Ideas

Ideas is eclectic in form and content. This celebrated CBC Radio show covers social issues, culture and the arts, geopolitics, history, biography, science and technology, and the humanities. Most of its programs are documentaries in which thoughts are gathered, contexts explored, and connections made.

Ideas also plays host to The Massey Lectures. Sponsored by CBC Radio in cooperation with Massey College at the University of Toronto and Anansi Press, this annual lecture series is perhaps the most important public lecture series in Canada.

Visit the show website

Episodes

Ideas The Business of Race

"She cut off her nose to spite her race." That's what Dorothy Parker once quipped about Fanny Brice, the Jewish actress who had a nose job in 1923. Ninety years later, the racial targeting of the cosmetics industry is booming: eye-lid surgeries, chemical hair-straightening and skin-bleaching are just a few of the options advertised to people of colour. Ideas contributor ...
  • 2013
  • 00:53:59
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 01/30/2014

Ideas Is Race a Fiction?

The scientific consensus is that we're all a soup of DNA, and that race is indeed a fiction. But where does that leave us? This round-table discussion – on the heels of Lawrence Hill's CBC Massey Lectures about blood – focuses on race, culture and the knotty problem about how we choose to identify ourselves. Lawrence Hill, Priscila Uppal, Hayden ...
  • 2013
  • 00:53:58
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 01/30/2014

Ideas Stuffed (Part 1 of 2)

For most of the 20th century, North American food consumption was relatively stable, but the 1980s marked the beginning of a dramatic shift. We're eating, on average, 200 calories per day more than we did just thirty years ago. We're eating larger portions and we're eating more often. What happened to bring about this sudden change? In this two-part series Jill ...
  • 2013
  • 00:54:00
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 01/29/2014

Ideas Massey Lectures 2012, Part 5: The Opportunity of all Time

Thanks to the incredible pace of technology and the Internet, things are moving faster than ever before. There are advantages to this, but also disadvantages. Instant access to information is transforming the way we work and learn, but the speed of our lives leads to short-term thinking and isolation. Neil Turok says that "we are analog beings living in a ...
  • 2012
  • 00:53:59
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/19/2013

Ideas Massey Lectures 2012, Part 3: What Banged?

How did Earth and all the planets and stars and galaxies form? How old is our universe? What "banged" at the moment of the big bang? We have a remarkably successful model of cosmology, but theorists are still asking these questions. We just don't know how the universe emerged from a cosmic singularity – the assumed starting point of the ...
  • 2012
  • 00:53:58
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/19/2013

Ideas Massey Lectures 2012, Part 4: The World In An Equation

Over the past century, physicists have compiled a neat, one-line equation that describes how the world works according to all known physics. By combining the contributions of scientists from all different backgrounds and cultures, this ambitious formula seeks to describe the universe's machinations on every scale, from the subatomic to the largest bodies at the edges of space. It's a ...
  • 2012
  • 00:53:58
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/19/2013

Ideas Massey Lectures 2012, Part 2: Our Imaginary Reality

Over the course of the 20th century, physicists discovered that the quantum world is qualitatively different than any classical world: nature's basic constituents just don't behave like anything anyone has ever seen in our everyday experience. In this lecture, Neil Turok takes us on a journey through the abstract, mathematical reasoning, built on experimental results, that allowed us to extend ...
  • 2012
  • 00:53:59
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/19/2013

Ideas Massey Lectures 2012, Part 1: Magic That Works

Everything we know depends on the knowledge of people who came before us.  In this lecture, Neil Turok explores our understanding of the universal laws of nature, from Pythagoras and the Greek mathematicians to the present day. Many of the fundamental things we once believed to be true – how electricity and magnetism behave, for example – have been turned ...
  • 2012
  • 00:53:59
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 11/19/2013