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The Compass

Surprising stories from unusual places. With ideas too big for a single episode, The Compass presents mini-series about the environment and politics, culture and society.

Popular episodes

Freedom - Hurriya

Dec 1 • 27:32
Across the region in 2011, protesters in their hundreds and thousands were all asking for the same thing - their freedom. Journalist Abubakr al-Shamahi and presenter Ella al-Shamahi examine how far human rights have progressed in the countries of the Arab Spring, turning first to the country so often held up as the success story of the Spring - Tunisia. Women were central ...

How do refugee crises end?

Nov 24 • 27:14

What do we owe refugees?

Nov 17 • 27:11

Who is a refugee?

Nov 10 • 27:30
In the aftermath of World War One, as Turkey filled with refugees fleeing a brutal civil war, the first refugee camps appeared and the international community stepped in to appoint the first High Commissioner for Refugees. In this first episode Katy Long hears stories from refugees and those who work to support them from Rwanda, Germany and Russia, as she examines how refu...

Back to school

Nov 3 • 27:28
Does the misunderstanding of science begin in schools? Science journalist and former BBC Science correspondent, Sue Nelson visits the UK’s National Space Centre to discover how space is being used to entice children into studying science. She also speaks to teachers around the world about the challenges of ensuring the next generation better understand the scientific and t...

The Public Misunderstanding of Science: Racist robots

Oct 27 • 27:09
Sometimes it’s right to be sceptical about new technologies. US tech reporter Katherine Gorman joins Sue Nelson to report on artificial intelligence and how it’s rapidly pervading our lives. Katherine reports from New York on controversial facial recognition cameras and we hear how regulators are struggling to keep up with innovation.

Image: Concept illustration of an elect...

Toxic debates

Oct 20 • 27:04
Across Europe, activists fearful of 5G technology have attacked phone masts. Science journalist and former BBC Science correspondent Sue Nelson teams up with science reporter Hidde Boersma in the Netherlands to find out how conspiracy theories take root and what can be done to combat them. She also hears how scientists can improve their communication and what they have lea...

Trust: What is the best way to communicate public health messages?

Oct 13 • 27:39
Anti-vaxxers, flat Earthers, 5G arsonists and climate change deniers – why have so many people given up on science and where are governments, scientists and the media going wrong?

As Covid-19 continues to affect us all, what is the best way to communicate public health messages, when the bottom line is saving lives? Umaru Fofana reports from Sierra Leone on the Ebola preven...

Thailand: Asia’s sugar bowl

Oct 6 • 27:37
Lainy Malkani looks into the story of sugar in Thailand, now the second biggest exporter of sugar in the world. We hear how farmers there are coping with climate change, what sustainable production might look like and what sugar cane can be used for once the sweet juice has been removed, from fuel to water bottles. Lainy looks at the future of sugar, talking to those exper...

USA: Plantations and plains

Sep 29 • 27:11
Lainy Malkani focuses on the story of sugar in the USA. From one of the oldest confectionery shops in New Orleans where the local delicacy of pecan nut pralines are made every day, to a former sugar plantation along the Mississippi river, she hears about the role of sugar in the history of Louisiana.

She speaks to Khalil Gibran Mohammed about the legacy of sugar and slaver...

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