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Episodes

Academy 2018: The Transformation of the Concept of Popular Sovereignty in Early-Modern Europe

8/11/2018
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A recording of a lecture by Rachel Hammersley at The Academy 2018, a residential weekend organised by the Academy of Ideas. Find out more here. Rachel Hammersley is senior lecturer, intellectual history, Newcastle University; author, The English Republican Tradition and Eighteenth-Century France; editor, Revolutionary Moments: reading revolutionary texts Introduction Popular sovereignty lies at the heart of our modern understanding of democracy government. But what does this concept...

Duration:00:42:37

The Academy 2018: Globalism and neo-liberalism - Phil Mullan

8/5/2018
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A recording of a lecture by Phil Mullan at The Academy 2018. Globalists see themselves as the peacekeepers through their advocacy of the values of liberalism, free trade, democracy and internationalism. Yet the actions of the institutions over which they preside seem to bring the opposite. They generate division and conflict both within nations and also between them. So we have heightened polarisation within Brexit Britain, as well as within other leading European countries. Within the...

Duration:00:38:08

The Academy 2018: Nation, nationalism and national consciousness - Frank Furedi

7/30/2018
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A recording of the opening plenary lecture from The Academy 2018, a residential weekend of lectures and discussion organised by the Academy of Ideas. The nation and people’s attachments to this institution continue to be a subject of controversy. Historically, the discussion on the nation focused on attempting to come up with a set of definitions regarding the meaning of a nation and of nationalism. Commentators often distinguished between what they considered to be ‘good’ as opposed to...

Duration:00:40:33

Podcast of Ideas - World Cup special, episode 6

7/16/2018
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Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Alastair Donald, Geoff Kidder, Rob Lyons and Jacob Reynolds to reflect on the final matches of World Cup 2018 and the tournament as a whole. Were France worthy winners? What do the team think about the controversial penalty awarded in the final - and the VAR system that enabled the decision? Who was the player of the tournament? Why did England fail to reach the final and how should we assess the team’s performance? Was the tournament a success?

Duration:00:53:05

Podcast of Ideas - World Cup Special, episode 5

7/11/2018
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Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Alastair Donald, Jacob Reynolds and Hilary Salt to discuss France’s semi-final victory over Belgium, England’s prospects in their semi-final against Croatia, and the use of football to make political points, from the importance of diversity to rediscovering national pride amid the Brexit negotiations.

Duration:00:53:10

Podcast of Ideas - World Cup Special, episode 4

7/5/2018
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Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Geoff Kidder, Rob Lyons and Jacob Reynolds to discuss England’s prospects in the quarter-final against Sweden, the pick of the last-16 games, who might progress to the semi-finals and the reaction to England’s win over Colombia. [Apologies for the sound of birds tweeting in the background - it’s keep-the-windows-open weather!]

Duration:00:34:43

Podcast of Ideas - World Cup special, episode 3

6/29/2018
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Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Alastair Donald, Geoff Kidder and Rob Lyons to discuss the latest from Russia 2018. What do the team think about England’s dull defeat to Belgium? Have England landed themselves an easier path to the final? Is it right to celebrate Germany’s exit? Which are the standout games in the round of 16? And were FIFA right to criticise both players and supporters for ‘political’ gestures and chants?

Duration:00:42:33

Podcast of Ideas - World Cup special, episode 2

6/21/2018
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Adam Rawcliffe is joined by David Bowden and Geoff Kidder to look back on the first week of World Cup 2018. Has it been a success so far? Which teams have made a good impression - and which of the big teams need to be worried? How have England done so far and what has been the mood in the country as we enjoy wall-to-wall football?

Duration:00:37:51

Podcast of Ideas - World Cup Special, episode 1

6/14/2018
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Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Geoff Kidder and Rob Lyons to discuss the fallout from the sacking of Spain’s manager, their picks for who might win the tournament, the arguments over Russia hosting the World Cup and whether England can defy expectations and do well.

Duration:00:28:04

How fear works - Professor Frank Furedi in conversation with Claire Fox

6/11/2018
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To mark the publication of his new book, ‘How Fear Works: Culture of Fear for the 21st Century’, we present this interview, conducted in May 2018 for Claire Fox’s Love Sport Radio show, Fox News Friday.

Duration:00:56:33

The international abortion wars

5/25/2018
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On the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, a panel of pro-choice campaigners from around the world discussed what is at stake in the battle for abortion rights. In many countries, the trend towards extending abortion rights seems to have been reversed. What does it mean to argue for a woman’s right to choose today? Is it right to think of abortion as ‘just like any other medical procedure’, or do wider moral issues arise? Is opposition to abortion rights the same the world over?...

Duration:01:10:31

Are science and medicine threatened by borders?

5/18/2018
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Scientists and doctors have emerged as among the most vociferous critics of Brexit and Trump. The March for Science expressed the concerns of many researchers and clinicians on both sides of the Atlantic about the future of funding and about the movement of researchers and students across national borders. Many were also alarmed at the apparent lack of respect for expertise and evidence in public policy. But whose responsibility should it be to fund scientific research? How can science and...

Duration:01:42:21

Religious freedom: a critical right or a license to discriminate?

5/4/2018
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A lecture delivered at Living Freedom 2018, an Academy of Ideas residential school in London on 5-7 April 2018. Tensions are growing around how and whether religion should be accommodated in public life. In the era of Trump, religious conservatives in America have made it easier for hospitals, doctors and employers to object to providing birth control, abortions and transgender care on the grounds of conscience. Detractors say this is discrimination under the guise of religious freedom....

Duration:00:18:55

Medical dilemmas: who decides?

4/26/2018
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With the case of Alfie Evans in the news, this Battle of Ideas debate is very pertinent. ORIGINAL INTRODUCTION The tragic case of Charlie Gard, a baby with a terminal congenital illness whose parents refused to accept the decision of medical staff to withdraw life support, highlighted the problems that may arise when there is a breakdown of trust between doctors and parents. The old adage that ‘doctor knows best’ is being challenged not just by patients, but from within the medical...

Duration:00:37:55

The liberated mind in action: from the Enlightenment to the Industrial Revolution

4/19/2018
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A lecture from Living Freedom 2018, the Academy of Ideas residential school for 18- to 25-year-olds interested in exploring the historical ideas and contemporary debates related to freedom, which took place on 5-7 April 2018 at the Council on International Educational Exchange in central London. It has been claimed that the Industrial Revolution was the biggest turning point in human history. It was the moment when the creative potential of society was left free to flourish, leading to...

Duration:00:17:13

Genetics, genomics and society - determinism vs free will

4/13/2018
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A lecture from Living Freedom 2018, the Academy of Ideas residential school for 18- to 25-year-olds interested in exploring the historical ideas and contemporary debates related to freedom, which took place on 5-7 April 2018 at the Council on International Educational Exchange in central London. Our genes have, for better and for worse, been a central preoccupation in science, medicine and politics for more than a century. How has our understanding of genes changed during that time? Why...

Duration:00:27:03

Xi’s China: new global power?

4/5/2018
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Only 35 years ago a predominantly peasant economy, China has become the largest trading nation in the world. It is also remarkable that China has relinquished its status as environmental pariah to become a critic of the US president’s rejection of the Paris climate accords. Only recently a communist outsider, China is now a capitalist powerbroker, most notably in dealing with the challenge of North Korea. Can there be a peaceful adjustment of the West’s global domination to accommodate the...

Duration:01:14:48

Silicon Valley: from heroes to zeroes?

3/26/2018
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Silicon Valley used to be regarded as the global hub of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. It was the home of the world’s best technologies, new products and services. Yet today, Silicon Valley’s tech companies seem to have become the twenty-first-century equivalent of mediaeval robber barons. They are condemned for fleecing customers, evading taxes, and pocketing monopoly profits. Once associated with freedom, Silicon Valley is now condemned as the agency of global surveillance....

Duration:01:23:41

Was it Big Data wot won it? Political campaigning today

3/18/2018
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How could so many people be convinced to vote for Donald Trump? Why did so many Brits vote to leave the EU, despite almost unanimous advice from experts, political leaders and celebrities that we should remain? Some attribute these results to the power of Big Data, specifically to the high-tech psychological marketing techniques of a company called Cambridge Analytica. Can the manipulation of data really swing important votes? What are the implications of this approach for privacy and...

Duration:01:32:43

Safety first: do we live in a ‘cotton-wool society’?

3/9/2018
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Recording of the debate at Battle of Ideas 2017 (https://www.battleofideas.org.uk/session/safety-first/) The ‘safety first’ outlook, intending to keep us safe by imagining the worst, risks increasing our sense of existential insecurity. Always anticipating catastrophe may mean over-reacting, especially in the fields of science, health and technology. We have become the victims of scaremongering over theoretical risks – from mobile phone radiation or the latest strain of flu, even from...

Duration:01:21:04