The Big QQuestions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates
Project for Public Interest Media
Politics & Society
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?
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.
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?
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.
Science & Technology
New research involving kelp DNA has suggested a novel way to measure and potentially predict previously unknown locations that may be prone to earthquakes.
A new study led by Kieran D. Cox and researchers at the University of Victoria in British Columbia confirms a logical but cringe-worthy conclusion: humans are consuming plastic.
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.
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
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?
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?
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
The devastating anti-Muslim attacks carried out in Christchurch in March this year were part of a trend of disaffected white men, radicalised into fascist politics through social media meme culture according to Emmi Bevensee.
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.
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.
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?
After the horrendous attacks in Christchurch, many people understandably have questions about the motives and ideology of the alleged attacker. Damon Berry analyses the role the alt-right might have played in the attacks.