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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay, and journalist Sally Armstrong.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Feb 7, 2020

Ziya Tong is "one of the world's most engaging science journalists" and after co-hosting Discovery Canada's Daily Planet television program for ten years, she wrote her first book, The Reality Bubble. It's a veil-removing tour-de-force, filled with wonder, rigour and a powerful thesis about our role in the world and how we are often blinded, sometimes by our own choice, from what on earth is really going on.

Ben is in Toronto to chat with Ziya about The Reality Bubble and so much more.

About the Guest

Award-winning host Ziya Tong has been sharing her passion for science, nature and technology for almost two decades. Best known as the co-host of Daily Planet, Discovery Canada’s flagship science program, she brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to the stage. Tong speaks on leadership, how to shift perspective, and the role of science and technology in society in her riveting and eye-opening talks.

Before co-hosting Daily Planet, Tong served as host and field producer for PBS’ national primetime series, Wired Science, produced in conjunction with Wired magazine. In Canada, Tong hosted CBC’s Emmy-nominated series ZeD, a pioneer of open source television, for which she was nominated for a Gemini Viewer’s Choice Award. Tong also served as host, writer, and director for the Canadian science series, The Leading Edge and as a correspondent for NOVA scienceNOW alongside Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS.

In the spring of 2019, she participated in CBC’s annual “battle of the books.” After a national four-day debate, she won Canada Reads.

In May 2019, Tong released her bestselling book The Reality Bubble. Called “ground-breaking” and “wonder-filled”, the book has been compared to The Matrix. It takes readers on a journey through the hidden things that shape our lives in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways.

Tong received her Masters degree in communications from McGill University, where she graduated on the Dean’s Honour List. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the World Wildlife Fund and is the founder of Black Sheep.

Learn more about Ziya or follow her on Twitter (@ziyatong).

Mentioned in this Conversation

The Quote of the Week

"We have the technological lenses to see into vast distances of outer space, to see the tiniest microscopic organisms, to see right through the human body, to see the very atoms that make up the material world. But there is one fundamental thing that we do not see. When it comes to how our species survives, we are utterly blind."

- From The Reality Bubble by Ziya Tong