255 episodes

America feels divided. From the most salient questions about our national identity and place in the world, to fundamental concerns about technology, religion, the economy, and public policy, Intelligence Squared U.S. is here to help. A respite from polarized discussions, we bring together the smartest minds to debate and dissect issues in depth, restoring civility and bringing intelligence to the public square in the process.

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates IQ2US Debates

    • Education
    • 4.6 • 1.9K Ratings

America feels divided. From the most salient questions about our national identity and place in the world, to fundamental concerns about technology, religion, the economy, and public policy, Intelligence Squared U.S. is here to help. A respite from polarized discussions, we bring together the smartest minds to debate and dissect issues in depth, restoring civility and bringing intelligence to the public square in the process.

    Agree to Disagree: Does Your Electric Vehicle Help The Planet?

    Agree to Disagree: Does Your Electric Vehicle Help The Planet?

    Tesla vehicle sales are, well … electric. The company posted $5.5 billion in 2021 profits, roughly six times its previous year earnings. Globally, the electric car industry is anything but static, soaring to 7 million units in 2021. EV advocates argue that while the technology and resources aren’t perfect, they are ultimately better for the environment long term as the tech improves. Opponents say the kinds of infrastructure EVs require still require huge investments that would be better suited for more ecologically-friendly mass transit systems. So, does your electric vehicle help the planet? 
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    • 53 min
    Agree to Disagree: Can Small Investors Beat The Street?

    Agree to Disagree: Can Small Investors Beat The Street?

    In a modern-day battle of David and Goliath on Wall Street, thousands of amateur retail investors banded together to bid up stocks in a handful of failing companies, most notably the nostalgic video game hub known as GameStop. Within days, the renegade traders sent stocks soaring and dealt heavy blows to hedge funds and other traditional professional investors who had bet against the companies. The "meme stock" phenomenon was born. But where does "revolution" stand a year later? Did the amateurs—trading mostly on the Robinhood platform—change the world of finance? Should more "ordinary" investors get into the game? Or will that benefit Wall Street at the little guy's expense?  
     
    In this "Agree to Disagree," the Wall Street Journal's Spencer Jakab and Tastytrade co-founder Tom Sosnoff take on the meme stock debate head-to-head.  
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    • 53 min
    Agree to Disagree: Is It Right to End Roe?

    Agree to Disagree: Is It Right to End Roe?

    The Supreme Court is poised to make a decision so controversial that even a leaked draft majority opinion can send shockwaves across the nation. In 98-pages, Justice Alito decried Roe v. Wade as “egregiously wrong from the start," declared no right to abortion can be found in the Constitution, and sent abortion laws back to the states — about half of which have "trigger laws" that will ban abortion almost immediately upon Roe's demise. Exactly how likely is this draft opinion to become the law of the land? What would overturning such a landmark ruling mean for the Court as an institution? And are the Justices ultimately correct in holding that Roe was simply wrong? 
    Against the backdrop of divisive media coverage and partisan sensationalism one of the nation's most polarizing topics, we're doing what we do best: In this Intelligence Squared "pop-up" debate, we bring two of the nation's most esteemed legal scholars to the table for a civil, thoughtful debate on the merits of whether it’s right to end Roe.  
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    • 54 min
    It's Time to Expand Nuclear Power

    It's Time to Expand Nuclear Power

    The calls for nuclear are growing louder. The Biden administration recently announced that it was putting $6 billion toward saving distressed nuclear power plants from closure, considering them carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels. Elon Musk doubled down, not only calling for an expansion of nuclear energy, but even offering to eat food grown near reactors live on TV.  But its critics argue that expanding nuclear energy is dangerous, costly, and ill-advised.  So, we unearthed from the archives this highly-relevant debate: Should nuclear energy fuel our future?   

    Arguing in favor of the motion is Kirsty Gogan and Daniel Poneman. Arguing against the motion is Gregory B. Jaczko and Arjun Makhijani. The keynote address comes from Bill Nye. And Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates. 
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    • 53 min
    Thinking Again with Adam Grant: The Power of Debate, and Knowing What You Don’t Know

    Thinking Again with Adam Grant: The Power of Debate, and Knowing What You Don’t Know

    The hallmark of a productive debate is not persuasion, but insight. So says Adam Grant in this wide-ranging conversation with John Donvan and Intelligence Squared CEO Clea Conner. A good argument is not only about convincing, Grant explains, but also to learn. In his new book, Think Again, Grant explores a set of cognitive skills that might matter more than pure aptitude: The ability to rethink and unlearn. That is the focus of this conversation; the capacity to change your mind, and why it matters more than ever. 

    Guest: Adam Grant, host of the podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant from the TED Audio Collective 
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    • 53 min
    #200 - Are Big Cities Past Their Prime?

    #200 - Are Big Cities Past Their Prime?

    New York. Los Angeles. Boston. San Francisco. With mega populations, these urban hubs have long reigned as the nation's economic, social, and cultural capitals. But big cities have also been the hardest hit by the pandemic. Even more, the pandemic has brought economic and social inequality into sharp focus for the nation's lawmakers. Will megacities keep their magnetism in the wake of Covid-19? Or are their best days behind them? 
    Arguing in favor of the motion is Joel Kotkin and Jennifer Hernandez. Arguing against the motion is Edward Glaeser and Margaret O'Mara. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates. 
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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.9K Ratings

1.9K Ratings

Ian Saylor ,

Great podcast

Interesting topics, civil discourse, stimulating debates... one of my favorites.

Red morning ,

Terrible audio quality

Great debates but it sounds like they recorded the show on Edison’s prototype phonograph. Unlistenable.

proop8 ,

On the end of covid emergency episode

this was my first listen to the podcast and i was unimpressed by the guests. the host did a good job corralling them to answer the questions he asked, but they did now cite any facts or point to explain how any of the studies that were mentioned were carried out or what specific methods of study would shine light on unknown variables. its the same in almost any discussion on topics of this scope in any circle of friends or family or political debate. one side has their facts and the other, their own separate set of facts. it would have been much better to lay out a foundation of facts all participants could mostly agree on and then debate the grey areas. this was just a stressful reminder that its hard to have a good debate and even harder to prove that there is actually good information for consumption amongst the noise.

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