The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

Are we doomed if we don’t manage to curb emissions by 2030?

“Humanity is not doomed, not now or even in a worst-case scenario in 2030. But avoiding doom — either the end or widespread collapse of civilisation — is setting a pretty low bar.”

US and China are both raising the military stakes in the South China Sea

“Perhaps the particular issue here lies not with direct risks in and around the South China Sea but back in Washington DC.”

Our seabirds are in trouble: What do we do?

Currently, 90% of New Zealand’s seabirds are threatened with extinction. It is a colossal loss and a colossally sad number.

Politics & Society

A city under siege: What are the legal and political implications of the presence of federal agents in Portland? 🔊

A city under siege: What are the legal and political implications of the presence of federal agents in Portland? 🔊

Ever since the killing of George Floyd, the city of Portland has witnessed consistent protests and civic action demanding police reforms. However, recently, camouflaged federal authorities without identification badges have begun arresting protesters in the city, while the Department of Homeland Security has deployed unmarked SUV’s to detain protesters.

Just how healthy is Aotearoa’s freshwater?

Just how healthy is Aotearoa’s freshwater?

In addition to providing a source of taha wairua and taha tinana, particularly for iwi, freshwater health is recognised as a necessary strategic and productive asset for New Zealand.

Science & Technology

Can New Zealand keep coronavirus out?

Can New Zealand keep coronavirus out?

Stringent border controls and mandatory quarantine give New Zealand a good chance to remain free of COVID-19 for months to come, according to new modelling from Te Pūnaha Matatini.

Business & Economics

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.”

What is the fate of the driverless car?

What is the fate of the driverless car?

“The only thing clear is that as technology accelerates, the lack of guidelines and clear accountability may chill autonomous driving commercialisation.”

Arts & Culture

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.”

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.

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