The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for October 17, 2021

Dr. Peter Singer talks about the beginning and end of COVID-19, education researcher Lauren McNamara explains the social benefits of recess at school, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses his latest book A Brief Welcome to the Universe: A Pocket-Sized Tour, writer Susan Orlean reflects on connections with our furry friends in her book On Animals
Piya Chattopadhyay is host of The Sunday Magazine. (CBC)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay:

Charting the origin and future of the COVID-19 pandemic

This week the World Health Organization announced that a group of 26 scientists from around the globe will be investigating the origins of the coronavirus. The hope is that when they pinpoint the beginnings of the pandemic, they can prevent future outbreaks. But there are already concerns that China's government may get in the way of that mission. Canadian physician and bioethicist Dr. Peter Singer joins Chattopadhyay to talk about why it's important to find out how COVID-19 began, and to reflect on the state of the pandemic, vaccines, new treatments, and whether the end really is in sight. 

Why catching up on recess may be as important as catching up on class

Recess looks different for kids this fall. Pandemic changes to playgrounds range from strict "cohorts" at recess, no games of ball or tag, or no access to play structures, depending on the school. Canadian education researcher Lauren McNamara hopes these temporary changes will spark a rethink of recess in all our schools, and a better understanding that the social connections kids form at recess are just as important to their success as what they learn in the classroom. We also hear from kids themselves about how recess is going this year.

Why Neil deGrasse Tyson embraces his cosmic insignificance

Neil deGrasse Tyson is cosmically insignificant. And so are you. The American astrophysicist joins Chattopadhyay to discuss his latest book, A Brief Welcome to the Universe: A Pocket-Sized Tour, his mission to make our place in the cosmos make sense, and why the response to the pandemic should have been cause to celebrate the very best of what the scientific method can offer.

What animals have taught Susan Orlean about being human

Writer Susan Orlean has never met a donkey she didn't like. The New Yorker writer's latest book, On Animals, features a menagerie of furry, feathery and fishy creatures that have filled her life and her work. She joins Chattopadhyay to discuss our place in the animal kingdom by considering what the rise of the backyard chicken says about society, our unending quest to speak across species, and what animals can teach us about being human.


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