About the series
Join us every two weeks for a debate on the world’s most pressing issues. Doha Debates Podcast brings together people with starkly different opinions for an in-depth, human conversation that tries to find common ground. Each show also includes young guest voices—often alumni of the Doha Debates Ambassador Program—who ask insightful questions of the guests. Brought to you in partnership with FP Studios.
Watch on YouTube
Sal Khan and Jacob Ward
Jamil Jaffer and Cindy Cohn
Joyce Harper and Sarah Chan
Richard Heydarian and Lavina Lee
Richard Reeves and Dr. Barbara Risman
Jason Allen and Molly Crabapple
Keyu Jin and Michael Beckley
Dr. Katherine Roe and Dr. Juan Carlos G. Marvizón
Bright Simons and Heidi Chow
Aakaash Ranison and Jonathan Miltimore
Dr. Bennet Omalu and Babalwa Latsha
Okyeame Kwame and Humzah Ghauri
Tristram Hunt, Sofia Carreira-Wham and Chidi Nwaubani
Bahiyya Khan and Josh Ferme
Orientalism demystified: Eastern insights on Western myths
With guests Kholood Al-Fahad, Fatima Bhutto and Inaya Folarin Iman, and hosted by Dena Takruri. From the roots of Orientalism to the role of museums in displaying Orientalist art, join students, recent graduates and speakers as they deconstruct Orientalist narratives, the value of inclusion and the lasting impact of art.
School of thought: Is AI helping us cheat or learn?
With guests Sal Khan and Jacob Ward, and hosted by Joshua Johnson. What does it mean for the state of education when students can ask ChatGPT to write an essay or solve a math problem?
State of scrutiny: Is mass surveillance justified?
With guests Jamil Jaffer and Cindy Cohn, and hosted by Joshua Johnson.
Ethics of editing: Is genetic engineering worth the risk?
Guests Joyce Harper and Sarah Chan debate the promises and pitfalls of gene editing. Hosted by Joshua Johnson.
Shifting superpowers: Has the US peaked?
With guests Richard Heydarian and Lavina Lee, and hosted by Joshua Johnson. Has the US peaked? For much of the 20th century, the United States of America led the world economically, militarily and even culturally. But is its influence and power now in decline, and what would that mean for the rest of the world?
Modern men: Is masculinity in crisis?
With guests Richard Reeves and Dr. Dr. Barbara Risman, and hosted by Joshua Johnson. Men are struggling. That’s what Richard Reeves, president of the American Institute for Boys and Men, contends, pointing to the widespread mental health crisis men and boys are facing in developed countries, as suicide rates rise. Dr. Barbara Risman, editor in chief of Gender & Society, says that we’re not grappling with a crisis of masculinity, but rather a socio-economic crisis that’s hurting working-class women and men—especially men of color.
Digital dilemma: Does AI help or harm the creative community?
With guests Jason Allen and Molly Crabapple, and hosted by Joshua Johnson. Artificial intelligence can generate sonnets in the style of William Shakespeare or a portrait of your pet in the style of Van Gogh. But as AI has improved, the artistic community has become divided. Some embrace and welcome the technology, and others say that AI is a threat that must be regulated or even banned.
Foreign Policy Live: Has China peaked?
Has China peaked? Enjoy a special episode from our friends at Foreign Policy Magazine from their podcast FP Live on the possibilities of China’s economic future. With guests Michael Beckley and Keju Jin, and hosted by Foreign Policy’s Ravi Agrawal.
Testing our ethics: Should we ban animal experiments?
With guests Dr. Katherine Roe and Dr. Juan Carlos G. Marvizón, and hosted by Mariya Karimjee. For a long time, research on animals has been a crucial component of scientific and medical innovation. Testing on animals has led to the development of the world’s first vaccine. And drugs used to combat cancer, malaria and HIV/AIDS and many other illnesses would not have been possible without animal research. But today, with all of our technological advancements, is animal testing necessary—or unnecessarily cruel?
Financial future: Is it time to cancel Africa’s debts?
With guests Heidi Chow and Bright Simons, and hosted by Nazanine Moshiri. It’s estimated that 60% of low-income countries struggle to pay their debt. That’s up from 40% in 2018, before the pandemic and a rise in food and fuel costs. The burden of these sovereign debts mean that many countries are forced to make deep budget cuts, limiting their ability to invest in domestic development projects like healthcare, education and infrastructure. One proposed solution is debt relief—essentially wiping the slate clean—but it doesn’t come without drawbacks.
Driving change: Is it time to ban gasoline cars?
With Aakaash Ranison and Jonathan Miltimore, and hosted by Karen Given. Climate change is bringing more extreme weather events that lead to floods, fires and droughts. People around the world know that we need to reduce our carbon emissions, and many experts say that getting rid of gas-powered vehicles would go a long way toward meeting that goal. But is a ban on gasoline-powered cars really a good idea—or even possible?
High impact: Are some sports too violent for children?
With Dr. Bennet Omalu and Babalwa Latsha, and hosted by Karen Given. Kids and teens who play full- or high-contact sports like rugby, American football and mixed martial arts have higher rates of concussions, which can lead to traumatic brain injuries. On the flip side, there are also huge benefits to playing sports when you’re young, including community and confidence. In this episode, we ask: Are some sports too violent for children?
Food for thought: Is eating meat cruel?
With Humzah Ghauri and Okyeame Kwame, and hosted by Karen Given. Is choosing to eat meat is an act of cruelty, and what do humans and animals stand to gain or lose from continuing the practice?
Culture theft: Should museums return disputed artifacts?
With Tristram Hunt, Sofia Carreira-Wham and Chidi Nwaubani, and hosted by Afia Pokua. Who does art belong to? Where should it live? And how can—or should—it be shared with the world? These are some of the questions at the heart of this week’s debate.
Virtual violence: Do video games change our behavior?
With game designer Bahiyya Khan and political journalist Josh Ferme, and hosted by Karen Given. Video games are built on creative storytelling and intricate worldbuilding, but what happens when the violence depicted in video games starts to spill over into the real world? Researchers at Dartmouth University have found a link between violence in video games and increased physical aggression in teens and preteens. Khan says that while violence can be important to video game storytelling, game makers must create responsibly and provide context for players. On the other side, Ferme argues that video games are art—like books and music—which should never be censored.
Doha Debates Podcast trailer
A biweekly debate show that bridges the divide across contentious issues. New episodes begin May 12, wherever you get your podcasts.