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Sydney Ideas podcast

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We record most of our talks so you can listen back on Soundcloud and iTunes. Check out some of our top picks and playlists.

2020 talks and conversations

Nano revolution: taking medicine and health to the next level

  • Hear how 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. Listen to the podcast

Leadership for good: combating viral panic, misinformation

  • Our panel, including an epidemiologist, a historian, politician, student leader and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, examine the social and political responses to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak. Has fear of the disease taken on a racial dimension? Listen to the podcast + access transcript

Tides: from curious Kimberley to cannibalistic black holes

  • Why does the Earth have two tides a day? What causes spring and neap tides? Astronomer Don Kurtz uncovers the fascinating and mysterious topic of tides.  

COVID-19: what are the facts?

  • What can we do to prepare and response to this rapidly developing situation? 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. Listen to the podcast

To the point: mental health and COVID-19

  • It's an uncertain time. People are anxious. So, how do we communicate and channel our anxiety to respond productively? Professor Ian Hickie, co-director of Brain and Mind Centre, gives us insights into mental health in Australia and how it's being impacted by COVID-19. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

COVID-19: fear and anxiety

  • 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. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

To the point: how we talk about 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 linguist Nick Enfield. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

Flip the Clinic: the digital approach to mental health care support

  • As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, now is the time to rethink how we do things, during this pandemic and beyond. What could a digital present and future look like for mental health? Listen to the podcast + access transcript

Wellbeing and COVID-19

  • COVID-19 has put health firmly at the top of the agenda. While we’re practising physical distancing to maintain our physical health, how do we maintain our wellbeing? Hear insights from the Matilda Centre's Professor Maree Teesson and Dr Lexine Stapinski. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

COVIDSafe app: safe to use?

  • Hear from experts in law, cybersecurity, behavioural economics, and public health informatics, as they examine the implications of the federal government's coronavirus contact-tracing app, COVIDSafe. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

The vaccination gap: increasing uptake and acceptance

  • What does the research on routine immunisation tell us about the possible issues we might face with uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine, should one be found? Hear insights from Professor Julie Leask, social scientist and WHO advisor. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

The road ahead: rebuilding Australia's future

  • Hear from Mark Scott AO from NSW Department of Education, NAB’s Cathryn Carver and University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence AC, as they discuss how we, as a society, rebuild from COVID-19. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

In this together

  • 'In this together' – the theme for National Reconciliation Week 2020 – is now resonating in ways we could not have foreseen. Professors Jaky Troy and Lisa Jackson Pulver, defence lawyer Teela Reid and GUIR founder Ken Zulumovski, come together to talk about reconciliation, unfinished business and reckoning. Listen to the podcast + access transcript

Geopolitics in a post-pandemic world

  • How are the US and China handling the COVID-19 situation? What are the impacts of these decisions domestically, and particularly for Australia's relationship with the two states? Listen to the podcast + access transcript

Road to recovery: vulnerability and building an inclusive future

  • COVID-19 has revealed the precariousness of our lives and systems. As we start talking about rebuilding, many are left vulnerable, facing uncertain futures. How can we ensure the cracks don’t become chasms and instead develop a plan that supports an inclusive future and supports social cohesion? Listen to the podcast + access transcript

Recent discussions

To the point series

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