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Open for Discussion

The University of Sydney's podcast series

Tune into the podcast and join lecturer in public policy, Dr Chris Neff as he turns his sceptical eye and curious mind to the world of research.

Each episode an academic will join Chris in his office to explore the latest research on topics that affect all of us. From housing prices to diet guidelines and everything in between, Chris will question what the evidence says, debunking myths and assumptions along the way.

How to listen

Season Two episodes
23 October 2017

Your guide to language in the post-truth age

Donald Trump’s Presidency has signalled a shift to the age of fake news and post-truth. In this conversation, linguist Professor Nick Enfield joins Chris to discuss striving for understanding in language.

16 October 2017

3 tips to being supermarket savvy

Food is big business. From paddock to plate and everything in between, Dr Alana Mann discusses the mega industry that is food and how it isn’t free from politics in the latest episode of Open for Discussion.

09 October 2017

3 ways millennials do politics differently

Millennials’ political engagement is quite distinct from that of their baby boomer and Gen X predecessors. Professor Ariadne Vromen explains in this Open for Discussion episode.

04 October 2017

How we adapt to digital disruption

Netflix, AirBnb, Uber, Mp3s, WhatsApp, and Tripadvisor are all examples of digital disruption. Digital disruption changes and challenges established ways of doing business, social interacting and, even more fundamentally, how we think. 

25 September 2017

Is medical marijuana the next wonder drug?

People involved in medical cannabis can find themselves in a twilight zone where the law may prevent its use after other treatments fail. Iain McGregor explains the vision, stories and studies behind the Lambert Initiative.

18 September 2017

How to care for your cats and dogs (ethically)

Caring for pets can be a joy as well as a challenge. Veterinarian Dr Anne Fawcett shares her top five tips for ethical pet ownership during this episode of the University’s Open for Discussion podcast.

11 September 2017

How to prevent crime before it happens

How do we encourage people not to break the law? Dr Garner Clancey from Sydney Law School joins Open for Discussion to chat crime statistics and the strategies used today to prevent crimes.

04 September 2017

How insects are solving our problems in the city

How can insects, slime mould and other brainless organisms help us plan transport systems and build the smart cities of the future? Dr Tanya Latty explains in this Open for Discussion podcast episode.

28 August 2017

Is 'Big Sugar' making us sick?

Mary Poppins said “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” but adding too much of the sweet stuff is contributing to poor health, says Dr Becky Freeman in this Open for Discussion podcast.

21 August 2017

Confronting radical extremism

Radicalisation and terrorism are key issues of our time. In the first episode of the Open for Discussion podcast's second season, Hussain Nadim discusses the latest research on confronting radical extremism.

Season One episodes
16 December 2016

Public space: a contested and changing area

Urban geographer Kurt Iveson provides insights into the policy hotspot of public space in this final podcast series for 2016, describing a new policing project and analysing the impact of Pokémon GO on the city.

18 November 2016

Food for thought: the science of eating a healthy diet

In this podcast Chris is joined by Associate Professor Amanda Salis, who speaks about how to eat well in a world of confusing food and nutrition advice.

20 October 2016

Vaccination - a researcher's insight

Vaccination is a health topic that can polarise a community with extreme positions on either side of the debate. Groups that adamantly support general vaccination and those who vehemently oppose any government mandate to make it compulsory.

11 October 2016

Not guilty: memory in the criminal justice system

Think back to a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. How much can you remember? Do you remember exactly what you did and everyone you saw? Memory is a tricky thing, so what happens when it’s all that stands between a person going to jail, or walking free?

28 September 2016

Our lives in the age of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is all over the news.  It’s driving our cars, cleaning our floors, milking our cows and some say taking our jobs and soon drones will be flying into our backyards delivering books and pizzas.  But is this reality?   

29 August 2016

Avoiding and evading: talking multinational tax

In this episode, Dr Shumi Akhtar, a senior lecturer and researcher at the University of Sydney Business School, joins our host Dr Chris Neff to share new perspectives on how we can think about and judge multinational tax avoidance. 

02 August 2016

Elite Athletes vs Couch Potatoes: can the Rio Games bridge the divide?

In the lead up to Rio 2016, Dr Chris Neff is joined by Senior Lecturer Dr Steve Georgakis (HumanMov)(’94) PhD(’00) BEd MEd(’11) to discuss the growing commercialisation of sport and the impact this has on participation.

28 July 2016

Home ownership: facts and fiction

In this podcast Chris is joined by Professor Nicole Gurran, urban planning and policy analyst to talk housing affordability. 

13 July 2016

The Big Sleep - what it is and how to get more

As a society we are obsessed with sleep. Are we getting enough? What’s the next big breakthrough to help us get more? Our sleep medicine expert, Dr Ron Grunstein, explains in the first episode of the University's 'Open for Discussion' podcast.