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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.
 
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What should the Republican party look like after Donald Trump? For many prominent establishment figures, including those behind The Lincoln Project, the GOP has lost its way. The only way back, they say, is to purge the forces that brought Trump to power. But others warn that rejecting the millions of voters who supported the former president is th…
 
As robots and artificial intelligence reached new heights, the relationship between humans and machines is getting closer. The sex tech industry is worth $30 billion annually and growing, as sex with synthetic companions is becoming far more widespread. But should it be? What are the social consequences? Some argue that sex robots will encourage ba…
 
The public and pundits alike are still processing the recent election, but this much we know: 2020 marks the most diverse Congress in American history, and President Trump garnered record numbers of minority voters. The takeaway is split. Were identity politics a way to prevail? Two experts on race and identity in America sit with Intelligence Squa…
 
Joe Biden’s approach to the Middle East will likely be very different than Donald Trump’s. But should it be? For some, the Trump legacy was the right approach: A transactional style that resulted in a host of political and diplomatic victories, including normalizing relations between Israel and several Arab states. But others, including many promin…
 
When Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and halted the Electoral College certification, European leaders decried the violence and called on the president to allow the peaceful transfer of power. Meanwhile, China, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran issued swift condemnations with not-so-subtle jabs at the legitimacy of Western democratic values. In …
 
Were you an adventurous baby? Or were you risk averse? According to Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist who studies genopolitics, your answers to those questions might also inform your politics. Host, John Donvan digs into the debate surrounding genes and early nurturing, and examines how they both might inspire a natural predilection to …
 
Looking back at 2020, it’s been interesting. Intelligence Squared, like the rest of the world, went virtual as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that upended business models and accelerated trends far beyond what most experts could envision. (“To zoom” no longer just means “to move quickly.”) And so, as the world waits this thing out, we decided an…
 
As the first rounds of the Covid-19 vaccines become available, a growing debate has emerged as to who should get it first. CDC guidance prioritizes essential workers and those in long-term care, but a growing chorus of voices say authorities should instead focus on the elderly. It’s a profound debate with broad ethical implications that dig into th…
 
Governments around the world have spent unprecedented sums — trillions of dollars — to combat the economic impacts of coronavirus. But just what does rising government debt mean for our future? A new crop of economists – adherents to Modern Monetary Theory – have a bold proposition: Don't worry about it. Stephanie Kelton, James Galbraith, Todd Buch…
 
Joe Biden delivered a victory speech. His team is planning to take power. But rather than concede, President Trump has instead turned to the courts, with election lawsuits in states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona. It's a historic moment, and for many an unsettling one. But could these lawsuits actually be good for democracy? Two competing …
 
China is ramping up its national space industry with huge investments in next-generation technologies that promise to transform military, economic, and political realities. Against this backdrop, we ask: Would a new U.S.-China space race be good for humanity? Michio Kaku, Avi, Loeb, Raji Pillai, and Bidushi Bhattacharya join us for a debate on the …
 
In this special post-election podcast – amidst record mail-in voting, lawsuits, social unrest, and partisan polarization – we’re asking a simple question: Was the 2020 run for the White House as unprecedented as we might think? Those in favor of the motion often point to the tech influence, and Silicon Valley’s hand in everything from echo chambers…
 
In these final days of the race for the White House, some nations are paying especially close attention. Two men with competing visions of America’s place in the world are vying for the nation’s top job, and the balance of global power is in play. In this episode of Discourse Disrupters, John Donvan sits down with Ian Bremmer, president and founder…
 
What would a Justice Amy Coney Barrett mean for American law and politics? Should Democrats try to reform the Court? Two of the nation's top constitutional minds weigh-in, with John Donvan as your intellectual referee in this special episode of Intelligence Squared. Erwin Chemerinsky - Dean, University of California Berkeley School of Law Saikrishn…
 
Robert Reich, Yanis Varoufakis, Lawrence Summers and Allison Schrager join us for a debate on economic inequality in the premiere episode of “That’s Debatable," our new series presented in partnership with Bloomberg Media and sponsored by IBM. As nations around the world grapple with the financial impacts of the pandemic, we ask: Is it time to redi…
 
Historic protests calling for police reform have erupted across the nation. But just what could these reforms mean? And how should we see the criminal justice system today? Staged in our “Unresolved” format, this debate brings together five experts to tackle pressing questions on the history and future of policing in the U.S. including: Should we d…
 
This Episode Originally Aired on August 3rd, 2018 MOTION: Globalization Has Undermined America's Working Class Globalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. For its proponents, the global integration of states and their economies was a political and economic win that created a wealth of opportunit…
 
What does the father of American presidential debate think about modern electoral politics? In this episode, Newt Minow offers a first-hand account of some of the nation’s biggest political moments and just what role debate should play in our future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices…
 
Is Big Tech having its own "big tobacco moment"? As Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon face antitrust probes from state and federal investigators alike, we dive into the debate that will shape the tech industry for generations. Join John Donvan and two esteemed debaters for this special episode of our new series, "Agree to Disagree." Learn more ab…
 
Introducing "Agree to Disagree," a new series from Intelligence Squared U.S. In this episode, two guests join John Donvan to debate Broadband for All, the internet as a public utility, and just who should make sure you have the connection you need. A message from our sponsor: Get an extra 3 months Free on a one year package. Expressvpn.com/debate L…
 
From Brexit to “America First,” Modi in India, Erdoğan in Turkey, and Bolsonaro in Brazil, nationalism – or allegiance to a nation-state over other group affiliations – has been on the rise. Now, borders around the world are closed and the coronavirus pandemic is sparking staunch debate about the future of global governance and political identity. …
 
MOTION: Constitutional Free Speech Principles Can Save Social Media Companies from Themselves President Trump posted similar content on Facebook and Twitter. Twitter flagged it. Facebook did not. Both have come under fire for those decisions. Just how should social media companies police user content? Revisit our debate on social media content mode…
 
How might coronavirus reshape geopolitics? For some, the answer is clear: China is on the rise. While Washington embraces “America First” and abdicates its global leadership role, they argue, Beijing is stepping up to fill the void. But others see a global future where Beijing’s standing is diminished, not bolstered. Panelists Kurt M. Campbell, Kis…
 
DEBATE: Has The Electoral College Outlived Its Usefulness? Five American presidents — two in the last 20 years — have assumed office without winning the popular vote. As the nation gears up for another contentious presidential election, some are calling for an end to the Electoral College. They argue that the college subverts the will of the Americ…
 
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