Intelligence Squared podkast

Intelligence Squared

Intelligence Squared

Intelligence Squared is the world’s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world’s sharpest minds and most exciting orators. Join the debate at and download our weekly podcasts every Tuesday and Friday.

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  • Intelligence Squared podkast

    Business Weekly: The Race for a Vaccine


    Kate Bingham is the former Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce and she's also a shrewd business mind, having been a successful venture capitalist in sectors such as biotech for the past 30 years. She recently spoke with Jessica Pulay at the Cliveden Literary Festival to discuss how business acumen played its part in managing a team of experts from sectors such as science, medicine, industry and academia, in the race to find vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    COP26: Success or Failure for the World?


    What now for the world? Governments have reached a climate deal which gets us closer to holding temperatures rises to 1.5C. But a last-ditch effort from India and China to water down pledges to phase out coal has led some to consider COP26 a failure. Yes, COP26 could have achieved more but is this agreement one that could potentially be seen as a strong foundation on which the world can build for the future? To debate the motion we heard from Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Renewable and Sustainable Energy; Clover Hogan, climate activist, researcher on eco-anxiety and the founding Executive Director of Force of Nature; Caroline Lucas, former leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton Pavilion; and Adair Turner, Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission. Chair for this week's debate was Helen Czerski, one of the UK’s most popular science presenters. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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  • Intelligence Squared podkast

    Huma Abedin on Hillary Clinton, Anthony Weiner and a Life in Politics


    Huma Abedin was Hillary Clinton’s most trusted aide and adviser for many years. Her recently published book, Both/And, reveals the details of that relationship as well as reflecting on the very public breakdown of her marriage to disgraced former congressman and convicted sex offender Anthony Weiner. She speaks to journalist Razia Iqbal about her life in politics and why she believes that during this current polarising moment in which we are often told to choose between either/or, she believes we can be both/and. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    The Sweet Spot: why pain can be a pleasure


    We go to movies that make us cry, scream or gag we poke at sores, eat spicy foods and run marathons. Some of us even seek out discomfort and humiliation for sexual gratification. Most of these activities are painful yet many of us find pleasure within them and Professor Paul Bloom of Yale University's recent book, The Sweet Spot, seeks to suss out why. Bloom joins writer and broadcaster Linda Yueh to discuss how pain can be a compelling draw for some and so repellent for many others. Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    Business Weekly: How To Lead A Sustainable Business – COP26 special with Alannah Weston and Henry Dimbleby


    Today's episode comes from the How To Lead a Sustainable Business podcast, brought to you by Selfridges Group and Intelligence Squared. In the podcast, Alannah Weston, Chairman of Selfridges Group, speaks to inspiring leaders at the forefront of sustainability and business to find out what it takes to lead change and how businesses can put sustainability at their core. In this COP26 Special, Alannah is joined by Henry Dimbleby. Henry spent time as a journalist, cook and management consultant, before co-founding the healthy fast-food restaurant chain, Leon. He created the Sustainable Restaurants Association and London Union, a network of some of London’s largest street food markets. His philanthropic work includes campaigning tirelessly for healthy meals for school children, and he set up the Hackney School of Food. Most recently Henry was appointed lead non-executive board member at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), where he has led the National Food Strategy, publishing a ground-breaking review of the UK food system in 2020. Together they reflect on the Glasgow summit and discuss the role of government in combating the climate crisis. How To Lead a Sustainable Business is brought to you by Selfridges Group and Intelligence Squared. If you enjoyed this episode please take a moment to rate and review us on Apple Podcasts.  Support this show  See for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    Will electric vehicles make our roads green and clean?


    Transport emissions account for almost a third of global carbon dioxide emissions – and while other sectors such as the energy industry have reduced their emissions over the past three decades, transport emissions are growing. It is the EU’s second most polluting sector and the United Kingdom’s biggest single producer of carbon dioxide, with cars and vans making up the vast majority of these emissions. If we are to meet our net zero targets by 2050, as over 130 countries have committed to do, then something needs to be done about these gas-guzzling monsters. Enter electric vehicles. Right now they make up a minority of vehicles on the road but by 2030 cars and vans powered by fossil fuels will be banned, and five years after that so will hybrid vehicles. Electric cars are far more energy efficient, and are quieter and cheaper than cars that run on fossil fuels. So surely we should all encourage drivers to purchase electric vehicles and quickly render other vehicles obsolete. But hold on a second, some experts caution: electric vehicles are not a cure-all for our environmental problems, they say. Emissions from EV production are in fact on average higher than emissions produced during the traditional car manufacturing process, due to the production of the large lithium-ion batteries needed to power EVs. Furthermore, electric vehicles are only as green as the power used to charge their batteries. Renewables are a growing source of energy in the UK but we are still burning coal and gas to make most of our electricity. Should we be focusing on hydrogen fuel cells instead of electricity? Producing them causes less environmental damage than the production of lithium batteries. They provide a quicker charging time – and hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Or is improving cars the wrong solution to an enormous problem? Should we be encouraging people to get rid of their cars and use public transport? We were joined by Iberdrola’s Head of New Initiatives, Innovation & Sustainability Division Enrique Meroño and award-winning transport expert Christian Wolmar to debate whether electric vehicles will solve our transport and emissions problems or whether they are simply a false start in the journey towards green roads. Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    Constitutional Rights and Wrongs, with Linda Colley


    Linda Colley is the Shelby MC Davis 1958 professor of history at Princeton University and one of the most acclaimed historians of her generation. Her latest book is The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen, which tells the stories of how constitutions around the world were shaped by forces such as warfare, geopolitical upheaval and academic rigour. She speaks with fellow historian and screenwriter Alex von Tunzelmann about the book.  Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    Black British Lives Matter, with Marcus Ryder MBE


    Black British Lives Matter is a new anthology of writing and conversations collecting the experiences of thought leaders in the UK including novelist Kit de Waal, architect Sir David Adjaye, politician Dawn Butler and many more. The book's co-editor, journalist and Chair of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Marcus Ryder MBE, discusses its themes and the importance of ensuring that diversity is championed in all walks of life with Manveen Rana.  Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    Business Weekly: Nudge Theory and How to Change Behaviours with Richard Thaler


    Since the original publication of Nudge more than a decade ago, the word that served as the title of the ground-breaking book has entered the vocabulary of businesspeople, policy makers, economists, engaged citizens and consumers everywhere. It has given rise to more than 400 nudge units in governments around the world and has influenced countless groups of behavioural scientists in every part of the economy. In October 2021 Richard Thaler, one of the co-authors of the book and winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize for economics, came to Intelligence Squared to talk with journalist and author Kamal Ahmed about Nudge: The Final Edition, a cover-to-cover refresh of the original publication. Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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    The Sunday Debate: It’s Time to Treat China Like an Adversary not a Partner


    We are in a second Cold War with China. That’s the conclusion many experts have come to as they observe China’s increasingly aggressive behaviour beyond its borders – its suppression of democracy in Hong Kong, its sabre-rattling towards Taiwan, the vast espionage offensive against the West’s technology, not to mention the confrontational tone of its new ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy. That’s the argument of the China hawks, but not everyone agrees. Some believe that coexistence with China, not confrontation, should be the West’s goal. After all, allowing tensions to escalate to an actual war is too horrific to contemplate. We should put our faith in diplomacy and work to persuade the Chinese leadership that it is in their best interests to cooperate within the existing world order, instead of trying to dominate it. So how should the West respond? Arguing for the motion were Nathan Law, Hong Kong activist and former legislator, currently in exile; and Alan Mendoza, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society. Arguing against the motion were Shirley Yu, Professor and Director of the China-Africa Initiative at the London School of Economics; and Vince Cable, former Leader of the Liberal Democrats and author of The China Conundrum. The debate was chaired by Manveen Rana, Senior investigative journalist and host of The Times and Sunday Times flagship podcast Stories of Our Times. Support this show See for privacy and opt-out information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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