The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

Are prescription medicines particularly expensive in New Zealand?

Access to medicines is in many ways a litmus test of a decent society, particularly if a medication can make a difference between life and death.

What is going on in Colombia? 🔊

In April, Colombian demonstrators took to the streets to protest new policies proposed by the Government. The police responded with violence, with videos of the police response going viral. The response has subsequently led to larger protests against the Colombian Government.

The first 100 days, Biden’s rise and Trump’s demise? 🔊

In this lecture hosted by the University of Auckland Law School, a panel of experts analyse US President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. What has Biden achieved so far? What is the state of America? Can Trump make a comeback?

Politics & Society

What is America’s grand strategy and where is it heading? 🔊

What is America’s grand strategy and where is it heading? 🔊

The large scale long-term strategic challenges of statecraft, politics, and social change is referred generally to as grand strategy. What is America’s grand strategy, and what does the history of American grand strategy tell us about its current goals?

What is going on in Colombia? 🔊

What is going on in Colombia? 🔊

In April, Colombian demonstrators took to the streets to protest new policies proposed by the Government. The police responded with violence, with videos of the police response going viral. The response has subsequently led to larger protests against the Colombian Government.

The first 100 days, Biden’s rise and Trump’s demise? 🔊

The first 100 days, Biden’s rise and Trump’s demise? 🔊

In this lecture hosted by the University of Auckland Law School, a panel of experts analyse US President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. What has Biden achieved so far? What is the state of America? Can Trump make a comeback?

Free speech: Is it really under threat?

Free speech: Is it really under threat?

We can expect a lot of sound and fury as we start to debate the hate speech provisions that will be aired soon. But hopefully, we can also have an informed debate about the nature of hate, including what occurs online, and the impacts of this on communities, especially those which have been targeted by hate.

Science & Technology

Climate change or COVID-19: Which is a greater threat to our health?

Climate change or COVID-19: Which is a greater threat to our health?

The human impact of COVID-19 has been horrific, and the health impacts of climate change continue to mount. Rather than focus on comparing the scale of these catastrophes, we should heed the lessons of our experience with COVID-19 as we face a changing climate and future pandemics.

What is motor neuron disease and why is it so deadly?

What is motor neuron disease and why is it so deadly?

New Zealand has one of the world’s worst rates of a fatal brain disease. Now, scientists hunting rogue genes hope to unravel the 150-year-old mystery of what triggers the disease and how to find a cure.

How can we use and waste less energy?

How can we use and waste less energy?

If we keep trying to maintain our current growth trajectory, built on a one-off fossil bonanza, we will destroy the already stressed life-supporting systems that sustain us.

How can we address biodiversity loss? ▶

How can we address biodiversity loss? ▶

Biodiversity loss and climate change are paramount global existential threats. A conservation scientist must wield a scientific Swiss army knife to successfully undertake research in these topics that informs policy.

Business & Economics

Why does the EU want to tax non-green imports?

Why does the EU want to tax non-green imports?

The Commission is expected to unveil its proposal in a few weeks’ time, but some exporting countries of carbon-intensive products have already expressed their disappointment at a new form of European protectionism.

Arts & Culture

Free speech: Is it really under threat?

Free speech: Is it really under threat?

We can expect a lot of sound and fury as we start to debate the hate speech provisions that will be aired soon. But hopefully, we can also have an informed debate about the nature of hate, including what occurs online, and the impacts of this on communities, especially those which have been targeted by hate.

Armenia: Why do nations deny genocide? 🔊

Armenia: Why do nations deny genocide? 🔊

Last week, to commemorate the start of the Ottoman genocide against Armenians, US President Joe Biden officially acknowledged the genocide. He was the first US President to do so.