CBC Radio Archive (Part3)
Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World
Our phones, our laptops, even our cars communicate invisibly through the air. Our wireless world owes thanks to an Italian teenager who went on to win the Nobel Prize and changed how wars were fought. But Guglielmo Marconi also supported the rise of Italian fascism. McGill professor Marc Raboy has just published a major biography of Marconi and he takes IDEAS producer David Gutnick on a tour of Marconi's influences in Montreal.
Making America Great Again (important)
As Americans prepare to vote after perhaps the wildest presidential campaign in history, we present a Munk Debate from earlier this fall. The resolution: "Be it resolved, Donald Trump can make America great again." Arguing in favour, politician Newt Gingrich and talk-show host Laura Ingraham. Their opponents, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and former governor Jennifer Granholm.
"This is somebody.... whose limos drive on roads paid for by federal taxes but who cannot himself see fit to contribute in any way to the commons" -- Jennifer Granholm
American Fascism: It can't happen here? (important)
Donald Trump has been called a buffoon, an entertainer, a circus clown. He's also been called a fascist. What did his campaign, and the voters it mobilized, have in common with Fascism, not only in Europe but in America's own dark past?
"As long you have racism, as long as you have Islamophobia, as long as you have rampant misogyny, you're going to have the wellsprings of fascist sensibility." -- Chris Vials
It Can't Happen Here by American writer, Sinclair Lewis, was published in 1935, and later mounted as a play. Lewis was the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1930. His novel captures how fascist thinking demonizes entire groups of people, how it tacitly or explicitly sanctions political violence -- and how its rhetoric privileges emotionality over rationality, and charisma over substance.
Dust to Dust: Notes on rituals for the dead
Barbara Nichol looks at four sets of death rituals: ritual practices in Singapore, in Indonesia, in the south Amazon and in the West, to try to find themes and links. But every pattern turns out to have exceptions. Every statement comes with footnotes
What's On Our Quarter? The past and future of Canadian caribou
No, it's not a moose, which is what most people think it is. The animal is actually a caribou -- one of the most important but misunderstood species in Canada. Paul Kennedy reports from the International Caribou Conference in Thunder Bay about the past and the future of Canadian caribou.
The shadow of charm city: Inside America's great racial divide (important)
In a bid to instill civic pride forty years ago, Baltimore was officially named "Charm City". Today, some call Baltimore a war zone - over 300 homicides per year amid 16,000 vacant homes. And the death of an African-American man in police custody in 2015 sparked the worst urban riots since the 1960's. IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell takes us inside America's great racial divide.
The day might well be approaching when humans set foot on Mars. We'll be driven by a desire to find life -- or what remains of it -- and to colonize the planet. Stephen Humphrey and a stellar crew of authors, astronauts and Mars scholars confront the hazards, risks and challenges of getting humans to Mars, and then of surviving -- and living -- on the Red Planet.
Wachtel On The Arts - Paul Verhoeven
With movies such as Robocop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, and Black Book, Dutch-born director Paul Verhoeven is always pushing the limits and challenging audiences. He calls his new movie, Elle, his most subversive film yet. Verhoeven talks to Eleanor Wachtel at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival about growing up in the Netherlands during the Second World War, how that influenced him as a filmmaker, his careers in Holland and Hollywood, why he's a believer in realism, and working with Isabelle Huppert.
Tocqueville's America Revisited (important)
Nearly 200 years ago, a young French aristocrat traveled across the Atlantic to get a first-hand immersion in American democracy. Alexis de Tocqueville spent nine months touring the United States, talking to hundreds of people, trying to understand the country's strengths and weaknesses. Some have called his writing prophetic, capturing the essence of the American experiment with democracy -- both back when he was visiting the U.S. in the 1830s and today.
A Seat at the Table: the future of a pluralist society (important)
How do we go about building an equitable society, where the voices - and the values - of diverse communities are listened to and respected? What are the limits to social change that we're willing to entertain, and how do we work towards finding and establishing common social values?
These are all challenges facing the world today, where the ideal of pluralism is in retreat; in Canada we seem to have figured a few things out about how different cultures can co-exist, but there's still a long road ahead, and the future is uncertain. From the Stratford Festival, a discussion featuring journalist Nahlah Ayed, film-maker and writer Nelofer Pazira, and demographer Michael Adams.
When Man Becomes God - Yuval Harari (important)
In his new book “Homo Deus”, Yuval Harari argues that humankind is on the verge of transforming itself: advances creating networked intelligences will surpass our own in speed, capability and impact. But where will this leave us?
God Wants You To Be Rich (important)
Why do millions of Christians in the United States believe that their faith, financial status and health are all intertwined? That's the question that Paul Kennedy explores with Kate Bowler, author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel. They turn to the early 20th century beginnings of this uniquely made-in-America brand of theology, where it was first preached in pentecostal tent revivals. Now it's being preached from mega-churches across the country. For many, it is a key to a richer and fuller life. For its critics, it's hucksterism at its worst.
The Post-Modern Chimpanzee's Guide to Parenting (important)
Evolutionary anthropologist and University of Toronto PhD student Iulia Badescu spent 11 months camped out in a Ugandan jungle to observe baby chimpanzees and their parents -- and babysitters! She was surprised to find there's a much wider range of childcare styles than have previously been documented. Some chimps weaned earlier than others. Mothers took advantage of babysitting offers from other members of the community, including adult males, who might traditionally be considered a threat. Her observations shifted her gaze towards scientists themselves, and how they tend to filter what they see based on their own cultural assumptions.
Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness, and the Illusion of Death (debunk)
In this model, the universe was presented as a kind of self-operating machine. It was composed of stupid stuff, meaning atoms of hydrogen and other elements that had no innate intelligence. Nor did any sort of external intelligence rule. Rather, unseen forces such as gravity and electromagnetism, acting according to the random laws of chance, produced everything we observe... As for how consciousness could arise in the first place, no one even has guesses. We cannot fathom how lumps of carbon, drops of water, or atoms of insensate hydrogen ever came together and acquired a sense of smell. The issue is apparently too baffling to raise at all.
The Enright Files on America's Culture of Violence (important)
The United States may not be the most violent nation on the planet, but its spasms of violence, particularly manifested in mass shootings, grip the world's attention.
Andrew Solomon is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times and many other publications.His literary field of vision ranges widely over the arts, politics and psychology, and he is a long-time advocate for LGBT rights. His most recent book is Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change.
Rebecca Solnit is an essayist, author, environmental and political activist whose work and energies run the gamut from climate change to women's rights, especially violence against women. She is the author of more than 17 books, and her journalism has appeared in numerous publications, in the U.S. and internationally.
Saul Cornell is the Paul and Diane Gunther Chair in History at Fordham University. He's the former Director of the Second Amendment Research Center, and the author of A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America.
Patricia Williams is an astute analyst of race and and the law. She's the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, and her books include The Alchemy of Race and Rights and Seeing a Color Blind Future: The Paradox of Race. She also writes a column called Diary of a Mad Law Professor for The Nation magazine.
Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs on loving your enemy into defeat (important)
Longtime freedom fighter, activist, lawyer and judge on South Africa's Constitutional Court, Albie Sachs has lived many lives. Injured by a car bomb in Mozambique, he had every right to be bitter and angry, but he turned instead to "soft vengeance" -- loving your enemy into defeat, working to make a country that would be fair for everyone. In Canada to give the fifth annual Global Centre for Pluralism lecture, he talks to Paul Kennedy about his own remarkable life, and what he's learned about building a society. The programme includes excerpts from the lecture.
Changing the System
Artists are visionary, and their work often anticipates tectonic shifts in the future social landscape. But what relationship does art have with social change? What obligations, if any, do artists have to foster social justice? These are precisely the questions that André Alexis, Rebecca Belmore, Deepa Mehta and Buffy Sainte-Marie try to answer in an on-stage appearance at Toronto's Massey Hall that formed part of the Creative Minds Series, produced by The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Banff Centre, Massey Hall and the CBC. The event was moderated by CBC Radio host, Matt Galloway.
Darkwave - Underwater languages at the brink of extinction
Whales are threatened by us, their language eroding through noise and climate change. Carrie Haber explores how marine scientists around the world are thinking about our evolutionary courtship with these mammals in the sea.
Until about ten or fifteen years ago it was a bit dangerous to talk about animal culture in scientific meetings.
Designing Life: The Brave New World of Gene Editing (important)
A recent development in genetic editing, called CRISPR-Cas9, is bringing the dream of eliminating inherited diseases one step closer to reality. CRISPR-Cas9 is short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats associated protein nine. It's a tool that makes editing DNA so easy, some say you could do it in your kitchen or garage.
A distinguished panel of experts gathered at Montreal's McGill University this past spring to discuss this development in gene editing. There are big hopes for this technology, as well as serious concerns about its potential uses, and how to control or regulate it. The panel at McGill University addressed these questions.
Alan Peterson of the Faculty of Medicine
Richard Gold, of the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Medicine
Daniel Weinstock, of the Faculty of Law
The Philosopher's Walk with Frédéric Bouchard (important)
Frédéric Bouchard is philosopher of science and biology at l'Université de Montréal, and the perfect companion for a walk through the Jean Talon Market. His research focuses on the theoretical foundations of evolutionary biology and ecology as well as on the relationship between science and society. The result is a fascinating discussion about mushrooms, unpasteurized goat cheese and honey bees, and how they can make you think about humankind's place in the universe in a whole different way.
or centuries, we thought we humans were unique, and that we towered over non-human animals because of our ability to speak, or make fire, or whatever. But Professor Bouchard is out to disrupt that triumphalist thinking: "I'm interested in understanding what is a human being? That's one thing that this market helps you do but also once we figure that out, understand that we're not above other species. But we are part of nature and we are as varied as all of the things you see here."
Solutions For A Warming World (important)
Experts on climate change gather for the fourth Muskoka Summit on the Environment and discuss options to offset rising global temperatures caused by the continued use of carbon-based fuels. Can the optimism (and the activism) that was sparked in Paris convince governments around the world to do what's necessary to save the planet?
- Nigel Roulet, Professor of Biogeosciences, McGill University
- Stewart Elgie, Professor in Environmental Law and Economics at the University of Ottawa and Chair of Sustainable Prosperity
- Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada
- Andy Heintzman, CEO and co-founder of Investeco Capital Corp
- David Miller, President & CEO, World Wildlife Fund Canada
- Catherine Potvin, Professor, Department of Biology, McGill University
Wachtel On The Arts - Thomas Vinterberg
Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg burst onto the international scene in 1998 with his film The Celebration. It was an unflinching look at the dynamics of an upper class Danish family that is rocked by revelations of sexual abuse at the patriarch's 60th birthday party.
The Celebration wasn't just a critical hit. It was also the first Dogme film. Dogme was a movement that Vinterberg co-founded in 1995 with Lars Von Trier and other Danish filmmakers. It rejected any kind of ornamentation in cinema. That included props, artificial lighting, and any sound or music not already on the set. And it insisted everything be shot in real time.
Thomas Vinterberg's next big hit was The Hunt. It stars Mads Mikkelsen as a kindergarten assistant who's falsely accused of sexually abusing the children. It's a portrait of a society gripped by fear and mass hysteria as Lucas becomes a hunted animal. The Hunt won numerous awards, including best actor for Mikkelsen at Cannes.
Now, Thomas Vinterberg has a new movie, called The Commune. It's inspired by his own experience of growing up in a commune in Copenhagen in the 1970s and '80s. It's also an affectionate portrayal of a generation who gradually let go of their ideals as they're confronted with reality.
What did we think we were doing? (important)
"What did we think we were doing, we young writers of Canada?" That's a question Margaret Atwood asked during a Canadian Literature Centre talk in Edmonton. In excerpts from the talk and in conversation with Paul Kennedy, she considers the accidental but sometimes intentional creation of a culture and a tradition. In both lecture and interview, Ms Atwood entertainingly recounts some of the events, large and small, that helped shape her writing and Canadian literature. Some things were unimaginable decades ago, like the diversity and strength of Canadian writing today.
First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols
Paul Kennedy takes a trip back in time to the Ice Age with renowned Canadian archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger. That's where they discuss the possible meaning behind the strange geometric shapes that appear along with cave art from the Paleolithic Period, and her struggle to crack the code on the first form of graphic communication.
Genevieve von Petzinger is a world-renowned expert on prehistoric art. What's she's discovered has shaken up her entire field. Most researchers of Ice Age art focus on paintings of mammoths or bison, from famous sites like Lascaux or Chauvet. But Genevieve von Petzinger has devoted her professional life to something else: the lines, hand prints, and dots that have -- until now -- been given scarce attention.
Analog Resistance (important)
In the 1960s, young Soviet iconoclasts waged a musical battle against the banality of state-sanctioned culture. Simon Nakonechny looks at the phenomenon of Magnitizdat, and ponders its parallels to forms of cultural dissidence in Russia today
Guitar poets, known as bards, would strum their seven-string Russian guitars and sing of taboo topics to groups of trusted friends. Bulat Okudzhava, Alexander Galich, Vladimir Vysotsky - they were the Bob Dylans, the Leonard Cohens of the Eastern Bloc.And the messages in their songs would soon "go viral" thanks to an exciting new technology: portable reel-to-reel recorders.
The Rabbit and the Giraffe: Jean Vanier (important)
In 1964 Jean Vanier invited two men with developmental needs, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to live with him in a small house in the French village of Trosly-Breuil. He named their house "L'Arche," after Noah's Ark. Bit by bit their little family grew, as new people arrived, looking for a home, and more houses were needed in the village. Other helpers arrived too, and now, fifty-something years later, L'Arche is an international organisation, with communities in thirty countries.
And Jean Vanier is still around. The little house where it all started was sold a while back, but the village is still the heart of L'Arche, where Jean Vanier has a small cottage on rue d'Orleans. He's 88 now -- his birthday was this past Saturday-- but he still thinks and talks and writes about the great ideas that have shaped both his life, and the lives of thousands of people who are off the charts of what's considered normal. More important, perhaps, Jean Vanier changed all of our lives, because his radical ideas about mental and developmental abilities have, to use a cliche, changed the conversation all over the world about what it means to be normal, where among us there are gifts we overlook, what the Good Society should look like, and how we should regard each other.
Jean Vanier is a practical man, he was at the forefront of the group home movement, but he's also a visionary, a philosopher and a theologian. Jean Vanier likes to talk about the rabbit and the giraffe: the giraffe sees what's off in the distance and goes there in great strides; the rabbit, however, just sees what's directly in front, and proceeds by nibbles. Jean Vanier sees himself as the rabbit. So we've called our programme The Rabbit and the Giraffe. Ideas producer Philip Coulter went to Trosly-Breuil to record this conversation.
Ibrahim's Story (important)
Monarchies and Dictatorship. Coups and Colonialism. War and civil conflict. The road through 20th-century Iraq is littered with cataclysms like these. But what's been obscured by these seismic events is how Iraqis resisted geopolitical interventions and tried to create a society based on their own ideals. In fact, much of modern western media has excluded the personal narratives of those who've fought and died trying to create a democratic Iraq.
Ibrahim al-Hariri is a writer and journalist who's spent his life living out that ideal. His story begins with his childhood in Beirut and continues with his imprisonment and torture as a teenager in Iraq. Ibrahim and his fellow Communists continued to struggle – first, against British colonial rule, then against Saddam Hussein's regime and finally the American occupation. After 70 years of political resistance, Ibrahim Ismail presents his untold story which provides an insightful and dramatic back-drop to the chaos and violence of present-day Iraq.
Homework Ban (important)
Homework is a flashpoint for conflict, both in the home as well as between the home and the school. Parents like Dawn Quelch are taking a stand and banning it from their homes. A hundred years ago homework was described as a 'sin against childhood'. But the practice is still a staple of our education system. IDEAS producer Nicola Luksic examines the ideological roots of this tension, which goes back to the beginnings of public education and the shift in thinking about child psychology and development.
The Enright Files - Conversations about Canadian Art
Conversations with and about great Canadian artists. Featured guests: actor/comedian Steve Martin on Lawren Harris, former Art Gallery of Ontario director and CEO Matthew Teitelbaum on Alex Colville, and Newfoundland painter Mary Pratt.
Re-Imagining Ecology (important)
Three experts in urban and environmental conservation discuss an ecological approach to the restoration and preservation of both wilderness and cityscapes. Sophia Rabliauskas of Manitoba's Poplar River First Nation worked to protect 43,000 square kilometres of Boreal forest. Glen Murray supported urban sustainability, first as Mayor of Winnipeg and now as Minister of Environment in Ontario. And Julian Smith is Dean of Faculty at the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts.
Citizen Mel (important)
Mel Hurtig died at the age of 84. His name was virtually synonymous with the words "Canadian nationalist". For almost fifty years, Mel Hurtig was a prominent voice in any discussion about the country that he loved. He was a bookseller, a publisher and a catalyst for debate on subjects ranging from child poverty to nuclear arms. Former IDEAS producer Kathleen Flaherty traced Mel Hurtig's lifelong quest to shape a Canada that he passionately believed in.
Mel Hurtig declared his love for Canada at every opportunity. On the other hand, when Mel Hurtig didn't like something, he immediately decided to do something about it. He believed that none of us has any right to complain about the way things are unless we act to change them. He fought many battles over the years and his name was enough to make some people roll their eyes in exasperation. But he received a considerable amount of approbation as well, including the Order of Canada.
Throughout his forty-plus years of activism, Mel Hurtig never held political office, although he tried twice. He did it all as an Edmonton businessman, an ordinary guy from Alberta, a citizen of Canada.
Tinctor's Foul Manual
In the basement of the Rutherford Library at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, a series of custom-made book boxes protect valuable and fragile manuscripts. Arrayed on the shelves, they look like sets of encyclopedias. But one of the book boxes holds knowledge of a very different sort, a malevolent treatise, innocently labelled Treatise against the Sect of Waldensians.
It was written in 1460 by a cleric named Jean Taincture, or more commonly, Johannes Tinctor. Johannes Tinctor's virulent treatise was fundamental in codifying witch hunts in late medieval Europe. But it also helped create our modern ideas of witches, and of witch hunts, both supernatural, and secular.
Crisper could, in a manner of speaking, undo extinction.
Mark Peck, Ornithology Technician at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
Stewart Brand, writer and co-founder of Revive and Restore and The Long Now Foundation, San Francisco.
Ben Novak, Research and Science Consultant at Revive and Restore, San Francisco.
Dr. Beth Shapiro, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California Santa Cruz and Co-Director of UCSC Paleogenomics Center.
Dr. Hendrik Poinar, Director of the Ancient DNA Centre at McMaster University, Hamilton and Canada Research Chair in Paleogenetics.
Norman Carlin, Lawyer practicing environmental and land use law and Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, San Francisco.
Dr. Dolly Jorgensen, Environmental Historian and Professor at Umea University, Sweden.
Dr. Thomas Van Dooren, Professor in Environmental Humanities at University of New South Wales, Australia.
Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, by George M. Church and Ed Regis, published by Basic Books, 2012.
Peace and Justice - A Celebration of Ursula Franklin (important)
To commemorate the recent death, and to celebrate the remarkable life of Ursula Franklin, we turn to the IDEAS archives, and sample over forty years of appearances by the public intellectual who delivered the 1989 CBC Massey Lectures -- "The Real World of Technology". Highlights include her profound (and still remarkably relevant) response to the events of September 11, 2001.
She makes a startling statement about the effect of technology noting that people who would abhor and act against a certain violent act will instead enjoy it when delivered over TV.
After centuries of negative human impact on our landscapes, some people are calling for rewilding: allowing landscapes to return to a natural state. Anik See takes a look at rewilding efforts in Canada, seen as one of the wildest places on the planet, and in the Netherlands, where similar efforts have reached a critical point.
Reconciliation in South Africa: Has it succeeded? (important)
Judge Richard Goldstone presents the 2015 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture at the University of British Columbia. It's been twenty-one years since the end of Apartheid. Goldstone reviews the successes and the failures of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission in his lecture. And he discusses his work as a judge in South Africa pre-and post-reconciliation.
One of nature's success stories, coyotes have expanded from the Great Plains to most of North America, even living happily in urban parks. IDEAS producer Dave Redel reflects on the science and mythology of the wily coyote.
Even as humans have tamed the wilderness and asserted our domination, coyotes have been quietly thriving. In less than a century they've expanded far beyond their home in the great plains. Now coyotes live happily from Alaska to Mexico, from coast to coast, from prairies to mountains to cities. They're in every province, even Newfoundland and Labrador, and turn up regularly in Vancouver, Toronto, even Central Park in New York. Despite mass poisonings and eradication campaigns, despite hunting and hatred and persecution, North America's great Trickster, Old Man Coyote still lives and prospers.
- Eric Gese, then Assistant Professor at Utah State University and biologist with the National Wildlife Research Centre in Utah, now Professor of Wildland Resources, Utah State University.
- Marc Bekoff, then biologist at University of Colorado and editor of Coyotes: Biology Behavior and Management and now Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado.
- Philip Lehner, then and now, retired professor of Biology at Colorado State University, specialist in coyote vocalizations.
- Kristine Lampa, then Executive Director of Stanley Park Ecology Society, now Kristine Webber, Executive Director of NatureKids B.C.
- William Bright, then retired Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology, UCLA, author of A Coyote Reader. Professor Bright passed away in 2006.
The Ballad of Tin Ears
Many of us love to sing, but we're not all good at it. Some of us can't even carry a tune and are told not to sing. Tim Falconer dives into neuroscience, psychology -- and music itself -- to find out why he's a bad singer - and if there's anything he can do about it
Artists, says James Shapiro, can tell us more about the meaning of the news than CNN or CBC. Shakespeare's Macbeth is a moral tale for every one of us, and also for great nations. In conversation with Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino, Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro draws a line from Shakespeare's time to our own, from Birnam Wood to Brexit.
The Human Factor - Hannah Arendt (important)
Was Adolph Eichmann not ultimately responsible for the destruction of six million Jews? Or were Jews themselves partially to blame for their own fate? Fifty years ago, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt published a famous book that seemed to imply these things, and created an instant uproar that has never ended. Roger Berkowitz, Adam Gopnik, Rivka Galchen and Adam Kirsch debate the reality behind Hannah Arendt and her ideas.
"There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous."
"The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil."
"The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any."
"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it."
Wit's End: Understanding Mental Illness (important)
What's it like to go mad and be crazy, living at wit's end? First comes diagnosis, followed by treatment. Then there's stigma and stereotyping. This two-part series looks at mental illness, past and present, theory and practice, from asylums to labs in neuroscience. Marilyn Powell talks to those dealing with mental illness with their own truth to tell.
- Joel Gold, psychiatrist, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, co-author or Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness
- Ian Gold, philosopher, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry, McGill University, co-author of Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness
- Kevin A. Hall, writer, racing navigator, speed testing manager, sailing performance and racing instruments expert, author of the memoir, Black Sails White Rabbits: Cancer Was the Easy Part
- Erin Soros, writer, oral historian, author of Hook Tender, a novel in progress
- Elyn R. Saks, writer, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, Associate Dean and Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould Law School; adjunct professor of psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; research clinical associate, New Center for Psychoanalysis
- Aristotle Voineskos, neuroscientist, psychiatrist, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto; Director of the Slaight Family Centre for Youth in Transition; Head of the Kimel Family Translational Imaging-Genetics Laboratory.
- Daniel Blumberger, psychiatrist and scientist, Clinician Scientist in the Brain Stimulation and Geriatric Mental Health Progras, head of the Late-Life Mood Disorders Clinic, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
- Tom Churchill, retired, living with major, clinical depression
- Deanna Cole-Benjamin, nurse, sufferer of major, clinical depression, Clinical Educator Mental Health Program, Kingston General Hospital, Part-time Faculty, St. Lawrence College, Kingston
- John P.M. Court, historian and archivist, CAMH Achives, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
- Jonathan Downar, neuroscientist and specialist in non-invasive brain stimulation, psychiatrist, Toronto Western Hospital, Co-Director of the MRI-Guided rTMS Clinic, the University Health Network, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
- Helen Mayberg, neurologist, Professor , Psychiatry, Neuroimaging and Therapeutics, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Altlanta
- Andrew Scull, sociologist, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies, University of California, San Diego, author of Madness in Civilization: a Cultural History of Insanity
- Kevin Healey, host, the Hearing Voices Café, Toronto
- Mark Solms, psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, holds the Chair of Neuropsychology, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, President of the South African Psycoanalytical Association, co-founder of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis, author of The Feeling Brain: Selected Papers on Neurospychoanalysis
Big Data (important)
We leave a digital trail behind us everywhere we go: the calls we make, the emails we send, the links on which we click, the websites and documents that we retrieve. This also includes our social relationships, habits, preferences, even our movements in space and time. IDEAS, CBC RADIO ONE in partnership with the MUNK School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto weighs the opportunities, the risks -- and the trade-offs -- as the world of Big Data relentlessly changes our lives.
- Anita M. McGahan is Professor and Rotman Chair in Management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
- Ashkan Soltani is an independent researcher and technologist specializing in privacy, security, and behavioural economics.
- John Weigelt leads Microsoft Canada's strategic policy and technology efforts.
- Professor Stephen J. Toope is Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs.
- Dr. Ann Cavoukian is recognized as one of the world's leading privacy experts.
- Ronald J. Deibert, OOnt, is a Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
- Neil Desai is an executive with Magnet Forensics, a Waterloo, Ontario-based software company that provides digital forensic tools to law enforcement and national security agencies around the world.
Wachtel On The Arts - Jacques Herzog
From sports stadiums, to art galleries to concert halls, Swiss "star architects" Jacques Herzog and his partner, Pierre de Meuron, design buildings that attract people -- and make them want to stay there. From his home base in Basel, Jacques Herzog talks to Eleanor Wachtel about how architecture reflects a city -- and also changes it.
Beijing's iconic Olympic stadium, nicknamed the Bird's Nest. London's Tate Modern -- a former power station transformed into one of the world's largest -- and most visited -- art museums. An elegant, one-of-a kind parking garage in Miami that's a tourist destination in its own right. A stunning glass concert hall built atop an eight-storey, brick, 1960s coffee warehouse near Hamburg's harbour.
Public Poet - Richard Blanco
In 2013, at his second Presidential Inauguration, Barack Obama chose Richard Blanco to read a celebratory poem called One Today. He was the first gay person, and the first Cuban-American ever to do so. For that reason, Blanco was also the obvious choice to read poetry at the recent re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana. He speaks with Paul Kennedy at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, in Montreal.
Counting in Colour - Daniel Tammet
As a very young boy, Daniel Tammet suffered severe epileptic seizures that seriously damaged parts of his developing brain. Doctors diagnosed him as autistic, and he retreated into a world of his own. At the same time, Daniel also began to show signs of extreme mental abilities. He could perform complicated mathematical computations with astounding speed and accuracy. He saw numbers differently from the rest of us. For him, every number possessed a different colour and a unique, three-dimensional shape. Daniel Tammet spoke with Paul Kennedy onstage at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, in Montreal.
The Enright Files - The Donald Trump Phenomenon (important)
For the first few months of Donald Trump's bid for the Republican presidential nomination, much of the analysis of Trump's campaign revolved around how unthinkable it was that he could actually win it. Now, the conversation has shifted to trying to figure out what made Trump's ascendancy possible, or perhaps even inevitable. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations about the Donald Trump phenomenon and what it says about the GOP and the American polity.
- David Frum, conservative commentator, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush
- Freddy Gray, deputy editor of The Spectator
- Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and author of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
- Sarah Binder, political scientist at George Washington University and author of Stalemate: Causes and Consequences of Legislative Gridlock
- Clifford Orwin, political scientist at University of Toronto and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution
Education for Transformation (important)
How do we go about building a better world that's more prosperous, more equitable, and happier? Maybe, it turns out, by improving the lives of girls and women, giving one half of the human race a fairer shake. That all seems to start with access to education. From the Stratford Festival, writer Marina Nemat, actor Maev Beaty, historian Natalie Zemon-Davis and social activist Samantha Nutt talk about the possibilities for global change when we level out the playing field of gender.
- Dr. Samantha Nutt, humanitarian and social activist, founder of War Child Canada.
- Marina Nemat, social activist in Iran who spent two years as a teenager in prison, author of Prisoner of Tehran.
- Natalie Zemon Davis, world-famous social historian, author of The Return of Martin Guerre.
- Maev Beaty, multiple Dora-Award winner and acclaimed Stratford actor, Goneril in King Lear and Queen Catherine in The Last Wife, among others.
No Man's Land (important)
On the outskirts of Calais there's a ramshackle city of tents and plywood huts, home for thousands of refugees and migrants - Lebanese, Syrian, Afghan, Pakistani - from all over, the world. Just across the beach is the English Channel, and they all wait to cross it, to get to Britain and start a new life. They don't want to be in France, and the French for the most part don't want them. So they're stuck: they can't go forward, and they can't go back. Philip Coulter visits a city of dreams and lost hopes to ask the question: what do we owe our neighbour?
- Aura Lounasmaa, Centre for Narrative Research, University of East London
- Olivia Long, volunteer with Help Refugees at the Calais camp
- Hettie Colquhoun, volunteer with l'Auberge des Migrants and Help Refugees at the Calais camp
- Jess Egan, volunteer with Baloo's Youth Centre, running programmes for youth at the Calais camp.
- Anya, volunteer with l'Auberge des Migrants
- Mohammed, refugee from Sudan, trying to get to Britain.
- Shadi, refugee from Syria, now an engineer volunteering at the camp
- Charlie Whitbread, "human Swiss Army knife" volunteer with Care4Calais
- Naomi Press, art therapist, Art Refuge UK
- Marianne Humbersot, jurist, head of mission, Legal Centre
- Rashed, refugee from Afghanistan
- Paiman, refugee from Iran
- Aziz Khan, refugee from Pakistan.
Wachtel On The Arts - Katie Mitchell
Eleanor Wachtel speaks with Katie Mitchell, an innovative theatre director committed to feminism, surrealism, and following stage directions that were meant to be impossible. The actor Benedict Cumberbatch calls her "a real European master craftswoman," a nod to Mitchell's 'auteur' approach to directing, and a style that seems rooted in the theatre of Germany and Eastern Europe, rather than her native England.
Her results are provocative -- this spring, a Katie Mitchell production at the National Theatre in London 'provoked' several audience members into fainting! -- but Mitchell's subversiveness goes beyond shocking the squeamish. Her real concerns are against patriarchy, against cosy sentiment, and for honesty and facing tough realities.
World On Fire
They're bigger, faster and hotter than before, torching more of our world: Wildfires, like the one that ripped through Fort McMurray in May or through Slave Lake, Alberta five years ago, levelling a third of that community. What's fuelling this increase in fire power? Adrienne Lamb explores the factors altering how we have to live with wildfire. New technology and new ways to think about fire and its behaviour could save lives.
Objective Troy - Scott Shane (important)
Paul Kennedy in conversation with author and New York Times journalist Scott Shane about his Gelber Prize winning book "Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President, and the Rise of the Drone"
Taking the Leap - Naomi Klein (important)
From the Paris Summit to Parliament Hill, climate change is creating a seismic shift in how Canadians think we should deal with the global crisis. In a lecture recorded in Winnipeg and a conversation with Paul Kennedy, author and activist Naomi Klein talks about her award-winning book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, and warns this is no time for small steps.
Ideas from the Trenches - The Open Mind
New scientific tools are opening windows into what goes on inside another person's mind. People who'd once have been judged 'vegetative' or 'lacking awareness', might now be able to show they're 'still there', and ultimately communicate with the outside world through a brain scan. Philosophy PhD student Andrew Peterson is embedded with scientists at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University and considers the ethical and moral questions emerging from this cutting edge research.
The Enright Files on Reconciliation, Redress & Restitution for Canada's First Nations
The legacy of colonization, dispossession and residential schools remain all too palpable for many of Canada's First Nations. On this edition of The Enright Files, some prominent Indigenous Canadians discuss the wounds still afflicting First Nations people, the ways they need the government and Canadians at large to make amends, and the hopes they have for the future.
- Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Taiaiake Alfred, Director of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria
- Lee Maracle, novelist and author of Ravensong and Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel
- Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Caring Society of Canada
Give Us Your Tired - The Munk Debate on the Global Refugee Crisis (important)
The global refugee crisis is the geopolitical debate of today. In the latest Munk Debate, Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour and historian Simon Schama argue in favour of the resolution "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." While Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party and author Mark Steyn argue against.
This one was very interesting. I think the pro argument was defeated, but only because they failed to reveal that the claims of Mark Steyn do not in fact lead to the outcomes that he suggests.
To Be or Not To Be: The Prince of Denmark Meets Katherine Minola
From the 2015 Stratford Festival, a trio of Hamlets - Brent Carver, Jonathan Goad and Ben Carlson -- and a trio of Kates - Lucy Peacock, Irene Poole and Seana McKenna -- talk about what they discovered in creating their characters.
Genetics and Poetics
Words on a page -- that's usually how we conceive of poetry. But Christian Bök, at the University of Calgary, has done something no other writer has ever done: as part of his recent project, The Xenotext, he's enciphered a poem into a micro-organism, which then "rewrote" that poem as part of its biological response. His eventual hope is to encode a poem inside a near-indestructible bacterium (deinococcus radiodurans) which may actually outlast human civilization.
Bök is most famous for Eunoia (2001), a book which took him seven years to write. Eunoia consists of univocalics: The book uses only one vowel in each of its five chapters.
Replacing the Professionals (important)
Technology is not just taking over factory jobs, according to British author and scholar Richard Susskind, it's about to do the jobs of lawyers, doctors, journalists and other professionals. It could be the start of a social revolution, but what does it mean for the future of professional work by humans? Professor Susskind explores this in the 2016 Sir Graham Day Lecture in Ethics, Morality and The Law at Dalhousie University.
Wachtel On The Arts - Kent Monkman
To meet Kent Monkman, you'd never guess that he has a flamboyant, gender-bending alter ego. An artistic persona -- a diva, both glamorous and subversive. While Monkman himself is thoughtful and articulate, he lets the aptly named -- and provocatively dressed -- "Miss Chief" take centre stage in his paintings, films, installations and performances.
The result is imaginative and attention-getting. But behind the campy seduction, there's serious intent. Monkman is a stealth artist -- using the ostentatious adventures of his central character, and the sheer beauty of his paintings, to tell a counter narrative of First Nations experience. He wants his audience to ask questions -- uncomfortable ones -- about the received history of colonization.
The Discovery of the Heart (important)
What makes the world go round? What makes society function? For thousands of years, we've asked ourselves that question, and we've tried a lot of different political systems, monarchies and despotism, democracy communism anarchism, and various blends of all of these. All work to some degree, and some better than others, but human nature seems to subvert all the systems we create to govern ourselves. We don't move to the beat of politics, but of something else entirely.
- Recorded at the 2015 Stratford Festival.
- Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada and CBC Massey Lecturer
- John Mighton, award-winning mathematician and playwright
- Cheri DiNovo, former United Church minister and Ontario NDP MLA
All In The Family (important)
At the time, it seemed to be a medical mystery. Dr. Vincent Felitti was running a clinic in San Diego in the 1980's for the morbidly obese. Under his supervision, many patients lost 200 to 400 pounds -- only to gain it all back again. Or lose the weight then drop out of the program. These results puzzled Dr. Felitti. One day, while interviewing a new patient, he asked her when she'd become sexually active. The patient looked down and said, "four years old". A lightbulb went on. Could childhood trauma trigger not only obesity, but a whole host of psychological and physiological illnesses?
The link between early trauma and ill health later was untilled soil in the world of medicine. But the possibility of a connection captured the interest of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. And it was the beginning of a 25-year odyssey for Vincent Felitti when he teamed up with researchers to study the health of 17,000 members of a preventive care program at Kaiser Permanente, a private insurer. Beyond routine physicals, workers (mostly middle-class and middle-aged) filled out an extensive trauma questionnaire covering ten categories of abuse, from physical violence to attempted suicide. Past and present health problems were also tabulated. The results were astonishing. The more categories of abuse that participants suffered, the higher their chances of illness were. For example, women who experienced physical violence were 60% more likely to experience depression, compared to 18% for women who reported no categories of abuse. The figures for attempted suicide were even more startling. Only 2% of those who reported no categories of abuse attempted suicide. However, those who reported four or more categories were breathtakingly 1,200% likelier to attempt killing themselves.
Similar results for smoking, cancer, diabetes, among other diseases, followed the same pattern. Today, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study has become a fixture in the fields of medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics. Six state legislatures in the U.S. have passed legislation to stimulate the routine collection of data on childhood trauma. And now, the World Health Organization also uses the ACE model to explore global health.
Over the past decade, we've heard a lot about "resilience". Why is it that some people buckle under intense pressure, while others power through it? We often hear how important "grit" and "character" are -- the idea that noncognitive skills like self-control, curiosity and perseverance are more crucial than intelligence. This concept has been criticized for focussing more on the narrative of the individual, rather than creating a supportive and nurturing system of learning.
However, some schools in America are pursuing the idea of integrating "grit" into the curriculum. In fact, researcher Angela Duckworth has devised a "grit scale" to measure traits like zest, optimism and gratitude. But educators are learning that when it comes to traumatized children, relying on "grit" or "character" is not enough, because social and emotional deficits can under-cut intellectual progress. That's what Jim Sporleder learned when he took over as principal of Lincoln Alternative -- a Washington state high school for high-risk kids. After learning through neuroscience what trauma does to a teenager's brain, he abandoned his traditional disciplinarian approach and completely re-thought how to interact with his student population. The results were extraordinary. The "trauma-informed" practises Jim Sporleder learned have become part of a growing network of schools, social service agencies and medical clinics that are spreading throughout North America.
Five-year old Noam was gazing out his kindergarten classroom window one day and witnessed a plane flying into the World Trade Centre, just 1,500 feet away. The next day, Noam showed Bessel van der Kolk a picture he'd drawn: it was full of fire and horror, yet at the bottom of the page was a trampoline. Noam explained: "the next time people have to jump, they'll be safe." Despite the horror Noam witnessed, he's now okay. But there are two things to keep in mind, says Bessel van der Kolk. Noam's experience was a one-time event, not years of abuse and, more importantly Noam has family who love and cherish him. The feeling of being loved can bolster character and mitigate trauma. And even if one's own parents are the abusers, just one other person in a vulnerable child's life can improve that child's outcome.
And they'll need every bit of help they can get. Every year, 3 million children are abused In the U.S. and childhood trauma is heavily correlated with adult drug addiction, unemployment, and the perpetuation of violence. And even if that abused child grows up to be successful, they may have an anxiety disorder or depression lurking in the background. That's why America's continuing military interventions alarm trauma specialists like Bessel van der Kolk: 25% of returning American soldiers will develop PTSD - often creating home lives that are dysfunctional at best, or full of rage and distance at worst, and resulting in more trauma, both for their partners and children. Trauma has become a cultural feedback loop. It's sometimes referred to as 'secondary traumatic stress disorder', the American military's hidden mental health crisis. Bessel van der Kolk calls it the single biggest health problem in the U.S., and that it should be front and centre in a presidential debate.
- Dr. Vincent Felitti is an international expert on child trauma and a co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE).
- John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and best-selling author. He is also an affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
- Dr. Kenneth Kunz is a Victoria-based oncologist and lecturer.
- Nadine Burke-Harris is a San Francisco-based pediatrician and runs the Center for Youth Wellness. She lectures widely.
- Jim Sporleder, (past) principal, Lincoln Alternative High School, Walla Walla, Washington.
- Brooke Bouchey, (past) intervention specialist, Lincoln Alternative High School, Walla Walla, Washington.
- John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and best-selling author. He is also an affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
- Teri Barilla, Children's Resilience Initiative, Washington.
- Chelsea Humphrey, graduate of Lincoln Alternative School, Walla Walla Washington.
- Bessel van der Kolk, founder and medical director of the Trauma Center, Boston, author and lecturer.
- Carol Redding is a consultant and trauma survivor based in San Diego.
- John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and best-selling author. He is also an affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
- Kenneth Kunz is a Victoria-based oncologist and lecturer.
- Shanley Knox is a freelance writer and social entrepreneur based in New York.