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Big Ideas - full program

  1. Preparing for future pandemics2020/07/30

    We know that the coronavirus pandemic won’t be our last. Other viruses have the potential to jump from animals to humans. So how can we strengthen global defences against future pandemics? And what’s been Australia’s best weapon in the fight against Covid-19?
  2. David Kilkullen on the security threats to the West2020/07/29
    headshot of David Kilcullen
  3. Global co-operation in the Covid era2020/07/28

    What will the world look like on the other side of this pandemic? After decades of facilitating the free flow of people, goods and services, nations are strengthening their borders to protect the health of their citizens. Will globalisation be in retreat as a result of Covid-19 or will the pandemic underline the need for global co-operation ?
  4. The science of success2020/07/27
    secret of success
  5. The risk of blundering into a nuclear war2020/07/23
    nuclear arms race
  6. Borders and the pandemic2020/07/22
    Person wearing covid mask
  7. Do economic sanctions work?2020/07/21
    Economic sanctions
  8. Roadmap for economic recovery2020/07/20

    A billion dollar stimulus package is life support for our economy but sooner or later the government will pull the plug. Is there a risk of relapse if it happens too quickly? The Grattan Institute has a prescription for economic recovery with policy recommendations for household finances, transport , employment and health.
  9. Julia Gillard and womens' leadership2020/07/16
    Julia Gillard calls for more preventative mental health care
  10. Can suffering lead to personal growth?2020/07/15
    portrait photo of psychologist David Roland
  11. Covid-19 as a catalyst for change2020/07/14

    Should things go back to the way they were before Covid-19 or is it an opportunity to do things differently? A greater investment in public services and public ownership could be the legacy of this pandemic.
  12. Birth of the modern Middle East and COVID-19 in conflict zones2020/07/13
    Middle east
  13. The constitution and the COVID-19 crisis2020/07/09
    Picture of Australian PM, Health Minister and CMO at podium
  14. Anxiety, depression & the happiness myth2020/07/08
    Jill Stark image
  15. What we can learn from cats2020/07/07
    For the love of cats
  16. Is a canine companion the best medicine?2020/07/06
    Info (Show/Hide)
  17. Covid, universities and the economy2020/07/02
    Info (Show/Hide)
  18. Aged care, dementia and assisted dying2020/07/01
    Older man being comforted by adult daughter
  19. Covid-19 & the future of work2020/06/30
    Info (Show/Hide)
  20. Why the cashless society is not a bad thing2020/06/29
    cashless payments
  21. Can democracy tame twenty-first century capitalism?2020/06/25
    Tension between democracy and capitalism
  22. COVID-19 and human rights2020/06/24
    photo of older person in aged care with visitor
  23. The role of journalism during COVID-192020/06/23
    Info (Show/Hide)
  24. Covid testing and tracing2020/06/22
    Info (Show/Hide)
  25. Germs and Justice : Democracy & emergency powers2020/06/18
    Info (Show/Hide)
  26. Big Tech and screen-based learning in schools2020/06/17
    children learning with computer tablets
  27. Cracking the DNA code2020/06/16
    Info (Show/Hide)
  28. Sexual abuse by UN and non-UN peacekeepers2020/06/15
    Sexual abuse by peacekeepers
  29. Germs and Justice : Jobs & industrial relations2020/06/11
    Info (Show/Hide)
  30. Law in a time of war2020/06/10
    picture activist and suffragette, Adela Pankhurst, in Australia
  31. The skill of critical thinking2020/06/09
    critical thinking
  32. Can a computer think like a human?2020/06/08
    Info (Show/Hide)
  33. Germs and Justice: Covid-19 & Privacy2020/06/04
    Info (Show/Hide)
  34. Billy Bragg in conversation about politics, freedom, and music2020/06/03
    Billy Bragg performing
  35. Can accountants save the planet?2020/06/02
    Info (Show/Hide)
  36. Science predicts the future2020/06/01
    Info (Show/Hide)
  37. No barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities2020/05/28
    technology and disability
  38. Fixing the Murray Darling Basin2020/05/27
    Photo of creek with water in it in Murray Darling Basin
  39. COVID-19 and domestic violence2020/05/26
    Domestic violence under COVID-19
  40. Covid-19 anxiety and vaccine uptake2020/05/25
    Info (Show/Hide)
  41. The style and substance of good writing2020/05/21

    Are we losing our ability to write well and is it because we don’t follow the rules? Professor Steven Pinker says loosen up, rules are made to be broken. But he takes aim at writing which confuses rather than informs . Why is it so difficult to read the writing of lawyers, academics and bureaucrats? The techniques of classic style are a good start for improving the quality of writing.
  42. The legacy of the partition of India2020/05/20
    picture of Pakistan social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch
  43. Covid, the UK and radical uncertainty2020/05/19

    Our economy is locked down because of the Coronavirus and it’s a similar story around the world. When will the clouds lift and the global economy recover from this virus? The former Bank of England Governor Lord Mervyn King says policy-makers are working in unchartered waters. He says governments must make decisions in a time of radical uncertainty.
  44. Digital universities2020/05/18
    Digital technology in tertiary education
  45. The science of Covid-192020/05/14

    Medical scientists are hard at work trying to find effective treatments for COVID 19. They’re on a steep learning curve. How does this new virus work? What’s the best way to treat it? And how can we reduce the rate of transmission? Join a panel of medical experts on the frontline.
  46. The prejudice of algorithms2020/05/13
    picture of scientists measuring skulls
  47. Communication as a tool to fight pandemics2020/05/12
    Vaccinate against a pandemic
  48. Will the Covid crisis change China?2020/05/11
    Info (Show/Hide)
  49. PREVIEW RN Presents — Hot Mess: Why haven’t we fixed climate change?2020/05/08
    Info (Show/Hide)
  50. How will Covid 19 reshape global polititcs?2020/05/07

    Despite encouraging signs of a slowdown in infection rates, we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic. The economic and social effects of Covid-19 will be far-reaching.

    On the other side of this pandemic will there be a new world order? How is the virus affecting the US-China relationship, South-East Asia and the global balance of power?

  51. Truganini: beyond the myth2020/05/06
    Truganini portrait image
  52. Malcolm Turnbull – a memoir2020/05/05
    Malcolm Turnbull's memoir
  53. Physics and a theory of everything2020/05/04
    Mysteries of physics
  54. The China Effect2020/04/30
    Suloke Mathal/Flickr.com/CC BY 2.0
  55. How should we remember Captain Cook?2020/04/29

    It’s 250 years since the arrival of Captain James Cook. In maritime circles he’s celebrated as a great navigator and map-maker. But for First Nations people, Cook is the symbol of the European invasion which decimated their communities. So how should Cook be remembered today? Author Peter Fitzsimons and historian Professor John Maynard discuss the man and the myth.
  56. Trust in a time of coronavirus2020/04/28
    Photo of coronavirus conspiracy sign
  57. Fungi for a healthy planet2020/04/27

    Fungi are the unsung heroes of recycling. They play a vital role in breaking down organic matter for plants to use. Now we've discovered fungi can clean up oil and plastic. And their root systems are being used to create alternatives to plastic, wood and bricks. Who knew the humble mushroom could be so versatile?
  58. Is saving our planet still possible?2020/04/23
    Action against climate change
  59. The life and legacy of Paul Robeson2020/04/22
    Paul Robeson image
  60. Beer around the world2020/04/21
    European style lager beer has replaced most of the local beer types around the world.
  61. The Nano Revolution2020/04/20

    Small is beautiful as the saying goes. But there’s small and then there’s nano small. Engineers who work in the nano world are working with single atoms. Nanotechnology helps to power your mobile phone and nano machines might one day be working in your body to deliver medical treatment.
  62. Let's imagine how science will shape our future2020/04/16
    Info (Show/Hide)
  63. Therapeutic jurisprudence in the Coroner's Court2020/04/15
    Image of Lindy Chamberlain arriving at NT Coroners Court
  64. First nations women fight family violence and win the vote2020/04/14

    Indigenous women who are victims of family violence often also suffer from multiple disadvantage. A specialist indigenous legal service provides culturally appropriate support and counselling. And the long struggle for indigenous women to gain equal voting rights with their white sisters.
  65. Automated creativity2020/04/13
    AI creativity
  66. Negotiating peace2020/04/09
    UN peacekeeping
  67. The purpose and future of the university (part two)2020/04/08
    Photo of the Radcliffe Camera library, Oxford university
  68. What does it mean to be evil?2020/04/07
    Exploring evil
  69. Five challenges for democratic governments2020/04/06
    Info (Show/Hide)
  70. Loneliness cause and cures2020/04/02

    To fight the Corona virus we’re making the choice to isolate ourselves at home. So it’s going to be a lonely time for some. But loneliness is a problem even when society is firing on all cylinders. Technology gives us more ways to connect so why are we so lonely? How can we build social connections?
  71. The purpose and future of the university2020/04/01
    Photo of Bologna University, Italy
  72. How to take urgent action on climate change2020/03/31

    Can the world achieve zero emissions by 2050? We need to put our foot on the accelerator if we’re to meet our Paris target. That’s the view of a former UN climate negotiator who was a key figure in the 2015 Paris Climate Talks. She warns that the time for action is now. And can citizens assemblies produce action on climate change?
  73. What matters most for weight control?2020/03/30
    Controlling your weight
  74. Are you tired of being tired?2020/03/26

    Despite your best efforts do you struggle to get enough sleep or to wake up feeling refreshed ? Tiredness is a common complaint as the working day extends and we do more and more . But getting enough sleep isn’t as simple as it sounds. You might be out of step with your body clock or have a sleep disorder. Three sleep specialists tackle the secrets of sleep.
  75. Writers discuss how they capture a sense of place2020/03/25
    picture of the grand canyon
  76. The power of girls2020/03/24
    Power of girls
  77. Five perspectives on the fight for human rights in Australia2020/03/23

    Mahatma Gandhi lived a life committed to social justice and human rights. In this year's lecture to honour his memory five Australian women talk about their work in indigenous communities, for people with disabilities, refugees , LGBTIQ and campaigns to reduce domestic violence.
  78. The science of fate2020/03/19

    When you look in the mirror you might see your mothers eyes or your father’s chin. But have you inherited more than these physical characteristics? Beyond a genetic predisposition to illness , can you inherit a tendency to be religious or obese? Are the life experiences of previous generations shaping the way you behave now?

  79. Monetising misery and the future of capitalism2020/03/18
    Collapsing pile of coins
  80. Chernobyl and the fall of the Soviet Union2020/03/17
    Facility control desk of Reactor 1 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. 1978
  81. Is the law too slow to reflect how society changes?2020/03/16
    Law and society
  82. Overcoming division with the politics of hope2020/03/12
    Info (Show/Hide)
  83. Our changing attitude to immigrants and refugees2020/03/11

    Refugee advocates are unrelenting in their criticism of offshore detention and turn-back-the boats. Yet successive governments remain unmoved. We welcomed refugees en masse after the second world war and after the Vietnam War. So why is it so different now? Historian Joy Damousi takes the long view on immigration and refugee policy.
  84. Selfies, sexualisation, and female objectification2020/03/10
    image of woman on bed taking a sexy selfie
  85. Rick Morton: The power of money2020/03/09
    Money and poverty
  86. Not ageing but getting older2020/03/05

    Ageing gets a bad wrap in our youth obsessed society but Ashton Applewhite says we're saddled with outdated ideas. Our attitudes to growing older come from a time when lifespans were so much shorter. She promotes positive ageing and campaigns against age discrimination.
  87. Overcoming eco-anxiety2020/03/04
    Dry river bed of the Lower Darling
  88. The history of opium 2020/03/03
    Fields of purple opium poppy stretch across the pastures and peaks of mountainous eastern Myanmar, with many farmers reluctant to give up the profitable cash crop in spite of incentives offered.
  89. Sex scandals in politics and love in resistance2020/03/02
    Sex and politics
  90. Truly fair elections are impossible - mathematically2020/02/27
    Math behind the voting process
  91. Is genomic medicine delivering on its potential?2020/02/26
    Baby asleep in cot
  92. US foreign politics since the Cold War2020/02/25
    US foreign policy
  93. Music by robots2020/02/24
    Music by robots
  94. A study of antisemitism2020/02/20
    In the face of antisemitism
  95. Decriminalising domestic violence2020/02/19
    domestic violence image with hand
  96. Public speaking without fear2020/02/18
    Master public speaking
  97. Paul Krugman’s take on the US economy and what it means for the election2020/02/17
    Economy myths
  98. Encouraging repair over waste2020/02/13
    Right to repair
  99. A history of popular protest in Australia2020/02/12
    protesters burying head in sand at the beach
  100. What does it take to be an inventor?2020/02/11
    Inventors of the future
  101. Business leadership for the 21st century2020/02/10

    What does it take to be a leader in an era of rapid change? Two business analysts have travelled the world to see what works and what doesn't. They say the top-down, macho model is so last century! Successful leaders now need a different set of skills from those who led big corporations in the past.

  102. Shakespeare and modern life2020/02/06

    Shakespeare is one of Britain’s favourite sons but his popularity is global. While the Elizabethan English is a challenge for modern audiences his characters and plots are timeless.
  103. John Bell and a life performing Shakespeare2020/02/06
    A first edition of Macbeth
  104. John Bell on the power of Shakespeare and Shakespeare and modernity2020/02/06
    A first edition of Macbeth
  105. Tackling ageism and challenging myths about ageing2020/02/05
    headshot of anti ageism activist Ashton Applewhite
  106. Art imagines a better world2020/02/04

    There are certain images which stay with you forever. Paintings and photographs which you can’t get out of your mind. For American author Sarah Sentilles it was the image of the hooded prisoner tortured at Abu Ghraib. She changed the direction of her life to study photography and art as a way to change the world.
  107. Creativity in an age of constraint2020/02/04

    Should there be limits on writers and artists who dip into into other cultures for ideas and inspiration? Are writers expected to promote progressive views? Lionel Shriver is a vocal critic of identity politics and says artistic freedom is under threat.
  108. Creative constraints and art imagines a better world2020/02/04

    Is artistic freedom at risk ? Author Lionel Shriver attracted a storm of protest when she criticized identity politics and the pressure on writers to promote progressive social and political attitudes. She argues that the freedom to create characters who are not like you is at the heart of fiction writing.
  109. Are the big parties killing democracy?2020/02/03
    Challenges for democracy
  110. Ronan Farrow’s insights into the abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein2020/01/30
    Harvey Weinstein: Exposing the abuse allegations
  111. Meat-eating pets and climate change2020/01/29
  112. Community response to climate change and the carbon footprint of pets2020/01/29
  113. Why are we so divided on climate change?2020/01/29
  114. Tensions between the US and Iran – an Iranian perspective2020/01/28
  115. CBC Massey lecture 5 - Shifting power2020/01/27
  116. CBC Massey Lecture 2 - The Mating Game2020/01/21
  117. CBC Massey Lecture 1 - In The Beginnings2020/01/20
  118. Sharing science – for the good of all2020/01/16
  119. Makarrata and preserving indigenous languages2020/01/15
  120. The end of silence2020/01/14
  121. A tale of two buildings: The Sydney Opera House and Parliament House2020/01/13
  122. Evolution made humans less aggressive2020/01/09
  123. What price nature?2020/01/08
  124. Do animals have emotions?2020/01/07
  125. The journey of Munjed Al Muderis from refugee to world leading surgeon2020/01/06
  126. The politics of mental health2020/01/02
  127. History of Native Americans – the other side2020/01/01
  128. Is a canine companion the best medicine?2019/12/31
  129. Stan Grant on liberalism, identity, and Australia Day2019/12/30
  130. Jane Caro on the 'accidental feminists'2019/12/26
  131. Fitter, faster, stronger2019/12/25
  132. The Panama Papers - the biggest data leak in the history of journalism2019/12/24
  133. How Australia got its unique system of voting and elections2019/12/23
  134. The science of sleep2019/12/19
  135. Can trees talk and think2019/12/18
  136. The consequence of trauma2019/12/17
  137. How trolling and cyberhate causes real-life harm2019/12/16
  138. Digital megatrends2019/12/12
  139. The ethics of artificial intelligence2019/12/12
  140. The ethics of AI and digital megatrends2019/12/12
  141. Can you spot a liar?2019/12/11
  142. Leadership in uncertain times2019/12/10
  143. A cancer doctor reflects on how to live and die well2019/12/09
  144. Time management in the digital age2019/12/05
  145. Economics 101. What you need to know.2019/12/04
  146. Makarrata and preserving indigenous languages2019/12/03
  147. The End of Silence: Boyer Lectures2019/12/02
  148. Reducing Australia's suicide rate2019/11/28
  149. Immigration policies from a migrant’s perspective2019/11/27
  150. Arson and the age of fire2019/11/26
  151. Do unions help or harm the economy?2019/11/25
  152. Restoring American leadership2019/11/21
  153. Dementia doesn't discriminate - do you?2019/11/20
  154. Whistleblowers safeguarding our democracy2019/11/19
  155. Can better science communication help counter pseudo-science? 2019/11/18
  156. Bligh and extraordinary sea journeys2019/11/14
  157. Digital disruption and extraordinary sea voyages2019/11/14
  158. Digital disruption2019/11/14
  159. In politics and law, does art matter?2019/11/13
  160. Is your memory playing tricks on you?2019/11/12
  161. The writing of war history2019/11/11
  162. Will Extinction Rebellion succeed where others have failed?2019/11/07
  163. Younger people drinking less alcohol2019/11/06
  164. The power of political cartoons2019/11/05
  165. Are white women shutting down discussions about race and racism?2019/11/04
  166. The challenges of social justice campaigning2019/10/31
  167. Klaus Fuchs – the most dangerous spy in history2019/10/30
  168. Is personalised medicine a triumph of hype over hope?2019/10/29
  169. Does evil exist?2019/10/28
  170. Democracy is failing the people2019/10/24
  171. Why public health is the answer to almost everything2019/10/23
  172. Why changing your behaviour for the better is so difficult?2019/10/22
  173. Class, poverty, and the importance of place, in country Australia2019/10/21
  174. What is life and how does it begin?2019/10/17
  175. The story of the Jews2019/10/16
  176. Craig Foster on sport and human rights2019/10/15
  177. Free speech and the news media2019/10/14
  178. Dr Michael Mosley on how to eat and what to eat2019/10/10
  179. Does Australia need a charter of human rights?2019/10/09
  180. Can we afford to feed companion animals?2019/10/08
  181. Street art and national identity2019/10/07
  182. Science fiction compulsory reading for future leaders2019/10/03
  183. Science fiction predicts the future of work2019/10/03
  184. Science fiction and the future of work2019/10/03
  185. Murchison meteorite reaches back to the origins of the solar system2019/10/02
  186. Travelling everywhere2019/10/01
  187. Mystery of gold & travel2019/10/01
  188. The mysteries of gold2019/10/01
  189. Creating a healthy masculinity2019/09/30
  190. True crime in Australian history2019/09/26
  191. Women in the era of strongmen2019/09/25
  192. Riding the wave of populism and nationalism2019/09/25
  193. Populism and women in the era of strongmen2019/09/25
  194. Indigenous Australians' historic travels to Britain2019/09/24
  195. Cleaning up chemical contaminants2019/09/23
  196. What makes great teaching and great schools?2019/09/19
  197. Why are voters so disaffected with – everything?2019/09/18
  198. Living longer2019/09/17
  199. Australia and the European Union2019/09/16
  200. Adapting to digital disruption2019/09/12
Big Ideas

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

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