Rank #1: Nessa Carey and Xand Van Tulleken on How Gene Editing Will Rewrite Our Futures
In this week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Nessa Carey, the molecular biologist and author of Hacking The Code Of Life. She was interviewed by the doctor and TV presenter Xand Van Tulleken in a wide-ranging discussion on the ethical and social implications for the revolutionary new tools scientists have developed to edit our genes.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #2: An Evening With Slavoj Zizek
In this special lecture for Intelligence Squared from July 2011, Žižek argues that global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis and that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the five stages of grief – ideological denial, explosions of anger, attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and finally acceptance of change. Referencing everything from Kafka, the "Hollywood Marxism" of Avatar, the Arab Spring and WikiLeaks, he presents a roadmap for finding a way beyond the madness. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #3: Richard Dawkins: The Rational Revolutionary
To mark the 40th anniversary of 'The Selfish Gene' and Dawkins’ 75th birthday, Intelligence Squared staged a global event, bringing together luminaries from the worlds of science, philosophy and culture to engage with Dawkins about his life and work. Steven Pinker, celebrated cognitive scientist, and Daniel Dennett, philosopher and fellow ‘New Atheist’, were beamed in live from America. On-stage guests included the illusionist Derren Brown, an avowed fan of Dawkins’ theories about the workings of the mind, the science writer Susan Blackmore, who has further developed... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #4: The Catholic Church is a Force For Good in The World
In 2009 Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens locked horns with Anne Widdecombe and John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, over whether or not the Catholic Church was a force for good. Today the debate has been watched more times online than any other Intelligence Squared event. We're thrilled to make the audio available to all as part of our Advent podcast. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #5: Michael Lewis On How Behavioural Economics Changed The World
Michael Lewis is one of the most successful non-fiction authors alive. He has been acclaimed as a genius by Malcolm Gladwell and as the best current writer in America by Tom Wolfe. In a series of titles that have sold 9 million copies worldwide, he has lifted the lid on the biggest stories of our times, enthralling readers with his knack for humanising complex subjects and giving them the page-turning urgency of the best thrillers. Liar's Poker is the cult classic that defined Wall Street during the 1980s; Moneyball was made into a film with Brad Pitt; Boomerang was a breakneck tour of Europe’s post-crunch economy; and The Big Short was made into a major Oscar-winning film starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell.
In November 2017 Lewis came to the Intelligence Squared stage, where he was joined by Stephanie Flanders, former economics editor at the BBC. Discussing the themes of his latest book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World, they explored the extraordinary story of the relationship between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky – a collaboration which created the field of behavioural economics. This is the theory which shows that human beings are not the rational creatures we imagined ourselves to be, and has revolutionised everything from big data to medicine, from how we are governed to how we spend, from high finance to football. It won Kahneman the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002 – the first time the award had gone to a psychologist.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #6: Yuval Noah Harari on the Myths we Need to Survive
In this exclusive appearance for Intelligence Squared, Harari argued that all political orders are based on useful fictions which have allowed groups of humans, from ancient Mesopotamia through to the Roman empire and modern capitalist societies, to cooperate in numbers far beyond the scope of any other species. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #7: Sam Harris on the Science of Good and Evil
Where do our ideas about morality and meaning come from? Most people - from religious extremists to secular scientists - would agree on one point: that science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, science's failure to explain meaning and morality has become the primary justification for religious faith and the reason why even many non-believers feel obliged to accord respect to the beliefs of the devout. In this podcast, recorded at our event in April 2011, Sam Harris, the American philosopher and neuroscientist, argues that these views are mistaken - that amidst all the competing arguments about how we should lead our lives, science can show us that there are right and wrong answers. This means that moral relativism is mistaken and that there can be neither a Christian nor a Muslim morality - and that ultimately science can and should determine how best to live our lives. After an opening speech, Revd Dr Giles Fraser, former-canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, joins Harris in conversation. The event was chaired by Jeremy O'Grady, Editor-in-chief of The Week magazine and co-founder of Intelligence Squared.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #8: Both Britain and the EU Would Be Happier if They got Divorced
Rank #9: Daniel Goleman On Focus: The Secret to High Performance and Fulfilment
In this exclusive talk for Intelligence Squared, Goleman discusses the themes of his latest book, 'Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence'. Attention, he argues is an underrated asset for high achievers in any field. Incorporating findings from neuroscience, Goleman shows why we need three kinds of focus: inner, for self-awareness; other, for the empathy that builds effective relationships; and outer, for understanding the larger systems in which organisations operate. Those who excel rely on Smart Practices such as mindfulness meditation, focused preparation and positive emotions that help improve habits, add new skills, and sustain excellence. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #10: David Brooks on the Road to Character
In May 2015, New York Times columnist David Brooks came to the Intelligence Squared stage to share the insights of his latest book, 'The Road to Character'. Brooks argued that today’s ‘Big Me’ culture is making us increasingly self-preoccupied: we live in a world where we’re taught to be assertive, to master skills, to broadcast our brand, to get likes, to get followers. But amidst all the noise of self-promotion, Brooks claimed that we’ve lost sight of an important and counterintuitive truth: that in order to fulfil ourselves we need to learn how to forget ourselves.
Brooks was joined on stage by writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts Andrew Solomon.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #11: Atheism is the new Fundamentalism, with Richard Dawkins and Richard Harries
Does God exist? Has atheism replaced religion as the new faith of the secular age? Are today's atheists as blinkered and dogmatic as they claim religious believers to be? This Intelligence Squared debate from November 2009 was recorded at Wellington College. Arguing for the motion were former Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries and Editor of the Daily Telegraph Charles Moore. Arguing against the motion were evolutionary biologist and science author Richard Dawkins and philospher AC Grayling. The debate was chaired by historian, author and Master of Wellington College Anthony Seldon.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #12: Chris Hirst and Helen Lewis on No Bullsh*t Leadership
In this week's episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast we were joined by Chris Hirst, Global CEO for the advertising company Havas Creative Network and author of No Bullsh*t Leadership: Why the World Needs More Everyday Leaders and Why That Leader Is You. He was interviewed by The Atlantic staff writer Helen Lewis on his own unique philosophy for running a business.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #13: Jordan Peterson on Gender, Patriarchy and the Slide Towards Tyranny
In May 2018, we recorded a special episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast in London. Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was joined by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor at The Economist and head of Economist Radio, to discuss identity politics, liberalism and #MeToo.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #14: Robert Macfarlane on Landscape and the Human Heart
Listen to his enthralling account from June 2012 of the ghosts and voices that haunt old tracks, of songlines and their singers, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of rights of way and rites of way. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #15: The World Needs Religion Even if it Doesn't Need God
Some would argue that there’s another way, that it’s possible to remain an atheist and still make use of certain ideas and practices of religion that secular society has failed to engender – the promotion of morality and a spirit of community, for example, and the ability to cope with loss, failure and our own mortality. But is this “religion for atheists” something that would ever catch on? Without belief in the numinous and some form of authority wouldn’t it all fall apart? And do atheists really need sermons and reminders to be good?
Arguing against this motion in this debate from January 2012 were philosopher and author Alain de Botton and... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #16: Steven Pinker on Good Writing with Ian McEwan
On September 25th he returned to the Intelligence Squared stage to discuss his latest publication 'The Sense of Style', a short and entertaining writing guide for the 21st century. Pinker argued that bad writing can’t be blamed on the internet, or on “the kids today”. Good writing has always been hard: a performance requiring pretence, empathy, and a drive for coherence. He answered questions such as: how can we overcome the “curse of knowledge”, the difficulty in imagining what it’s like not to know something we do? And how can we distinguish the myths and superstitions about language from helpful rules that enhance clarity and grace? Pinker showed how everyone can improve their mastery of writing and their appreciation of the art.
Professor Pinker was joined by Ian... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #17: Putin Has Been Good For Russia
As a matter of fact, millions would. Talk to many Russians and they’ll tell you that life under Putin is vastly better than under Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin let a handful of oligarchs hoover up Russia’s wealth while ordinary Russians were reduced to selling their possessions on the street. Putin, by contrast, has quelled the economic... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #18: Daniel Dennett on Tools To Transform Our Thinking
In 2013 he came to Intelligence Squared to share the insights he has acquired over his 40-year career into the nature of how we think, decide and act. Dennett revealed his favourite thinking tools, or 'intuition pumps', that he and others have developed for addressing life's most fundamental questions. As well as taking a fresh look at familiar moves - Occam's Razor, reductio ad absurdum - he discussed new cognitive solutions designed for the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, consciousness and free will. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #19: How to Think Like a Freak: Learn How to Make Smarter Decisions with the authors of "Freakonomics"
Now the books’ two authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, have turned what they’ve learned into a readable and practical toolkit for thinking smarter, harder, and different – thinking, that is, like a Freak.
On 28th May they came to Intelligence Squared to discuss their new Frequel, 'Think Like a Freak'. By analysing the plans we form and the morals we choose, they showed how their insights can be applied to help us make smarter decisions in our daily lives. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #20: Psychiatrists & the pharma industry are to blame for the current ‘epidemic’ of mental disorders
Drug pushers. We tend to associate them with the bleak underworld of criminality. But some would argue that there’s another class of drug pushers, just as unscrupulous, who work in the highly respectable fields of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. And they deserve the same moral scrutiny that we apply to the drug pedlar on the street corner. Within the medical profession labels are increasingly being attached to everyday conditions previously thought to be beyond the remit of medical help. So sadness is rebranded as depression, shyness as social phobia, childhood naughtiness as hyperactivity or ADHD. And Big Pharma is only too happy to come up with profitable new drugs to treat these ‘disorders’, drugs which the psychiatrists and GPs then willingly prescribe, richly rewarded by the pharma companies for doing so.
That’s the view of those who object to the widespread use of the ‘chemical cosh’ to treat people with mental difficulties. But many psychiatrists, while acknowledging that overprescribing is a problem, would argue that the blame lies not with themselves. For example, parents and teachers often ramp up the pressure to have a medical label attached to a child’s problematic behaviour because that way there’s less stigma attached and allowances are made. And psychiatrists and the pharma companies also take issue with those who argue that the ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of mental disorder is a myth. ADHD is a real condition, they say, for which drugs work. Research shows that antidepressants really are more effective than just a placebo, especially in cases of severe depression.
Defending the motion in this Intelligence Squared debate at London's Emmanuel Centre in November 2014 were author and journalist Will Self and psychoanalyst and author Darian Leader.
Opposing the motion were former Head of Worldwide Development at Pfizer Inc. Dr Declan Doogan and President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Professor Sir Simon Wessely.
The debate was chaired by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA.For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy