Tom Talks...



Conversational podcast on big issues, featuring different experts on each episode. Subscribe on iTunes and Youtube, and visit Thank you for your support!


  • #9: Tom Talks... Think Tanks, with Christopher Rastrick

    06/03/2018 Duración: 46min

    In this episode, I talk with Dr. Christopher Rastrick on think tanks. Our conversation begins with answering some foundational questions, such as what think tanks are, how think tanks differ between each other in important ways, and how think tanks exert influence on the political landscape. We then specifically discuss how think tanks have adapted to the Trump presidency.   Chris received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Western Ontario in 2016. He regularly writes on public policy issues in Canada and beyond, appearing in the nation's top newspapers and journals. His book Think Tanks in the US and EU is published by Routledge. At present, he is focused on the complex and, at times, awkward relationship between President Donald Trump and the Washington think tank community, which he recently wrote about in a working paper for OnThinkTanks.   ---   If you enjoyed this content, subscribe on iTunes and Youtube, and visit Thank you for your support!  

  • #8: Tom Talks... The Invisible Injured, with Adam Montgomery

    11/10/2017 Duración: 01h41s

    In this episode, I talk with Dr. Adam Montgomery about his book "The Invisible Injured: Psychological Trauma in the Canadian Military from the First World War to Afghanistan". "The Invisible Injured", published by McGill-Queens University Press and available on Amazon and Indigo, is the first book-length history of how war and peacekeeping trauma affected Canadian soldiers from 1914 to 2014.   Our conversation ranges on many important topics that "The Invisible Injured" raises, including: how psychological trauma has been interpreted and reinterpreted since the First World War in the Canadian context, and the role masculinity as a gender identity has played in identifying and diagnosing trauma in the military.   Adam Montgomery is a historian of medicine and Canadian military history. His research uses history to assess medical and cultural change over time, particularly regarding society’s view of mental health and illness. The book of our discussion, "The Invisible Injured", received an Amazon bestseller ta

  • #7: Tom Talks... North Korea, with Manpreet Abrol

    21/09/2017 Duración: 51min

    In this episode, I talk with Manpreet Abrol about North Korea. Our conversation is wide-ranging, and provides a lot of historical context to make sense of the ongoing international tensions with North Korea's nuclear program. We discuss: North Korea's founding as a nation; the living conditions of citizens living under the North Korean dictatorship; how the North Koreans came to acquire nuclear weapons; and the complicated international furore that surrounds North Korea's nuclear capabilities. Ultimately, we try to answer: should we be worried?   Manpreet Abrol is a Masters graduate from the University of Western Ontario, with much of his research focusing on the history of North Korea and its nuclear weapons program. He has been published in Peace magazine, and has given seminars on North Korea too. He is also a graduate from the University of Toronto in the field of political science and international relations.   ---   If you enjoyed this content, subscribe on iTunes and Youtube, and visit thomaserandall.c

  • #6: Tom Talks... Random Acts of Green, with Jessica Correa

    03/09/2017 Duración: 33min

    In this episode, I talk with Jessica Correa about Random Acts of Green. Random Acts of Green is a social enterprise founded by Jess that aims to educate, engage, and empower the public to participate in sustainable behaviour, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and combat climate change. The enterprise has been extremely successful: it has received national media coverage on CBC and CTV News, and designated an “Agent of Change” status by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and the Centre for Social Innovation. Random Acts of Green is profoundly social in its outreach; if you’ve committed to begin living more sustainably, no matter how basic, Random Acts of Green wants to know about it! Participate in and share your green behaviour by visiting their website, and follow Random Acts of Green on facebook, Instagram @randomactsofgreen, and twitter @randomactsgreen. You can also now get the brilliant Random Acts of Green t-shirts made from recycled bottles and organic cotton.    Jessica

  • #5: Tom Talks... Peacebuilding and Critique, with Surer Mohamed

    18/08/2017 Duración: 33min

    In this episode, I talk with Surer Mohamed about peacebuilding and critique. Our conversation starts by questioning the authenticity of peacebuilding as an activity carried out by international communities, using peacebuilding in Somalia as an example. It may well be that peacebuilding and intervention, supported by human rights rhetoric, are just attractive labels to cover-up what is really going on: namely, nation states flexing their muscles. We perhaps end up critiquing too much though, and become stuck in a hilarious paralysis for deciding what counts as a legitimate solution to the problems our critique raises.   Surer Mohamed researches at the intersections of African politics, critical theory, peace studies, and transitional justice. She recently completed an MPhil in International Relations and Politics at the University of Cambridge. Her dissertation was entitled: “Perpetual Peacebuilding: Charting Somalia’s Role in Discourses of the International.” Surer will be returning to Cambridge to begin her

  • #4: Tom Talks... Special Obligations, with Ali Seven

    11/08/2017 Duración: 36min

    In this episode, I talk with Ali Seven about special obligations. The basic issue we approach is a dilemma we all experience in our everyday moral lives. It is said all humans ought to be treated with equal moral consideration, but we do not live our lives this way. We care much more about some people over others, and often feel justified for providing more resources to our loved ones, friends, and fellow citizens over strangers and non-nationals. How are we to resolve this problem of partiality vs. impartiality?    Ali Seven is a PhD student at Queens University (Canada) where he specializes in political theory. Beforehand, he finished his undergraduate and masters degree at the Department of Political Science at Western University.   ---   If you enjoyed this content, subscribe on iTunes and Youtube, and visit Thank you for your support!

  • #3: Tom Talks... Science Communication, with Alex Kirkpatrick

    04/08/2017 Duración: 39min

    In this episode, I talk with Alex Kirkpatrick about science communication. Our conversation ranges from: contemporary problems with communicating science to the general public; the importance of narrative to build rapport and trust between scientists and the public; and light-hearted speculation about artificial intelligence and its potential dystopian future.   Alex Kirkpatrick is a PhD Candidate in the field of Science Communication at Washington State University, and is a writer and editor for - a non-profit organization in the UK promoting engagement with the science and robotics of artificial intelligence. Alex holds a bachelors of science with honours in Physics, Astrophysics, and Cosmology from Lancaster University, and a masters of science in Science Communication from the University of the West of England.   For more of Alex, visit his personal website, and follow him on Twitter @superluminalpi. His views in this podcast are his own.   ---   If you enjoyed this

  • #2: Tom Talks... International Development, with Candace Ellison

    26/07/2017 Duración: 32min

    In this episode, I talk with Candace Ellison about international development. Our conversation ranges from: the phenomena of voluntourism; micro-financing; and the importance of having a critical mindset with development projects.   Candace Ellison works as a bilingual donor care agent at Plan International Canada, and speaks Spanish and French. She is also a postgraduate student in International Development at Humber College, in Toronto. Candace holds a bachelors degree in International Development Studies with specialization in Latin America from Trent University, spending a year in Ecuador for the Trent-in-Ecuador program.   ---   If you enjoyed this content, subscribe on iTunes and Youtube, and visit Thank you for your support!

  • #1: Tom Talks... Right-Wing Populism in the United States, with Jeremy Roberts

    26/07/2017 Duración: 28min

    In this episode, I talk with Jeremy Roberts about right-wing populism in the United States. Our conversation ranges from: pinning down a definition of populism; the significance of voter perception of the political landscape independent of statistics; and understanding Donald Trump's success.   Jeremy Roberts is a PhD Candidate in the Political Science Department at Western University, where he researches the rise of populism in the United States. He holds a bachelors degree in Political Science from Western University, and a masters degree from Oxford University.   Let me give a quick note on the podcast's audio. Jeremy and myself recorded our conversation over FaceTime audio. While I have tried to remove most of the sound problems associated with recording a phone call, some issues still inevitably remain. I apologize for these, and hope to improve my sound editing skills in the coming episodes. Thank you to the listener for your patience in this regard.   ---   If you enjoyed this content, subscribe on iTu