Taking Control: The Art of Leadership

What makes a good leader — someone with the ability to get others to follow, sometimes into the unknown? Shakespeare had something to say about all that. Julius Caesar and Coriolanus, two fantastically successful military leaders, both stumble and fall catastrophically when it comes to political leadership. So, being a leader seems to depend somewhat on context. Or is leadership, then, perhaps more of an art?

Talking with Doctor David Naylor: Winner of the 2018 Friesen Prize

Although he's not yet officially eligible to collect his pension, Dr. David Naylor is already President Emeritus of the University of Toronto — having occupied the office itself for eight turbulent years from 2005 - 2013. Before that, Naylor was Dean of Medicine at U of T, and Chair of the National Advisory Committee on SARS. Right now, he's interim head of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. And he was recently awarded the 2018 Henry G. Friesen Prize for Health Science Research. David Naylor talks with Paul Kennedy about his life and work, and about his recent Friesen Prize Lecture at the University of Ottawa.

The Jezebel Problem: What 'bossy' women should know about language

PhD graduate Laura Hare taught herself Biblical Hebrew so she could analyze male and female speech patterns in the original text of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament). She found the women characters consistently using language that shows deference to men. Some of these signs of deference exist in women’s speech today in North American English. The only female biblical character who fully speaks ‘like a man’ also became an archetype of evil — Queen Jezebel. 'Ideas from the Trenches' producers Tom Howell and Nicola Luksic find out what Laura Hare's discoveries mean for the present day.

Creating Conscience, Part 3: A history of treating the psychopath

We're all familiar with the idea of the "bad seed". Incorrigible children and unruly adolescents who later commit terrible crimes. Over the last decade, they've increasingly been referred to as psychopaths. But unlike the way their adult counterparts are viewed, there's renewed hope that younger people with psychopathic traits can be redeemed.

The Enright Files on the good, the bad, and the ugliest of Christmas music

Christmas is the best of times and the worst of times for music — from sublime choral hymns to sugary confections sung by pop stars whose artistic mission is to induce you to buy something. The music of Christmas is ubiquitous and inescapable, and it has been with us in one form or another for about 1,300 years. On this month's edition of "The Enright Files", the horrors and the wonders of Christmas music with music guru, Robert Harris.

Rethinking the Beaver: Why beavers and humans have to learn to get along

Four centuries of fur-trade trapping nearly wiped beavers off the North American map. Now they're back, big time, and we're discovering that sharing the landscape with such tenacious ecosystem engineers isn't always easy. We're also learning that there are compelling reasons to try to coexist with this iconic species. Contributor Frances Backhouse explores how two control freaks — humans and beavers — can get along.

Imagining the singularity: What happens when computers transcend us?

As computers and artificial intelligence grow in power and capability, it seems ever more likely that we're approaching "the singularity": the point where machine intelligence exceeds human intelligence. Could this be the dawn of a technological paradise? Or it could trigger humanity’s doom? What kind of an intelligence will this be — benign or terrifying — a guru, a god or a monster? And is the idea of uploading the human mind the promise of immortality or just another dream of religious transcendence?

Flirting with Fascism: America's New Path?

We've heard it so much that it's almost become a cliché: America is on the road to fascism. The debate over that claim continues, but renowned scholar Henry Giroux argues that "Donald Trump is not just some impulsive rich guy who marketed his way into politics through empty Kardashian-style consumer culture". Trump needed followers. And he got them. Now what?

Creating Conscience, Part 2: A history of treating the psychopath

For decades psychiatry has been asking: what makes a psychopath? The list of possible explanations stretches back over centuries: demonic possession, trace metals in the body, bad mothering, violence on television, birth trauma. In Episode 2 of this series, IDEAS producer Mary O'Connell returns to an interview she did with a serial killer 20 years ago, to understand what motivated him and explores what insight experts can give us about the modern-day psychopath.

Wade Davis: Light at the edge of the world

In our age, many societies look like they're hurtling towards disorder and disunity. For all of our technological sophistication, the centre isn't holding, great civilizations seem less united than ever. Wade Davis, one of Canada's foremost anthropologists thinks we need to pay more attention to the values, the voices, and the concerns of Indigenous peoples. We have a lot to learn by listening more carefully.

Tom Thomson: 100 years from now

Tom Thomson's paintings are among the most famous and beloved artworks in Canada. Thomson himself is one of the most mythologized Canadians of his time — and ours. Now, 101 years after his mysterious death on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, when he was at the peak of his powers, IDEAS contributor Sean Foley asks one central question: does the mortal and material fascination with Tom Thomson leave us with something enduring — something to carry us through the next century, and beyond?

Why Environmentalism is Failing

Environmental problems are well-known and have been for decades, but we still appear to be edging towards a global catastrophe. Why? Environmentalist Graham Saul believes that part of the problem is environmentalism itself. He believes it has a message problem — mainly because it doesn’t have a single, coherent, unified message that people can grasp. Graham Saul has been on the forefront of environmental thought and activism for over 25 years. In this lecture, he parses the problem and points towards a step with potential planet-saving implications.

The Accommodating Space: A Hotel Check-In

A guest checks into a Las Vegas hotel suite, and makes it a fortress, staging a mass shooting on the city below. It's a horrific act that seems to subvert the very ethos of hotels — places of hospitality and calm. Yet hotels contain multitudes. They are sites of fantasy and functionality, pleasure and trouble. Their spaces are public and private, workplace and bedroom. They exist to house us temporarily, in luxury or in squalor.

What to expect when you're expecting ... Climate Change

Young couples face a complicated decision at a time when the dire consequences of climate change are becoming clearer, is it ethical to bring a child into the world? Science journalist Britt Wray talks with parents, prospective parents, ethicists, scientists, and children on this thorny question.

Creating Conscience, Part 1: A history of treating the psychopath

The mystery of the psychopath. A human riddle that has haunted and stumped us for centuries. Is the psychopath mad or just plain bad? Evil and beyond redemption, or potentially treatable?

Christopher Hedges: Farewell America

Christopher Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of America: The Farewell Tour. He believes that America may well be in its last act. Addiction, income disparity and hollowed-out towns and cities are becoming the norm, he argues, while the political and financial sectors increasingly merge with each other to the exclusion of anyone else's interests or needs. His vision is dark and sobering. America's only salvation, he concludes in this illustrated conversation with guest host Rachel Giese, is mass resistance.
Ideas Afternoon

How Cold War anxiety and citizen science fuelled Canada's massive UFO report files

Researcher Matthew Hayes is looking into nearly 15,000 pages of documents detailing UFO sightings. He hopes to learn more about what these sightings, and the obsessive documentation of them, say about the nature of science and observation.
CBC Massey Lectures

The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures: All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

Prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples — in Canada and elsewhere — in her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

'They're with me': Artwork by Indigenous youth catches spotlight in Massey Lectures

Seven students from a Thunder Bay, Ont., high school saw their artwork adorn the national stage behind 2018 Massey Lecturer Tanya Talaga.

Q&A: Tanya Talaga on writing All Our Relations and delivering a Massey lecture in Thunder Bay

After the release of her award winning book Seven Fallen Feathers, Toronto Star reporter Tanya Talaga became the first Ojibway woman to deliver the CBC Massey Lectures, where she takes a look at the crisis of Indigenous youth suicide.

Tom Thomson: 100 years from now

Tom Thomson's paintings are among the most famous and beloved artworks in Canada. Thomson himself is one of the most mythologized Canadians of his time — and ours. Now, 101 years after his mysterious death on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, when he was at the peak of his powers, IDEAS contributor Sean Foley asks one central question: does the mortal and material fascination with Tom Thomson leave us with something enduring — something to carry us through the next century, and beyond?

Data for Social Good

We live in a glut of data. Individually we produce vast amounts of information about ourselves simply by living our lives: where we go, what we like, where we shop, our political views, which programs we watch. Each day we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data and the rate is growing. In the last two years alone we’ve generated about 90 per cent of the data that’s out there. IDEAS contributor Anik See looks at this tremendous amount of data and how some people are harnessing it, not for surveillance or selling, but rather for the public good.

Human Rights Under Attack: Gareth Peirce on The New Dark Age

For more than 40 years, Gareth Peirce has fought to expose miscarriages of justice and free the wrongfully accused. Based in London, she was instrumental in freeing members of the Guildford Four, who were falsely convicted of carrying out the IRA bombing of a British pub. More recently, she has been representing members of the new suspect community — Muslims falsely accused of being terrorists. Peirce warns eroding human rights under the guise of national security, is a profound attack on democracy.

Travels through Trump's America

The U.S. midterms are yet another prompt for many Americans — and people around the world — to reflect on what America actually is now, politically, socially and culturally. Contributor David Zane Mairowitz is originally from New York, and has been living in Europe for over 50 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 Enright Files: The state of American democracy in the age of Trump

The U.S. midterm elections have been billed as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump. And many think the elections will chart the future course of American democracy at a time when anger, xenophobia, chaos and bitter partisanship and polarization have led people to despair for the future of liberal democracy. On this month's edition of The Enright Files, conversations with journalists about the state of American democracy in the age of Trump.

Ideas in the Afternoon for December 2018

Ideas in the Afternoon airs Mondays at 2:05 pm on CBC Radio One.