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Podcast Seriously...
Podcast Seriously...



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  • The Cost of Economic War
    As the fight on NATO’s border has intensified, the West’s response has been to make war with Russia - economic war. Sanctions, not bombs, have been the weapon chosen to take on the Putin regime and Western leaders have devised ever more elaborate tortures for the Rouble. In light of diminishing appetite for war and financial inducements over the past century, trade and financial sanctions have increasingly become the preferred tool of statecraft employed by countries around the world. But how effective are they? Author and columnist for The Economist, Duncan Weldon, explores the strengths and weaknesses of economic sanctions. Looking at historical uses over the past 100 years, Duncan examines to what extent and in what scenarios they achieve foreign policy aims. He also reflects on the unintended consequences and the impact on economies. And he considers what the sanctions against Russia, in response to the invasion of Ukraine, mean for the global economy and the future geopolitical landscape. With Daniel Dresner, Professor of international politics at the Fletcher school of law and diplomacy at Tufts University; Dr Erica Moret, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Global Governance and Humanitarian Studies at the Graduate Institute, Geneva; Nathanael Tilahun, a lawyer and Professor of International Law at University of Coventry specialising in sanctions, security and financial crime; Macroeconomist Rachel Ziemba, founder of Ziemba Insights and adjunct senior fellow at The Center for A New American Security in Washington; and Taban Osman, a Kurdish Iraqi, actor and singer from Sulemani in northern Iraq. Presenter: Duncan Weldon Producer: Jac Phillimore Sound Design and Mix: Rob Speight Executive Producer: Katherine Godfrey A Novel production for BBC Radio 4
  • The Silent Mind
    ‘Today I found out that not everyone has an interior monologue, and it’s ruined my day.’ A little while ago this blog post went viral, triggering an intense online debate. Why do some people have loud, intrusive voices running in their head seemingly all the time, and others a totally ‘silent mind’? Psychologist and author Professor Charles Fernyhough finds out what it’s like to have no inner speech, and asks - why are we often totally wrong about what’s going on inside our own heads? 'Silent Mind' clip by Alan Watts courtesy of Produced by Olivia Humphreys Sound Mixing: Mike Woolley An Overcoat Media production for BBC Radio 4
  • Sideways: A Nuclear Awakening
    It’s a little girl’s eighth birthday. She wakes to a sight that looks like the end of the world. A radioactive mushroom cloud rises 130,000 feet in the air. And the world wakes up to the devastating fallout of nuclear weapons. In this new mini series from Sideways, writer and Times columnist Matthew Syed is calling for a nuclear awakening. Since the end of the Cold War, when relations between two of the world’s nuclear superpowers - the former USSR and the USA - seemed more rosy, Matthew argues that many of us have slipped into a kind of comfortable amnesia about the presence of these destroyers of worlds. The wake up call came when President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in February accompanied by veiled nuclear threats. It was a reminder of the mind bending fact that there are weapons in existence that are capable of eradicating our species. Over four episodes, Matthew explores the intellectual and strategic frameworks birthed by the bomb and the tensions of the Cold War, which sought to contain the ultimate destructive force. From deterrence to disarmament and non-proliferation, these ideas all aim at one goal - protection from catastrophic nuclear use. Understanding their origins and complexities is urgently needed, Matthew argues. Ultimately, Matthew will be asking if the actions of Putin in Ukraine call for a new intellectual framework to help make our world safe. Presenter: Matthew Syed Producer and Series Editor: Katherine Godfrey Researcher: Nadia Mehdi Sound Designer: Rob Speight Special thanks to Jessica A Schwartz for her recordings of Lijon Eknilang which form part of the material for her book Radiation Sounds. Also to Ali Raj and Susanne Rust, whose reporting for the LA Times informed this episode. Contributors: Evelyn Ralpho Jeadrik, daughter of Lijon Eknilang, Marshallese singer, composer and anti-nuclear activist. Ariana Tibon, Commissioner, Royal Marshall Islands National Nuclear Commission Alex Wellerstein, historian of science and nuclear weapons and a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology. David Holloway, Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History and author of Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 A Novel production for BBC Radio 4
  • Generation Games
    Can video games change lives? And, if so, how? 50 years after the arrival of Pong, gamer and writer Keza MacDonald considers what gaming has done for us. Using the rich BBC Archives, she explores how video games grew from a niche pursuit to a cultural phenomenon which stokes the imagination of, and offers agency to, those who fall for its charms. Games now influence who we are, what we think and how we act. Keza speaks to collectors, competitive gamers, psychologists, games designers and, mostly importantly, gamers young and old to find out what impact games have had on us. We hear about the deep relationships that millions cherish with Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong, and illustrate the entanglement of life and gaming that is increasingly impossible to sever. Presenter: Keza MacDonald Producer: Gary Milne
  • Limelight Trailer: How to be a Mind Reader
    Limelight is the best podcast for thrilling audio drama box sets. Subscribe now on BBC Sounds. Narrator: Becky Ripley

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