Why It Matters

Why It Matters

www.cfr.org/podcast-series/why-it-matters
Each episode of Why It Matters breaks down an issue that is shaping our world’s future. Join host Gabrielle Sierra as she speaks with the leaders and thinkers who are facing these questions head on. Fueled by the minds at the Council on Foreign Relations, Why It Matters brings some of the world’s most compelling stories home to you.


Bonus Episode: “A Medically Induced Economic Coma”
Apr 8 • 25 min
Is the coronavirus a zero-sum game in which we must choose between saving lives and saving the economy? In this episode, we sit down with two experts to find out.
Season Two Trailer
Mar 25 • 2 min
Now more than ever, it’s clear that global problems can become local in a flash. In season two, Why It Matters dives into a new set of challenges that will shape our lives in the years to come.
Coronavirus
Mar 11 • 34 min
The worldwide spread of the new coronavirus has pulled back the curtain on the vulnerabilities of our interconnected world. Now we are left asking some basic questions. What lessons have we learned so far? Guests: Sylvia Burwell, former United States…
The One Where We Talk About NATO at a Party
Feb 26 • 21 min
You’re making the rounds at a party when someone asks you about NATO. Is it still important? The alliance is credited with preventing a third world war, but a lot of us don’t know what it is or how it works. This episode takes a look at the North Atlantic…
Dimming The Sky
Feb 12 • 23 min
As climate change accelerates, some scientists are researching ways to alter our climate to slow down warming. But the method, called solar geoengineering, comes with some serious risks. Guests David Keith (Harvard University)Shuchi Talati (Union of…
Voter, You’ve Been Hacked
Jan 29 • 22 min
The aftershocks of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election are still being felt today. Is the United States ready for 2020?
Robots That Kill
Jan 15 • 26 min
Militaries around the world are designing artificial intelligence–powered weapons that could one day make their own decisions about who to target. The technology could change warfare, but at what cost?
New Year’s Special: 2020 Hindsight
Jan 1 • 22 min
At the start of the new year, the Why It Matters team takes a look at some of the best interview segments that didn’t make it into the episodes.
Prescription for Disaster
Dec 18, 2019 • 23 min
Antibiotics have saved untold millions of lives, but bacteria are learning to outsmart them at alarming rates. Projections show that by 2050, ten million people could die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Space Jam
Dec 4, 2019 • 23 min
Space is getting crowded. The biggest challenge is space junk—the debris that results when satellites break up or get shot down. If we aren’t careful, space junk, and space conflict, could cause a lot of problems down here on Earth.
STEMinism
Nov 20, 2019 • 24 min
Women and girls are excluded from career paths in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This gender gap is causing the world to lose out on “the genius of half the population,” according to former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan…
China Doesn’t Want Your Trash
Nov 6, 2019 • 20 min
For years, China processed more than half of the world’s recycling. Then, in 2018, it stopped. Things have gotten messy since then.
The Big Red Button
Oct 23, 2019 • 26 min
The U.S. president can launch a first-strike nuclear attack at any time, and there’s no law mandating they seek advice first. Some experts think that’s too much power to put in one person’s hands.
Trailer: Why It Matters
Oct 2, 2019 • 1 min
We all worry about not understanding the problems that are shaping our world. Why It Matters is a story-driven podcast that gives you the tools you need to understand where things are headed. Fueled by the minds at the Council on Foreign Relations, and…