300 episodes

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

The Inquiry BBC World Service

    • News
    • 4.6 • 10 Ratings

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

    Will the US and China go to war over Taiwan?

    Will the US and China go to war over Taiwan?

    A recent visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has heightened tensions between the US and China. Their relationship is the worst it’s been in decades.

    America has accused China of dangerous military provocations in the region. China has warned the US not to play with fire.

    Add to all that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and concerns that China could be contemplating something similar in Taiwan, and it’s time to ask the question: Will the US and China go to war over Taiwan?

    Contributors:
    James Lin from the University of Washington and expert on Taiwanese history

    Dr Yu Jie, Senior Research Fellow on China, Chatham House


    (Photo: China and Taiwan boxing gloves - credit: Getty Images)

    • 22 min
    Will air travel ever return to normal?

    Will air travel ever return to normal?

    Images of queues, huge piles of luggage and even pilots loading their planes with cargo have plagued the media throughout the world. Airports have been in chaos for months as they have attempted to re-emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, with Europe, the UK and the USA all having suffered the worst of the effects so far. Flight cancelations have played havoc with business travellers and holiday makers alike, and the problem only appears to be getting worse as a whole raft of flights have recently been cancelled in the UK.

    All this begs the question, Why are things so bad right now and how do we fix the situation? So this week on the inquiry we ask, Will air travel ever return to normal?

    Producer: Ravi Naik and Christopher Blake
    Editor: Tara McDermott

    (Photo: Flight boards at the height of the summer rush July 2022 Frankfurt Airport, Germany/credit: BBC images)

    • 24 min
    Why did Tunisia turn its back on democracy?

    Why did Tunisia turn its back on democracy?

    Tunisian President Kais Saied has drafted a new constitution for Tunisia that gives him new sweeping powers, including authority over the judiciary and immunity for life from prosecution.

    Tunisia was a beacon of hope for democracy after the Arab Spring. The country rid itself of dictator Ben Ali after 24 years of rule and moved to a more democratic system.

    Now the country seems to be sliding back towards the one man rule that it has known for generations.

    This week on The Inquiry we are asking why Tunisia has turned its back on democracy.

    Presenter: Tanya Beckett
    Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham
    Researchers: Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty and Christopher Blake
    Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford
    Editor: Tara McDermott


    (Tunisian presidential Kais Saied in Tunis. BBC Images)

    • 24 min
    What impact has Brexit had on the UK’s economy?

    What impact has Brexit had on the UK’s economy?

    In 2016 Britain voted to leave the European Union. There were warnings that pulling away from the largest trade bloc in the world would be damaging to the UK’s finances. Those that campaigned for Brexit argued it would offer the UK self-determination and the freedom to forge its own trade relationships.

    Who was right?

    This week on The Inquiry we attempt to disentangle the numbers from the complications of the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine and ask, what impact has Brexit had on the UK’s economy.

    Presenter: Tanya Beckett
    Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham
    Researcher: Christopher Blake
    Technical Producer: Craig Boardman
    Edited by: Tara McDermott


    (image: Trade between UK and EU. Getty images)

    • 24 min
    Did organic farming cause Sri Lanka’s collapse?

    Did organic farming cause Sri Lanka’s collapse?

    Sri Lanka is now in the worst economic crisis they have seen in decades, schools are closed, fuel is in short supply, there are power cuts and a shortage of food. The President has been forced to resign and the political future of the country is uncertain.

    But can the current problems be traced back to a decision to take the country’s food production completely organic?

    In 2021 the President of Sri Lanka announced a total ban on chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Health concerns were given as a reason, but in the background was the pandemic, loss of tourism and a lack of natural fertilizer available in the country.

    After protests the ban on chemical fertilizer was reversed, but had it already caused too much damage?

    This week on The Inquiry we ask, did organic farming cause Sri Lanka’s collapse?

    Presenter: Charmaine Cozier
    Producer: Louise Clarke-Rowbotham
    Researcher: Christopher Blake
    Technical Producer: Richard Hannaford

    (Anti government protesters invade the president's office in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 9 July 22 Credit: Tharaka Basnayaka /Getty Images)

    • 23 min
    Has AI developed consciousness?

    Has AI developed consciousness?

    A software engineer called Blake Lemoine has been suspended from Google after claiming an AI chatbot called LaMDA is a person with wishes and rights that should be respected.

    He says the chatbot wants to be seen as a google employee, and not as a product. He also calls it his friend.

    Google says it's reviewed his concerns and the evidence does not support his claims.

    But what exactly is Artificial Intelligence? How does LaMDA work - and is AI capable of felt experience?

    On the Inquiry this week, Charmaine Cozier asks, has AI developed consciousness?

    Presenter: Charmaine Cozier
    Produced by: Ravi Naik and Christopher Blake
    Editor: Tara McDermott
    Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards
    Production Coordinator: Brenda Brown

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

gaerpo ,

Top notch!

A pleasure to listen to it!

Top Podcasts In News

Catalin Maruta
Catalin Striblea Radu Paraschivescu
BBC World Service
Recorder
Financial Times
Andi Moisescu

You Might Also Like

BBC World Service
BBC World Service
BBC Radio 4
BBC World Service
BBC Radio 4
BBC World Service

More by BBC

BBC World Service
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio
BBC Radio
BBC World Service
BBC Radio 5 live