on how to …
In a well-known speech in diplomatic circles, as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called out powerful world leaders. But he laments a “fearfulness” currently within the UN. IDEAS producer Mary Lynk sits down for a rare feature interview to reveal the story behind the …
Three expert analysts, each from a different discipline, reveal their greatest fears for the near-ish future and make the case for how we must now prepare for it. From the threat of conflict between great powers, to the "war" for net-zero carbon emissions, to introducing a new global authority that …
Intelligent minds have disagreed, vehemently, ever since Karl Marx wrote his ideas down in the mid-1800s. They disagree some more in this IDEAS episode about Marx and the modern political left, featuring Sheila Copps, Charlie Foran, and Rick Salutin. *Originally broadcast on Sept. 10, 2019.
Former Catholic sister Karen Armstrong describes herself as a freelance monotheist. She focuses on the sounds, rituals and power of scripture, all of which she fears is endangered in our secular, digital age. She joined Nahlah Ayed to talk about recovering what she calls “the lost art of scripture.” *Originally …
Da Vinci's Celibacy July 3, 2020
Leonardo da Vinci is celebrated for his astonishing genius and inventive mind. Historian Elizabeth Abbott argues that understanding da Vinci’s sex life, or lackthereof, provides a rare glimpse into how sexuality and male love was understood and practised in Renaissance Italy — and what it may mean for looking at …
Leonardo da Vinci would have loved Halloween. The renaissance artist and engineer was also a monster buff. Writer and historian Ross King unveils da Vinci’s sketches and stories of monsters, beasts, giants and dragons, and explains how the artist’s views on fantasy were in contrast to an increasingly rational age. …
Is there a connection between the enslavement of Black-Canadians and their overwhelming presence in the criminal justice system today? The United Nations has sounded the alarm on anti-black racism in Canada, stating it can be traced back to slavery and its legacy. In Part 2 of his series on slavery …