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Preview: Big Ideas

Big Ideas - Full program podcast

Big Ideas brings you the best of talks, forums, debates, and festivals held in Australia and around the world, casting light on the major social, cultural, scientific and political issues

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Eurovision - more than just a song contest

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

There is more to the Eurovision Song Contest than Euro-kitsch. It’s an attempt to unify the continent and offer a platform for minority identities. And it’s often also highly political.Dami Im (Anadolu Agency, Getty Images)

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Dating, divorce, and capitalism, according to Helen Razer

Mon, 25 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

An unharnessed conversation with Helen Razer about the dating game, the problem with capitalism, Donald Trump, and far more besides.Helen Razer image (image courtesy of Allen and Unwin)

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The Genius of Birds

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Your feathered friend is smarter than you think.Crow and Banksia Men (MaX Fulcher/ CC BY 2.0)

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How to talk about science

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Do science communicators have to do a better job in getting their message across?Hands-on Science (GoToVan / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Food and Mood

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Eat well to boost your brainpower and reduce your risk of depression.

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Trust and truth in the digital age

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

How should we combat the epidemic of 'fake news'?fake news image (Free Press Action Fund Flckr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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The musings of Tim Rogers

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Singer, songwriter and author, Tim Rogers, in conversation with Paul BarclayTim Rogers image (Luke Henery)

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Myanmar's Rohingya

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Rohingya refugees and the prospects for a safe return.(DFID/ BY 2.0)

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Beyond the newsroom

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

The future of jobs in the creative media industry.(J D Lasica/ BY 2.0)

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Chinese Australians and the White Australia Policy

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Chinese families separated by immigration policy in early twentieth century Australia.(1908 Chinese picnic at Emmaville / NSW State Library)

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Big Ideas 7 December 2017

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Visa cancellations & women speak out

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Diverse voices

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Is there a lack of diversity in Australian publishing?(Thabata Andrade/ BY 2.0)

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Australia’s engagement in human rights in the United Nations

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

While Australia used to be closely involved in the UN human rights initiatives, Michael Kirby describes a loosening of compliance in recent years, including with respect to refugee, anti-terrorism and other laws.United Nations human rights (sanjitbakshi / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Humans redesigned by technology

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Should we engineer new improved human beings?(Beach Art Centre/ CC BY 2.0)

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Second chances

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

How do you bounce back and rebuild your life after you've messed up.Pentridge image (Flickr CC: Stephen White)

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Citizen Centred Justice

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

A re-designed justice system to give greater access to the poor and vulnerable.(James Cridland/ BY 2.0)

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How just is the Family Court?

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Justice, says Chief Justice Diana Bryant, has nothing to do with law, but is understood on an individual, very personal level.What is justice in Family Law? (Clyde Robinson / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Pregnancy, Poverty and the State

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

American women losing reproductive rights(Joe Goldberg/ BY 2.0)

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De-industrialisation and creating the future we want

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Where to now for South Australia following the end of car manufacturing, and creating the Australia we want for 2030.

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An unwinnable war?

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

The limits of western military intervention in Afghanistan(ResoluteSupportMedia/ BY 2.0)

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Exploring space with Bill Nye

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Bill Nye presents the technology for solar sailing and why interplanetary space exploration is so exciting.Bill Nye (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, Getty Images)

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Black Lives Matter

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Fighting against racism in the justice system and the broader society(Rob Kall / BY 2.0)

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Disrupting ageing

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

We need to change our assumptions about ageing and stop talking about the ageing population as if it’s a burden.Oldest sprinter (Michael Bradley/AFP/Getty Images)

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Future of humanity

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Is humanity designing its own demise?(Nod Young/ BY 2.0)

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Is reunification of Korea possible?

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Recent tensions on the Korean peninsula seem to make the possibility of a Korean reunification even less likely. Or would it be possible? And what can the Koreas learn from the German experience?Korean border (John Pavelka / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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How just is genomics and biomedical research?

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Simplistic narratives of cures and miracle drugs obscure harder questions about the meaning of and control over genomic data.Genomics (Thomas Northcut, Getty Images)

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A new economics?

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

What would a sustainable, "human-centred", economy look like? mother earth image (Michele Tantussi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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China and Surveillance

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

China's influence in Australia and surveillance and privacy

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Legacy of the Russian Revolution

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

The Russian Revolution was fought over inequality. Analysing the reasons why it failed is important as we are to face the same problem today, a century later.Russian revolution (wjarosz, Getty Images)

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Does the EU have a future?

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Brexit, refugees and slow economic growth are testing the resilience of the European Union(Derek Bridges/ BY 2.0)

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Lucky country?

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Is Australia still the "lucky country"?Rebecca Huntley image (image courtesy of Penguin)

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Finding life in space

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Could the most like form of extra-terrestrial life be a fish? Water has a crucial role in the development of lifeMars (Kevin Gill / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Finland and neuroscience

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Two very different topics on Big Ideas: First a history of neuroscience. Much of what’s accepted knowledge today was considered utter nonsense when it was first discovered. For example that animals could have a conscience. And then Big Ideas looks at security policy in Europe – from a Finnish perspective. Small countries are profoundly affected by great powers and their policies. Can they still make vital choices of their own?

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New chemicals – risks and regulations

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Thousands of new chemicals enter our living and work environment every year. How do we protect ourselves?chemicals (Cal Sr / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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CRISPR the disrupter

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

CRISPR makes genetic manipulation far easier and more precise. Should we be worried?DNA image (Getty Images)

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Boyer Lectures: How to build our digital future

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Data is king and mathematical algorithms rule.(Maziani Sabudin/ BY 2.0)

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Boyer Lectures: Fast smart and connected

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Preparing Australia for digital transformation.(Steve Johnson/ BY 2.0)

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AI and automated creativity

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly entering the realm of art and also advertising. What does that mean for our notion of creativity? And how do persuasive algorithms work?AI creativity (Many Wonderful Artists / Flickr)

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Rethinking housing

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

How do we rethink housing and urban development?tiny house image (courtesy of Big World Homes)

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Free speech on campus

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Should university students be warned when dealing with confronting ideas?(Caitlin_and_Kara/ BY 2.0)

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Death in the digital age

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

If technology allows you to have a virtual presence beyond your physical death will you choose to do it?(mkhmarketing/ BY 2.0)

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Julia Gillard on mental health - and the 2017 Peace lecture

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

A call more more preventative mental health care - and fighting unnecessary wars.

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'Making a Murderer' lawyer, Dean Strang, on justice US-style.

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

What does the case of Steven Avery, from 'Making a Murderer', tell us about the US justice system?Dean Strang image (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

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Art and terror

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Countering the corrosive effect of violent images.(Steve Snodgrass/ BY 2.0)

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A new side of the Cultural Revolution

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Decollectivisation from below was an unintended consequence of a decade of violent purges and entrenched fear.Mao Zedung and the cultural revolution (Photographer: Antony Funnell)

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Democracy and its discontents

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Standing up to democracy's critics and restoring faith in the system.Taksim anti-government riots in Turkey (newsonline/ BY 2.0)

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Elon Musk: Making humans a multi-planetary species

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Elon Musk plans to build a sustainable colony on Mars, a city of a million people. The first spaceships are to leave for the red planet in 2022. And his ambition doesn’t stop there. He sees humans turned into a multi-planetary species. At the International Astronautical Congress, Elon Musk presents the next-generation spaceship – a rocket bigger than an A380 plane. Work on the new rocket has already began.Elon Musk says that the vision of space travel could be reality in the next decade. (YouTube: SpaceX)

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Peter Greste on prison and the war on journalism

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Peter Greste discussing his imprisonment in Egypt and the threats posed to frontline journalism in period since 9/11.Peter Greste image (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

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The threat to frontline journalism Part One: The War on Words

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

The quality of news reporting is under threat as seasoned journalists are targeted in conflict zones and fake news is manufactured for social media.

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Cold War Games

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:05:00 +1100

The Cold War and the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.(Mi)/ BY 2.0)

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BIGSOUND: the present and future of the music business

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The trends, challenges and future of the rapidly changing music sector.ipod image (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Educating China after Mao

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

A hothouse school system produces the next generation of China's elite class.(Kyle Taylor/ BY 2.0)

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Elder abuse

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Ageism and the abuse of elderly Australian is on the rise. It's a surprising trend given that the culture that we set now is the culture that we’ll inherit later.Elder abuse (Carmen Zuniga / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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70s Australia and frontier history

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

How the Ocker character navigated the social changes of 1970s Australia and a revised history of the indigenous way of life prior to colonial contact.

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Bonus episode: How Do You Sleep At Night? - Mr Tobacco

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

In this bonus episode of the ABC's How Do You Sleep At Night? podcast, journalist Sarah McVeigh meets the man who argues the case for a tobacco company when cigarettes kill millions of people every year.

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The moral tightrope

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

What does the history of ethics tell us about living a moral life?Kenan Malik (Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)

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Science fiction as a guide for the future

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel says that every great human advance is preceded by a leap in imagination.Tardis (HD Hancock, Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Sleeping rough and health inequality

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The experience of homelessness in Australia and how social and economic inequality leads to health inequality.

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Australian history through a female lens

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

What are the moments - and movements - in Australian history, that mattered most for women?Rosie Batty image (Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

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Mining royalties and Aboriginal autonomy

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh says that the best way to address indigenous disadvantage is to support indigenous autonomy.mining royalties (Corrie Barklimore / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Tuesday, 12 September

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

What is the legacy of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands? Also – Big Ideas looks at the potential of artificial intelligence.

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Understanding the mind of a compulsive hoarder

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

You first need to understand the mind of a hoarder before you can tackle the clutter. Randy Frost explains the meaning possessions play in our lives and how and why this can go astray.The problem with hoarding (Elana Centor / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Twitter, trolls and Trump

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

A conversation with writer Lindy West about her memoir, "Shrill".Lindy West image (Jenny Jimenez)

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Delicious darkness

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

It's time to dim the lights and reclaim the night.(whatleydude/ BY 2.0)

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DNA manipulation and doping

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The same science that’s so promising in fighting deadly diseases will cause a nightmare for anti-doping organisations.Runner on track (Klaus Vedfelt, Getty Images)

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How your memory works

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The time travelling brain.(Jean-Remy Duboc/ BY 2.0)

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Can seaweed save the planet?

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Tim Flannery speaks about how to help feed, power and clean the world sustainably. Tim Flannery image (image courtesy of the Climate Council.)

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Do prisons work?

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Do prisons reduce the risk of crime and re-offending or are they a revolving door?(Simon Brass/ BY 2.0)

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Ethical challenges of extreme poverty and inequality

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Should we recognise 'freedom from extreme inequality' as a human right?poverty and inequality (Jukka Kervinen / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Saving the songbirds

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Songbirds are disappearing from the forests of Indonesia to become pet birds in gilded cages.Bird market in Indonesia (Seika/ BY 2.0)

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The women who mapped the stars

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The women 'citizen scientists' of the Harvard College observatory who expanded our understanding of the cosmos.Dava Sobel image (Mia Berg)

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Education overcomes disadvantage

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Two educators describe their programs for improving education for the poor and disadvantaged.

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How the International Criminal Court can render justice

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Gloria Atiba Davies explains the how the ICC works and the challenges the court faces.International Criminal Court (Michel Porro, Getty Images)

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Preventing Genocide

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

How can we strengthen individual protections and prevent mass atrocity crimes?(Bengin Ahmad/ BY 2.0)

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The future of work

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

What does the future of work look like and how prepared are we?Robot image (Getty images)

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Governments, technology and inequality

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The five technology-driven challenges for government and government's role in reducing inequality

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Thailand’s Triple Threat

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Thailand faces a “triple threat”: A new king, separatist violence in the South and the consolidation of  military rule.Beach Thailand (Maher Najm / Flickr)

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Living ethically

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

A panel of experts looks at the challenges and conundrums of what constitutes an ethical life.Ethics (AJC1 / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

How do you become a celebrity? A special talent or skill is desirable but not absolutely necessary.Sarah Bernhardt (Bernard Annebicque, Getty Images)

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A treaty to ban nuclear weapons

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Ramesh Thakur says that the boycott on the US ban the bomb conference was an open act of defiance and disrespect of a multilateral mandated disarmament process.Threat of nuclear war (Steve Snodgrass / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Disrupting democracy

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The risks and opportunities of digitally disrupted democracyelectronic voting image (Zoonar / Getty Images)

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Ethical machines

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Can we make machines more ethical? Can there be responsible machines?Responsible machines (GEOFF TOMPKINSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, Getty Images)

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Crime stories from Scandinavia

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Scandinavian crime books, movies and TV series are winning international audiences.

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Being creative in the digital age

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Digital technology is disrupting traditional models of creative industry and artists must explore new ways of distribution and audience engagement.Illuminated keyboard (Ryan Somma / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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The Millennial generation

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:05:00 +1000

A panel of 'millennials' discuss their aspirations and how the view the Australia they are growing up in.Millennials image (Getty images)

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Boris Johnson: Brexit and the ties that bind

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Britain's Foreign Secretary calms fears about Brexit and welcomes the strong connection with Australia.(ChiralJon/ BY 2.0)

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Is the refugee convention out of date?

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

With millions of displaced people in the world, is the refugee convention meeting their needs or should it be revised or replaced?(Gustavo Montes de Oca/ BY 2.0)

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BBC Reith Lecture 5: Adaptation

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

How to make history leap from the pages of a novel on to stage and screen.(Dun.can/ BY 2.0)

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Medically assisted dying

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Both Victoria and NSW are considering new proposals for medically assisted dyingPalliative care (Getty images)

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Democracy as human value

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Lenart Škof reflects on the ethical and spiritual foundations of the idea of democracy.Democracy (Open Knowledge / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Mission songs

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The history of indigenous missions and reserves told through folk songs and why we need indigenous recognition in the constitution

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BBC Reith Lecture Four: Can these bones live?

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Writing historical fiction - how to satisfy historians as well as literature critics.archive (Karen / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Islamophobia and human rights

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The impact of Islamophobia in Australia(FahrurrazyHalil/ BY-ND 2.0)

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Coral, coal and climate change

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Anna Krien on the dysfunctional politics of climate change policy, the contested economics of coal mining, and the 'energy wars'.bleached coral (Getty images)

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Moral injury

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Veterans carry the psychological anguish of decisions made in war.(Resolutesupportmedia/ BY 2.0)

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BBC Reith Lecture Three: Silence Grips the town

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

A tale of history, obsession and a writer who died for her art.(QuangVuTruong/ BY 2.0)

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Superheroes and the real world

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Comics have a close relationship with our contemporary political and real world.Spiderman (Florida Supercon / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Regulating for the public good

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Has the era of deregulation passed? Do citizens want governments and institutions to intervene and protect the public good?Grenfell Tower fire (Niklas Halle'n/Getty images)

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Return to Moscow

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Will liberal hostility to Putin push Russia into dangerous confrontation with the west?(Saragoldsmith/ BY 2.0)

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BBC Reith Lecture Two: The iron maiden

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Hilary Mantel: Historic fiction offers a valuable additional version of the past.Iron Maiden (Hulton Archive, Getty Images)

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