The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world.
What is the future for Myanmar?
As protests continue in Myanmar against the generals who staged a military coup, and with Aung San Su Kyi under house arrest and facing criminal charges, has the country lost all prospects for a democratic future? With Tanya Beckett.
(A little girl shouts slogans with protestors waving flags of Myanmar, 22 February 2021. Credit: Peerapon Boonyakiat /Getty Images)
Can we solve our space junk problem?
The world is entering a new space race but every new satellite launched into Earth’s orbit runs the risk of colliding with one of the millions of pieces of space junk left behind by previous missions. So how can we solve our space junk problem? Featuring former NASA astrophysicist, Don Kessler; Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Moriba Jah; space systems engineer, Richard Duke; and Victoria Samson of the Secure World Foundation
Presenter: Charmaine Cozier
Producer: Viv Jones
(A spent S-IVb rocket floats in Earth orbit. View from Skylab Space Station 1973. NASA photo via Getty Images)
How did Europe fall behind in the vaccine race?
On June the 12th of last year the 27 health ministers of the European union signed off on a plan to buy vaccines on behalf of all the EU’s member countries. The aim was to secure enough doses to immunise all of its 450 million citizens. But the delivery and vaccination programme has lagged far behind countries like the UK and US. Tanya Beckett finds out why.
(Waiting to be vaccinated at Santa Maria Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Patricia de Melo Moreiro /Getty Images)
Will QAnon survive?
With President Trump no longer in office and a clampdown by social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, what is the future for the QAnon conspiracy theory? It’s had a considerable following from the Republican rank and file who supported Donald Trump but was strongly associated with the attack on Capitol Hill. Now Republican party leaders have warned QAnon is dangerous. But will ordinary Americans turn their backs on it? With Tanya Beckett.
(A pro-Trump mob confronts U.S. Capitol police outside the Senate chamber in Washington DC. Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Is online censorship going too far?
Donald Trump has moved out of the White House, he’s been banned from Twitter and suspended from Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube. Parler, a twitter alternative for conservatives, went offline after Amazon stopped hosting it. Amazon say this is because they found dozens of posts on the service which encouraged violence. All of this has raised questions about the power of tech companies and who should decide who’s voice is heard on social media. So this week Charmaine Cozier asks, has big tech gone too far in limiting free speech?
Presenter: Charmaine Cozier
Producers: Sharon Hemans and Bob Howard
Editor: Richard Vadon
(Twitter suspended Donald Trump's account for violating app rules, January 2021. Credit: Jakub Porzycki/ Getty Images)
Why do the Indian farmer protests matter?
It has been called the world’s biggest protest. In November 2020, thousands of farmers marched to New Delhi to protest against new laws that the Indian government says will modernise farming. The farmers set up camp in and around the capital, blocking major highways. Over 50 days later they are still there, in spite of freezing temperatures. Even after the Supreme Court stayed the laws until further notice, the farmers say they aren’t budging until they are repealed completely. They say these reforms will strip them of protections they’ve enjoyed for decades, resulting in lower prices and ruined livelihoods.
Kavita Puri hears why the protests matter for India’s millions of farmers, for the future of the country’s crisis-ridden agriculture, and the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With contributions from agricultural policy expert, Devinder Sharma; Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, Sadanand Dhume; Professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Jayati Ghosh; and BBC correspondent Soutik Biswas.
Presenter: Kavita Puri
Producer: Viv Jones
(Women farmers form a human chain during the protest against the new farm laws, January 18 2021 at the Delhi borders in India. Credit: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Really appreciate the extra insight this podcast gives. Makes me feel better about life to understand these topics more. Good format and journalism.
An excellent podcast, invented I think by Helena Merrimen, and since then never been better.
The BBC Drift ...
As with all BBC news, reportage and commentary, any attempt at presenting complex, multi-faceted perspectives (which used to be the point of this podcast) has been supplanted by ideological dogma. Rather than issues it’s moved towards denouncing wrongthink, while the presenters have become increasingly anodyne and condescending. A great shame as back in the days of Helena Merriman, it used to adhere to the BBC’s long since departed public service directive.