We live in a world increasingly defined by disruption and complexity. This is a show about the forces that are reshaping the 21st century—from information warfare to climate change to gene editing—brought to life through accessible discussions with Canadian thought leaders.
Host: Brendan Frank
A Post-Truth Social Contract — with Jeff Kinder
The implicit arrangement between science and society—funding and autonomy in exchange for substantial but unpredictable benefits—is under strain. Canadians are increasingly skeptical that scientists conduct themselves ethically, or that the government is capable of regulating disruptive technologies.
Jeff Kinder discusses what a reinvigorated social contract between science and society could look like, and how finding new ways to involve the public scientific priorities could help to restore public confidence.
Contact the Institute on Governance
Mutant Biofuels — with Kin Chan
Keeping global temperatures to safe levels will require unlikely and disruptive discoveries from unexpected places. Medicine is a promising frontier.
Kin Chan discusses his medical research on DNA damage and cancer, and explains how an enzyme that he discovered could eventually help pave the way for a new generation of low-carbon fuels.
Mechanisms of Mutagenesis by Kin Chan
Canada’s Front Yard — with Jackie Dawson
A melting Arctic is opening up Canadian waters and coastlines to the world. Canada needs a vision for how it will handle this new activity and build out the necessary infrastructure in previously inaccessible locations.
Jackie Dawson explains what a Canadian vision for the Arctic might include, and what makes crafting policy for Canada’s North such a unique challenge.
Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate by the IPCC
An Unlocked Arctic — with Jackie Dawson
The Arctic is warming at twice the global average. In the Canadian Arctic, it's three times the global average.
Jackie Dawson explains the scale of this transformation, and what a melting Arctic means for the future of trade, geopolitics, and Northern communities.
Brace for Geoengineering — with Jason Blackstock
Climate change is the ultimate disruptor. On timescales that matter for people alive today, it’s a question of slowing climate change down rather than “solving” or “fixing” it. Geoengineering might be our most drastic option.
Jason Blackstock explains the potential scientific and geopolitical implications of geoengineering, and explores future scenarios that will influence the public perception of the technology.
Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and Uncertainty by the Royal Society
The Planet Remade by Oliver Morton
Publications from the International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
Time for a Global Discussion on Climate Geoengineering by Janos Pasztor
The Unpredictability of National Security — with Mark Salter
Nations constantly make decisions about national security in the face of uncertainty or incomplete information. The outcomes of these decisions are often unpredictable, and success is often invisible.
Mark Salter explains how the national security apparatus is built to withstand disruption and why Canadians’ sense of what constitutes a national security threat is a reflection of our culture and values.
Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor by Rob Nixon
The Right to be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier