The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

Are we in the midst of a sixth mass extinction event?

Extinction is a natural process, but it’s happening at 1,000 times the normal speed. Does this mean we are experiencing a sixth mass extinction event?

Has a constitutional coup taken place in the United States? 🔊

With Donald Trump nominating Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, Maria Armoudian speaks with Jon Michaels about the role of the four so-called liberal justices and how privatization has amounted to what Michaels calls a constitutional coup.

Was it worth it? Pita Sharples reflects on the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights

Former Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples reflects on New Zealand’s decision to support the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights after initially opposing it for three years.

Politics & Society

Has a constitutional coup taken place in the United States? 🔊

With Donald Trump nominating Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, Maria Armoudian speaks with Jon Michaels about the role of the four so-called liberal justices and how privatization has amounted to what Michaels calls a constitutional coup.

Science & Technology

A silent epidemic: Why are suicide rates on the rise?

Suicide rates have been steadily rising in the United States. So what explains the increase in the numbers of people taking their own lives, and what can be done to solve what amounts to a crisis in public health? Maria Armoudian speaks with Mark S. Kaplan. 

Business & Economics

What are the solutions to food insecurity? 🔊

Climate change, pesticide contamination, soil-depletion, loss of land, power politics, mass pollinator die-offs, and a host of big business practices threaten the long-term availability of healthy food. In part two of this symposium on the future of food, Maria Armoudian speaks with a panel of experts about the possible solutions to the food crisis the world faces. 

Can crowdfunding help the environment?

As the effects of human activity on the environment become more widely felt, people are turning to crowdfunding campaigns to help conserve the Earth’s environment. But are they effective?

Why do corporations have the same rights as people?

How did corporations get civil rights? That is Adam Winkler’s question. He says that the corporate rights movement began as early as 1809 with Alexander Hamilton’s Bank of the United States case. That was followed by an advancement of corporate rights in 1882 when a former senator named Roscoe Conkling argued that corporations should get the same protections under the U.S. Constitution as people received. Winkler speaks with Maria Armoudian.

Is the IMF failing?

Adam Triggs investigates why the world’s economic crisis-fighting mechanisms are dangerously inadequate and whether the IMF is failing.

How did Netflix become the world’s biggest online TV network?

How did Netflix become the world’s biggest online TV network? Nicola Shepheard speaks with business graduate Paul Rataul and University of Auckland management and international business lecturers Dr. Dan Tisch Dr. Peter Zamborsky about the success of Netflix. 

Arts & Culture

Why should we learn Te Reo Māori?

Stephen May outlines why it is important New Zealanders should learn Te Reo Māori in the wake of debate around whether the language should be made compulsory in schools.

Fight the power: exploring the connections between music and politics

Music and politics have always had a strong relationship going back to the days of the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement, and campaigns to combat racism. These days, artists such as Childish Gambino are pushing the boundaries visually and musically when it comes to using their art as a political vehicle. Sam Smith spoke with Patrycja Rozbicka about the intersection between music and politics.

Is Netflix killing the cinema?

The rise in popularity of on-demand video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime is increasingly seen as a threat to the 113-year-old ritual of going to a cinema to see a movie. James Robins spoke to Dr Karina Aveyard, Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, author of “Lure of the Big Screen: Cinema in Rural Australia and the United Kingdom” and co-editor of “Watching Films: New Perspectives on Movie-going, Exhibition and Reception,” about whether Netflix might kill the cinema.