University of Sydney podcasts

Latest episodes 2010
Professor Lothar von Falkenhausen

The First Emperor’s Home Base: Archaeological perspectives on ethnicity in ancient China

A Sydney Ideas lecture co-presented with the Confucius Institute and the School of Languages and Culture at the University of Sydney

Professor Lothar von Falkenhausen, Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

A favourite topic in modern Chinese archaeology is the definition of ancient ethnic group on the basis of excavated materials. What can archaeology tell us about the ethnic origins of the Qin ruling group–were they colonisers from the dynastic centers of China, or were they assimilated Barbarians? What are the methodological problems involved in this type of archaeological analysis?

November 6, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 36 min, 44.1Mb MP3)

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Professor Wolfgang Merkel

Farewell to Social Democracy?

A Sydney Ideas lecture

Professor Wolfgang Merkel, Social Science Research Center Berlin, (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung WZB)

Co-presented with the Sydney Democracy Initiative (SDI) and the School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS). Social democracy is in trouble. Wolfgang Merkel draws on his extensive research and practical involvement with social democratic parties in Europe and Latin America to show how the survival of social democracy during the coming decades crucially depends on finding new voters and party members and inventing new policies, programs and different visions of a better future.

November 30, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 40 min, 45.8Mb MP3)

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The Australian Dream debate

The Australian Dream Debate: Defining the Australian Dream

A Sydney Ideas Open presentation

‘The Australian Dream’ is widely accepted in the media, politics and society as a summary of Australian identity, values and aspirations, of what it means to be Australian. So we ask the question – what are the values, hopes, and dreams that inspire and motivate 21st century Australians? The panel of experts included: Dr Fiona Allon, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney; Dean Economou, Technology Strategist, NICTA (National ICT Australia); Lawrence Gibbons, Group Publisher Alternative Media Group of Australia; Professor Alan Peters, Head of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney; and Lee Rhiannon, former Greens MP in the NSW Upper House and currently NSW Senator-elect. Moderated by Peter Carr, CEO Sydney Development Agency.

November 30, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 52 min, 51.5Mb MP3)

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Dr Anwar Ibrahim

Islam, Democracy and the Status of Malaysia's Quasi-Secular State

A Sydney Ideas lecture co-presented with the Dept of Government and International Relations

Dr Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian leader of the Opposition

The University of Sydney was very pleased to host a special weekend lecture on campus by Malaysian Leader of the Opposition Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

November 13, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 49 min, 50Mb MP3)

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Kjell Aleklett

The Peak of the Oil Age: Declining world oil production will halt economic growth

A Sydney Ideas lecture

Kjell Aleklett, Professor of Physics and leader of the Global Energy Systems Group, Uppsala University, Sweden

Professor Aleklett's crucial research, published in March, is a critical review of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) forecasts of steady growth in oil production at least till 2030. Policy makers and investors can no longer assume that ever-increasing oil production will fuel their forecasts of continual economic growth.

November 12, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 29 min, 40.8Mb MP3)

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Professor James Fallows

The Midterm Referendum on Obama

A Sydney Ideas and US Studies Centre event

A fascinating analysis of the results of the 2010 US midterm elections with James Fallows, Chair in US Media at the US Studies Centre and correspondent for The Atlantic, and Professor Morris Fiorina, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

November 9, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 23 min, 20.3Mb MP3)

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Yasmine Ergas

Women's Reproductive Rights: Selves, Others, Bodies

A Sydney Ideas and Human Rights and Democratisation Lecture

Yasmine Ergas, Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University

For decades the phrase 'women’s reproductive rights' served as a rallying cry for assertions of women’s right to control their own fertility. In the words of the CEDAW Committee: "women are entitled to decide on the number and spacing of their children." This entitlement is far from having been achieved. And now the issues at stake have been complicated by the emergence of 'human rights' as the framework within which women’s claims are increasingly understood and by the 'globalization of motherhood' as well as the development of technologies that have facilitated markets in babies and baby-making. If 'reproductive rights' are to be understood as 'human rights' what are the consequences for women’s control over their own bodies? And, what kind of rights are at stake in the global market place for reproduction?

November 2, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 38 min, 42.4Mb MP3)

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Herodotus and the discovery of history

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers Series

Dr Julia Kindt, Classics and Ancient History, Faculty of Arts

Towards the end of the fifth century BC Herodotus wrote his Histories, a work in which he sought to explain why the Greeks had won the Persian Wars. The Histories are widely credited for pioneering the Western tradition of historiography – already Cicero called Herodotus "the father of history". But what is original about Herodotus' Histories is not so much what he wrote about – after all Homer had already focused his narrative on a great war – but how he wrote about it. Herodotus blended history and literature, political, cultural, and military history, ethnography, geography, zoology, linguistics and religion (to name just a few interests of this highly versatile author) in a unique and sophisticated fashion.

October 27, 2010 (Running time 57 min, 26.3Mb MP3)

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Emil Kraepelin

Emil Kraepelin and the origins of modern psychiatry

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers Series

Dr Dominic Murphy, History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Science

One hundred years ago, Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) was the most influential psychiatrist in the world, revered as the man whose system of classification put the study of mental illness on firm scientific foundations. We owe to Kraepelin the distinction between schizophrenia (which he called premature dementia) and manic-depressive illness. This lecture explained Kraepelin's approach to psychiatry and his influence on modern psychiatry, and discussed why some contemporary theorists think that his influence is keeping psychiatry on the wrong track.

October 20, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 1 min, 28.3Mb MP3)

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One Just World: Child Health Now

Child Health Now

A One Just World Forum at the University of Sydney

A special One Just World Forum with participants including: Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO - Chancellor of the University of Sydney; Tracey Spicer, broadcaster and journalist; Louise Baur, Professor & Deputy Associate Dean, Discipline of Paediatrics & Child Health University of Sydney; Tim Costello, Chief Executive, World Vision Australia: Michael Dibley. Associate Professor of International Public Health, University of Sydney; Rosaria Martins da Cruz, Director, HIAM Health, Timor Leste; Sue Ndwala, maternal and child health advisor, World Vision Australia; and a special report from Malawi via video by Rebecca Gibney.

October 19, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 22 min, 38Mb MP3)

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Professor Esther M Sternberg MD

Emotions, the Brain and the Body: The science connecting health and the emotions

A Sydney Ideas Open event

Professor Esther M Sternberg MD and Professor Ian Hickie AM

How do the emotions affect our physical and mental health? What is the science that shows how brain and body interact to make us sick or well? Two of the world's leading researchers expose and explore the pathways within the brain through which our emotions connect with our bodies.

October 14, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 25 min, 39.3Mb MP3)

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Alexandre Koyré

Alexandre Koyré: On the political dangers of telling lies

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers Series

Professor John Keane, Centre for the Study of Democracy, Faculty of Arts

Discussions of lying in politics often cite the work of Plato and Kant or (more usually) draw upon the writings of Hannah Arendt. But it was the Russian-born philosopher and historian of science Alexandre Koyré (1892-1964) who was perhaps the first contemporary writer to pose radically new questions about the damaging effects of lying. This lecture aims to unsettle our thinking about the political dangers of telling lies by revisiting Koyré's provocative but little-known claim that democracy and lying are twins.

October 6, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 58 min, 56.7Mb MP3)

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Professor Gareth Parry

Doing the Dirty Work of Higher Education

A Sydney Ideas/Social Inclusion Unit co-presentation

Professor Gareth Parry, University of Sheffield, UK

In the age of near-universal access, what should be the division of labour between colleges and universities? As open-door institutions, colleges transferred some students to selective universities and persuaded the rest in strongly vocational directions. The talk explored the issues of access and equity posed by a larger role for universities in widening participation and by new remits for colleges and schools in higher education.

October 5, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 3 min, 15.2Mb MP3)

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William Shakespeare

Shakespeare would have Tweeted

Comedy Debate 2010 - Alumni vs. Students

Moderated by Julian Brophy

The alumni team: Adam Spencer, the Vice-Chancellor and Judith Whelan challenged members of the University of Sydney Union debating team: Pat Bateman, Alex Lee and Ben Jenkins in the University of Sydney annual Comedy Debate hosted at the Great Hall on Tuesday 5 October 2010. Listen to the Podcast to find out the winners of this very close debate!

October 5, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 12 min, 70Mb MP3)

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Fred Block

Reinventing social democracy

Ted Wheelwright Memorial Lecture

Professor Fred Block, University of California, Davis

Professor Block first came to prominence with his book The Origins of International Economic Disorder: Study of United States International Monetary Policy from World War II to the Present. In this study he asserted what would become a career long interest in the destabilizing influence of unregulated capital flows across national borders. His lecture examined the future of social democracy in Australia and around the world, and included an introduction by Eleanor Hall of ABC Radio's The World Today.

October 5, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 19 min, 38.1Mb MP3)

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David Sloan Wilson

Evolving the City: Using Evolutionary Theory to Understand and Improve the Human Condition

Templeton Lecture

David Sloan Wilson, Evolving the City: Using Evolutionary Theory to Understand and Improve the Human Condition

The most distressing fact about public awareness of evolution is not that roughly 50% of Americans don't believe the theory but that nearly 100% worldwide don't appreciate its tremendous relevance to human affairs. I will show how evolutionary theory can help to solve the problems of everyday life, from the quality of life in our cities to rethinking the fundamentals of economic theory and policy.

September 29, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 41 min, 24.5Mb MP3)

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Thomas Mukoya

Telling African stories in the media

Sydney Ideas Public Lecture Series co-presented with Australia for UNCHR

Thomas Mukoya, Kenyan photojournalist

In a moderated discussion with Joel Negin, lecturer in international public health at the University of Sydney, Kenyan photojournalist Thomas Mukoya presented his experiences in telling African stories in the global media; outlining challenges, successes and reporting angles. Thomas and his camera have documented many of Africa's humanitarian crises, showing the circumstances of refugees and displaced people whose lives are forever changed by the effects of conflict and insurrection.

September 27, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 28 min, 42.3Mb MP3)

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Germaine de Staël

Germaine De Staël on the nation and nationalism

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers Series

Professor Glenda Sluga, International History, Faculty of Arts

There are few historical figures as dramatically enticing and colourfully enigmatic as Germaine de Staël. The young Germaine had an early introduction to the culture of the French Enlightenment through her mother's influential Paris-based salo. De Staël's published oeuvre spans a crucial period in the modernist history of the nation as an idea: from the French revolution to the Restoration, and from the Enlightenment to Romanticism. This talk will sketch out the parameters and significance of de Staël's conception of nation, and its importance for our historical understanding of patriotism as an idea and ideal.

September 22, 2010 (Running time 51 min, 24.9Mb MP3)

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Geoffrey Samuel

Buddhism and a Sustainable World: Some reflections

Sydney Ideas Public Lecture Series

Geoffrey Samuel, Cardiff University and 2010 Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, University of Sydney

There is no doubt that Buddhist thought, above all through its stress on the mutual dependence of all phenomena, contains resources that have been important for those working towards a more ecologically aware and sustainable way of life. In this address, the University's Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies, examines some of the writing in this area, suggests that the actual practice of Buddhist societies, particularly in Tibet and the Himalayas, often did engage quite deeply, if at a less explicit level, with environmental and ecological issues, and that these societies have useful lessons for us today in the search for a sustainable world .

September 20, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 37 min, 36.7Mb MP3)

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Julien Offray de La Mettrie

La Mettrie: Man a Machine

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers Series

Dr Charles Wolfe, History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Science

Julien Offray de La Mettrie, a medical doctor and philosopher was born in Saint-Malo (Brittany) in 1709, and died in 1751 in Berlin, where he was an intellectual-in-residence at Frederick II’s court. His best-known work, L’Homme-Machine or Man a Machine (1748), one of the greatest examples of materialist philosophy ever written - in which mind and body are explained as belonging to one material substance, which medical and physiological knowledge sheds light on. How is it that a philosopher admired today by all manner of ‘brain scientists’ was also the hero of the Marquis de Sade? Addressing this sort of question gets us to the heart of Enlightenment materialism.

September 15, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 13 min, 33.8Mb MP3)

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Tommy Murphy

A Voice Like No Other: The future of Australian drama on the international stage

Co-presented with the Seymour Centre Enquiring Minds Series

Tommy Murphy, Australian playwright

Award-winning young Australian playwright Tommy Murphy investigates a distinctly Australian dramatic voice and the often surprising responses from overseas audiences and practitioners. Murphy’s critically acclaimed new play Gwen in Purgatory is currently playing at Belvoir Street and he will also draw upon recent experiences with productions of his play Holding the Man in the United States, New Zealand and on London’s West End.

13 September, 2010 (Running time 53 min, 24.7Mb MP3)

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Susan's Bay. Big Wharf. Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Cities - Sydney, Freetown and Cape Town: Convicts and Empire

A Sydney Ideas Open/Sydney Humanities Salon Co presentation

Dr Kirsten McKenzie and Dr Emma Christopher, Department of History, University of Sydney

Many Sydneysiders think they know all about the history of their city, but few know that its convict past links it firmly to Africa, a continent many Australians know little about. Emma Christopher and Kirsten McKenzie uncover a forgotten history of abandoned plans and lost hopes, of political objections to sending convicts to Africa and the sufferings of those who were sent there. By revealing the convict connections to Freetown, Sierra Leone and Cape Town, South Africa, they show how very nearly the stories of Africa and Australia came to taking different turns. They are in conversation with Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney and Professor Deidre Coleman, University of Melbourne.

September 9, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 21 min, 37.5Mb MP3)

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Furious Faces on the Streets: Public Protests in history

Sydney Humanities Salon

Prof Robert Aldrich, Dr Frances Clarke and Dr Jim Masselos

"Power concedes nothing without a demand," avowed Frederick Douglass in 1857, "It never did and it never will." As an escaped slave who had gone on to become a leading figure in America's growing abolitionist movement, Douglas was no stranger to making public demands. He would become one of the many millions of people in history–most of them now forgotten–who refused to submit quietly in the face of authority. Their public actions have been one of history's driving forces. In protests, marches, parades and rallies, ordinary people have demanded and produced social change, sometimes, but not always, for the good. In this panel, we examine the history of public protests in a range of contexts–from crowd action in post-Enlightenment Europe and America through to the nationalist struggles in India and beyond–examining their contexts, tactics, and historical impact.

September 6, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 25 min, 39.1Mb MP3)

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Jack Miles

Waiting for the Preacher: Obama’s America in World Religious Context

Sydney Ideas Open and US Studies Centre

Jack Miles, Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies, University of California, Irvine

Jack Miles, Senior Fellow for Religious Affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy and Distinguished Professor of English and Religious Studies, University of California, Irvine examines the anti-Muslim sentiment in the US, and rumours that the directed at President Barak Obmama, is a Muslim who has lied about his religious background, including his claim to being a devout Christian.

September 6, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 9 min, 31.7Mb MP3)

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Ameen Rihani

Ameen Rihani: An Arab-American Humanist Intellectual

Dr Nijmeh Hajjar, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Faculty of Arts

Ameen Rihani (1876-1940) was an influential Arab-American thinker, writer and political activist, and was one of the most prominent humanist intellectuals of the 20th century. In this lecture, Dr Hajjar argues that in the light of today’s momentous world events and the search for global peace and cultural dialogue, Rihani’s secular vision of progress, liberal democracy and Arab-Western mutual respect is a balancing counterpoint to the obscurantism of both ideological fanaticism and the ‘clash of civilizations’ paradigms.

September 1, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 19 min, 36.4Mb MP3)

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Loretta Napoleoni

How the war on terror contributed to the credit crunch and to the crisis of the Euro

Loretta Napoleoni, Italian economist and terrorist financing expert

Loretta Napoleoni is the best-selling author of Rouge Economics, Terror Incorporated and Insurgent Iraq. She is an expert on financing of terrorism and advises governments and international organization on counter-terrorism. In her lecture for Sydney Ideas she outlines how the response of George Bush to 9/11 triggered a chain of events which led to the credit crunch and to the current crisis of the Euro.

August 30, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 18 min, 36.1Mb MP3)

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Eric Beecher

The business of journalism in a new media age

Eric Beecher,

"Traditional funding for important journalism is drying up," Eric Beecher observes. "The digital revolution that has democratised media and torn down the barriers to entry has also undermined the traditional old media business models that have subsidised quality journalism for the past century. Which creates a paradox and a dilemma: who will pay for the journalism that is integral to a properly functioning democracy?"

August 27, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 6 min, 30.3Mb MP3)

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Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead: From Cambridge mathematician to Harvard philosopher

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers Series

Peter Farleigh, Physiology, and Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology

What would the consequences be, if rather than substances and structures, we took events and processes to be the primary entities that make up the universe? And what if instead of the traditional mechanistic model we used the concept of the organism, as the key metaphor in our understanding of the world? These are two central questions that Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) wrestled with in his later years.

August 25, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 17 min, 35.8Mb MP3)

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Peter Beinart

The Icarus Syndrome: A history of American hubris

Sydney Ideas Open and US Studies Centre

Peter Beinart, Associate Professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, and the senior political writer for The Daily Beast.

The Icarus Syndrome tells a tale as old as the Greek–a story about the seductions of success. In conversation with Associate Professor Brendan O'Connor from the US Studies Centre, Peter Beinart portrays three extraordinary generations: the progressives who took America into World War I, led by Woodrow Wilson, who for a moment became the closest thing to a political messiah the world had ever seen. The Camelot intellectuals who took America into Vietnam, led by Lyndon Johnson, who lay awake at night in terror that his countrymen considered him weak. And George W. Bush and the post–cold war conservatives, who believed they could simultaneously bludgeon and liberate the Middle East.

August 25, 2010 (Running time 1 hour, 27.6Mb MP3)

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Scholarship at Large

Scholarship at Large

A Sydney Ideas Open/Sydney Humanities Salon Co presentation

Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director at Duke University Press, Cathy N. Davidson, Ruth F DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University with Professor Shane White and Professor Iain McCalman, Department of History, University of Sydney

How often do we hear that academics can't write? The people at Duke know something we don't? Ken Wissoker, the editorial director at Duke, believes his press not only produces smart books, it also shapes intellectual inquiry. But what about the future? What will happen to scholarship-and to thinking-in the age of digital technology? How do we develop new means to disseminate ideas? Cathy N. Davidson, the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English at Duke University and past president of the American Studies Association, joins Ken Wissoker to asking us to think beyond the book.

August 19, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 22 min, 37.7Mb MP3)

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J. K. Galbraith

J. K. Galbraith: Economic reform and the good society

Professor Frank Stilwell, Political Economy, Faculty of Arts

The distinguished political economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) thought economic reform should help to create ‘the good society’. He excoriated orthodox economists for being overly enamoured with the free market economy. He warned that capitalism, unless strongly regulated by government, would generate social imbalance, economic instability and unacceptable inequalities between rich and poor.

August 18, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 18 min, 36.1Mb MP3)

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Jay Rosen

What to do about journalism schools in a time of disruptive technology

Professor Jay Rosen, New York University

Journalism educators' discussion session of the Walkley Foundation's narrative and new media conference

Jay Rosen, author of the influential PressThink blog and groundbreaking work 'What are Journalists For?’ talks with Australian journalism educators about the shifts in thinking and practice needed to prepare students for rapidly changing, multimedial and user-focused media environments.

August 13, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 39 min, 45.5Mb MP3)

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Janet Browne

Writing Science Lives

Professor Janet Browne, Harvard University with Professor Iain McCalman and Professor Alison Bashford, University of Sydney

A Sydney Ideas Arts Matters Forum

What do we learn when we revisit scientists’ past worlds? How might one write a life as famous as Charles Darwin’s? Why is biography the best-selling genre of all? Pre-eminent Darwin scholar and Harvard Professor of the History of Science Janet Browne, talks with Sydney’s prizewinning historian Professor Iain McCalman, about the challenges and delights of the biographical genre for historians. In conversation with Alison Bashford, this is an evening that probes the intellectual life of these keen observers and interpreters of the world of Victorian science.

August 12, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 17 min, 29.2Mb MP3)

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Subcomandante Marcos

Subcomandante Marcos

Professor Simon Tormey, Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers

Subcomandante Marcos is the anonymous spokesperson for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), an indigenous land rights movement based in the Chiapas region of Mexico. This Key Thinker lecture reveals the political and philosophical ideas behind the man who has raised international awareness of the impoverished state of Mexico's indigenous population.

August 11, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 20 min, 37.1Mb MP3)

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Sydney Sawyer Conference

Sydney Sawyer Conference: The Atlantic world in a Pacific field

How does a strange place or people become comparable with those more familiar? What does it take to relate a new plant or animal to those already well known? How does one standardize observations and mobilize things and people and situations so they have meaning elsewhere? That is, how was the Pacific made into the obligatory site for exploring the issues that mattered in the Atlantic world? In particular, this conference examines the ways in which both oceanic regions were co-produced through a complicated series of intellectual and practical interactions over many centuries. Moreover, it seeks ways in which to make the Pacific visible again in global scholarship.

August 5-7, 2010

Simon Schaffer

In Transit: European cosmologies in the Pacific

Sydney Ideas and Sydney Sawyer Conference

Astronomical interests prompted a series of entries by European travellers into the Pacific. In studies of the complex motives and effects of these expeditions, it has been common to treat astronomical interests either as rationales for more profound political and economic enterprise, or as of a strictly utilitarian character.

August 5 , 2010 (Running time 1 hour 37 min, 44.6Mb MP3)

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John Mearsheimer

A Gathering Storm: China's Challenge to US Power in Asia

Professor John Mearsheimer

The Fourth Annual Michael Hintze Lecture in International Security

Professor John Mearsheimer, from the University of Chicago, is America's boldest and perhaps most controversial thinker in the field of international relations and an authority on US foreign policy and national security. His book, The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy, which he co-authored with Stephen Walt of Harvard University aroused furious debate, and has been translated into 17 languages.

August 4, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 28 min, 61.2Mb MP3)

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Kate Jennings

Kate Jennings and Dare Jennings in conversation

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

The award-winning author and University of Sydney Alumna Kate Jennings, with her brother Mambo founder Dare Jennings, discuss how they combine their creative passions and imaginations with a unique entrepreneurial spirit. Dare might be the most obvious entrepreneur but writers are entrepreneurial: every day the blank page, every day an act of invention. Anyone can try out an idea and throw it into the ether. But what does it take to make an idea work? ABC Radio broadcaster, writer and musician James Valentine hosts the discussion.

July 30, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 3 min, 29.1Mb MP3)

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David de Rothschild

The Plastiki Expedition

David de Rothschild

Co-presented with the Institute for Sustainable Solutions

David de Rothschild explains the technology used on board The Plastiki, a unique 18.3-metre catamaran made from approximately 12,500 reclaimed plastic soft drink bottles that have been fixed into the pontoons. He reveal what he and crew learnt on their four-month journey from San Francisco. David is in conversation with inventor, educator and adjudicator Sally Dominguez.

July 29 , 2010 (Running time 1 hour 36 min, 44.4Mb MP3)

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Dr Richard Stanton

Leon Mayhew: Framing a new political public

Dr Richard Stanton, Media & Communications, Faculty of Arts

Sydney Ideas Key Thinkers

Leon Mayhew, a late 20th century sociologist, argued that public relations professionals, using influence and persuasion, dominate public communication. This lecture examines Mayhew's claims against 21st century public engagement through 'netroots' microblogs such as Twitter and social media such as Facebook.

July 28 , 2010 (Running time 46 min, 21.5Mb MP3)

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Old map of the world

Why History Matters: Historians remap the World

An arts matters forum co-presented with the faculty of the arts

Do we need our history to be global? Work, leisure, war and peace, these are some of the themes that historians are now mapping onto a global past. Join historians David Armitage, Joyce E. Chaplin and Erez Manela from Harvard University, along with Sunil Amrith from Birkbeck College, University of London in a conversation led by Glenda Sluga from the University of Sydney as they talk about how they approach the past globally, and hear the stories that they have to tell about our round world.

July 26, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 29 min, 41Mb MP3)

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John Durham Peters

History as a Communication Problem

John Durham Peters, Professor of International Studies at the University of Iowa

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

This lecture explores how the basic problems faced by historians–the historical record, its transmission, and interpretation–are problems of communication.

July 5, 2010 (Running time 57 min, 26.3Mb MP3)

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Digging up Sydney

Digging up Sydney

A Sydney Humanities Salon/Ideas Open event

A conversation between the disciplines of History and Archaeology on ways of researching Sydney's past. Panelists included; Mary Casey, Director, Casey & Lowe, archaeology and heritage consultants, and a research associate, Department of Archaeology, University of Sydney; Annie Clarke, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and convenor of the Heritage Studies Program; Martin Gibbs, Senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology; and Paul Irish, archaeologist and Principal Consultant with Mary Dallas Consulting Archaeologists. Panel chaired by Grace Karskens, School of History and Philosophy at the University of New South Wales.

June 17, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 38 min, 45.2Mb MP3)

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The Great Debate

Agriculture can feed the world in the 21st Century

Centenary Research Symposium

Chaired by Ticky Fullerton
Panel for the Affirmative: John Crawford, Ian Verrender, Chris Russell
Panel for the Negative: Paulo Santos, David Anthony, Adrienne Ryan

June 4, 2010 (Running time 1 hour, 12 min, 32.9Mb MP3)

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Per Pinstrup-Anderson

The political economy of agricultural science and technology with emphasis on developing countries

Dr Per Pinstrup-Anderson, H.E. Babcock Professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy, Cornell University

Centenary Research Symposium

June 4, 2010 (Running time 55 min, 25.3Mb MP3)

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Les Copeland

Session 2: Significant research achievements

Centenary Research Symposium

Professor Les Copeland
Advances in agriculture 1910-2010: an Australian perspective

Professor Peter Sharp
Rust, dust or bust?

Dr Brian Fisher, AO PSM
One hundred years of agricultural research: the role of agricultural economists in influencing outcomes

Dr John Williams
Can we secure our food whilst maintaining our environment?

Dr Meredith Wilkes
Agricultural chemistry: from Watt to when

June 4, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 42 min, 46.9Mb MP3)

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Jim Peacock

Agriculture's critical roles in a global environment and the human condition

Dr Jim Peacock, AC, Fellow of The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Centenary Research Symposium

June 4, 2010 (Running time 58 min, 26.6Mb MP3)

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Pedro Sanchez

Bringing soil science fully into the 21st Century

Dr Pedro Sanchez, Director, Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program, Director, Millennium Villages Project, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA

Centenary Research Symposium

June 4, 2010 (Running time 59 min, 27.3Mb MP3)

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Harlem, the black capital of the world

Sydney Ideas Open co-presented with Sydney Humanities Salon

University of Sydney history academics Shane White, Stephen Robertson and Stephen Garton are part of a collaborative team working on everyday life in Harlem in he 1920s, when the neighbourhood became the black capital of the world.

June 10, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 3 min, 28.9Mb MP3)

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Pedro Sanchez

Ending hunger in Africa through science-based policies

Pedro Sanchez, Director of The Tropical Agriculture Program of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA

Sydney Ideas co-presented with the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Replenishing soil fertility, is the primary biophysical requirement for eliminating hunger in tropical Africa. Without soil replenishment, even the best crop varieties and the most enlightened policies cannot stave off hunger.

June 9, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 28 min, 40.5Mb MP3)

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Per Pinstrup-Andersen

Where is the global food system headed?

Professor Per Pinstrup-Andersen

A Sydney Ideas and Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources co-presentation

Where is the global food system headed? Perspectives on current and future hunger, obesity, sustainability and food crises

June 3, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 37 min, 44.7Mb MP3)

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Michael Renner

A Green New Deal

Michael Renner, Worldwatch Institute, USA

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

A portion of many national economic stimulus programs contain environment-friendly investments, and additional momentum toward a low-carbon global economy could be gained with the help of a so-called "Green New Deal."

May 27, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 3 min, 29.1Mb MP3)

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Dr Richard Hil

The Human Costs of Carnage: Iraq Voices Unearthed

Dr Richard Hil, honorary associate in the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney and Michael Otterman, author and human rights consultant.

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

What are the human costs of the conflict in Iraq? Otterman and Hil present the human portrait of the Iraqi Diaspora as told by those who experienced it first-hand: Iraqis themselves.

May 20, 2010 (Running time 57 min, 26.3Mb MP3)

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Professor Manfred Nowak

A World Court of Human Rights: how would it work?

Professor Manfred Nowak, Professor of International Human Rights Protection at University of Vienna and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture since December 2004

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

Why has the proposal for a World Court of Human Rights remained stigmatised as utopian? Why do we need it and how could it work? A fascinating lecture for all those working in the field of human rights.

May 13, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 12 mins, 29.4Mb MP3)

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What does it mean to be secure? Human security in our region

A One Just World Forum/Sydney Ideas co-presentation

Panellists Professor Alan Dupont (Director, Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney), Conny Lenneberg (Director, Policy and Programs, World Vision Australia), Professor Dennis Altman (Director, Institute for Human Security, Latrobe University), and The Hon Bob McMullan MP (Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance) discuss human security in a forum moderated by Eleanor Hall,(Presenter The World Today, ABC Radio)

May 5, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 20 min, 36.6Mb MP3)

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Professor Dan Potts

Out of Iran

Professor Dan Potts, Director of the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, University of Sydney

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

Dan Potts is co-director of an ARC-funded excavation, called Tol-e Nurabad, which is located in the Mamasani district of the Fars province in Iran. In conversation with Professor Glenda Sluga, Dan spoke about what it's like being in Iran in the current political climate, what it's like to work there, and Iran's significance in the modern and ancient worlds.

April 29, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 4 min, 29.4Mb MP3)

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Darwin and Intelligent Design

Professor Elliott Sober, Professor of Philosophy at University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

Are evolutionary theory and belief in God necessarily in conflict? Visiting professor to the University of Sydney, Elliott Sober, addresses this question by considering what biologists mean by saying that mutations are "unguided". He will also discusses Darwin's views on God and Christianity.

April 22, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 20 min, 36.5Mb MP3)

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Dr. William Rankin

Going Mobile: Building for the New Mobility

Dr. William Rankin, Abilene Christian University, USA

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

Increasingly, our world relies on mobile devices for communications, work, and play–and people are increasingly recognising the flexibility and power these devices bring to teaching and learning in the higher education sector. Focusing around two years of experience at a medium sized American University, Abilene Christian University (ACU) in Abilene, Texas, with a pervasive 1-to-1 environment based on the iPhone and iPod touch, this talk introduces you to some of the research, strategies, and solutions necessary for putting these powerful next-generation tools in the hands of lecturers and students.

April 27, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 5 min, 31.2Mb MP3)

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Dr. William Rankin

Writing the Future: How Digital Books Will Change the World

Dr. William Rankin, Abilene Christian University, USA

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

Almost six centuries ago, when Gutenberg's press first made printed information widely available, the world saw an explosion of creativity. Educational, political, and religious institutions that had calcified over centuries were radically transformed as those who had once been excluded found new opportunities to participate. Bill Rankin will explore the ways that books are metamorphosing and consider the rich creative possibilities the new digital Gutenberg will bring in the coming information age.

April 27, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 10 min, 33.6Mb MP3)

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Photo of Adrian Hearn

Rethinking Good Governance and Transparency: The China-Latin America-U.S. triangle

Dr Adrian Hearn, University of Sydney

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

Consensual understandings of good governance and transparency are crucial to the international accommodation of China’s economic rise. This presentation examines how conceptions of these terms diverge, generate misunderstandings, and harbour potential for dialogue between key US, Latin American, and Chinese actors.

April 15, 2010 (Running time 54 min, 25Mb MP3)

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Lucan’s epic masterpiece: New works on Lucan's Civil War

Frances Muecke and Paul Roche

Humanities Salon

Frances Muecke and Paul Roche discuss the brilliant young poet of Nero’s court, Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (Lucan), in light of two new publications on his epic poem, De Bello Civili ('On the Civil War').

April 8, 2010 (Running time 32 min, 15Mb MP3)

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Painting: Gate to Beijing

Modernism or Realism? The question in China's quest for modernity through art

Dr Yiyan Wang, Chair of Chinese Studies, University of Sydney

A Sydney Ideas Open Event

How to modernise art for a modern China? What ideas and practices should China adapt from the West? Such questions figured prominently in intellectual debate about modernisation at the start of the twentieth century. This public lecture looks at Chinese art practice and art debate at the time with a focus on the first Chinese national art exhibition in Shanghai in 1929.

April 8, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 08 min, 32Mb MP3)

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Photo of Peter Katzenstein

Why the clash of civilizations is wrong

Professor Peter Katzenstein, Cornell University

A Sydney Ideas and US Studies Centre lecture

A lecture by one of America’s leading political scientists Peter Katzenstein, is which he provides a critique of the Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilization theory.

March 25, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 08 min, 31Mb MP3)

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Photo of Hillary Clinton

Why feminism matters

A Sydney Ideas Arts Matters Forum Co-presented with the Faculty of Arts and Sydney University Arts Association

This forum included leading international political scientists along with Australian academics and researchers in a robust discussion on the state of contemporary feminism.

March 22, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 34 min, 43Mb MP3)

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Photo of Elizabeth Blackburn

Telomerase and telomere biology

Elizabeth Blackburn

The University of Sydney, The Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists, The Human Genetics Society of Australasia, and The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, invite you to listen to a public lecture by eminent Scientist and 2009 Nobel Prize Winner, Professor Elizabeth Blackburn.

March 12, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 27 min, 40Mb MP3)

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A panel on Violence in Modern Aboriginal History

Gordon Briscoe, Jackie Huggins, Bob Debus, Peter Read, Julie-Anne Williams

Humanities Salon

Julie-Anne Williams, Gordon Briscoe and Joy Williams were deeply affected by the policy of separating Aboriginal children from their parents and communities. Bob Debus and Peter Read have been closely associated with the violence affecting Aboriginal Affairs for many years, violence towards to children, on the streets, to young adults, to settlements and missions, and in the cities.

March 12, 2010 (Running time 54 min, 25Mb MP3)

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Image of a globe entwined with the Australian and Chinese flags Meeting the China Challenge: Australia's China Policy in a New Era.

A Sydney Ideas Open forum hosted by Dr James Reilly, University of Sydney. Participants included: Professor Michael Wesley, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Dr Richard Rigby, Executive Director of the ANU China Institute, Dr John Garnaut, China correspondent, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Chaired by Professor David Goodman, Chinese Politics, University of Sydney.

March 11, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 30 min, 41Mb MP3)

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Photo of Robert Olby

Francis Crick: Who was the man who discovered DNA?
A Sydney Ideas lecture.

This richly illustrated lecture seeks to unearth the formative influences that shaped Francis Crick's career, his personality, and his extraordinary qualities as a scientist.

March 9, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 27 min, 40Mb MP3)

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Photo of James Hansen

After Copenhagen: Looking for real solutions

James Hansen

A Sydney Ideas lecture co presented with the USSC and CHAST Monday 8 March 2010 Professor James Hansen, Climatologist, Columbia University and NASA After Copenhagen: Looking for solutions.

March 8, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 47 min, 49Mb MP3)

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The Virtues of Mendacity: On lying in politics

Martin Jay

Humanities Salon

When Michael Dukakis accused George H. W. Bush of being the "Joe Isuzu of American Politics" during the 1988 presidential campaign, he asserted in a particularly American tenor the near-ancient idea that lying and politics (and perhaps advertising, too) are inseparable, or at least intertwined. Our response to this phenomenon, writes the renowned intellectual historian Martin Jay, tends to vacillate-often impotently-between moral outrage and amoral realism.

March 1, 2010 (Running time 57 min, 26Mb MP3)

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Photo of Mark Danner

Stripping bare the body

Mark Danner

Mark Danner is one of the world's most experienced war reporters, and has covered trouble spots such as El Salvador, Haiti, Bosnia and most recently Iraq. In his new book Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War, a collection of his writings, he develops a unique perspective on the use of violence in these conflicts.

February 25, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 9 min, 32Mb MP3)

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Photo of Michael Oppenheimer

Global warming: how policy can catch up to the science and solve the problem

Professor Michael Oppenheimer

Michael Oppenheimer was the Lead Author on the Third and Fourth Assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His scientific understanding of global warming provides a framework for developing response policies at the local, national and international levels.

February 23, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 37 min, 89Mb MP3)

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