Gilded glass bottles blown in India, porcelain flasks produced in Japan. This lecture follows these intriguing items from their diverse places of manufacture to their points of distribution and demonstrates their strategic power as bestowals.
Australian dramatist Alana Valentine, cosmologist Geraint Lewis, poet Tricia Dearborn and physicist Zdenka Kuncic explore some home truths as they face off for a lively debate about the authenticity of art and science.
Science, including health research, has been particularly susceptible to "Truth Decay" – the increasing reliance on opinion over fact. Join leading academics Lisa Bero, Stephen Simpson and Catriona Bonfiglioli to unravel the role of Truth Decay on the obesity epidemic. Listen to the podcast.
Is living free of cynicism and contempt the key to success? In this inaugural Sydney Policy Lab lecture, Marc Stears argues that it is possible for democracy to thrive but only if people act to save it. Listen to the podcast.
What is the role of Australia in sustaining our region's seas, skies and soil? A panel of experts examine the role and responsibilities in balancing environmental sustainability and economic growth in Southeast Asia.
Are our ethical codes and standards doing enough to slow down climate change? This panel will consider these and other profound questions facing all professionals in the age of global warming. Listen to the podcast.
The second in our series with the Walkley Foundation, this event will be an examination of the brave new world in public interest journalism, where the bottom line is less about dollars and more about impact. Listen to the podcast.
An esteemed panel will discuss how the testimony of Holocaust survivors is used today and the problems, questions and opportunities it presents to people grappling with the legacy of the Holocaust. Listen to the podcast.
This expert panel, featuring Emeritus Professor Harriet Ward, will explore the contribution of longitudinal research to understanding the impact on vulnerable children and families. Listen to the podcast.
The Popup Globe, currently under construction for its upcoming season of Shakespeare performances in the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park, is closely based on landmark research done at the University of Sydney. Listen to the podcast.
In 1611, the East India Company in London planned a voyage to Japan, bringing with them a telescope and oil paintings. This talk will investigate the reasons for the Company's interest in Japan, for the selection of unexpected items, and for their impact in Japan. There is no podcast for this event.
Professor Frank Pasquale, an expert on the law of artificial intelligence, algorithms and machine learning, proposes solution to questions over some aspects of algorithmic ordering of information. Listen to the podcast.
They dazzle us, terrify us, nourish us and fascinate us. They can seem utterly otherworldly, and yet they’re among the more ancient species to inhabit Earth. And, because of rising ocean temperatures, they are moving. Listen to the podcast.
Celebrate the launch of the special issue of the magazine Transition on "Bla(c)kness in Australia", bringing together the voices and artwork of diverse Bla(c)k writers, artists, poets, and scholars in Australia. Listen to the podcast.
In the 2018 Tom Austen Brown lecture, Dr Mark Collard, an evolutionary anthropologist, argues that comparative ethnology – comparing and contrasting the features of large samples of human societies – should be a key archaeological tool. Listen to the podcast.
A Sydney Ideas event for Innovation Week 2018, bringing together medical researchers focusing around both ends of the demographic spectrum - youth mental health and dementia and art practitioners to consider these question and more. Listen to the podcast.
A Sydney Ideas event for Innovation Week 2018, exploring the possibility that storytelling is exactly what science needs, with a view to answering the question: Is storytelling bad for science? Listen to the podcast.
A discussion on international thinking, through the lens of politics, law and history, and an examination of how the rise in nationalist sentiment affects international collaboration and institutions. Listen to the podcast.
Our new series of events explores the importance of disagreeing well. In the first forum in the series, an expert panel will discuss the rise of the cultural backlash in public life and the challenges that ensue. Listen to the podcast.
Two distinguished speakers, Professor Tom Shakespeare and Sue Salthouse, address issues surrounding the National Disability Insurance Scheme and what it takes to achieve control and choice for people living with disabilities. Listen to the podcast.
Co-presented with the Sydney Environment Institute, this is a discussion of how we can build a new energy system that is fair to all, and what a progressive energy system might look like. Listen to the podcast.
Some studies show dog owners are happier. Could having a dog indeed help combat depression? Could bringing dogs to work help employees and businesses? Could therapy dogs speed up patient’s recovery? Listen to the podcast.
Case studies with a university student, a computer hacker, and a former drug dealer demonstrate different radicalisation experiences and suggest that radicalisation is not something done to people, but something produced by active participants. Listen to the podcast.
This roundtable discussion brings together experts from the University of Sydney and the Lowy Institute to explore the origins and implications of Kim’s recent diplomatic activism from North Korean, US, and Chinese perspectives. Listen to the podcast.
This panel discussion was the first in a series of Sydney Ideas events discussing the new possibilities of genome manipulation. The fundamental science and applications of genome editing were discussed at this event. Listen to the podcast.
Zaki Mehchy, a co-founder and researcher of the Syrian Center for Policy Research, will present the latest findings on the socioeconomic impact of the conflict in Syria including its impact on GDP, employment, poverty, and education. Listen to the podcast.
David King, a Gundungurra Aboriginal elder, will share his insights on Australian Aboriginal Sustainability practices and processes, touching particularly on the prevalence of food wastage. Listen to the podcast.
Professor Ajay Sinha builds an illustrated story of mutual fascination and transcultural exchanges between an Indian dancer, Ram Gopal, and an American photographer, Carl Van Vechten, in New York City. There is no podcast for this event.
Are we eating ourselves sick? Join our panel of speakers to ask: could food really help us ward off diseases like diabetes, dementia, cancer and dental or cardiovascular disease? Listen to the podcast.
This event, co-presented with the Department of Archaeology, brought together two archaeologists to discuss the status of Aboriginal archaeology, as well as where we should go from here into the future. Listen to the podcast.
Mark will be discussing the landscape in and of contemporary poetry, the role of the lyric in a time of spiritual and ecological crisis, and the importance of writing across the disciplines and embedding creativity in education at all points of life and learning. Listen to the podcast.
Dr David Pencheon and the panel will discuss how the Australian healthcare system is one of the leading contributors to climate change, and explore how the health and care sectors can work together to address environmental, social and economic sustainability in a holistic manner. Listen to the podcast.
This event invited four panellists to explore what it means to 'unpack privilege' from different perspectives, in order to open up a conversation and bring the issues involved to the forefront of everyone's workplace and personal agendas. Listen to the podcast.
There are many dimensions to spatial inequality in Australia. This forum probed the uneven distribution of the country’s economic and environmental resources, with a particular focus on cities. There is no podcast for this event.
This forum gathered insights from philosophy, marine geoscience, art, and literature to explore how different ways of knowing the sea have informed one another, and how they might inform one another in the future. Listen to the podcast.
Digital technology is widely viewed as pivotal to social, cultural, economic, and political transformations - especially across the great diversity of Asian countries, cultures, and settings. This talk explores the dynamic area of digital rights and governance in Asia – the issues, challenges and opportunities for nations and the region. Listen to the podcast.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane and University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence AC discuss the launch of new research on cultural diversity and Australian leadership. Listen to the podcast.
Listen to our panel of experts discuss trafficking's past and present and delve into the 2017 Australian Federal committee's report that called for a wide sweeping suite of new laws to target modern slavery and human trafficking. Listen to the podcast.
Nadia Urbinati, one of Italy's most distinguished scholars, will analyse the main forces that are nowadays tearing apart more than a few democracies around the world, including, technocrats wedded to expert procedures; demagogues who make glib appeals to 'the people', and media platformsbent on turning politics into a sensational spectator sport and citizens into fans of opposing teams. Listen to the podcast.
The Chinese painter known to Europeans as “Lam Qua” was one of the most well-documented artisans working in the port of Guangzhou in the early 19th century. While very little historical Chinese records have been found to clarify Lam Qua’s biography, he left a fascinating corpus of paintings—including both originals and copies—for us to examine. Listen to the podcast.
Having just recently co-edited Palgrave’s book, Global Perspectives on Same Sex Marriage: A Neo Institutional Approach, Bronwyn Winter is coming together with Maxime Forest to discuss the different factors impacting on state adoption or refusal of same-sex marriage laws. Listen to the podcast.
How do we come to grips with the past, and how do we do so in just ways? What can apology and other forms of recognition achieve? What can we learn from other projects of apology and recognition? Listen to the podcast.
Lucy Turnbull AO, Commissioner for Greater Sydney joins our panel of experts in urban planning and public health policy to discuss the latest research, and health impacts of Sydney's changing city structure. There is no podcast for this event.
Outrage. Is it an affect? An agency? A meme? Professor Robyn Wiegman attempts to decide whether outrage offers political instruction or if it's an instrument of democratic destruction. Listen to the podcast.
Ngarigu woman Professor Jakelin Troy discusses intimate details of the lives, language and knowledge of the Aboriginal women she has discovered among the anthropological archives. Listen to the podcast.
William L. Fox, Director of the Centre for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, whose extensive practice as a curator, writer and commentator crosses the arts and sciences, addresses the claim that in this moment of planetary environmental crisis, artists have never been more important. Listen to the podcast.
Authoritarian populists have disrupted politics in many societies, as seen in the U.S. and the UK. This event sees two leading scholars discuss their new books and the power of populist authoritarianism. Listen to the podcast.
Canadian writer and urban geographer, Dr Lenore Newman joins some of the passionate people working on the frontline of urban agriculture to discuss how farms can be integrated into the urban economic and ecological system. Listen to the podcast.
Five of the world’s top scholars speak on the question of why citizen activism is an essential ingredient for reviving democratic practice, at a time when civic voices appear under threat. There is no podcast for this event.
In this podcast, our panel of distinguished scholars explores the significance of translation, its impact on encounters between people, and its contribution to social cohesion, especially in multicultural and multi-faith societies like Australia. Listen to the podcast.
The University of Gothenburg's Professor Roger Saljo argues learning as we know it is currently changing in nature to a focus on learning as design in the Education and Social Work Dean’s Lecture Series. Listen to the podcast.
Best podcasts of 2017
In 2017 we brought you ideas from more than 100 speakers from 27 countries.
We make most of them available on Soundcloud and iTunes, and we've also collated some of our most popular podcasts from 2017 below.
Renowned US journalist who worked with Edward Snowden and wikileaks discusses the role of journalism in exposing the lies and deceit of the world's most powerful actors. Listen now
Climate Change in the Age of Trump
World-renowned climate scientist Professor Michael Mann provides a somewhat light-hearted take on a very serious issue. Based on his recent collaboration with Washington Post editorial cartoonist Tom Toles, Mann reflects on the inability of political leadership to respond to the climate crisis, but also suggests reasons for cautious optimism. Listen now
The Fiction of Memory
Given that false memories are so readily planted in the mind, do we need to think about ‘regulating’ this mind technology? The distinguished Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior Elizabeth Loftus charts the consequences of false memories on later thoughts and behaviours. Listen now
Mental Health and Technology
Experts from our Brain and Mind Centre join Director of the Cundill Centre for Child and Youth Depression, Professor Peter Szatmari, to discuss why are apps so addictive and whether technology could be used to improve mental health. Listen now
Black Lives Matter
The 2017 Sydney Peace Prize winners join the ABC's Stan Grant for an intimate conversation about the future of black lives under (and after) President Trump, and what lessons Australians can learn from the American experience. Listen now
One of Israel’s most outspoken journalists gives a candid talk on what he sees as Israeli's moral blindness. Listen now
Our panel of experts demystify some of today's popular health 'tips' and share insights that will help us keep our bodies and minds healthy as we age. Listen now
Women in Politics
Will Hillary Clinton's loss discourage or motivate women to become more politically engaged? US polling expert Anna Greenberg joins ABC Radio National’s Geraldine Doogue to chart a way forward for women in politics in both the United States and Australia. Listen now
El Chigüire Bipolar and The Chaser
How do you satirise the already ridiculous? Hear from the makers of Venezuela's leading satirical news site El Chiguire Bipolar as they discuss the politics of satire and freedom of speech with The Chaser. Listen now
Sleep: the new health frontier
Planning on having a good night’s sleep this summer break? Find out why sleep is so important and how it can combat diet fails, foster mental health, and prevent dementia as Professor Allan Pack describes a clock-like mechanism in our body. Listen now