Cuban Science and Moral Panics
How did Cuba manage to become a world leader in bioscience despite and economic blockade and a developing world economy? Laurie talks to Simon Reid-Henry. Also what does the term 'moral panic' mean and is it overused. Jewel Thomas and Chas Critcher discuss.
WikiLeaks, Free Speech and National Security
Last week, WikiLeaks distributed more than 250,000 classified embassy cables to newspapers around the globe that provide an unvarnished view of U.S. foreign policy. While proponents of WikiLeaks herald the release of the documents as a victory for free speech and open information, critics contend that it undermines national security. We speak with experts on the both sides of the debate.
In Our Time
Melvyn Bragg examines the life of the great American inventor, Thomas Edison. Creator of the phonograph and the mass-produced electric lightbulb, not to mention his pivotal role in the development of motion pictures, Edison was a true technological pioneer. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Kathleen Burk, Professor of History at University College, London; Simon Schaffer, Professor of the History of Science and Fellow of Darwin College at the University of Cambridge; and Iwan Morus, Reader in History at the University of Aberystwyth.
Exploring Environmental History
Slavery, fossil fuel use and climate change: past connections, present similarities
What is the connection between the abolition of slavery, the Industrial Revolution, the use fossil fuels and climate change? Jeff Mohout of Birmingham University recently discussed this question in an article in the journal Climatic Change. In this episode of the podcast Mohout presents his idea that that slaves in the past and fossil-fuelled machines at present play similar economic and social roles: both slave and modern societies externalised labour and both slaves and modern machines freed their owners from daily chores. Consequently, modern society is as dependent on fossil fuels as slave societies were dependent on bonded labour. Mohout also suggests that, in differing ways, suffering resulting (directly) from slavery and (indirectly) from the excessive burning of fossil fuels are now morally comparable. The pocast concludes with some suggestions of the lessons which may be learned from the abolition of slavery in the 19th century for dealing with modern climate change and the associated energy transition.