“From wherever you stood, the opposing side offered respectable, credible views. In today's fractured culture the evening struck a blow for civility.”

- The Huffington Post

More praise for IQ2 US

Countdown to Infinity

By John Donvan — August 16, 2012

Infinity minus 62. Figure that one out and you know how many more questions, propositions, arguments, resolutions, and formal motions remain for Intelligence Squared U.S. to bring to our stage.

That's right. IQ2US has put on 62 debates to date, since our launch in 2006, which leaves, by our calculation, an infinity of topics to choose from going forward.

Right now, our last debate, held at the Aspen Ideas Festival a few weeks back, is already airing on NPR stations around the country. We're delighted to have some new stations choosing to broadcast that one, because the topic resonated with their listeners. (New for us, that is: thanks KSTX and KUT in Texas, KCPW in Utah, Prairie Public Radio in North Dakota and KTOO in Alaska.)

We launch our fall season in just under 8 weeks at our new location, Kaufman Center, in the heart of the New York City's Lincoln Center neighborhood. The issues we're going at include super PACs, foreign policy, income inequality, legalization of drugs and a new take on the endless battle between science and religion.

That said, we are supremely open to your suggestions for debate topics. Just remember: we want to be able to hear from BOTH sides, so make sure there are two worthy sides, even if you don't agree with one of them. Getting the two sides to one stage, and to argue smartly, and respectfully – that's our mission. We've achieved it, luckily, those 62 times.

Quite the dent we're making in infinity, right?


john signature




John Donvan, Moderator
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates


  • Comment Link Alexandra Saturday, 27 October 2012 20:11 posted by Alexandra

    Speaking as one of those "socialist" Canadians I'd like to tell you how wonderful our haelth care system is. On welfare? Don't worry, you can still have an operation. Too poor to pay taxes? Cheer up, your cancer treatments are still free. Waiting times? Not really; if your need is more desperate, you'll be bumped to the front of the line. Can't afford haelth care premiums? No problem, your government looks after you. The guy who died waiting for care in Manitoba? Guess what, that was a monstrous oversight that rarely happens. That's why it was in the news. It's not typical. An investigation is taking place. Hey USA, wake up. Every other developed country has free universal haelth care. The British managed it after World War Two when they were bankrupt. There are Third World countries that provide better access to haelth care than you do. Amazing how you can afford the space programme and the world's largest military but can't afford haelth care.Come on, people, stop listening to right wing rhetoric and demand better from your government. March on Washington.

  • Comment Link Bentor Saturday, 20 October 2012 19:45 posted by Bentor

    The only thing I see wrong with your logic is that you seem not to have taken percentage into cotdesiranion. Independent voters are in the minority, and while they can influence a political race if the voting is close enough, it's an impossibility that 100% of them will choose one party over the other. Thus, your logic that 1 (Republicans)+1 (Independents) = 2. Majority , for example, takes a nosedive as soon as you exceed the number of independent voters there are. After that, you can't use them in the equation. It then becomes a question of, will R+I be greater than D+I when the voting has finished, and if so, did the addition of I to both R and D change the outcome of the election as opposed to what the outcome would have been if I had not been present.

  • Comment Link Brendan Monday, 10 September 2012 15:37 posted by Brendan

    My Suggestion:

    The proposition tonight: "True or False: Joe Paterno covered it up."

    Arguing FOR the motion:
    Buzz Bissinger - Author, Radio Host, IQ2 previous participant
    Dom Cosentino - Sophomoric Deadspin.com sports writer
    Gregg Doyel - Foul-mouthed, opinionated CBS Sports columnist
    Basically any nationally syndicated sports writer, most of whom have written Joe Paterno off as part of a cover up.

    Arguing AGAINST the motion:
    Eileen Morgan - Cancer survivor, President: Eileen Morgan Foundation
    Franco Harris - Retired football player, Penn State graduate
    Anthony Lubrano - Penn State Trustee
    Kevin Slaten - Radio Host, Lawyer
    Joe Posnanski - Author, Sports Writer, "Paterno" Biographer

    Whether this topic would work or not, I remain a dedicated listener and fan of the podcast and urge you to continue the good work.

    I'd also urge you to pursue a television format for the pared down podcast version of the debates, because I don't think there's anything like it on the "air" right now and I believe it would do VERY well!


  • Comment Link Mark Moore Thursday, 16 August 2012 16:34 posted by Mark Moore


    As a huge fan of your debates, I have been surprised that you have not elected to debate the morality of strategic default: walking away from a mortgage you *can* afford to pay.

    Not only is this an important topic with level headed, intelligent advocates on both sides, it is a topic that most often falls to emotional and ad-hominem defenses. It is a topic that could use a strong IQ2 airing.

    I hope you consider this as one of the next 62 topics to knock off the list.

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