Among this year’s five early-career humanities academics chosen by the ABC for intensive media training is Dr Luara Ferracioli, a researcher in the University of Sydney’s Department of Philosophy.
The program, ‘TOP 5 Media Residency’, will see her completing a two-week program at ABC Radio National. There, she will learn communication skills and develop content across radio, television and digital platforms.
Dr Ferracioli’s research centres on political philosophy: philosophical reflection on how best to arrange our collective life, including our political institutions and our social practices. She has just completed a book on the ethics of immigration and is in the process of writing a book on the ethics of adoption, parenting and procreation. “My overarching interest is in vulnerability, and how political institutions such as the state and the family can both exacerbate and minimise the intrinsic vulnerability of human beings,” she said.
Philosophy has a lot to contribute to public debates: we are interested in questions of value, and what kind of society we want to create
She hopes to draw on both topics during her residency, which she applied for in order to improve her media skills as well as out of civic duty. “Philosophy has a lot to contribute to public debates: we are interested in questions of value, and what kind of society we want to create,” she said.
“During the current pandemic, for example, philosophy can help us answer tremendously difficult questions, such as how to fairly distribute scarce medical resources, and how to fairly distribute the economic costs of shutdowns. It also helps us to question important assumptions on the part of our political leaders, like the assumption that people are not owed a decent income if they are not engaged in paid work, or that children’s interests in schooling, play and carefreeness can be completely ignored for the sake of sending a social distancing message to their parents.
“Indeed, philosophers have been at the forefront of social movements that push for a world where no one should be allowed to starve or become vulnerable to domination.”
ABC Top 5 Humanities is complemented by comparable programs for Arts and Science scholars. The first program was established six years ago, and they occur annually.
“The programs are designed to help our emerging thinkers share their knowledge and expertise with audiences seeking credible material and informed debate,” an ABC spokesperson said.
The University of Sydney is a sponsor of the programs.
ABC Top 5 Humanities winners were announced today on the ABC Radio National Breakfast program. The residencies are planned to take place later this year.