Show Highlights

  • Thursday January 21, 2016

    Making Marco Polo

    Making Marco Polo

    Almost everything we think we know about Marco Polo - traveller, explorer, the man who brought the wonders of the East to the West - is being questioned. Tony Luppino searches for the real man and story behind the legendary wanderer, and discovers someone even more interesting and unexpected.

    Posted: Jan 21, 2016 12:00 AM
    Last Updated: Jan 21, 2016 10:48 AM
    read comments audio
    Listen 54:00
  • Sobey Art Award 2015

    2015 Sobey Art Award

    The 2015 Sobey Art Award

    Posted: Nov 03, 2015 3:30 PM
    Last Updated: Nov 03, 2015 3:22 PM
  • Tuesday January 26, 2016

    Oldest Hatred  - J'accuse

    The Oldest Hatred

    Anti-semitism has deep roots in France. Jews have been living there since the Middle Ages, coexisting in relative peace but never far removed from persecution or expulsion. The French Revolution gave Jews full civil rights, but within one-hundred years, the hatred was back. Recent anti-Jewish demonstrations, and the Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher murders, show that anti-semitism is still a potent force in contemporary France.

    Posted: Jan 26, 2016 3:39 PM
    Last Updated: Jan 26, 2016 2:22 PM
    read comments
    Listen 53:58
Purchase past Massey Lectures on iTunes

Past Episodes

  • Thursday February 04, 2016


    In the Footsteps of Evangeline

    Acclaimed journalist Lyse Doucet was once told by the head of UNHCR that she saw Acadians as the modern world's first refugees. That statement stuck with Ms. Doucet. Not only is she the BBC's chief international correspondent, but she is also of Acadian descent. In the 2015 Dalton Camp Lecture, Lyse Doucet explores the parallel between Longfellow's poem Evangeline and today's refugee crisis, about how human stories give voice and meaning to complex issues.

    Posted: Feb 04, 2016 3:26 PM
    Last Updated: Feb 04, 2016 11:57 AM
    read comments audio
    Listen 53:56
  • Wednesday February 03, 2016

    Galaxy-Space, Similes and Science

    Similes and Science, Part 1

    The Big Bang, string theory, black holes. Theoretical physics may conjure up complicated equations filling up several blackboards. But central to the quest of understanding the universe is the role that the imagination plays. And that means the creation of images through simile and metaphor -- usually the purview of novelists and poets. Four prominent physicists join host Paul Kennedy in conversation about the vitality and centrality of the scientific imagination. Part 2 airs Thursday, September 17.

    Posted: Feb 03, 2016 12:00 AM
    Last Updated: Sep 10, 2015 12:17 PM
    read comments audio
    Listen 53:58
  • Tuesday February 02, 2016


    The Road to Damascus

    The ancient city of Damascus has been destroyed in history and mythologized by holy scripture. Damascus is also a character: elderly, unyielding and vital, but overcrowded, tired and in danger of destruction in Syria's civil war. Nelofer Pazira captures the sounds of war and moments of resilience, as well as the fears -- and the hopes -- of a city whose past is far more certain than its future.

    Posted: Feb 02, 2016 12:00 AM
    Last Updated: Oct 26, 2015 12:15 PM
    read comments
    Listen 54:00
  • Monday February 01, 2016

    U.S. President Barack Obama

    The Enright Files on Barack Obama

    More than seven years have passed since Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected President of the United States, and in that time, the hope and change he represented in 2008 have been replaced by disillusionment and disappointment. As the race for Obama's successor heats up, Michael Enright looks back at his election and early years in office.

    Posted: Feb 01, 2016 12:00 PM
    Last Updated: Feb 01, 2016 12:05 PM
    read comments
    Listen 53:59
  • Friday January 29, 2016

    Ideas at 50

    Ideas at 50, Part 1

    For 50 years, IDEAS has been delivering the best in contemporary thought for an hour, five times a week to the homes, cars and computers of listeners across the country and beyond. To help us celebrate this milestone anniversary, we invited those listeners to tell us about programs that inspired them to make major life changes, altered their world-views or simply piqued their intellectual curiosity.

    Posted: Jan 29, 2016 12:00 AM
    Last Updated: Jan 29, 2016 9:23 AM
    read comments audio
    Listen 54:00
  • Thursday January 28, 2016

    Ideas from the Trenches - Crazy in Love

    Ideas from the Trenches - Crazy in Love

    Falling in love. Over the moon. Love-struck. These tropes are embedded in both high and popular culture. PhD student Elissa Gurman finds that the crazy-woman-in-love narrative captured in 19th century novels ended in two ways: thankless marriage or death. She also argues that the depictions found in these novels continue to have widespread repercussions today.

    Posted: Jan 28, 2016 3:22 PM
    Last Updated: Jan 28, 2016 11:09 AM
    read comments
    Listen 53:59