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Research psychologist Brock Bastian argues that a willingness to experience pain is crucial to our pursuit of genuine happiness, and that our efforts to escape unpleasantness or seek out only the positive in fact weaken us in managing life's inevitable difficulties. Presented by Eric van Bemmel.
Political scientist and author John Keane on the recent proliferation of corrupt political regimes that employ democratic rhetoric, staged elections, social media and economic growth to cultivate public loyalty and give the appearance of legitimacy. Presented by Peter Mares.
Social epidemiologist Prof. Eric Emerson argues that "disability" and "being disabled" really refer to the effects of social and economic marginalisation of people with certain types of physical or mental impairments, and not the personal impact of the impairments themselves. While some societies have made strides in improving the lives of the people with impairments, we have yet to tackle our fundamental assumptions about disability and how it arises from the interaction between health conditions and the society in which we live. Presented by Lynne Haultain.
Reproductive biologist Professor David Gardner explains what we're still learning about healthy embryo development, how it's being applied to improve IVF technologies, and the unexpected insights it may offer into how cells implant themselves and proliferate -- including how cancers take hold. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Ecologist Prof. Peter Vitousek explores how living in the Anthropocene, a time in which human activity has become the key driver of planetary health, will force us to make our way with diminished natural resources. Peter also asks what we can learn from the historical experience of Pacific Islanders, whose cultural and agricultural practices were shaped by a profound understanding that their immediate horizons were in fact the very limits of their worlds. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Environmental law researcher Erin O'Donnell and economist Julia Talbot-Jones explain what's behind recent moves to give legal personhood to rivers in India, New Zealand and elsewhere. With philosophical roots going back decades, new legal and legislative developments granting personhood to nature seek both to recognise indigenous or religious claims as well as provide new avenues for environmental protection. But what does this mean, and how will giving rights to nature be enforced? Can rivers now bring lawsuits, and can we, in turn, sue them? Presented by Lynne Haultain.
Economist Dr Lauren Johnston examines the evolving political and economic relationships between China and Africa, and how the East Asia giant is adapting its own model of aid, trade and investment to grow regional African markets and economies while securing a rising supply of energy and mineral resources for itself. Presented by Peter Clarke.
Population health researcher Professor Cassandra Szoeke outlines what ails women as they grow older, how men differ from women in age-related diseases, and how public awareness and personal lifestyle change have been shown to have a positive impact on women's quality of life in their later years. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Geriatrician Professor Andrea Maier describes what happens to our cells as we age, and explains the causes of age-related diseases. She also discusses how positive lifestyle choices and preventive medical interventions can help us live healthier for longer. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Sustainable agriculture expert Prof Tim Reeves discusses the profound changes required in agricultural practice, public policy and consumer behavior if we are to feed earth's ever-growing human population that is projected to exceed 9 billion in 2050. Business as usual won't pass muster anymore. With host Dr Andi Horvath.

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