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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.

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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What's your relationship with alcohol?

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Deciding to give up or slow down is tough in our drinking culture.(RubyGoes/ BY 2.0)

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Confessions of a brain surgeon

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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

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Boosting teenage mental health

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Positive parenting and online therapy reduces anxiety and depression.

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BBC Reith Lecture One: The Day is for the Living

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Understanding how the past has shaped the present.(Paul Townsend/ CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Australian workplaces need reform

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

How do we determine a fair day's work for a fair day's pay?(Rae Allen/ BY 2.0)

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Universal Basic Income: money for nothing?

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Should everyone be guaranteed a basic income from the government to meet their essential needs?driverless vehicle image (Boston Globe/Getty Images)

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Modern slavery

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Eradicating human trafficking and exploitation(Jeanne Menjoulet/ BY 2.0)

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A fair price for a degree

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

With increased fees and debt, will the cost of a university education outweigh the benefit?(Will Folsom/ BY 2.0)

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Picnic at Hanging Rock

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

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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Civil war and protecting civilians

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Civil wars are some of our most destructive conflicts with civilians living on the frontline.

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Mabo Day indigenous forum

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Will the Uluru Statement translate into genuine progress for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders?reconciliation image (William West/Getty images)

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Global risks and opportunities

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The winners and losers of globalization(Bill Harrison/ BY 2.0)

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Imprisoned by technology

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The use of technology as an alternative to prison walls.(Simon Brass/ BY 2.0)

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Susan Faludi on gender, identity and her father’s sex change

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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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How to talk about science

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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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A tax on meat

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

David Simon asks for a meat tax to cover the hidden costs relating to animal suffering, damage to the environment and healthcare.Meat tax (Peter Hellberg / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Missiles testing the peace in Korea

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

The risk of direct conflict grows as North Korea continues to fire missiles.(TimesAsi/ CC BY 2.0)

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New weapons in the battle against invasive pests

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

How is new technology changing the face of invasive pest animal control?cane toad image (Getty images)

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Delicious Darkness

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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

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How your memory works

Wed, 31 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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

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The moral maze of refugees and migration

Tue, 30 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Open the door or build a wall. How should we respond to millions of displaced people?(resolutesupportmedia/ BY 2.0)

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T-Rex 101

Mon, 29 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

T-Rex is one of the best researched dinosaurs of them all. But much of what scientists have found out about him will surprise you.Tyrannosaurus (Nathan Castle / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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The '67 referendum: a defining moment in Australian history

Thu, 25 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

It is fifty years since the ‘yes’ vote in Australia's iconic 1967 constitutional referendum67 referendum image (image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia: A1200, L62232)

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Learning and teaching

Wed, 24 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Free access to knowledge and inspired teaching.

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The coming war with China?

Tue, 23 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

What circumstances could lead to a war with China in the Pacific?A satellite view of the Crescent Group of islands which is part of the disputed Paracel Islands located in the South China Sea. (Gallo Images, Getty Images)

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Extremists in our midst

Mon, 22 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Author, John Safran, has been hanging out with Australia's "deplorables" - a disparate bunch of political outliers and extremists. What has he learnt?Anti mosque protest image (Quinn Rooney / Getty Images)

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The psychology of money

Thu, 18 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

What motivates you to spend or save?(Thomas Galvez/ BY 2.0)

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Health Sexuality and Law

Wed, 17 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Changing laws and attitudes to sexual minorities(NimalSkandhakumar/ BY 2.0)

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The life and legacy of Paul Robeson

Tue, 16 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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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Eurovision – more than just a song contest

Mon, 15 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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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East Timor and self-determination

Thu, 11 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Where will we draw the maritime border in the resource-rich Timor Sea?

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Geoff Mosley: a life for the environment

Wed, 10 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Geoff Mosley, the former director of the Australian Conservation Foundation, is one of the most significant figures of the environment movement in Australia. World heritage status of the Great Barrier Reef, recognition of the Alpine National Parks, preservation of Fraser Island - his achievements are many. And on Big Ideas he reflects on the history of conservation in Australia.Great Barrier Reef (Arterra / Contributor, Getty Images)

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Finding life in space

Tue, 09 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

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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A conversation with Tibet's leader in exile

Mon, 08 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Dr Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, speaks about his vision and hopes for Tibet, and the challenges facing his country.Lobsang Sangay image (Lobsang Wangyal/Getty Images)

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One Nation and Muslim immigration

Thu, 04 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Who votes for One Nation and why?(Getty Images/Bradley Kanaris)

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Robot friends and robot armies

Wed, 03 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

We look at robots as friend and foe. Designers are getting better at creating life-like robots who are more responsive to our social and emotional needs. They're already able to perform many tasks but can they ever take the place of human companions? At the other end of the scale, military robots are replacing humans on the battlefield as clinical killing machines.

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DNA manipulation and doping

Tue, 02 May 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 immigration shaped Australia

Mon, 01 May 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Australia is a nation shaped by immigration. From the first fleet onwards, people from all over the world have arrived here and made a new life for themselves, and their families. In the post war, ‘populate or perish’, era, migrants came from Italy, Greece, and other parts of Europe. Then, following the Vietnam War, Asian immigration dramatically increased. Modern Australia is a multicultural country. Paul Barclay speaks with a panel of guests about the impact of immigration on Australia.anti Muslim protest (Quinn Rooney / Getty images)

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Make it your business to do good

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

Business with a social purpose tackles inequality.

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Global corruption

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

Australia is ‘the Cayman Islands of the South Pacific' - a safe haven for money coming into the country through international corruption.Corruption money (Dimitris Kalogeropoylos / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Fuzzy thinking won't save the planet

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

We can't solve the world's problems without evidence and expertise.(NASA Goddard Space Flight/ BY 2.0)

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Utopian thinking

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

In an age of pragmatism, do need Utopian thinkers?Thomas More image (Getty Images)

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A brief history of tomorrow

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

Will the working class become the useless class as technology destroys millions of jobs?Are we heading in the right direction for the future we want? (digital cat/ /CC BY 2.0)

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Has political correctness failed?

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

Is political correctness a force for good or the enemy of free speech?(NewtownGraffiti/ BY 2.0)

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Disadvantaged remote Australia

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

Mothers and families could bring down the Indigenous incarceration rate and help break the vicious circle of violence and drug abuse in Indigenous communities.Indigenous incarceration rate (Dave Nakayama / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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Dating, divorce, and capitalism, according to Helen Razer

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

Helen Razer is known for her biting political and cultural commentary and for having a soft spot for Marxism. But when she was wrought with sadness and heartbreak, following the disintegration of a long term same sex relationship, she decided the way out was to re-enter the dating fray. And to write a book about it. Helen spoke to Paul Barclay about "divorce" and the experience of modern dating. Predictably, it wasn’t long before the discussion was steered towards money, class and economics.

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Diet and mental health

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

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

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Why do you need a digital identity?

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

Estonia is a digital pioneer offering e-identity and e-citizenships as well as a whole range of the digitalised government, education and public services.

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Hidden hazards

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

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

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Feminist Lindy West talks Twitter, trolls and Trump

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

A conversation with writer Lindy West about her memoir, "Shrill".

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The liberalism of fear

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

How should liberal criminal justice respond to community demands for increased penalties and protection?

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Guilty Pleasures

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

Should we embrace pleasure, or is too much self gratification bad for us?

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From time travel to micro-recycling

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 20:05:00 +1000

If we could time travel, would it be desirable to dabble with our past? And could we reducing electronic waste through micro-recycling of precious elements in micro-factories?

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The future of journalism

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 20:05:00 +1000

Why does journalism matter?

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Preparing for climate change

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

How life will change with the climate.

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Life as a refugee

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

The challenges of living in the world’s biggest refugee camp in Northern Kenya… and then adjusting to a completely foreign life in Australia.

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