The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

Memes, manifestos, murder: fascist radicalisation online, and how we can stop it ▶

In a talk given at the University of Auckland, Emmi Bevensee talks about her doctoral research into fascist radicalisation online. 

Q+A: The pollution of war: what is the environmental impact of the US military?

The US military has taken some measures to reduce its impact on the environment and green gas emissions, but some researchers say these measures do little to assuage the military’s bigger effects on climate change. What are these effects and what can be done about them?

Q+A: Will voting changes help bring more Kiwis to the ballot box?

Last month, the government announced proposals for how New Zealanders will go to the polls in 2020. The new legislation will allow voters to enrol on election day, make it easier for New Zealanders to vote from overseas, and could see ballots in public places like supermarkets and malls. But what does this mean for New Zealanders and their votes for the next election in 2020?

Politics & Society

Q+A: Banning the bomb: are the days of nuclear weapons numbered?

In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly passed a mandate to negotiate a treaty that would ban nuclear weapons. While the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed 122 votes to 1, no nuclear state or NATO member other than the Netherlands voted on the resolution. Doug Becker discusses the treaty and the issue of nuclear non-proliferation with Ira Helfand and Wayne Glass.

Q+A: Is the age of privacy over?

Is the age of privacy over? What is at stake when we lose our privacy? How does a lack of privacy effect security, democracy, and society? Maria Armoudian speaks with Helen Nissenbaum, Michael Patrick Lynch, Bruce Schneier, and Joshua Fairfield. 

Q+A: Will voting changes help bring more Kiwis to the ballot box?

Last month, the government announced proposals for how New Zealanders will go to the polls in 2020. The new legislation will allow voters to enrol on election day, make it easier for New Zealanders to vote from overseas, and could see ballots in public places like supermarkets and malls. But what does this mean for New Zealanders and their votes for the next election in 2020?

Science & Technology

Q+A: What alternatives do we have to counter plastic waste?

As the quest to combat plastic pollution continues, new research has explored the potential for developing environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic, like sulphur polymers. Olivia Holdsworth spoke to scientist Dr. Justin Chalker about his latest research and the options being explored.  

Are we on the verge of a revolution in cancer research?

In the past decade, cancer research undertaken at the University of Auckland has changed lives. Our top scientists say it has now entered the next frontier and there’s hope that cancer could eventually be brought under control.

Business & Economics

Q+A: Is New Zealand ready to go carbon zero?

In New Zealand, recent policy plans by the government show the first steps towards zero-carbon emissions. Oil and gas exploration has been banned although with controversial stipulations, while a zero-carbon bill is currently going through parliament which proposes putting a price on carbon. Is New Zealand ready to go zero carbon?

What are the implications of the US-China trade war? 🔊

In 2018, the United States and China have been embroiled in a trade war with each country continuing to raise tariffs placed on goods traded between the two nations. But what exactly are Donald Trump’s tariff policies and what will be their effects?

Could a recession be just around the corner?

The U.S. economy is growing at the fastest pace in five years and unemployment is at the lowest level in almost half a century. So why are Wall Street and some economists suddenly worried about a recession?

Arts & Culture

Q+A: Believing the ‘unbelievable’: What are conspiracy theories? How do they flourish?

Post-truth. Alternative facts. Fake news. We are living in a world where conspiracy theories are allowed to flourish. With every mass shooting, terrorist attack, and new political policy announcement it seems like a new conspiracy theory will be dreamt up somewhere both on and offline to explain the reasoning behind an event. But what exactly is a conspiracy theory, why do they flourish, and how dangerous are they?

Black Lives Matter, Otherwise all lives do not matter ▶

In a lecture given at the University of Auckland, Professor Onwubiko Agozino attempts to demonstrates the theory that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. By treating Black Lives as if they do not Matter, the lives of human beings everywhere are threatened and so all should rally in support of Black Lives in the interest of humanity.

Q+A: Why is the United States so polarised?

What are the fault lines that have fractured politics in America? Julian Zelizer has analysed the historical roots of the present-day political turmoil, divisions, and partisanship in the US for his new book Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.