Aspen Ideas to Go
Aspen Ideas to Go
The Aspen Institute
Aspen Ideas to Go is a show about big ideas that will open your mind. Featuring compelling conversations with the world’s top thinkers and doers from a diverse range of disciplines, Aspen Ideas to Go gives you front-row access to the Aspen Ideas Festival and other events presented by the Aspen Institute.
The Most Important Rule for a More Civil Thanksgiving: No Eye Rolling
Current political fault lines are fracturing American society as people grow further apart from one another due to differing beliefs and opinions. We often see people we disagree with as caricatures, and think we can never reconcile our differences. Yet despite that sense of contradiction we are much closer to each other than we think.
Nov 24
30 min
Beyond Good Intentions: Facing Racism in America Head On
It’s time to slow down and start again to remake American culture and undo systemic racism, says author and Yale professor Claudia Rankine. White Americans must wade into the waters of Whiteness, and interrogate their own responses to Blackness.
Nov 17
43 min
Can We Draw on Civil Rights History to Combat Systemic Racism Today?
The civil rights movement has affected all Americans, whether they realize it or not. The opportunity for everyone to vote represents a major shift, but changes in education, housing and even sports reflect the strategic leadership of activists throughout American history. Civil rights experts and Stanford University professors Pamela Karlan and James Steyer discuss the history of civil rights movements in this country including racial equality, women's and LGBTQ rights and how those efforts inform the work that still needs to be done today.
Nov 10
56 min
Elevating The Common Good Over Self-Interest
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks says liberal democracy has become about “me” instead of “us.” In his new book, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times, Sacks says we are losing our strong, shared moral code and that’s challenging our sense of community and common good. Growth comes from an openness to others who may not be like us and, he says, developing a moral bond based on mutual acceptance will reduce conflict. In today’s show he speaks with Reverend Serene Jones, the first woman president of the Historic Theological Seminary in New York City.
Nov 2
35 min
A Look Behind The Scenes of Coronavirus Vaccine R&D
As scientists work to develop a vaccine to battle the coronavirus pandemic, many people question whether the process has been rushed and if the results will be effective and safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for approving new vaccines in this country. FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and former FDA commissioner Dr. Peggy Hamburg say the agency uses data driven techniques to review and approve any new medication and they aren’t cutting corners with this one. They speak with Fortune editor-in-chief Clifton Leaf.
Oct 27
47 min
An Insider's Perspective: Trump’s National Security Advisor
From domestic election security and counterterrorism, to U.S. interests around the globe, the National Security Advisor provides solutions to the most critical challenges of our time. President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Ambassador Robert O’Brien, joins former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. They discuss critical issues including Washington’s response to China and Russia’s rising global influence, America’s future role in the Middle East and the growing North Korean nuclear threat.
Oct 20
34 min
A Crack In Creation: The Power and Ethics of Gene Editing (Encore)
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to molecular microbiologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier for their work on CRISPR, the revolutionary technology that gives scientists a way to accurately cut DNA and transform the genetic code of life. Likened to a pair of “genetic scissors,” CRISPR could open the door to cures for some cancers, sickle cell anemia, and other diseases. But it is not without controversy. It’s already been used to manipulate embryos. That could be the first step on the path to “designer babies,”  and it raises a multitude of ethical questions. In this encore episode recorded in 2017, Doudna spoke with Walter Isaacson, then president of the Aspen Institute, about gene editing and what it could mean to have the power to control evolution.
Oct 13
59 min
Heart Disease Isn’t an Adults-Only Condition
Usually, heart health is only addressed in adults. But recent research shows that cardiovascular damage is detectable as early as age 15. The good news is teaching even very young children about good nutrition, exercise and ways to deal with stress, may help combat heart disease, the leading cause of death around the world. Dr. Valentin Fuster and Dr. Danielle Belardo discuss recent discoveries and research in improving cardiovascular outcomes throughout all phases of life — including strategies to improve heart health, at any age. (Transcript available:
Oct 6
43 min
Bridging Social Divides With Better Arguments
Tensions are mounting across the United States and around the world. People from all walks of life often feel like their opinions aren’t respected or heard, leading to bitter disagreements that drive wedges between family members, neighbors, and communities. That’s where the Better Arguments Project comes in.
Sep 29
46 min
A Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Rebroadcast)
The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female justice confirmed to the US Supreme Court, told an Aspen Institute crowd in 2017 that her experiences as a woman gave her a unique perspective on the Court.
Sep 22
1 hr 1 min
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