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International law expert Prof Naz Modirzadeh and political scientist Assoc Prof Andrew March explore how the United States and other governments contort and stretch international and domestic laws to accommodate the waging of war on non-state Islamist forces, and how those forces themselves invoke Islamic law to justify their actions. Presented by Lynne Haultain.
Earthquake researcher Assoc Prof Mark Quigley explains the lessons learned from recent major earthquakes into how to better prepare regions at risk, the value of strong science communication to affected populations during crisis, and the importance of developing appropriate building codes in anticipation of the Next Big One. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Philosopher of the emotions Prof Louis Charland argues that we need to reinstate the notion of "passion" in our understanding of human behaviour. Now little mentioned outside of the arts and self-help domains, passion has deep historical roots and may have important contemporary use as a lens through which to view certain psychiatric conditions. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Public health researcher Prof Tony Jorm asks why prevalence of anxiety and depression in North America, Australia and elsewhere has not decreased despite a quarter century of more and better treatment for two of the world's most common mental health problems. Presented by Eric van Bemmel.
Is extreme poverty merely evidence of failed economic policy or should it also be seen as a breach of human rights? Legal scholar and UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston argues that the conversation around human rights has yet to take seriously how the world's very poor are excluded from a life of dignity -- underpinned by access to education, basic health care and housing -- while extreme inequality is itself in part sustained by the blocking of civil and political rights by elites. Presented by Peter Mares.
Renowned paleoanthropologist Bernard Wood explains how continuing research into fossil and other evidence of our evolutionary history produces insights but also reveals how much we have yet to learn. How good, for example, are we at telling our recent ancestors and close relatives from those of the apes? How can we know how many species preceded our own? And can we tell which of those species are our ancestors, and which are non-ancestral close relatives? Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.
Social science and legal scholar Prof Sheila Jasanoff discusses how science and the law interact or compete with one another in the formulation of public reason -- in the economy, the courts and the political landscape. Presented by Lynne Haultain.
Evolutionary biologist and historian of science Prof Lee Dugatkin joins Dr Andi Horvath to discuss displays of altruism in insects, animals and humans, and how the often harsh evolutionary imperatives of survival can actually accommodate, promote or depend on acts of kindness and justice.
Decision science researcher Prof Peter Bossaerts argues that investigating brain activity as we make decisions is generating new insights into how we deal with uncertainty and risk. Once the domain of economists and psychologists, the study of human decision-making is increasingly taking a neuron-level view, with implications well beyond economics and finance. Presented by Eric van Bemmel.
Psychiatrist Joeri Tijdink discusses his research into how increasing pressures on science and medical researchers to win funding, achieve positive research results, and publish in highly esteemed journals may be linked to professional burnout and even research misconduct. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.