The Why? Curve
Shaken. Can science predict the next big earthquake?
Season 1, Ep. 38
The earthquakes that rocked southern Turkey and northern Syria seemed to come from nowhere - an instant of catastrophic destruction that killed around 50,000 people, demolished hundreds of thousands of homes and left a legacy of loss and poverty that will last for generations.
But could it have been avoided? Could we, at least, have known it was coming and been prepared? Or do we just have to shrug and accept the risks of living in quake-prone areas?
Mark Allen, Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Durham, talks to Phil and Roger about the challenges of earthquake forecasting and prediction, and the chances of science ever being able to provide accurate warnings in good time of what our planet may be about to do to us.
The Grey Suits Running the Global Economy
Season 1, Ep. 42
How much interest you pay on your home loan is determined largely by the unelected representatives in the world’s central banks. This week the Bank of England took its turn in announcing rate hikes in their bid to keep prices under control. They also have a mandate to ensure stability in the banking sector. The way things are right now, you might question whether they’re up to either task. Phil and Roger ask Dr Supriya Kapoor (Assistant Professor in Finance at the Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin) whether central banks are pursuing the right approach, whether we have the right people in these jobs, and whether it makes sense to keep the functions of monetary policy (by the banks) and fiscal policy (by the government) separate, particularly at times like these.
The Great Divide
Season 1, Ep. 41
The chancellor has told us how he’s going to slice the national cake this year, but there are those who say he has done nothing to push back against the growing gap in British society - that those who have are getting more, and those who don’t are getting less. The wealth gap, one of the worst in Europe, has increased over the last 20 years, and many see the consequent divide in attitude, social values and politics, with a surge in extremist views, growing as well. Are we, then, increasingly, TWO nations? Despite that, Pat Thane, Professor of Contemporary History at King’s College London, and author of the book Divided Kingdom: A History of Britain from 1900 to the Present, tells Phil and Roger we may actually be moving closer now to a post-Brexit consensus on major national questions.
Work in Progress
Season 1, Ep. 40
In the 1930’s John Maynard Keynes predicted that, with automation and new ways of working, we’d all be working a 15 hour week. Many of us grew up being told that there would be more time for leisure. Yet, here we are, working as hard as ever. Except those who saw the pandemic as an opportunity to leave the workforce altogether. For many, we might be working harder, but spending more time working from home, without the drudgery of the daily commute. So, are we finding a new, more balanced way of working? How are companies adapting to this shift in behaviour? And are some of the fundamental issues of work, like bad management, ever going to shift. Phil and Roger have a barrage of questions for Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, and author of several books on the subject, including ‘New Ways of Organising Work’ and ‘Flexible Working In Organisations’