Why It Matters

By Council on Foreign Relations

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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.

Episode Date
Robots That Kill

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?

Jan 15, 2020
New Year's Special: 2020 Hindsight

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.

Jan 01, 2020
Prescription for Disaster

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.

Dec 18, 2019
Space Jam

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.

Dec 04, 2019

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 Smith.

Nov 20, 2019
China Doesn't Want Your Trash

For years, China processed more than half of the world’s recycling. Then, in 2018, it stopped. Things have gotten messy since then.

Nov 06, 2019
The Big Red Button

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. 

Oct 23, 2019
Trailer: Why It Matters

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 hosted by a journalist who is learning alongside you, the podcast weaves together conversations with the leaders and thinkers who are facing these problems head on.

Oct 02, 2019