Intelligence Squared

Intelligence Squared is the world’s leading forum for debate and intelligent discussion. Live and online we take you to the heart of the issues that matter, in the company of some of the world’s sharpest minds and most exciting orators. Join the debate at and download our weekly podcast every Friday.



recommended podcasts

      The Rise of the Smart City: Urban Wonderland or Fool’s Paradise?

      More humans than ever before live in cities. Technology is now being rolled out across the world’s urban areas, making day-to-day city living more pleasant, more efficient and more sustainable. For example, traffic flows are being improved by sensors that detect snarl-ups, allowing a central computer to coordinate traffic lights and even change the direction of a highway during rush hour – saving commuters time and lowering the pollution caused by stop-start congestion. Smart energy meters ar...



      The Battle for the Countryside: Britain Should Rewild its Uplands

      Imagine if swathes of the British countryside were allowed to be wild once again, if trees and rare plants could flourish and beavers, boars and white-tailed eagles could retake their place in the ecosystem. That’s the goal of the growing numbers of nature-lovers who support the idea of rewilding Britain’s uplands. We tend to think of these uplands as ‘wild’ and ‘natural’. But in fact, as the rewilders point out, they are entirely man-made, the result of clearances by man to make way for mill...



      Mary Beard on Women and Power, with Miriam González and Laurie Penny

      Mary Beard is Britain’s best known classicist. Widely admired for her scholarship and popular television programmes about the ancient world, she is also one of this country’s most prominent feminists. By refusing to be cowed by the misogynistic trolls who have abused her on Twitter, she has become a heroine for our times. On June 7th Beard comes to the Intelligence Squared stage to talk about the themes of her No. 1 bestselling book Women and Power: A Manifesto. Examining mis...



      James Comey in Conversation with Emily Maitlis on Speaking Truth To Power

      When President Trump sacked James Comey as FBI Director in May last year, he ignited a political firestorm with huge implications for American democracy. Comey’s dismissal led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to look at possible links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign — an investigation which may bring to light dark secrets about President Trump and his close associates. Now to mark the publication of his global bestseller, A Higher Loyalty, Comey came ...



      The World Should Recognise Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

      Many of Israel's supporters, including Donald Trump, claim Jerusalem should be recognised as the country's capital city. After all, it has been the Jewish people's spiritual capital for millennia. But will recognising Jerusalem be the death blow for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?  Arguing in favour of the motion "The World Should Recognise Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital" were Ehud Omert, former Israeli Prime Minister; and Natasha Hausdorff, barrister at Six Pump Court Chambers a...



      Anshel Pfeffer in conversation with Catherine Philp on Netanyahu and The Future of Israel

      This week's Intelligence Squared podcast features Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz journalist and author of Bibi - The Turbulent Life And Times Of Benjamin Netanyahu in conversation with Catherine Philp, diplomatic correspondent on The Times. In this in-depth podcast on the leadership and story of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they discuss the state of modern Israel and the future of the Middle East.


       2018-06-15  58m

      The Threat From Russia: Can Putin Be Stopped?

      Is Vladimir Putin the most powerful – and dangerous – man in the world? With Putin in the Kremlin, we have returned to an era where former Russian spies are mysteriously poisoned on British soil and where Russia feels emboldened to roll its tanks into an eastern European state. The Kremlin uses deadly force to wipe out opponents and stifle dissent at home, while overseas it props up Bashar al-Assad, the butcher of Damascus, who slaughters civilians with barrel bombs and chemical weapons. And ...


       2018-06-08  59m

      The Disunited States: Is the Trump presidency causing irreparable damage to America?

      America has never seen anything like this. Time and again, Donald Trump has attacked the very fabric of US democracy. He has called the press ‘the enemy of the American people’. He says that claims that Russia interfered in the US election are a hoax. And that the FBI - currently investigating his campaign - should be personally loyal to the president. And it’s not just political institutions Trump is damaging, his opponents say: in America he has stoked racial tension, coddled Wall Street ...


       2018-06-01  58m

      Jordan Peterson on Gender, Patriarchy and the Slide Towards Tyranny

      In May 2018, we recorded a special episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast in London. Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was joined by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor at The Economist and head of Economist Radio, to discuss identity politics, liberalism and #MeToo.


       2018-05-24  57m

      Revere or Remove? The Battle Over Statues, Heritage and History

      Statues and memorials to famous figures of the past adorn our towns and cities. But what should be done when some of these figures have come to be seen by many people as controversial symbols of oppression and discrimination? In Britain, the Rhodes Must Fall campaign hit the headlines when it demanded the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford’s Oriel College, of which he was a leading benefactor, because of his colonialism. In the US, violent protests in Charlottesville were s...


       2018-05-18  58m