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Seed Banks: Re-sowing paradise

In the face of climate change and declining biodiversity, one of humanity's oldest cultural practices – seed saving – has a new urgency. Maria Zytaruk explores how preserving seeds reflects the deepest of human fears and hopes, whether it's done in a high-tech seed bank in Britain, or a simple storage closet lined with jars at a convent in Kingston.

Travels through Trump's America one year later

It’s been one year since Donald Trump’s inauguration. His official swearing-in compelled many Americans reflect on what America actually is now, politically, socially and culturally. Contributor David Zane Mairowitz is originally from America, and has been living in Europe for over fifty years. He returned to the U.S. in the spring of 2017 to travel through six southern states, where he recorded his encounters with everyday people at restaurants, churches -- and gun shows. His aim: to gain insight into an America he’s now struggling to comprehend.

The hidden power of food: Finding value in what we eat

In Canada we waste about a third of the food we produce. And yet four million Canadians experience food insecurity. In partnership with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, we hear from Dawn Morrison whose work focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty and Bryan Gilvesy, a long-horn cattle rancher who puts sustainability first. Part 2 of a 2-part series.

Roaming Imagination: What the stories we tell about bears say about us

Bears hold a powerful place in the human psyche. From early cave drawings and myths as old as language itself, to modern scientific research, the family Ursidae has captivated the imaginations of humans around the world. At the heart of our obsession are contradictions: a magnetism that draws us in and fear that pushes us away. Contributing producer Molly Segal explores the stories we share about bears, what they say about us and our future.

Playdoh's Republic: Children as natural philosophers

Why were we born? Is life just a dream? What makes something wrong or right? Children often ask questions like these — sometimes to the exasperation of their parents. But children really want to know why the world is the way it is. And they want to know how we know. Maybe that's because they're open, curious and inquisitive — they're natural philosophers.

Who are you? Five stories of how gender shapes identity

How does gender drive identity? And what do we mean by gender anyway? We live in an age of something far more fluid than the standard male/female dichotomy. It’s not surprising many people are feeling confused. If individuals are fluid in their identity, then maybe society as a whole is constantly in flux.

It's Alive! Frankenstein at 200

In 1818 the world was introduced to an entirely new kind of monster when Mary Shelley published Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus. Tor two centuries, her creation has stalked the stage, then the screen, inspired art, and filled the pages of countless sequels and comic books. Frankenstein's creature has become the most famous monster of the modern era.

Confronting the 'perfect storm': How to feed the future

We're facing what could be a devastating crisis—how to feed ourselves without destroying the ecosystems we depend on. We already produce enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Yet 800 million people are undernourished, while another 2 billion are overweight or obese. And at the same time, almost one third of the food we produce goes to waste. In partnership with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph we seek out creative solutions to a looming disaster.

The verdict on Sir John A. Macdonald: Guilty or innocent?

As celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday continue to fade into the background, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy continues to build. This special episode of Ideas puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for 'crimes against humanity.'

The 'trial' of Sir John A. Macdonald: Would he be guilty of war crimes today?

As celebrations of Canada's 150th birthday continue to fade into the background, the controversy around Sir John A. Macdonald's legacy continues to build. This special episode of Ideas puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for 'crimes against humanity.'

Is Liberalism Doomed?

By the end of the Cold War, liberalism had emerged triumphant around much of the developed world -- until the recent rise of populism in Europe and the U.S. Suddenly, the political landscape is looking ominous. What is liberalism's future? A debate among public intellectuals from London's "Battle of Ideas" festival.
Ideas

Ken Dryden on changing the idea of hockey

"Game Change", the book written by NHL legend, Ken Dryden, is on one level about the increasing number of concussions hockey players have. But it's also about changing the way decision-makers make decisions. As he tells host Paul Kennedy, being right isn't enough. That's why Dryden has turned the old adage "where there's a will, there's a way" on its head. He argues passionately that if there's a way, there's a will. And the will to change the idea of what hockey actually means is more urgently needed than ever.

How Martin Luther invented the modern world

It has been 500 years since Martin Luther supposedly nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. There's no proof he ever did that -- and it may not matter. We're still living in the aftershocks of the religious, political and social revolution that he began.

Why democracy depends on how we talk to each other

Does democracy have a future? It's a question is being asked in democracies everywhere. People are frustrated with politics and politicians. And politicians appear weary of democracy. Now populist uprisings to protect the status quo are threatening the foundations of democracy itself. Michael Sandel is a world-renowned political philosopher at Harvard University — and the 2017 LaFontaine-Baldwin lecturer.

The enduring power of Albert Camus' L'Étranger

It's been 75 years since Albert Camus published L’Étranger. It continues to be the most translated book from French into English -- an amazing feat for someone who came from an illiterate family in Algeria. Given how intense questions about "the other" are across the globe — who really belongs where and who doesn't — Camus' book is even more relevant than ever.
The Enright Files

Philosophers on politics in the age of Trump

Political analysts have spent the past few years puzzling over the mercurial and cranky behaviour of the electorate. They’ve struggled to make sense of the embrace of radical, often xenophobic populists and the rejection of mainstream democratic parties and the fundamentals of liberal democracy itself. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, some of North America’s most astute political philosophers discuss the perplexing and troubling political trends of our times.

How can we better understand our world & make it a better place?

How can we fix our broken world? And what does it actually mean to love your neighbour? Just some of the questions raised by Payam Akhavan in the 2017 CBC Massey Lectures -- on air, and on tour. We also invited you, our listeners, to send us your questions. In this episode excerpts from the audience discussions after the five lectures, along with Payam Akhavan in conversation with Paul Kennedy answering questions sent in by listeners.
CBC Massey Lectures

'Hijacking human rights': What stands in the way of a better world

In his final lecture, Payam Akhavan looks through the eyes of a suicide bomber to chart the rise of extremism and the decline of 'basic human dignity.' He concludes the series explaining how we can end hate and see how interconnected we all are.
CBC Massey Lectures

Payam Akhavan stopped working in war zones. But death and destruction followed him

Payam Akhavan's fourth Massey Lecture focuses on how the world can move forward after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the implosion of Afghanistan and the deadly 9/11 terrorist attacks.
CBC Massey Lectures

'Justice cannot bring back the dead': Payam Akhavan recalls Rwanda horrors

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

Bringing 'bad guys' to global justice: Payam Akhavan on prosecuting war criminals

In his second Massey Lecture, Payam Akhavan details just how hard it is to punish war criminals, recalling his time with the UN as a prosecutor at The Hague and on the streets of Sarajevo, among other conflict zones.
CBC Massey Lectures

'Struggling for justice': How Payam Akhavan lost his home in Iran and found human rights

In the first of his CBC Massey Lectures, human rights lawyer and scholar Payam Akhavan describes how fleeing Iran and watching his homeland from afar helped him discover human rights.

Therefore Choose Life: The Lost Massey Lecture by George Wald

In 1970, outspoken Harvard biologist George Wald became the first natural scientist to give the CBC Massey Lectures. The Nobel Prize winner championed diversity—biological and philosophical, as well as the value of both life and death. He also spoke out about long-term negative consequences of social inequality, and environmental pollution; and he took a public stand against the war in Vietnam.

Suggestive, romantic, sexy orchids!

Suggestive, romantic, sexy orchids! It turns out they're even sexier in their own world. Wily, deceptive, manipulating: get ready to travel between history and science, how we humans think about orchids and who they really are in nature among themselves. A celebration of all things orchid with contributing producer Marilyn Powell.

Alcohol: Tonic or Toxin?

As we move towards legalization of cannabis, we look at that other drug that many of us already have in our homes and use on a daily basis: alcohol. How did we start using it? How does it affect our health and society? And given the latest scientific research, should we still drink it?

Travels through Trump's America one year later

It’s been one year since Donald Trump’s inauguration. His official swearing-in compelled many Americans reflect on what America actually is now, politically, socially and culturally. Contributor David Zane Mairowitz is originally from America, and has been living in Europe for over fifty years. He returned to the U.S. in the spring of 2017 to travel through six southern states, where he recorded his encounters with everyday people at restaurants, churches -- and gun shows. His aim: to gain insight into an America he’s now struggling to comprehend.