The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

Trump v Biden: What is the likely future of American foreign policy? 🔊

The 2020 American election campaign has seen a distinct lack of foreign policy discussion. However, despite who wins the Presidency, foreign policy will remain a key issue area for the US moving forward.

Sustainability Bites: How do trees look after us, and how can we look after them? 🔊

Listen to a conversation between Cate Macinnis-Ng, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences, and Niki Harre, professor in the School of Psychology on how trees respond to climate-related stress.

Podcast: The Americans: US Election 2020 🔊

The Americans is a new RNZ podcast hosted by Maria Armoudian in association with the University of Auckland.

Politics & Society

A red tide: What does Jacinda Ardern’s historic victory mean?

A red tide: What does Jacinda Ardern’s historic victory mean?

The pre-election polls suggested it might happen. But the fact that Labour and Jacinda Ardern have provisionally won an outright majority and the mandate to govern New Zealand alone is more than an electoral landslide — it is a tectonic shift.

What is the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh war about? 🔊

What is the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh war about? 🔊

On September 27, fighting along the so-called line of control between Azerbaijan and the region of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted. This area of Azerbaijan is majority Armenian and has been de facto-controlled by the local Armenian population since the end of the war between the two populations in 1994. 

Science & Technology

Why are data ethics important? ▶

Why are data ethics important? ▶

In this talk, Professor Tim Dare from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland will discuss why transparency and explainability have become central to data ethics and the reasons there are to question that centrality.

Is New Zealand ready for a COVID-19 vaccine? 🔊

Is New Zealand ready for a COVID-19 vaccine? 🔊

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the world is racing to create a viable vaccine to help control the spread of the virus. Is New Zealand ready for a vaccine? How will it be rolled out? And how effective will it be?

What is eco-anxiety? ▶

What is eco-anxiety? ▶

This seminar hosted by the University of Auckland Sustainability Network explores the issue of eco-anxiety and includes speakers from the University of Auckland and AUT who will present current research and approaches to eco-anxiety. 

How can we learn to adapt to changes in this dynamic world? ▶

How can we learn to adapt to changes in this dynamic world? ▶

Much of scientific research involves the generation and testing of hypotheses that can facilitate the development of accurate models for a system. In machine learning the automated building of accurate models is desired, however traditional machine learning often assumes that the underlying systems are static and unchanging over time.

Business & Economics

Fast fashion: What are the hidden costs?

Fast fashion: What are the hidden costs?

“The textile and clothing manufacturing industry comes with a heavy price including environmental pollution and the well-publicised issues around the income and working conditions for workers.”

What will our future look like with AI? ▶

What will our future look like with AI? ▶

There’s been dramatic progress in learning skills, such as object recognition, translation and speech, and in difficult but uncomplicated tasks like playing chess, Go and video games.

Arts & Culture

How have sports shaped the Black Lives Matter movement?

How have sports shaped the Black Lives Matter movement?

Despite criticism, sports players have used their role and the unique platform of sports to highlight and drive change, from the Springbok tour of New Zealand to the kneeling that Colin Kaepernick did in 2016.

What does the future hold for liberal arts education? 🔊

What does the future hold for liberal arts education? 🔊

Universities are increasingly wanting to appeal to students who look to their study as a training period for future employment. However, this has put traditional liberal arts subjects like philosophy and sociology at risk.

Is the United States haunted by its racist past? 🔊

Is the United States haunted by its racist past? 🔊

In recent weeks, the news in the United States has been filled with stories of statues and public spaces being altered or removed. These stories are usually connected with America’s racist past, with a particular eye towards the issue of slavery.

New Zealand universities: What’s the reality in our rankings?

New Zealand universities: What’s the reality in our rankings?

“The Labour Party promises to make all tertiary education free by 2024; and this is an admirable goal; but unless it is accompanied by a serious re-thinking of the nature, purpose, and funding base of our universities it will only lead to further decline.”