300 episodes

The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world.

The Inquiry BBC

    • News

The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world.

    Should the knowledge needed to make the Covid-19 vaccines be freely available to all?

    Should the knowledge needed to make the Covid-19 vaccines be freely available to all?

    In May, the Biden administration surprised the world by saying it would not object on an intellectual property waiver for Covid-19 vaccines.

    America has been a staunch defender of patent protections, which bar new inventions being cheaply copied around the world. So, the first reactions to the announcement were - amazement, really. Second reactions tended to depend on which side of this debate you were on.

    Who should be the gatekeepers of the knowledge which underpins the development of cutting edge pharmaceutical breakthroughs, like Covid-19 vaccines? In this week’s Inquiry, Sandra Kanthal finds out why the answer to that question really depends on who you ask.

    Producer: Sandra Kanthal
    Editor: Richard Vadon

    (Logos of various companies producing the Covid-19 vaccine. Credit: Artur Widak/Getty Images)

    • 24 min
    Did America get its response to the attacks of 9/11 right?

    Did America get its response to the attacks of 9/11 right?

    In the wake of the attacks of 9/11, the United States took several measures at home and abroad to prevent such atrocities happening on its soil again. Twenty years later and after two bitter wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, did America get its response to the attacks of 9/11 right?

    (U.S. Army Staff Sergeant in the Shahi Kot mountains, Afghanistan 2002 . Credit: Jim Hollander/Getty Images)

    • 23 min
    Which president is most responsible for the failure in Afghanistan?

    Which president is most responsible for the failure in Afghanistan?

    As US-led troops withdraw after 20 years, the Taliban have made a swift return to power.

    Four presidents have overseen the war in Afghanistan - with four different approaches.

    Charmaine Cozier asks which of them is most responsible for how events have unfolded and ultimately setting the path to failure.

    Produced by Ben Cooper
    Researched by Sally Abrahams

    (Image: A US marine walks past an American flag attached to concertina wire at Camp Rhino in Southern Afghanistan. Credit: Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 23 min
    Is our fascination with sharks bad for them?

    Is our fascination with sharks bad for them?

    Sharks are mysterious and ancient creatures. They're also a threat. Yet , the once great killers now face what might be their biggest threat – us.

    From monster killers of the sea to endangered species, Paul Connolly asks if our fascination with sharks is bad for them.

    Produced by Soila Apparicio.
    Researched by Olivia Noon.

    (Image: Great white shark. Credit: Gerard Soury/Getty Images)

    • 23 min
    Are our phones spying on us?

    Are our phones spying on us?

    A leaked list of thousands of phone numbers - including Presidents and activists - has drawn attention to spyware. It’s supposed to stop terrorists but are our devices safe anymore?

    Charmaine Cozier looks into the ever-growing world of high level spyware and explores what its use could mean for citizens and democracies around the globe.

    Producer: Olivia Noon and Soila Apparicio

    • 23 min
    Can we run the world on electricity?

    Can we run the world on electricity?

    The target for many countries around the world is to reach net zero emissions within the next few decades. That means a dramatic move away from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas. For some the answer to the problem is to boost “green” electricity production, so that we can run our transport, our homes and our industry on electrical power. We already have a lot of the technology to produce clean electricity. But for hundreds of millions of people around the world, especially in sub-saharan Africa, the real problem is the lack of access to electricity.

    Image: Wind turbines and solar panels in Vietnam (Credit: Quang Ngoc Nguyen/Getty Images)

    • 23 min

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