Podcast of Ideas - World Cup special, episode 6

July 16, 2018

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Alastair Donald, Geoff Kidder, Rob Lyons and Jacob Reynolds to reflect on the final matches of World Cup 2018 and the tournament as a whole.

Were France worthy winners? What do the team think about the controversial penalty awarded in the final - and the VAR system that enabled the decision? Who was the player of the tournament? Why did England fail to reach the final and how should we assess the team's performance? Was the tournament a success?


Podcast of Ideas - World Cup Special, episode 5

July 11, 2018

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Alastair Donald, Jacob Reynolds and Hilary Salt to discuss France's semi-final victory over Belgium, England's prospects in their semi-final against Croatia, and the use of football to make political points, from the importance of diversity to rediscovering national pride amid the Brexit negotiations.


Podcast of Ideas - World Cup Special, episode 4

July 5, 2018

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Geoff Kidder, Rob Lyons and Jacob Reynolds to discuss England's prospects in the quarter-final against Sweden, the pick of the last-16 games, who might progress to the semi-finals and the reaction to England's win over Colombia.

[Apologies for the sound of birds tweeting in the background - it's keep-the-windows-open weather!]


Podcast of Ideas - World Cup special, episode 3

June 29, 2018

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Alastair Donald, Geoff Kidder and Rob Lyons to discuss the latest from Russia 2018.

What do the team think about England's dull defeat to Belgium? Have England landed themselves an easier path to the final? Is it right to celebrate Germany's exit? Which are the standout games in the round of 16? And were FIFA right to criticise both players and supporters for 'political' gestures and chants?


Podcast of Ideas - World Cup special, episode 2

June 21, 2018

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by David Bowden and Geoff Kidder to look back on the first week of World Cup 2018. Has it been a success so far? Which teams have made a good impression - and which of the big teams need to be worried? How have England done so far and what has been the mood in the country as we enjoy wall-to-wall football?


Podcast of Ideas - World Cup Special, episode 1

June 14, 2018

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Geoff Kidder and Rob Lyons to discuss the fallout from the sacking of Spain's manager, their picks for who might win the tournament, the arguments over Russia hosting the World Cup and whether England can defy expectations and do well.


How fear works - Professor Frank Furedi in conversation with Claire Fox

June 11, 2018

To mark the publication of his new book, 'How Fear Works: Culture of Fear for the 21st Century', we present this interview, conducted in May 2018 for Claire Fox's Love Sport Radio show, Fox News Friday.


The international abortion wars

May 25, 2018

On the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, a panel of pro-choice campaigners from around the world discussed what is at stake in the battle for abortion rights. In many countries, the trend towards extending abortion rights seems to have been reversed. What does it mean to argue for a woman’s right to choose today? Is it right to think of abortion as ‘just like any other medical procedure’, or do wider moral issues arise? Is opposition to abortion rights the same the world over? Is such opposition essentially religious or based on a more universal moral intuition?


chief executive, British Pregnancy Advisory Service; author, "The Moral Case for Abortion"

executive director, Women Help Women

president, Catholics for Choice

chair, Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, Ireland


Are science and medicine threatened by borders?

May 18, 2018

Scientists and doctors have emerged as among the most vociferous critics of Brexit and Trump. The March for Science expressed the concerns of many researchers and clinicians on both sides of the Atlantic about the future of funding and about the movement of researchers and students across national borders. Many were also alarmed at the apparent lack of respect for expertise and evidence in public policy. But whose responsibility should it be to fund scientific research? How can science and medicine best be defended and pursued, in an uncertain world of shifting borders?


CEO, Immunocore; chairman, MedCity

assistant professor, DTU Nanotech; coauthor, Energise! a future for energy innovation

postdoctoral researcher, Queen Mary University of London

professor of advanced therapy, Royal Holloway University of London


Religious freedom: a critical right or a license to discriminate?

May 4, 2018

A lecture delivered at Living Freedom 2018, an Academy of Ideas residential school in London on 5-7 April 2018.

Tensions are growing around how and whether religion should be accommodated in public life. In the era of Trump, religious conservatives in America have made it easier for hospitals, doctors and employers to object to providing birth control, abortions and transgender care on the grounds of conscience. Detractors say this is discrimination under the guise of religious freedom. Similar debates are playing out across Europe. So how do we reconcile the right of faith communities to exercise their beliefs in a pluralistic society? Should we censor individuals that disagree with same-sex marriages? Is firing a midwife that refuses to perform abortions an act of justice or discrimination? Does the right of conscience mean that a pharmacist can deny emergency contraception or that they can provide it even if it is forbidden? Or both? Has the United States gone too far in protecting the faithful? Has Europe gone too far in neglecting them?


Jon O’Brien
president, Catholics for Choice