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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 2018, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

What's so special about Canada?

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

What can Australia learn from Canada's refugee sponsorship scheme?Thousands of Canadians are privately sponsoring refugees under the country's unique resettlement program (Stacie DaPonte /Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0)

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A land without borders

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Will two States bring peace to the Middle East?(Neta Bartel/ BY-ND 2.0)

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Hypersonic flight

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Hypersonic technology promises flights from London to Sydney in two hours, and there have been several proposals to help realise that dream.The promise of hypersonic flight (Michael Seeley / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Ageing populations and longevity

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Will it be unusual to live to a hundred?(rakef/ BY-ND 2.0)

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Korea: where the American century began

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Learning from North Korea's history to understand how to tackle one of the world's greatest nuclear challenges.Why North Korea is so determined to hold on to its nuclear arsenal ((stephan) /flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Is bold the new beautiful?

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

On International Womens Day we debate whether bold women are the new definition of beautiful(Harsh1.0/ BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Virtual reality and space station science

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

A look at our virtual lives from online personas to exploring virtual reality worlds and learning how to create new technology.

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Reasons for optimism

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Writer Gregg Easterbrook says that in this age of discord and fear-mongering, we forget that there is good reason for optimism.The secret of optimism (Loozrboy / Flickr CC BY SA-2.0)

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New technologies in film

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Exploring new technologies in film makingEmerging film technologies (sndrv /flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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Iceland – a nation punching above its weight

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 20:05:00 +1100

President Guđni Jóhannesson explains how a small country can have influence in a globalised world.Lessons from Iceland (moonjazz /Flickr public domain)

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City shaping transport and China ages

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

The role of transport in influencing the design of cities and how China is dealing with its old age boom.

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Radical histories for uncanny times

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Do we need a new frame of reference to truly understand our environmental emergency?(Breelynne/Flickr/com/CC BY 2.0)

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Transforming suburbia

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

What does it mean to live sustainably in our suburbs?How can we transform our suburbs to achieve a carbon positive, low energy future? (Michael Coghlan /Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Heritage under fire

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

The monumental scale of heritage destruction in the Middle East has spurred international efforts to protect cultural property during conflict. Why is it important and how can it be done?The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra has been under sustained ISIS attack (reibai /Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Tunisia - an Arab anomaly

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Tunisia alone emerged from the ‘Arab Spring’ a democracy. Is the country a model that can be replicated in other Arab countries, or simply an anomaly?Democracy in Tunisia (Anne Walker / Flickr CC BY SA-2.0)

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Personal faith and politics

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

On matters of public policy where does personal conscience begin and end?(Misc 18/ BY 2.0)

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Massey 5: The spirit of human rights

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Much of the evil we do comes from mistaken ideas of religion and what we think God wants of us.Human rights (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Angela Merkel – The private person behind the German chancellor

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

American journalist and author Kati Marton traces Angela Merkel’s rise as one of the most powerful political leaders.Angela Merkel (EU2017EE Estonian Presidency / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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China under Xi

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

The rise and rise of China under President Xi Jinping(Foreign and Commonwealth Office/ BY 2.0)

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Caught between free speech and hate speech

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Do we need regulation so that free speech doesn’t turn into hate speech?Restricting free speech – or not? (mrs, Getty Images)

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CBC Massey Lecture 4: The oneness of humankind

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Payam Akhavan, believes there is only one way forward: Accepting that our welfare is connected to the welfare of others.Welfare for humankind (Wonder woman0731 / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Luther and dreams

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

What dreams tell us about the mind and motivation of the leaders of the Reformation(Magro_kr/ BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Australian security

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Strengthening Australian security(PACAF/ BY 2.0)

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Neuroscience hype

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Neuroscience and neuropsychology in isolation is not the only answer to understanding and improving mental health.Neuroscience and mental health (Alachua County /Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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CBC Massey Lecture 3: The will to intervene

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Payam Akhavan asks: What causes atrocities like the Rwandan genocide? What can we learn so these things don't happen again?The will to intervene (Scott Chacon /Flickr CC By 2.0)

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Mesmerism, phrenology and Thomas Guthrie Carr

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Paul Barclay talks to author Catherine Jinks about Thomas Guthrie Carr, a shameless charlatan, showman, and pseudo scientistphrenologist head (Getty Images)

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Open science – to benefit all

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

If we want to speed up the discovery of new drugs, we need to share research.Fighting malaria with open science (CDC Global / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Is the simple life the good life?

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

How do we strip back our lives, smell the roses, embrace frugality and simplicity?vegie garden image (Dougal Waters/Getty Images)

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CBC Massey Lecture 2: The pursuit of global justice

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Payam Akhavan asks: Is it ever possible to do justice for genocide? Or is its enormity such that no punishment is enough?Bosnia war crimes image (Adam Guz/Getty Images Poland/Getty Image)

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Future of tourism

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Travel and tourism is changing and apps are driving the changeEiffel Tower image (Sylvain Sonnet/Getty images)

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Songlines: the foundational Australian story

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

How do you define, and understand, Aboriginal songlines? Aboriginal rock art image (Tom Till/Getty images)

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From bolshevism to populism

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Why would people have been attracted to the communist movement in times past?communism (Mark Surman / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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CBC Massey Lecture 1: The knowledge of suffering

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Payam Akhavan tells of how his family was forced to flee the Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini. It’s a story of an awakening to human rights.Iranian revolution image (Christine Spengler/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

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Superheroes and the real world

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

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

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The 70s Ocker and the challenge of change

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

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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Consuming our future

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Only lowering our living standards will achieve sustainable growth. That’s the message from Satyajit Das.Burning money (Purple Slog / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 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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Susan Faludi on gender, identity and her father’s sex change

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Susan Faludi reflects on the notion of 'identity', in the wake of her father's late in life gender reassignment surgery.Susan Faludi (Sigrid Estrada)

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Mission Songs

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

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

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Mess makes you more creative and resilient

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Messiness and randomness lie at the core of how we innovate and how we connect with each other - in short, how we succeed.Messiness for creativity (Ali West / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Confessions of a brain surgeon

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh on the wonder and mystery of the human brainHenry Marsh image (Alex Mackworth-Praed)

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Inside 'The Family': the legacy of a notorious apocalyptic cult.

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

An investigation of the doomsday cult known as The Family, and it's charismatic leader, Anne Hamilton ByrneAnne Hamilton-Byrne image (image courtesy of 'The Family' documentary)

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The wonder that is glass

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Where would we be without spectacles, light bulbs and windscreens? How many lives were saved through germ identifying microscope lenses? And how pleasurable would life be without windows, computers or telephones?Portland Vase (moorina / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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The China Effect

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Will personal freedom always give way to social control in China?

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The life and legacy of Paul Robeson

Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:05:00 +1100

Paul Robeson was an African American singer, film star, scholar, athlete, civil rights champion and radical political activist. What is his legacy today?Paul Robeson image (Bettman/Getty Images)

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Picnic at Hanging Rock

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Picnic at Hanging Rock – it’s been 50 years since Joan Lindsay wrote this famous novel of Valentine’s Day school picnic gone wrong.Picnic at Hanging Rock (Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection, Getty Images)

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Summer Hidden Hazards

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 20:05:00 +1100

Fragrance is just one of the hidden hazards in the household products we use.

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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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