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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.'

Ken Dryden on changing the idea of hockey

Game Change", the book written by the 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.

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.

Past Masseys Lectures

Since 1961 CBC Radio has been broadcasting the CBC Massey Lectures, bringing Canadians some of the greatest minds of our times, exploring the ideas that make us who we are and asking the questions that make us better human beings.

The 2015 CBC Massey Lectures, "History's People: Personalities and the Past"

What part do individuals play in the great tides of history? How would the world be different if Napoleon had never existed? Would we think differently without Mohammed or Luther

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.

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.

Ideas in the Afternoon for April 2018

Ideas in the Afternoon airs Mondays at 2:05 pm on CBC Radio One.
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.
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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 does it affect our health and society? And given the latest scientific research, should we still drink it?

Ideas for April 2018

Highlights this month include: "Sir John A. Macdonald on Trial" (April 11 & 12) -- a special episode that puts Canada's first Prime Minister on trial for "crimes against humanity"; "It's Alive: Frankenstein at 200" (April 16) -- exploring how Mary Shelley's horror story reflects the anxieties of our modern times.

Therefore Choose Life: The Lost Massey Lecture by George Wald

In 1970, Harvard biologist George Wald became the first natural scientist to give the CBC Massey Lectures. The Nobel Prize winner championed diversity, as well as the value of both life and death. He also spoke out about the negative consequences of social inequality & environmental pollution.

The 2016 CBC Massey Lectures - "The Return of History"

In his 1989 essay The End of History? American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution, the best and final system to emerge after thousands of years of trial and error. Fukuyama seems to have been wrong: our recent history -- filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity. In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, Jennifer Welsh explores how pronouncements about the “end of history” may have been premature.

How orchids, sex & storytelling go hand-in-hand

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.

What's the story behind orchids' sexy reputation?

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.

Beyond Words: Photographers of War

From the Civil War to Iraq, photographic images of conflict sear themselves onto our consciousness. Yet, we so rarely hear from the people who create the images of some of the most definitive events in modern history.

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?

Beyond Words: Photographers of War

Think of any armed conflict and a still image springs immediately to mind. From the Civil War to Iraq, photographic images of conflict sear themselves onto our consciousness, and reside in a psychic space that lies beyond words. Yet we so rarely hear from the people who create the images of some of the most definitive events in modern history. This documentary features over twenty of the world's most prominent photojournalists and photo editors, and does so in their own voices.

Acoustics is the glue of cetacean societies—but these underwater languages are on the brink of extinction

Our oldest living ancestors 'speak' a language consisting of clicks, whistles, and pulsed calls. For whales and dolphins, acoustics is the glue of their society. But in the face of catastrophic environmental changes, that language is being lost or reshaped. IDEAS contributor Carrie Haber and the world's leading marine scientists take us into the oceans depths to plumb an enigmatic culture under siege.

I'm Sorry: The Art and Artifice of the Apology

Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to residential school survivors. Bill Clinton says he's sorry for sexual transgressions. Whether apologies come from the political elite or your next door neighbour, we are awash in a sea of "I'm sorry". Josh Bloch examines when an apology is effective and whose interests it serves.

From seat belts to hockey masks: 7 changes that once seemed unthinkable

Author and linguist Steven Pinker joined NHL legend and author Ken Dryden for a wide-ranging discussion about what it takes for social change to happen.