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Sydney Ideas

Updated about 1 month ago

Education
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Sydney Ideas is the University of Sydney's premier public lecture series program, bringing the world's leading thinkers and the latest research to the wider Sydney community.

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Sydney Ideas is the University of Sydney's premier public lecture series program, bringing the world's leading thinkers and the latest research to the wider Sydney community.

Cover image of Sydney Ideas

Sydney Ideas

Latest release on Jun 19, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: COVID-19: What are the facts? (11 March 2020)

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Since COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) first emerged in December last year there’s been a lot of uncertainty, anxiety and misinformation. As of Thursday 12th March, the World Health Organisation has officially declared a pandemic.

The situation is of course rapidly developing. But it’s useful to get some perspective. What can we do to prepare and respond to this issue?

On Wednesday 11 March we hosted an information session with academic experts from the University of Sydney to answer critical questions, from health facts to broader societal implications in Australia.

THE PANEL
– Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott, expert in global health security and international relations
– Professor Julie Leask, who has qualifications in nursing and midwifery. Her research focuses on risk communication
– Professor Ramon Shaban, Professor of Infection Prevention and Disease Control, and internationally respected clinician and educator
– Professor Tania Sorrell AM is Director of the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) and Chair of the NHMRC’s Research Translation Faculty Steering Group on New and Emerging Health Threats
- Anna Burns, Public Programs Manager at Sydney Ideas, moderated the discussion.

WHAT WE COVER
– Where are we right now? A brief timeline
– What are the clinical symptoms (1.20)
– The risk: how is it transmitted? (2.10)
– Insights into the international perspective: how does it relate to our own experience here in Australia? (5.30)
– Lessons from how other governments have responded? (9.00)
– What's the level of contagion and the incubation period? (10.50)
– Testing: where does it fit into the incubation and symptom timeline? (14.00)
– Criteria for testing (14.35)
– What's my risk and prevention tips with hubs and spots like public transport, pools, schools? (16.00)
– Contact surfaces: how long does the pathogen stick around for? (17.20)
– Level of risk for particular groups depending on age brackets, whether you have underlying symptoms? (19.20)
– Anxiety and preparedness: how do you look after your mental health? (20.50)
– The importance of accurate information (24.40)
– Scenario planning and containment strategy, in Australia and abroad (25.20)
– Are we likely to see an outbreak in NSW? And what would this mean? (28.30)
– Capacity of our health system to deal with spike in cases? (30.20)
– Insights on people's profiles and risk: pregnancies and chronic lung disease (34.30)
– Hand hygiene, proximity: what are measures to minimise our risk? (37.25)
– Consider the stigma social risks too, such as racism and be vigilant about this (38.35)
– Re-infection: is it possible? Likely? (40.00)
– A key message for people to take away: keep calm (41.50), trust the health experts and government (42.20), be cognisant of your impact on others (44.20) and scenario plan (44.45)

Mar 13 2020

46mins

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Rank #2: Can we make food security failsafe?

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The world has traditionally relied heavily on the 'business as usual model' of industrial food production and supermarket-oriented consumption. However, this system is not sustainable if we’re to secure a healthy future for people and the planet.

Hear from Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food;
OzHarvest founder Ronni Kahn and Mario Herrero from CSIRO, as they share insights into how we might address food security.

Visit the website for for information including Hilal's slides and further resources: https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/sydney-ideas/2019/food-security.html

Jul 10 2019

1hr 9mins

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Rank #3: Mark Coeckelbergh: Wild AI and tame humans

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Do the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) outweigh the potential negative effects, in the context of social responsibilities for the entire human race? Will intelligent machines soon take over, turning us into their slaves or raw materials?

In his talk, Professor Mark Coeckelbergh shifts the conversation away from science fiction fantasies about AI and into the realms of real ethical issues and urgent policy challenges for development and use of artificial intelligence and robotics in society.

Mark is a Belgian philosopher of technology. He is Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Vienna and President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology.

Associate Professor Julia Horne, University Historian and Director of Sydney Social Sciences Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC), chaired this event.

This event was held on Wednesday 27 November, 2019. For more details, visit the website: http://bit.ly/2Dp0f1M

Nov 28 2019

54mins

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Rank #4: Can calculus cure cancer?

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In her talk, Professor Helen Byrne (Oxford University) explains how mathematical models are being used to understand how tumours grow and to predict how they will respond to treatments involving, for example, novel combinations of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Helen was joined by Professor Jennifer Byrne (University of Sydney) in a conversation to explore how maths and medicine can come together to improve research and outcomes.

This event was held on Tuesday 12 November, 2019 at the University of Sydney. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2MJYMHF

Nov 13 2019

54mins

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Rank #5: COVID-19: fear and anxiety (25 March 2020)

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The situation around COVID-19 is evolving at an astounding rate. Thinking beyond the physical health ramifications to the mental health, anxiety, communication and sense-making aspects, our panel looks at what's going on and do their best to make sense of the rapidly shifting series of events.

THE SPEAKERS
– Professor Nick Enfield, Department of Linguistics
– Professor Ian Hickie, Brain and Mind Centre
– Dr Claire Hooker, Faculty of Medicine and Health
– Professor Julie Leask, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery
– Professor Agnieszka Tymula, School of Economics
– Professor Annamarie Jagose (Moderator), Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

WHAT WE COVER
– Why our words matter: how we talk about COVID-19 (2.30)
– Past epidemics and what history teaches us (6.00)
– There is value in being anxious; if we channel this productively (8.00)
– Features of human behaviour: how it's playing out in the COVID-19 context (10.40)
– When faced with uncertainty, ambiguity; how should we communicate this? (13.00)
– Trust vs panic: navigating the complicated communication environment (19.40)
– Importance and maintenance of trust and transparency in our systems (21.00)
– Social media and responding to cynicism (35.50)
– Final thoughts from each speaker (42.40): be aware of loss/gain frame of scenarios and the cost of opportunity; Julie's 'ABCDEF' of practical actions for people (45.00); focus on behaving collectively (47.50); use this as a chance to re-connect with each other (48.40).

For more info, including a full transcript, head to the Sydney Ideas website: sydney.edu.au/sydney-ideas.

Mar 25 2020

51mins

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Rank #6: Nano revolution

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Nanotechnology is unlocking new ways to understand human biology. Scientists expect discoveries in this field will completely revolutionise medicine, from detecting arterial blockages to neural disorders in the brain. Hear from researchers at the forefront of this space discuss the latest developments and applications.

WHAT YOU'LL HEAR
– Introduction by Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Director of the University of Sydney Nano Institute. https://sydney.edu.au/nano/
– Keynote address by Paul Weiss discussing nano approaches to medicine and biology, and interdisciplinary collaborations (3.50)
– Anna Waterhouse and Shelley Wickham talk about their nanorobotics project, which involves building autonomous programmable nanorobots that can navigate the body to detect and prevent early heart disease (34.50)
– Conversation with Paul, Anna and Shelley, moderated by Julie Cairney (44.10)

THE SPEAKERS
- Professor Paul S. Weiss, nanoscientist and Professor at UCLA
- Dr Anna Waterhouse, cardiovascular researcher at the University of Sydney and co-lead of Grand Challenges - Nanorobotics for Health project
- Dr Shelley Wickham, chemistry and physics research at the University of Sydney, and co-lead of Nanorobotics for Health
- Professor Julie Cairney (Moderator), from School of Engineering at the University of Sydney

This event was recorded on Monday 17 February, 2020 at the University of Sydney. To learn more about the Nanorobotics project, further resources and speakers, visit the website: http://bit.ly/2SQb5oM

Feb 18 2020

51mins

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Rank #7: To the point: mental health and COVID-19 (20 March 2020)

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It's a natural, human response to fear disease. Yet we've seen this fear heightened with the outbreak of COVID-19. After all, the disease has reached into virtually all corners of life: public health, security, jobs, businesses, our culture and communities.

It's an uncertain time. People are anxious. So, how do we communicate and channel our anxiety to respond productively?

We're taking a look at mental health in Australia and how it's being impacted on by COVID-19.

We speak with Professor Ian Hickie, co-director of the Brain and Mind Centre and a leading health expert.

WHAT WE COVER
– The drivers of good mental health: personal autonomy and social connection
– How we can give people the information and agency to take productive actions
– The conversations we should be having to enable and empower communities
– Mental health in the face of an economic crisis
– The importance of social cohesion: while we're physically isolated, the more we're connected socially and emotionally, it will have profound impacts on mental health

Access the transcript: https://bit.ly/2WzaPxR

For more info, head to the Sydney Ideas website: sydney.edu.au/sydney-ideas.

Mar 20 2020

14mins

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Rank #8: Leadership for good: combating viral panic, misinformation and racism (2 March 2020)

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We're talking about the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak and the social and political responses to it. Has fear of the disease taken on a racial dimension? We bring together an epidemiologist, historian, politician, student leader and the University's Vice-Chancellor to help make sense of this rapidly evolving issue.

WHAT WE COVER
– Brief timeline by Tim Soutphommasane
– Pandemic: what does mean, and how will it impact our daily lives? (Ying Zhang, 6.50)
– Insights on the government's response to the outbreak and racism in Australia (Jenny Leong, 12.35)
– Getting a historical perspective on this (Sophie Loy-Wilson, 19.30)
– Insights on students in China affected by the travel ban: how are they feeling? (Abbey Shi, 22.50)
– The University's response and support for students (Michael Spence, 26.00)
– The economic impact on University sector, tourism and more (30.00)
– Preparedness and panic: how we deal with this issue (38.00)
– Final thoughts and key messages from speakers (48.25)

THE SPEAKERS
– Associate Professor Ying Zhang, senior epidemiologist at the University of Sydney
– Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown in the NSW State Parliament
– Dr Sophie Loy-Wilson, historian at the University of Sydney
– Abbey Shi, General Secretary of the University of Sydney SRC
- Dr Michael Spence AC, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney

The event was moderated by Professor Tim Soutphommasane, Director of the Culture Strategy at the University of Sydney.

This event was recorded on Monday 2 March, 2020. For the event transcript and more info, visit the website: http://bit.ly/2UMUrco

Mar 04 2020

57mins

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Rank #9: To the point: how we talk about COVID-19 (1 April 2020)

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We're peeling back the layers of language and cognition and how it relates to COVID-19.

Particularly at this time, the way we talk about the disease and the current situation, can be helpful or harmful, comforting or confusing. What should we be conscious of?

We speak with Nick Enfield, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney.

WHAT WE COVER
– From "mild" to "extreme" cases: the need for nuance
– Unpacking the idea of "the new normal"
– Exercising cognitive literacy, or what Hugo Mercier terms 'open vigilance'

Access the transcript: https://bit.ly/2V0VLa3

For more info, head to the Sydney Ideas website: sydney.edu.au/sydney-ideas.

Apr 02 2020

15mins

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Rank #10: Sydney Ideas in India: Re-imagining the future – together

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Australia and India have much to learn from each other, because while our economies are quite different, we face similar problems, particularly around energy and the future direction of our cities. Hear from three of the University of Sydney’s leading researchers from Business, Urban Studies and Chemistry.

Professor John Shields from the Business School suggests a need to rethink the nature of leadership and asks, what can we learn from Mahatma Gandhi in this regard?

Dr Tooran Alizadeh, whose research around smart cities is based in India, asks what is that we want from our cities, in an age of rapidly evolving technology?

Dr Girish Lakhwani will draw on his research in energy to explore the parallels and complementary differences between the Indian and Australian experience.

Tania Rhodes-Taylor, Vice-Principal (External Relations)at the University, chaired this event, with closing remarks by Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence AC.

This event was recorded on Friday 22 November, 2019 in New Delhi.

Nov 28 2019

53mins

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Rank #11: The power of inclusive filmmaking

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Award-winning filmmaker Genevieve Clay-Smith has channelled her passion for social justice and desire to equitise the film industry into the practice of inclusive filmmaking. Hear about Genevieve's passion for inclusivity and creative approaches to making innovative work with Bus Stop Films.

Joining Genevieve is emerging filmmaker Ricky Kremer, who is currently studying the accessible films studies program at Bus Stop Films.

Nov 27 2019

49mins

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Rank #12: After the Apology: Sorry means you don't do it again

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Indigenous children are still being removed from their families at increasing rates, despite the clear links to negative child health and education outcomes. Why and how is this still happening?

The University of Sydney’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services), Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver AM, moderated a conversation with Boe Rambaldini, Director of the University’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Heath; and filmmaker and lawyer, Professor Larissa Behrendt from the University of Technology Sydney.

This event was held on Tuesday 19 November, 2019 at University of Sydney. For more details about the speakers and this event, visit the website: http://bit.ly/2oOThQ8

Nov 20 2019

1hr 1min

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Rank #13: Who should govern environmental disasters, and how?

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Bushfires, hurricanes, life-threatening heatwaves and floods have ravaged our planet in recent years. There is a mounting pool of evidence that climate change, including global warming, is a major cause of these extreme weather events.

What we need to do to govern such disasters effectively? Who should govern environmental disasters and how? Hear from scholars working on environmental disasters from a range of disciplines, issue areas, and countries, including:
- Professor Linda Hancock, Deakin University
- Dr Francisco Molina Camacho, CIGIDEN
- Professor Susan Park, University of Sydney
- Chair: Professor Abbas El-Zein, University of Sydney

This conversation was recorded on Thursday 21 November, 2019 at the University of Sydney. For more details or to check out a reading list, visit our website: http://bit.ly/2OkPKTq

Nov 26 2019

46mins

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Rank #14: Hope vs fear: climate change as a security issue

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What does it mean to call a climate emergency? Military and security experts have warned that as temperatures continue to rise, so too will security risks, including in extreme cases, the risk of armed conflict.
Speakers:
- Professor Ole Wæver, University of Copenhagen
- Councillor Jess Miller, City of Sydney Council
- Associate Professor Charlotte Epstein, University of Sydney
- Olivia Arkell, University of Sydney
This conversation was recorded on Monday 11 November, 2019 at the University of Sydney. Visit the website for more details: bit.ly/33FWVuv

Nov 12 2019

1hr 5mins

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Rank #15: Parag Khanna: The future is asian

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The world has gotten used to hearing 'America First', but is it ready for 'Asia First'? Leading global strategy adviser and international bestselling author Dr Parag Khanna makes a case for why we need to start looking at the world, and future, from the Asian point of view.

This event also featured:
- Welcome by Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at the University of Sydney
- Introduction by Professor James Der Derian, Director of the Centre for International Security Studies
- Siobhán Moran-McFarlane led the conversation with Dr Khanna. Siobhán is a broadcast journalist and producer, and host of 'Another World' on Eastside Radio 89.7FM.

Dr Khanna is the keynote speaker for the 2019 Michael Hintze Lecture, co-presented with the Centre for International Security Studies.

This conversation was recorded on Tuesday 5 November, 2019 at the University of Sydney. For full details, visit the website: http://bit.ly/32bpqzq

Nov 06 2019

1hr 17mins

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Rank #16: How the waterfront dispute changed industrial relations in Australia

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Labour expert Professor Shae McCrystal, and Walkley Award-winning journalists Pamela Williams and Quentin Dempster, reflect on the shifting and precarious nature of work in Australia, since the watershed waterfront dispute in 1998.

This conversation was recorded on Monday 28 October, 2019 at the University of Sydney and presented in partnership with The Walkley Foundation. Visit the website for more details: http://bit.ly/2ZkKGVh

Oct 29 2019

43mins

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Rank #17: Arts, health and healing

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Why are the arts critical to public health? How can we embed creative practice into healthcare to improve outcomes for all?

Hear internationally renowned artists and researchers share their insights and case studies of exemplary practice:
- Vic McEwan, The Cad Factory
- Dr Clive Parkinson, Manchester School of Art
- Dr Nicole Reilly, University of Newcastle (UON)
- Akeshia Dart, mental health clinician and PhD candidate at UON
- Dr Claire Hooker, University of Sydney and event chair

This conversation was recorded on Monday 21 October, 2019 at the University of Sydney.

The event marked the launch of the Arts Health Network (NSW/ACT). Connect with this new platform: https://www.artshealthnetwork.com.au/

Oct 22 2019

50mins

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Rank #18: Understanding neurodiversity and living with autism

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Hear experts, including the Brain and Mind Centre's Professor Adam Guastella, explore how we might create cultures and environments that support neurodiversity, and recognise the varying levels of communication and experiences for people with autism.

Featuring:
- Professor Adam Guastella, Michael Crouch Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health and University of Sydney
- Max Prineas, Bachelor of Music student at University of Sydney
- Susannah Gregory, Disability Services Officer at University of Sydney
- MC: Chloe Maxwell, TV presenter, model and founder of 4 ASD Kids

This event was held on Wednesday 25 September, 2019 as part of Disability Inclusion Week. For more details, visit the website: http://bit.ly/2krEDMm

Oct 13 2019

54mins

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Rank #19: Public interest and toxic chemicals

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How do the harmful effects of chemicals go undetected, and what can we do to better protect against this? Public health expert Professor Tim Driscoll and Walkley Award-winning journalists Kerry O'Brien and Carrie Fellner discuss.

This conversation was recorded on Thursday 19 September, 2019 at the University of Sydney and presented in partnership with The Walkley Foundation. Visit the website for more details: http://bit.ly/33SuTNa

Sep 20 2019

46mins

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Rank #20: Alison Gopnik: When (and why) children are smarter than adults, and AI too

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How might understanding childhood development lead to genuinely intelligent machines?

Young children are actually better at learning unusual or unlikely principles than adults. Professor Alison Gopnik's research relates this pattern to computational ideas about search and sampling, evolutionary ideas about human life history, and neuroscience findings about plasticity.

This talk was recorded on Wednesday 11 September at the University of Sydney. For more details, visit the website: http://bit.ly/2kN7CdH

Sep 18 2019

42mins

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