The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

Q+A: What does Jair Bolsonaro’s victory mean for Brazil and the rest of the world?

He is known in many circles as the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ and his election has shaken Brazilian politics and has the potential to shift Brazilian domestic politics and regional politics for years to come. Doug Becker speaks with Erica Resende and Guilherme Casaroes about Jair Bolsonaro’s election and what this means for Brazil and the rest of the world.

Q+A: What is the resistance? Political movements in Trump’s America

Even before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in 2016, protest groups were forming and mobilising against him. Together, they now form what is termed ‘The Resistance’. But what is The Resistance, and can it succeed in keeping American democracy alive?

Why is the first photo of a black hole so important?

With much excitement from the press, an international team of astronomers recently announced they had directly imaged the silhouette or shadow of a black hole for the first time. Chris Benton explains why this is important.

Politics & Society

Q+A: What does Jair Bolsonaro’s victory mean for Brazil and the rest of the world?

He is known in many circles as the ‘Trump of the Tropics’ and his election has shaken Brazilian politics and has the potential to shift Brazilian domestic politics and regional politics for years to come. Doug Becker speaks with Erica Resende and Guilherme Casaroes about Jair Bolsonaro’s election and what this means for Brazil and the rest of the world.

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. 

Q+A: What is the resistance? Political movements in Trump’s America

Even before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in 2016, protest groups were forming and mobilising against him. Together, they now form what is termed ‘The Resistance’. But what is The Resistance, and can it succeed in keeping American democracy alive?

What is the ‘Alt-Right’?

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.

Science & Technology

Q+A: How are our diets damaging the planet?

A rise in the global consumption of meat will have major consequences for the environment according to a new paper published in Science. Jack Marshall spoke to Ralph Sims about the report and what eating meat does to the environment.

Q+A: How does climate change impact our mental health?

We all know climate change is a problem. It is generally portrayed as an exclusively bio-physical issue that will impact things like our weather and oceans, agriculture and water availability. But climate change also has an impact on mental health

Why is the first photo of a black hole so important?

With much excitement from the press, an international team of astronomers recently announced they had directly imaged the silhouette or shadow of a black hole for the first time. Chris Benton explains why this is important.

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?

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: 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. 

What is the ‘Alt-Right’?

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.

Q+A: How influential is the presidency of the United States?

How much does the U.S. presidency matter for the direction of the United States, and for the rest of the world? Maria Armoudian speaks with William F. Grover and Joseph G. Peschek about the power of the U.S. presidency and what they term the “unsustainable presidency.”

Q+A: How are political ideologies labelled?

The political spectrum is often a model that puts political ideologies on a scale of left to right – hence why we hear the term ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’. The terms date back to 1789 and the French Revolution, when radicals sat on the left side of the National Assembly, the aristocracy on the right. But how are political ideologies labelled and how are political spectrums formed?

How does culture affect mental health? 🔊

How does culture shape our understanding and treatment of mental illness? Maria Armoudian speaks with Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, Tanya Marie Luhrmann, and Andrew G. Ryder about culture and its impact on mental health.