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Interview With "The Andrew Neil Show" Host And British Journalist Andrew Neil; Interview With "Another Russia" Executive Producer And Co-Host And Russian Journalist Zhanna Nemtsova; Interview With "Helgoland" Author And Physicist Carlo Rovelli; Interview With Son Of Jackie Robinson, David Robinson. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired September 05, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
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ANNOUNCER: This is CNN. More people get their news from CNN than any other news source.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone and welcome to Amanpour. Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER: I campaigned as a conservative and I will govern as a conservative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: The U.K. gets a new prime minister. So, who is Liz Truss? And how will she handle spiraling energy prices? I asked British broadcaster
Then, the cost of descent. As the Kremlin's repressive crackdowns continue, we remember the life and death of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov
with his daughter, Zhanna Nemtsova, who was telling her father's story of another Russia in a new podcast. Plus --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLO ROVELLI, PHYSICIST AND AUTHOR, "HELGOLAND"The universe is turning out to be over and over much more rich, complex, beautiful, and full of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: He's been called the world was inspirational physics teacher. Now, Carlo Rovelli is sharing his wisdom with us and breaking down the
quantum revolution in Helgoland.
And a sports and civil rights giant honored with a new museum. Jackie Robinson's son, David, tells Walter Isaacson why it's so important to
remember his father's legacy.
Welcome to the program everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.
Well, it's official. Liz Truss will become the U.K.'s next prime minister. Two months after Boris Johnson announced that he would be leaving his post.
The country's foreign secretary took 57 percent of Conservative Party members' votes. Beating her rival Rishi Sunak by a smaller margin than
expected. And Truss will have her plate full when she takes over on Tuesday. The war in Ukraine to the aftershocks of Brexit, and the most
pressing of all issues, a cost-of-living crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER: I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis.
Dealing with peoples' energy bills. But also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Trust has, so far, offered no details on what these plans will involve despite double-digit inflation and soaring energy bills. So, what
can we expect from Britain's new leader? Joining me now to discuss this is Andrew Neil. A veteran political journalist and he is also the chairman of
"The Spectator" magazine.
Andrew, welcome to the program. So, glad that you're here for us --
ANDREW NEIL, HOST, "THE ANDREW NEIL SHOW" AND BRITISH JOURNALIST: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: -- on this day, of all days, to really break down what has transpired there in U.K. politics. You've been following this for quite a
while. Is Liz Truss up for the task ahead of her given all of the challenges the country is now facing?
NEIL: The honest answer is we don't know. First of all, she's relatively untried, particularly for the job like prime minister, and she does have
the inbox from hell. I mean, her inheritance is pretty terrible and the cost-of-living crisis is huge.
So, the average household fuel bill, at the moment, is about $2,500. That's going to go to $4,000, $4,500 next month. And then maybe $5,000 in the new
year. I mean, these are eye-watering sums of money. And she has to come up with a way of getting money to households that helps them meet these bills.
Whereas, she's campaigned for conservative leader on tax cuts. Now, Tax cuts can be fine. But tax cuts will not give households on average incomes
enough money to pay their heating bills.
GOLODRYGA: And yet, you talk to everybody, anybody, on the streets there are. Even from the United States watching interviews in the U.K. And the
real concern is about inflation, is about prices going up, is about the cost of living, is about what's to expect in the months ahead as winter
Obviously, you have the U.K. separate now, thanks to Brexit, which she was against before she was in favor of. You have an E.U. which is scrambling to
at least come up with some sort of plan that they're working on in light of Russia's aggression there and now it's economic war on cutting off gas and
oil supply. What, if anything, is her government, is she prepared to do at this point? Do you have any sense of what she can come into office tomorrow
to present to the people there?
NEIL: She knows she has to find billions of pounds to be able to subsidize households to get through the winter. I mean, billions of pounds. It's
quite a non-conservative thing she's going to have to do. And she tried to avoid it on the campaign trail. And she would have to do that whether we
were in or out of the European Union.
I mean, Britain has a particular energy problem. Its price. It's not supply. We have plenty of gas.
NEIL: We have plenty of supplies from the North Sea, from our LNG tankers, we got three massive LNG Basis. Germany has none. We have a pipeline from
Norway. We've got the biggest offshore wind factories in the world. We still have a nuclear industry, unlike Germany. It's not supply. Germany is
supply. Germany is worried that it can't get the supply because Mr. Putin is cutting the gas pipelines.
But unlike America, we're part of the international gas market. So, we have to pay international prices. And it's the prices that are killing ordinary
people. And perhaps literally killing ordinary people this winter if it's a cold winter.
GOLODRYGA: Right. And in the meantime, you do notice, and you were right to note the differences. There is ample supply in the U.K. But we are seeing
price caps being already unveiled in Europe as a hole in the E.U. Can we expect to do the same from a new Prime Minister Truss?
NEIL: Well, there is a price cap at the moment. And that price cap is meant to be raised next month. The big argument and Britain is that should it be
raised. The price cap at the moment is about 2,000 pounds. It could be raised to well over 3000 pounds in October.
If that was allowed to happen, there are millions of homes in the U.K. that simply couldn't afford to heat their homes. Millions would be thrown into
what's called fuel poverty. So, whoever is prime minister, we now know it's going to be Liz Truss, she has no choice but to do something to ameliorate
that. If she doesn't do that, she will not be prime minister for long.
And Britain's already getting into, kind of, Italian, let's change our leader situation. You know, we -- we've had --
GOLODRYGA: Yes, every few months, kind of -- yes.
NEIL: -- we've had four prime ministers in six years. How many more can you have?
GOLODRYGA: Yes, it doesn't say much for stability and it is an endemic problem.
GOLODRYGA: It appears throughout Europe. I mean, you talk about the impact for households. Obviously, one has to factor in the impact for small
businesses as well and businesses a large in the overall impact that would have on the economy. You have interviewed Liz Truss quite a few times. Just
for our international viewers who may recognize her name throughout the war in Ukraine now as a foreign secretary but don't know more about her. Tell
us who this woman is, her political history.
NEIL: You don't know much about her? The British people don't know much about her either. We're all in a learning curve here. I mean, if you'd
asked me two, three years ago, would she ever be prime minister? I would have frankly said, no chance. But we live in a strange world. I would have
said to you Theresa May would never be prime minister either. I would've told you Boris Johnson would never become prime minister. So, maybe you
shouldn't be talking to me given my track record.
GOLODRYGA: No, Andrew -- Andrew, a little --
NEIL: I would have also told you Donald Trump would never be president either.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, a little humility does show your level of comfort in the field. I do have to say. We don't hear that very often. Every time we have
guests on, you don't always hear somebody say, I don't know. You tell me.
But what is to be expected of her? I mean, the biggest challenge, obviously, is the immediate energy crisis. But she has other challenges,
obviously, inheriting a war there in Europe on the continent.
GOLODRYGA: This has been something of a dark moment for Ukraine, to say the least given how close they were to her predecessor, Boris Johnson.
Obviously, will she still likely support the efforts there on the part of the British to help the Ukrainians? But what more can we expect to see from
NEIL: Right. First thing is, if she doesn't get the energy response right, she will not be prime minister for long. On other matters, on --
particularly on foreign policy, remember, she was the foreign secretary. She was the foreign minister before she became prime minister.
So, I think there you'll see an element of continuity. She is a solid as Boris Johnson is for Ukraine and for the Zelenskyy. She will continue the
British supply of weapons, including sophisticated weapons to Ukraine. She is solid for the Atlantic Alliance. She is pro-American and wants to
continue the alliance with the United States. And if anything, she will probably agree to spend more money in defense than Boris Johnson did.
So, did it get us our problems are on the domestic front? On a foreign policy, I think you'll see an element of continuity there and issues that
she can deal with because she knows about them.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, Boris Johnson offered some advice via Winston Churchill and that was to stay close to the Americans. It appears that you believe that
NEIL: And she will. She will.
GOLODRYGA: What about the French? You know what I'm alluding to at this point. I want to play this clip for our viewers about what seemed to be
sort of an easy question lobbed at her in terms of her views. Emmanuel Macron and relations between the two countries. But here's the questionable
response she offered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Macron, friend or foe?
TRUSS: The jury's out. But if I become prime minister, I'll judge him on deeds, not words.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Andrew, what does that even mean? Andrew?
NEIL: I have no idea. It shows that even as foreign secretary, she doesn't always know what she's talking about. Do you think she would've been across
that? Look, President Macron is a bit of a preening peacock. There's a kind of anti-British element to him. But that's irrelevant.
The only two military powers that matter in Europe, are Britain and France. An Anglo-French cooperation under the surface, under the politicians, are
always pulling out is immense. You know that the second command of the British infantry is a French general. The second command of the French
infantry is a British general. The cooperation between British intelligence and French intelligence is seamless. It's getting as close as it is between
Britain and the United States.
So, if we have to stand up to Putin, if we're to help Ukraine. Britain and France, whether we're in or out of the E.U. Britain and France have to be
together no matter how much, whoever the French president is makes noise at the time. Because he'll be gone at some stage. There are lines between
Britain and France is really important. Our troops trained all the time.
NEIL: So, politicians that get in the way. Our countries are close.
GOLODRYGA: History transcends even the current leaders. That is true.
GOLODRYGA: But another thorny issue is Northern Ireland. A lot of concern about what to ensue in the weeks ahead there in concern about the Good
Friday Agreement being upended. That would have ripple effects around the world. The United States even saying that they would end their free trade
agreement if that were to happen. What do you see playing out on that front?
NEIL: Yes. You have patterned (ph) a really difficult issue for her. Because, I think you said earlier, she was a remainer. So, she now has to -
- for the Conservative Party, she now has to see -- be seen to be more Brexit than the Brexiteers. She has to have all the conviction of the
convertent. And she -- and to get the vote of Brexiteers to become the conservative leader, she's promised to take a very tough line on the
Northern Ireland Protocol.
If she does that. If she unilaterally suspends the protocol, which basically puts a border down the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern
Ireland as opposed to a border between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. If she does that, she risks a trade war with the European Union.
And I can tell you this, given the state of the British economy at the moment, given the war in Ukraine, given the huge problems that we have with
energy and cost of living and so on, and the fact that we're heading for a recession the last thing Britain wants is a trade war with the E.U. So, it
will be a sign of how pragmatic she's prepared to be that she junks what she said during the leadership campaign and faces up to the reality of the
-- for the foreseeable future. She cannot junk the Northern Ireland Protocol.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, the campaigning ends, the work begins for her and it begins for her tomorrow.
NEIL: And it does, indeed.
GOLODRYGA: And she has --
NEIL: The difficult day begins.
GOLODRYGA: -- a lot of critical issues. The difficult things begin, that's legislating and working. Andrew Neil, thank you so much for coming on.
Thank you for your honesty and candor as well as your trying to decipher all of what's transpired there in U.K. politics. We appreciate it.
NEIL: Thank you very much.
GOLODRYGA: Well, we turn now to Russia. Where the Moscow City court sentenced a journalist to 22 years in jail today. Ivan Safronov was accused
of collecting state secrets and passing them on to foreign intelligence which he denies. This, on the same day that Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia's
last independent news publications had its media license revoked by another court.
These are just the latest examples of how brutal it is for journalists and opponents of President Putin. Several have been killed in mysterious
circumstances. And in 2015, his top political rival, Boris Nemtsov, was gunned down outside the Kremlin. He served as deputy prime minister in the
late 1990s under President Yeltsin. Here he is back in 2014 condemning Russia's invasion of Crimea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS NEMTSOV, RUSSIAN POLITICIAN (through translator): We must say no to war. We must call for an end to this senile insanity. We must demand a
Russia and a Ukraine without putin. Glory to Russia. Glory to Ukraine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: I've come to be so familiar with that phrase, glory to Ukraine. Slava Ukraini. Well, now, Nemtsov's daughter, Zhanna Nemtsova, has joined
forces with former White House staffer, Ben Rhodes, to tell her father's story in a new podcast called, "Another Russia". And she is joining me now
from Tbilisi, Goergia.
Zhanna, think you so much for joining us. You also have a book out called "My Father's Daughter". I've been wanting to talk to you for quite a while.
I've been following and admiring your work for a number of years now. It has been seven and a half years since your father was murdered in the
middle of Moscow. And I would imagine that his worst nightmare has come true in terms of the direction that that country has taken. Would you
ZHANNA NEMTSOVA, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND CO-HOST, "ANOTHER RUSSIA", RUSSIAN JOURNALIST, DAUGHTER OF SLAIN RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER BORIS NEMTSOV:
Bianna, thank you for having me today on your show. Well, of course, I agree and you just played a very emotional clip. I remember my father was
speaking in Moscow in 2014 after Putin decided to annex Crimea. And it is now unimaginable but many people attended this protest in Moscow, over
50,000 people. And it was a very emotional speech of my father. And I have to admit I could hardly believe what he said back then. And of course, he's
truly a political visionary.
GOLODRYGA: Tell us a little bit more and remind our viewers about who your father was. He was a pro-democratic politician. Didn't start out as a
politician but some of the best never do. And he was a protegee of President Yeltsin's at the time. We talked about him and described as being
the first deputy prime minister under President Yeltsin. Talk about his impact as a politician leading up to his murder.
NEMTSOVA: So, the title of my podcast is "Another Russia". And to keep it short, I'd like to say that my father represented another Russia. Because
Russia in the world is represented by Vladimir Putin and many people think that there have never been other politicians in Russia, but that is not
true. People have short memories or they are not that much interested in our country.
Unfortunately, now Russia attracts a lot of attention because of the war against Ukraine. So, my father was an establishment politician in the '90s
as he put it. He said, like -- because of the revolution in Russia, meaning the collapse of the USSR, my father rose to prominence. He was an
environmental activist in the City of Gorkha, now Nizhny Novgorod on the River Volga.
And shortly, in 1991, he was appointed as governor of the province of Nizhny Novgorod. He was appointed by Yeltsin. So, -- and they got along
really well with Yeltsin. He was then in the government of Russia in the state (INAUDIBLE). He was an establishment politician but when Putin came
to power, my father was still in the parliament. But in 2003, he lost the elections.
He spent a couple of years in business and then he understood he could not just keep silent. And that's why in 2007, he wrote a book, "Confessions of
a Rebel." And he said, like, you know, I'm going to join the opposition forces because I see it really clearly that Russia is on the wrong track
and Putin is willing to restore the empire and to make Russia an autocracy. And he was absolutely right. So, since 2007, he was in the opposition in
GOLODRYGA: And he was a vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin's. A time was fearful and you are fearful of his own life. You left the country shortly
before returning to Russia. And it was really the annexation of Crimea where things took a turn. And that -- and we should remind our viewers,
back in 2014 was something for even those who opposed Vladimir Putin, viewed favorably. They supported many in Russia, the annexation of Crimea.
And then obviously the ensuing war there in the east, in the Donbas region.
And that is when your father really began to hone in on this fear of a potential war between these two countries. And warning Russians and
launching his own investigation about what was to come. This all culminating, Zhanna, I'm just leading us to his death in 2015.
There were five Chechens who were tried and sentenced. Vladimir Putin said that he was going to oversee all of this investigation and the trial. They
were sentenced, case closed, and Putin's -- in Putin's perspective, not in your eyes. Because you see a link between your father's investigation into
a potential war between these two countries and his murder.
NEMTSOVA: Well, of course. And it was the case in 2015. In 2014 when Putin annexed Crimea, I spoke with my father. I didn't regard myself as an expert
on politics. But I had what is called gut instinct. And I said, you know, now it's getting dangerous. Putin has just crossed the red line. So, it's
going to be a different country. It's going to get much worse and it's very dangerous for you to be here, to work here, and to avoid your criticism
against Vladimir Putin.
So, he did not listen to me. As you know, he decided to stay in Russia and to fight till the end. And he understood very early that Putin would wage a
war against Ukraine. A big war, like now. So, he envisioned it pretty well. You're right about the fact that many Russians, literally more than 90
percent of Russians supported the annexation of Crimea. So, they thought it was something great and there was this patriotically furor in Russia. I
could sense that because I was Russia back then.
But now it's different. So, I know that lots of people are -- keep saying, like, the majority of Russian support the war in Ukraine. I doubt that. I
don't think that the majority of Russians actually support the war in Ukraine. And they did not support the war in Donbas as well.
So, I see a clear link, now it's even clearer to me and too many other observers that my father was killed because he had understood early the
plans of Vladimir Putin. But I think that it was one of the triggers, but also my father was genuinely critical about Putin and he was a really
powerful voice who could mobilize the public opinion. So, who could mobilize the general public. And that was very important. Putin wanted to
get rid of everyone who was capable of mobilizing people, of making them act.
GOLODRYGA: You know, Zhanna, I went back and looked at the video of that quite stunning march in honor of you father after his murder. Tens of
thousands of people turned out to the streets. And I saw a young opposition leader at the time. Dmitry Gudkov, he's now left the country in fear for
his life. Your father worked with Ilya Yashin, who's now imprisoned. Vladimir Kara-Murza, also, in prison. Alexei Navalny, also, in prison.
I'm just -- I'm curious to get your take on the fact that there is no real opposition in that country. No viable opposition in that country. There are
questions about what the internal dynamics are. Are people just fearful to speak out against it? But given your podcast this, "Another Russia", do you
think at this time or maybe in the near term, there can be an alternative to what we are seeing now?
NEMTSOVA: So, nobody knows the internal dynamics. You're absolutely right. Because we do not have any reliable data or we can rely on some numbers but
people are intimidated. They don't want to speak. So, what I know, I know things from private conversations and I doubt that the majority of Russians
supported the war with the Ukraine.
I think there is a big divide and as you -- my assumption is that 40 percent or even 50 percent of Russians do not support the war. But they
keep calm because they're afraid. They know about repressions in Russia. They don't want to go to jail. And the prevailing sentiment in Russia is,
you know, hopelessness. People do not want to do anything but they want the war to somehow end without the activities.
Answering your question about Russian political leaders, leaders of the Russian opposition, we actually do not have a lot of them right now.
Because my father was killed. Alexei Navalny, Ilya Yashin, Vladimir Kara- Murza, they're all now in prison. So, we do not have, actually, powerful voices. But it's very natural for any dictatorship. It's very unusual that
even in this environment, in our environment in Russia, such leaders as Ilya Yashin or Alexei Navalny emerged because they put a lot at risk.
NEMTSOVA: They put their lives at risk. They put their security at risk and their freedom at risk. And their prosperity and prosperity of their
families at -- all at risk for the sake of our country. And that gives me hope.
GOLODRYGA: And that is what you're doing. You're living abroad. You've started the Boris Nemtsov foundation to help other journalists and
activists. And just to quote from your book, as you end it, you said your father's constant phrase was, "Everything will work out for us." And you
say, you still believe in that. So, that should give us all hope. Zhanna Nemtsova, thank you so much --
NEMTSOVA: Bianna, I just -- I just would like -- I would like to say, like, nothing is predetermined. And our past does not define our future. Thank
you very much.
GOLODRYGA: That is so true. Zhanna, thank you. We appreciate it.
NEMTSOVA: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, we turn next to someone who has been described as the world's most inspirational physics teacher. Carlo Rovelli is a scientist
and bestselling writer. He has spent much of his career in the sphere of theoretical physics. But has also expanded his scientific mind to what
connects us as humans. How we live and social justice. In his latest book, "Helgoland", Rovelli turns his attention to the brilliance of Werner
Heisenberg, one of the pioneers of quantum physics.
We started by -- he started by walking me through his fascination with what many consider -- including myself, such a daunting subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Carlo, thank you so much for joining us on your new book, "Helgoland". Let's first ask you just the basic question of, what is about
quantum physics, quantum theory that excites you so much?
CARLO ROVELLI, PHYSICIST AND AUTHOR, "HELGOLAND": Hi, Bianna. Thanks for having me.
I find quantum physics super exciting because it challenges the way we think about reality. It changes our understanding of what reality is. We
were sort of taught at school that it's just particles pulled and pushed by forces, little stones moving around. But reality is much more interesting
than that. And this is what quantum mechanics is telling us.
GOLODRYGA: So, I'm just -- I'm noticing that you're holding a pen. Explain how quantum theory would define what we see when you're holding that pen.
ROVELLI: So, a pen, we think that it always is somewhere. Always has a position. So, for instance, it has to go from one side to the other side of
my hand. It goes through this finger, so it goes through the other fingers.
But it's -- this is an approximation of reality. If the pen was smaller and we could see its quantum behavior, everything has a quantum behavior. But
for big things, we don't notice it. If it was much smaller, we could see the pen here, and then the next thing is that the pen is the other side
without having been through one or the other or a third one of the path in between.
So, the pen, in some sense, doesn't exist. It disappears here and then it appears on the other side. It's magic. It's jumping, the famous quantum
jumps is what tell us that we shouldn't think of a pen as an entity. We should think as a sequence of appearances. And appearance means that it
affects me, interact me, or interact with something else, or interacts with another pen, a stone. So, it's a much more interesting picture of reality
than the one given by classical physics and it's a better picture of reality.
GOLODRYGA: And this theory was really helped shape and come to form on an island in which you based this book in the North Sea -- battered North Sea
Island, Helgoland, where theorist and physicist Werner Heisenberg went to explore his theory. And thus change the world in terms of how we approach
quantum physics. Talk about what happened on that island.
ROVELLI: Yes, Helgoland. The title of the book is the name of the island. It's a small island in the Northern Seas, north of Germany, next to United
Kingdom. And it's a small barren, windy, desolate island where this very young kid, if I may. He was 23. Werner Heisenberg went there alone with
some illness. He was -- had hay fever. And he was very feverish and completely immersed in the problem of trying to understand how the atoms
It was then calculation, calculation, and he got this idea, this key idea, that we should not think of the objects by themselves. The way they affect
what is around them. And he used this in calculation. He found a way to put it into mathematics.
And the book opens with a description of a younger Werner Heisenberg who spent the night computing. And toward the end of the night, he's all
excited because, finally, calculations are coming out right. They're matching what he experimentally see. So, he climbs a higher rock. He goes
there all alone waiting for the sun coming out. And he writes in his diary these magnificent phrases.
He says, it's an incredible emotion having, for the first time, as the first person in humankind seeing something more deep about reality. And the
-- when he came back, the theory was developed by a group of friends, most of whom were his age, Jordan, Dirac, Pauli were all in their early
So, quantum theory is perhaps one of the greatest revolutions in thinking of humankind. And it was all done --
GOLODRYGA: And describe --
ROVELLI: -- by young people.
GOLODRYGA: -- and describe how their theory and what they were able to surmise then applies to the world as we know it today. Talk about some of
the applications of quantum theory in everyday life.
ROVELLI: They are all over. If you and I can't talk at a distance through computers and all the electronic technology, this is thanks to quantum
physics. Because the micro transistor integrated circuits in all computer are using quantum physics. Medical applications like magnetic resonance is
-- use quantum phenomena. Lasers are built on the basis of quantum physics.
It's much wider than that. Because our understanding of the world at large, for instance, why there are 90 elements, you know, oxygen, carbon, and so
on. Why exactly those properties can all be computed with quantum physics? How the sun works. How the burning of the sun works. Why the sky is blue?
Even the early formation of the universe is used -- is computed using quantum physics.
So, quantum physics today, it's is all over our science. From astrophysics to chemistry to technology. It's sort of the basic language. Of course, as
soon as you go to things like a pen, you don't need quantum physics. You can use all the classical physics because a pen is sufficiently heavy and
macroscopic so you don't see the quantum phenomena, but everything is quantum.
GOLODRYGA: Everything is quantum. Including nuclear energy which was discovered then subsequently as well. I'm just curious to get your views,
not from a political standpoint, but from an environmental and scientific standpoint. When you hear about what's happening in the world right now,
specifically in Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia where there are concerns about the nuclear power plant. The largest in Europe going offline. There's continued
shelling around that plant in light of the war.
How concerned are you about the state of our nuclear power plant, specifically in that country, given everything that's happening surrounding
ROVELLI: I'm concerned because it seems to me that all the big powers of the world are more interested in winning rather than stop fighting. And
collaborating instead of trying to show who is the most powerful
So, if -- with this logic, I think humankind is going to a disaster. I think the -- all the big powers of the world should think in terms of
humankind as a single family where we should resolve our difficulties by listening to what the other people -- the opposite people say. And realize
that there are common risks and common problems, like, what you said, the nuclear catastrophe which is behind the corner, or the ecological
catastrophe which is waiting for us.
GOLODRYGA: And just when you hear, you know, just for example, just today, the newly appointed prime minister Liz Truss of the U.K. It had been
recalled that she had said in the past that she would be willing to use nuclear weapons if need be.
When you hear a loose language like that from world leaders and, perhaps, meaning well when they say so, does it make you nervous? Do you get a sense
that some of our most powerful leaders are well trained and well versed enough to know how to use some of our most powerful weapons, thanks in
large part, to work from scientists in your field?
ROVELLI: Bianna, you said let's not go to the politics but you -- anyway, when I hear comments like that from leaders of all part of the world. I'm
not concerned. I'm terrorized. I think that they want to show that we can be stronger than the enemy. But that's, I think it's very shortsighted. We
should not be stronger than the enemy.
We should find a way to transform our clash or our enemies into friends. We should find compromise. We should listen. Instead of trying to demonize the
enemy, as we do over and over again, we should remember as John Kennedy said, Russians have kids too.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. OK. So, let's move on from politics. Just looking forward. We talked about the real-world implications from quantum physics today as
we know it over the course of the last century. What are you most excited and optimistic about in terms of what we can expect to see from the field,
technological advancements, et cetera, in the next 15, 20 years?
ROVELLI: I am a theoretical physicist. I am fascinated by the advance -- advances and fundamental understanding more than in technology. I mean,
people are very excited about technology. But I'm more excited about what we understand about the world.
And a lot is happening. In the last decades, we have seen the black holes in the sky. We have detected gravitational waves. We have understood so
much about cosmology. I think that this is changing. Science is -- fundamental science is advancing fast.
And I work in the -- my main work is in applying quantum theory to space and time and gravity. And I think that this is an area in which we are
doing rapid advancement. And perhaps soon we'll see a better understanding of what black holes are. This is a new discovery. We didn't know 10 years
ago that the universe was so full of all these black holes of all different sizes. We understand a lot about black holes but not everything. And there
are big open questions.
GOLODRYGA: What do you make of the images that we have just recently seen?
ROVELLI: It's fantastic. I mean, I spent half of my life studying black holes and not really knowing if they really existed. And not really knowing
how they would look like if I was next to them. And now, we know for sure that they're there and we know how they look like.
We have these pictures of the thing -- the matter spiraling around the black hole. It's a fantastic picture. It's been a great emotion for me to
see these things. The universe is turning out to be over and over much more rich, complex, beautiful, and full of mysteries. But also, fantastic
objects than what we thought in the past.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you so much, Carlo, for briefly making this much more palatable for me to understand. And it makes me want to learn more, which
is I think the takeaway that you want from all of your readers, to never stop learning.
So, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for your pen and making that a prop that we have been using throughout this segment and helping us
understand all of this. We appreciate it, thank you so much.
ROVELLI: Thank you very much, Bianna. It was a pleasure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Well, from the science world to the sports field. This week, a new museum honoring sports and civil rights legend Jackie Robinson opens in
New York. It's 75 years since he began playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The first black player in Major League Baseball. Walter Isaacson spoke to
his son, David Robinson, about his father's incredible legacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you very much. And David Robinson, welcome to the show. And congratulations on this new museum.
DAVID ROBINSON, SON OF JACKIE ROBINSON: Well, we all should be congratulated. There was a great core team of people that's worked more
than a decade to get the actual facility up and operating. But it's really the spirit of people who wanted to see this happen for a long time that's
made it come to fruition. So, we're all to be congratulated.
ISAACSON: It's been 75 years since your father, Jackie Robinson, broke the color line with Brooklyn Dodgers, became a hero to so many of us. Why is
his story so relevant today?
ROBINSON: Well, it's a human story captured in -- within the national sport. So, it embraced a huge amount of Americans in terms of the drama.
And it was a story that gathered people into its embrace over time and over generations. You have people who never saw Jackie Robinson play but who
relate today to the heroics and the dynamics of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the '40s and '50s. And so, it's a great story to broaden into a family or
personal story in life.
ISAACSON: Tell me though about his life. What he stood for? What happened back then? How that resonates today?
ROBINSON: Well, again, Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia. His grandmother was a slave. His mother was a sharecropper and a domestic servant. He had
the opportunity to see both of those family members in his own. And in looking into their face, he saw not only the suffering and challenge of his
family but the American story as well.
And that was something that he had to change and be part of the change for specifically within his family, specifically within his race. But he can
see that as a national dynamic as well. And so, his involvement in baseball was not involvement in a sports per se of being an athlete. It was of
involvement in terms of being a human being in a human struggle to liberate not only the African-American community but America as a whole.
ISAACSON: Tell me some stories about how your father impacted the lives of ordinary people on the streets.
ROBINSON: Well, my father seldomly used the word I. He always would talk in the context of we. At times as a kid, I never even knew who that we was but
I begin to understand the concept as I got older. That restarted with family, four brothers and sisters. A mother and a grandmother who was
struggling. It started with race.
But through the Brooklyn Dodgers and the alliance and the team, it expanded. And it was so intimate and so intense. One day, my father was
going to work early in the morning in New York City. Just walking down the street, an African-American man approached him, extends his hands,
handshakes his hand, and says you know, Mr. Robinson, the day you get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame is going to be the happiest day of my
And my father, again, shook his hand and said, thank you, and they parted ways. But as the man walked away, my father was -- it was -- he found it
curious to see how interlinked and how at one he was with that man. Because that man's satisfaction and victory was part of Jackie Robinson's life. And
Jackie Robinson's life also was part of that man's story because as his life and his self-image and his strength expanded, so that meant the impact
in the meaning of Jackie Robinson's life got bigger.
So, it was -- and it was something that, as I say, family and race who were our beginning. But he, and our family, and myself, we've met thousands of
Americans who talk about being part of the Brooklyn experience. Being part of the American experience. And feeling part of Jackie Robinson's victory.
And having it be their victory as well.
SIDNER: The museum is organized around four pillars of his life. One was soldier, one with activist, one was family member, one was entrepreneur.
Tell me about the legacy of him as a soldier and what he had to face.
ROBINSON: Well, African-Americans since before the civil war were ready and eager and pushing to utilize military service in the American army in order
to show readiness to be full citizens and participants in American society. They were a huge factor in the civil war when the numbers of soldiers
(INAUDIBLE) who had died in the early years of the war were -- had to reduced number.
So, my father, when he was called to be in the army, he was ready to serve.
He was proud to follow in that tradition of wanting to show his readiness to continue to be part of American growth, as we were part of American
growth even during our enslavement. He would not, however, allow that desire to be part of American society to limit his civil or human rights.
And so, at the time that a bigoted and races bus driver told him to get to the back of the bus when the bus was on a military base and the regulations
would not allow that discrimination. He, again, he stood up for the larger principle. And the principle, really, that was the principle that
ultimately is an American aspiration towards greatness, which is to say that we should have equal rights, equal opportunities and he would not give
up that right and go to the back of the bus. And he was court marshaled.
So, he had more conflict with the American army than he had with any enemy army of American soil. But it was all part of developing the American
dynamic and conflicted times to bring justice to a society that was not born injustice.
ISAACSON: Another pillar of the museum is him as an entrepreneur. It's a very moving legacy. Tell me about the bank he did. And in some ways, it
fits into what you're doing now which is being an entrepreneur and why that was so important.
ROBINSON: Well, it's -- you know, yes, you mentioned the bank. Entrepreneurs across the globe. Financing is an important issue. And so, he
and some other African-Americans got together and they formed Freedom National Bank. Opened it on 125 Street in New York City's Harlem, part of
the black community.
It's -- he comments on the -- a thread that both he and Malcolm X had. They had their conflicts in terms of game plans and some philosophies and stages
in their lives. But my father said, not only do I want to aim for the employment of being the server of the coffee in a coffee shop. But I want
to own the cup, I want to own the coffee, I want to own the counter, and I want to own the coffee shop because that ultimately is where you get into
the broad dynamics of human development.
Racial development, social development, being owners, entrepreneurs. Having your own entrepreneurial spirit. Taking the spirit of a Jackie Robinson
which was to go out and win. And challenge any game whether it's a business game or a baseball game with new techniques and new styles. That is a way
to challenge the threatening elements for African-Americans and all Americans today. That spirit of getting out and making our own
ISAACSON: Another pillar of this museum is family. So, I got a personal question for you. What was it like growing up in a household with Jackie
Robinson as a dad?
ROBINSON: It was a blessing, Walter. My father grew up without a father. He knew the importance of a father's being there in terms of support and being
there in terms of love. So, we were usually blessed to have him, maybe not as many hours or days of a week as some families might have had their
father. But he made a point to show his concern and commitment to his children. I love to fish. He did not like to fish. But we have been in the
middle of huge lakes in Canada in a 10-foot rowboat. He and I fishing.
And, Walter, he didn't even know how to swim. But his desire to be with his son in something that he enjoyed doing was such that that was not even in
consideration. So, we fished all over in Canada, on the East Coast of the U.S., in the Caribbean Islands. He did for his children both financially
ISAACSON: Your mother just heard 100. Tell me the role she played.
ROBINSON: She was a heart of the family. An emotional joy and a comfort of the family. An intellectual of the family. The books that she had in our
library in terms of human development, in terms of social dynamics, in terms of group growth were outstanding. I couldn't read any or really
understand any of them as a kid. But it -- the title of the books brought me the awareness there was more to life than what the surface seem to
So, she was a tremendous influence and a giver of love to the family. And my father and she responded beautifully in that relationship of being both
parents and loves themselves.
ISAACSON: One of the really relevant parts of this museum is the idea of your father as an activist. There's a wonderful picture of the march on
Washington. And there he is, and you're there with him. Tell me about that day.
ROBINSON: Well, it was part of a great day and part of a great era where people galvanized, focused, engaged, and challenged and interacted with the
issues. They were very clear at that point. And it was -- some things were easier to challenge then than today. The white-only signs were up. The
where you can ride on the buses or planes which they're an -- a very clear discrimination.
So, that day was coming together. People of all walks of life, races, and religions. And expressing that we all wanted something more. America had
promised something more. Citizens had to work towards something more. And sustained development. Sustained internal peace. Required that we come
together and express ourselves.
And that requirement is still there today because, you know, aren't we a more united nation today than 1950, 1960, 1970? Are we a stronger nation?
Are we a better model for global interaction? Those are questions which have very murky answers.
And I think the need for people to come together within their own groups but on a larger basis as well. On a national and international basis. The
need is there. And if one thing comes out of a vision through Jackie Robinson Museum, I hope it's that people are galvanized to see the critical
challenges in society today reflected in how Jackie Robinson and people responded during an era. And we pick up that challenge because it is a
Jackie Robinson saw his grandmother and his mother's life and meeting his own impact to help reconcile some of that. And then reconcile the position
of his children. That need of back to back multigenerational development is critical today. It may be less visible. But if we do not come together to
solve those problems, they will continue to plague our society and individual members within our nation.
ISAACSON: David Robinson. Thank you so much for joining us.
ROBINSON: Thank you, Walter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Wow, that was so powerful. A proud son carrying on his father's enduring legacy. Well, that is it for now. You can always catch us online,
on our podcast, and across social media. Thank you so much for watching. And goodbye from New York.