Thursday, June 3, 2010

Women and Leadership

There was a joke doing the rounds at the start of the global financial crisis: If the company at the center of the crisis had been called Lehman Sisters instead of Lehman Brothers, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. It raised a smile at the time, but how much truth is there in the humour? How much different would the world be if more women were pushing the levers of power in business and politics?

Xu Qinduo, Julia Broussard, Yang Jia, Helen Zhang, Chris Gelken

We put that question and many more to a very impressive line up of guests:

Ripa Rashid, Senior Vice President, Center for Work-Life Policy

Helen Zhang, Managing Director, ChinaTime Inc and author of 'Think like a Chinese"

Prof. Yang Jia, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Vice Chair, UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Member, of Women's Federation Division of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference

Julia Broussard, Country Programme Manager, Project Office in China, UNIFEM

Julia Broussard and Helen Zhang in the Today studio

In the words of one of our colleagues who was listening to the show outside in the newsroom, "It was inspiring." If you only download one podcast this week, this should be the one.

If you are in the mood to be inspired, listen to Women and Leadership on Today!

Xu Qinduo, Julia Broussard, Yang Jia, Lv Xiaohong, Helen Zhang, Chris Gelken

And since the show was all about women taking responsibility and a leadership role, we thought it only right and proper that our producer, Lv Xiaohong, join us for another show photograph!

Sexual Harassment

What might be considered an encouraging pat on the back to one person, could be considered offensive and threatening to another. When it comes to sexual harassment there are some pretty obvious boundaries - and in today's show we're investigating how much those boundaries can shift depending on an individuals perception and sensitivity.

Xu Qinduo, Zhang Weiwei, Chris Gelken

Our distinguished panel included:

Joy Chen, former Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, now a global executive recruiter and blogger at

Zhang Weiwei, Attorney at Law; Project Manager of Beijing Zhongze Women's Legal Aid Center

Michael Zhang, US-based Attorney at Law

Zhang Weiwei in the Today studio

You might be surprised by some of the advice offered - but you will certainly be well informed. For the full story, listen to Sexual Harassment on Today!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blackmarket Organs

It is the stuff of urban legend. Unsuspecting tourist wakes up in a bathtub full of ice with a terrible pain in his back – the victim of kidney thieves. It is a myth, but it does highlight the darker side of a life-saving medical science – organ transplants and the trade in black market organs.

Today studio

Explaining the fact and fiction surrounding the global trade in organs Chris and Qinduo had the pleasure to host:

Debra Budiani-Saberi, Ph.D., Director and Founder Coalition for Organ- Failure Solutions (COFS). Research Associate, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania.

Denis Campbell, Editor and CEO, UK
  • More than 100,00 registered on wait-list for organ donations in the US
  • Denis Campbell says "opt-out" program for organ donation would help resolve the organ shortage program
For the full story, listen to Blackmarket Organs on Today on Beyond Beijing

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The development of artificial life

Last month the J. Craig Venter Genomics Research Institute announced that it had created the first totally man made synthetic organism. The institute claimed it was a potential breakthrough in our understanding of how complex life began and said its implications for industries such as pharmaceuticals and agriculture were immense.

Xu Qinduo, Qiu Renzong, Chris Gelken

Widely applauded for its innovative science, the development has not been without critics who've accused the institute and other scientists involved in synthetic biotechnology of trying to "play God".

Qiu Renzong in the studio during the panel discussion

We put the questions of science and ethics to our distinguished panel:

Qiu Renzong, Professor of Bioethics, Institute of Philosophy/Centre for Applied Ethics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Centre for Bioethics, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Peking Union Medical College Hospital

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania

Eckard Wimmer, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Stony Brook University, New York. Led a team that in 2002 created the first synthetic virus.

For the full and fascinating story listen to The Development of Artificial Life

Monday, May 31, 2010

Tom Rippe joins the Today team!

The Today team would like to extend a warm welcome to Tom Rippe who is joining the Today crew on a full time basis from next week.

Tom Rippe at his first 'Today' editorial meeting

Tom, who is currently the host of CRI's People in the Know program, will be taking over from Chris Gelken who will be leaving China Radio International at the end of this week to take up an editor/anchor position with the news team at TVB in Hong Kong.

Iran: Is it really about the alleged nukes?

A recently signed accord commits Iran to transfer 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey within one month. In exchange, 120 kilograms of more-highly enriched uranium will be supplied within a year to Iran, where officials claim it is needed to produce medical isotopes. On the surface this should have gone a long way to resolving the nuclear issue but quite the opposite is true.

Xu Qinduo, Li Hong, Hua Liming, Chris Gelken

To share their knowledge and insights we had the pleasure to host:

Li Hong, Secretary-General, the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association
Hua Liming, former Ambassador to Iran
Prof. William O. Beeman, Department of Anthropology, Minnesota University
Soraya Ulrich, Independent Analyst on US Foreign Policy

There is far more to this story than what you are seeing on CNN, Fox or the BBC - for the complete background, listen to Iran; Is it really about the alleged nukes?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Farewell to Katie

This week we bid farewell to a friend and colleague, Katie Fischer.

US native Katie joined the Today team after a stint with CRI English as a reporter, who was, in the words of Today host Xu Qinduo; "An excellent researcher, active team player, capable organizer, who also brought so much fun and liveliness to the rest of the team.... we'll miss you."

Katie Fischer in the Today studio

What is it that we'll miss the most? Well, for our team reporter Sabrina Zeng; "I gonna miss you and your fearless laughter. All the best!"

Our intern, Rachel, put together this thoughtful little going away card that we posted in the office - and now on the Today blog for everyone to enjoy!

Katie's going away card from Rachel

For her part, Katie handed out a bagful of little gifts of her own. Inscribed in the flyleaf of a nifty little reporters notebook Katie gave to Chris were the words; "We've had a lot of interesting conversations over the past year. Looking forward to many more!"


Best of luck Katie,

from Chris and the Today team.