Airing weeknights at 9pm Ideas is a university of the airwaves of sorts, and the act of listening could be compared to taking a well-rounded survey course. Using a combination of long-form documentary storytelling, and interviews, Ideas explores topics which truly run the gamut - from history, and science, to culture, sports, the environment, from Aristotle to Twitter, from poverty to depression - and through it all Ideas makes connections, examines the world around us, and contemplates the big questions.
"I believe in education, I believe in democracy, and I think broadcasting is a form of practising democracy"
Since its founding Ideas has also played home to the Massey Lectures, the legendary lecture series which has served as a platform for some most influential minds of the age to meditate on issues of contemporary humanity, including the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Doris Lessing, Jane Jacobs, and John Kenneth Galbraith. You can listen to theentire archive of the Massey Lectures online, and I highly recommend you check them out- they're truly a treasure trove of intellectual stimulation
The show has been hosted by Paul Kennedy since 1999, which by itself is a long run. But Kennedy's connection to the program goes back two decades further to 1977 when he first made a documentary for the program called The Fur Trade Revisited.
Paul Kennedy has called Ideas "the core curriculum of contemporary culture", and I think that’s a very good summary. I spoke to Paul Kennedy at our studio at CIUT. From how he started at the CBC to an ill-fated canoe adventure down the Mackenzie river, it was a wide-ranging and enjoyable conversation. Listen to our interview below: