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Author: CBC Radio

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IDEAS is a deep-dive into contemporary thought and intellectual history. No topic is off-limits. In the age of clickbait and superficial headlines, it's for people who like to think.
297 Episodes
Warning: Explicit Content | As the Twin Towers lay in rubble after Sept. 11, former U.S. president George W. Bush's administration leveraged the influence of Hollywood celebrities to sway the public to rally around the flag.
Teenagers can be erratic and emotional. But recent science may just have the answer to why teenagers are the way they are — and it's not just about hormones. This new understanding is changing the way some societies see teens and it may just lead to changing the boundary between teenager and adult. *Originally broadcast on January 28, 2020.
Throughout history, single women have been vilified, ostracized and shamed. And while there are more single-person households in Canada than ever before, that lingering stigma still follows the single woman. CBC producer Alison Cook explores the social history of these ‘deviant’ women in her documentary, The Rise of the Glorified Spinster.
Olive Senior was born in Jamaica in 1941, the seventh of 10 children. She went on to become one of Canada’s most acclaimed writers. Hear excerpts from her 2019 Margaret Laurence Lecture, readings from her work and a conversation with IDEAS producer Mary Lynk. *Originally broadcast on October 9, 2019.
The Cult Movie Canon

The Cult Movie Canon


They’re weird. They break the rules. They’re kinda bad. They are cult movies. Dive into the stories of films from ‘Troll 2’ to ‘The Last Dragon’ to the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ to learn what drives people to watch these oddball films again and again. Producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder looks at the history, future, and function of cult movies.
Warning: Explicit Content | America's losing the Vietnam War shattered the 'heroic myth' that Hollywood had spent decades creating, according to historians and researchers. What followed was an era of films attempting to recapture past glories.
In 2019, the first up-close image of a black hole was recorded. And yet, so much about them, their bizarre properties and the role they play in the universe remains a mystery. The distinguished Yale astrophysicist Priya Natarajan dives into black holes and dark matter in her lecture and book: Mapping The Heavens.
Warning: Explicit language | The massacre of over 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee in 1890 is often taken to be the “end” of Native American history — a notion unintentionally reinforced by Dee Brown's 1970 book, "I Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee." This idea of history as tragedy is something Ojibwe writer David Treuer tries to undo in "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee." *Originally broadcast on February 20, 2019.
We tend to think that reading is a sign of intelligence, that we’re improved by it. But are our assumptions well-founded? Not really, according to an array of literary front runners. Writer Barbara Nichol explores assumptions we have about reading, readers and books in a three-part IDEAS series.
Bread: The Rise and Fall

Bread: The Rise and Fall


Bread is a simple food and a staple item across the world. Bread is life. But for some, it represents a wrong turn in our species' evolution. Through conversation with bakers, religious leaders, historians and bread aficionados, producer Veronica Simmonds asks whether bread has led us to salvation or damnation.
The U.S. military had some little-known help in spinning public perception about it over the last seventy years: Hollywood. This series shows how movies functioned as the unofficial — but massively influential — propaganda arm of America's war efforts.
An ordinary cup of Joe just won’t do anymore. It’s now gourmet, fair trade and organic. Whether the method is pour over, French press, or vacuum pumps, coffee is now described with terms like “mouthfeel”, just as fine wines are. Contributing producer Marilyn Powell brings us her documentary, The Coffee Chronicles about the cultural history behind the world's most popular drink. *Originally published on June 19, 2019.
Should the world’s problems be solved by unelected elites? Surely these are decisions we all need to be part of. Anand Giridharadas argues if we don’t trust the institutions we have for fixing the world, then it's time to build better institutions — from the bottom up. *Originally aired on January 27, 2020.
Justice is not blind in Canada’s legal system, argues Métis lawyer Jean Teillet. She says it needs to view Indigenous people fully to render justice fairly.
Deserts cover nearly one-third of the earth's landmass of the earth, but we're still unsure what to make of them. Sometimes we consider them empty wastelands, other times we see them as beautiful landscape. IDEAS producer Matthew Lazin-Ryder explores our historically complicated, and yet intimate, relationship with deserts. *Originally broadcast on November 22, 2019.
Seventeen years before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, another mysterious, virulent respiratory illness suddenly appeared — SARS. On the Enright Files, conversations with public health experts from those unnerving times, as they were assessing what we learned from the SARS and Ebola outbreaks.
Co-founder of Partners in Health Dr. Paul Farmer says the COVID-19 pandemic offers many lessons and opportunities for the world, including a chance to reorient how we think about who deserves access to a high standard of healthcare.
Rhythm is of course a fundamental part of music. But neuroscience is revealing that it’s also a fundamental part of our innermost selves: how we learn to walk, talk, read and even bond with others. From heartbeats heard in the womb, to the underlying rhythmic patterns of thought, rhythm — as one researcher puts it — is life.
Digital network technologies are re-engineering our lives, according to legal scholar Brett Frischmann. In part two of our series, IDEAS explores ways to prevent ourselves from becoming wards of the technologists. First step: we need to wake up to this very real possibility and danger.
Leading in the time of COVID-19 is to lead when a virus is calling the shots. In 1892, Hamburg had its own devastating cholera outbreak. According to historian Sir Richard Evans, how authorities navigated the pandemic offers surprisingly relevant lessons for leaders today.
Comments (22)

Jules Delorme

love this

May 18th
Reply (1)

robert kariuki

these are great ideas, however they seem to me to be very unfiltered, without a clear direction and most likely to be considered of rebellious nature as opposed to reformation

Feb 7th

Glen Arnold

What a poor title for this lecture. The land component seems like such a small fraction of what he actually talked about.

Jan 22nd

Ben Grubb

it would have been cool to talk more about what he actually wrote, thanks for wasting my time assholes

Dec 21st

Janine White

entirely frustrating discussions.

Nov 10th


A lot of the episodes aren't accessible, at least on Castbox.

Oct 21st

Jules Delorme

wonderfully dense

Sep 21st

Cristy Thiessen

this is a great conversation that should be shown in all high schools across our nation.

Aug 13th

Stephen Maloney

The first half of this talk was garbage. While I do agree with the pro-drug sentiments expressed, his arguments were structurally weak and rambling. It does help to have this idea diffused among the he public, but it ought be done in a more compelling manner. *edit: second half is pretty good. Skip to 30m or so

Jun 9th

JJ Todilinus

I think the freedom from lies includes not being mandated by law to pretend I see a woman when I see a man.

Apr 13th

Chris Duke

excellent program with thoughtful episodes every evening

Oct 31st

Michel Fernandes

These ideas aren't new, they were developed by Friedrich Hegel on the 18th century. What's new about it, is trying to connect this with modern science.

Sep 20th

JJ Todilinus

I have been a fan for 20 years and your show is always unbiased balanced and fair

Sep 4th


Awesome episode

Aug 25th

Alex Grosdanofski


Aug 17th

Martin Clarke

I feel there may be some correlation between companies focussing on short term gains driven by the increase in demand for short term gains from small personal investors and mutual funds managers exiting from a high inflation period in the 80's.

Aug 17th

s j

Are these "teachers" advocating that politically naive ideation such as SJW postmodernism outcome philosophy should be encouraged and discussed with children as young as 7 years of age. Child must be informed and taught with historically accurate curricula. Children are not demonstrably more profound or honest than adults. To posit such nonsense is spurious, ignorant and possibly dangerous for educators to engage in. Where did these people get their degrees. May these children find far better and more responsible guidance in their futures. If this is representative of present day education, then I despair.

Apr 22nd

Bahram Farzady

This is identity politics propaganda. You should be ashamed of this broadcast. Rinaldo Walcott is a conscious fraud and charlatan.

Apr 19th

Vusal Karim

fix mic noise fucking idiots

Apr 1st


is this the guy from that meme??

Nov 17th
Reply (1)
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