Big Ideas

by ABC Radio · · · · 30 subscribers

Big Ideas brings you the best of talks, forums, debates, and festivals held in Australia and around the world, casting light on the major social, cultural, scientific and political issues

Inspired teaching can change lives. What are the ingredients of great teaching, and great schools?
If you’re trying to make a decision you collect all the data, weigh up the alternatives and come to a logical conclusion. That’s how it’s supposed to happen. But in real life decisions are made on the run, you follow your intuition or fall back on what you did last …
The statistics are overwhelming. One woman in four has experienced violence from an intimate partner according to national surveys. And there’s a campaign to introduce laws which deal with the insidious nature of coercive control. Journalist Jess Hill has spent many years investigating domestic violence. She speaks to Kerry O'Brien …
Artificial intelligence is being applied to almost every activity and profession. So will humans continue to set the standard in skills like surgery or driving cars or will robots be the benchmark? We look at how laws might have to change to judge fault in accidents or in deciding intellectual …
Can covid help to create a kinder, better, Australia? Adversity, it has been said, can make us stronger, and pull us together more tightly, as a community. Social psychologist, Hugh MacKay, told Paul Barclay he noticed last year, after the pandemic arrived, that Australians started to become kinder to one …
Whether you are for or against the death penalty, you would at least expect that that decision is based on a sound legal process. But death penalty law expert Marc Bookman reveals the foibles of the system in practice. And - the true and epic story of Captain Moonlite. He …
There’s a famous quote about learning the lessons of history: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. But perhaps the reverse is also true. Too much memory, too much focus on injustice and grievances, can make us captives of the past . Stan Grant looks at …
The pandemic has ruined many businesses. But it has also accelerated the digital transformation of the economy. Despite lockdowns, and covid restrictions, consumers have continued to spend and shop. And online traders have been the beneficiary. However, this has also led to more parcels, more packaging and more waste. What …
Uluru is a spiritual place for indigenous people and it looms large in the national imagination. Historian Mark McKenna uncovered a hidden truth about an infamous frontier killing at Uluru in the 1930’s. Indigenous campaigner, Thomas Mayor, believes the “Statement from the Heart” could only have come from Uluru. Paul …
Cities 2060 June 29, 2021
A sea-change or tree change has its appeal but you’re running against a global trend. Over half of the world’s population now live in towns and cities and there’s no sign of it slowing down. It’s a headache for city planners who are trying to keep up with demand. The …
Are you a good listener? Unfortunately, not many of us can answer that with a convinced ‘yes’. And that’s even though listening is at the core of every relationship. Losing the ability to listen has profound social, psychological, and neuroscientific impacts. But the good news is: You can learn how …
Green electricity June 24, 2021
Coal, oil and gas currently drive most of our electricity generation, manufacturing and transport systems. If we’re to achieve zero emissions then green alternatives are vital. And we need green energy at scale. Solar panels on your roof will only go part of the way to producing enough electricity . …
Health for all June 23, 2021
The pandemic has opened a window of opportunity for us to "build back better", and create a healthy, sustainable and equitable future, according to public health expert, Dr Sandro Demaio. He says we have a once-in-a-lifetime shot at achieving "health for all". Sandro joins Cassandra Goldie and Professor Sharon Friel …
What is truth? How has it evolved? And what is its impact anyway? Evolutionary science shows that subtle social manipulation of fellow group members was a key driver of intelligence in the human lineage. And even animals use trickery to their advantage. Big Ideas looks at why we lie and …
After Covid do we need to invest more in the not-for-profit sector which has demonstrated its vital role in keeping communities together? And a financial journalist puts her anthropology training to good use as she maps the tribal norms which shape how teams operate in different workplaces.
Stop playing around and start playing seriously. Our deep drive to play has shaped our cultures and our philosophies, our working lives, and our civilizations since we first started playing. AND – women’s soccer in Australia. Fighting for more equality on and off the field, women's football is a story …
Journalist, Simon Akam, investigates the failures of the British Army, including alleged war crimes, in his provocative book, The Changing of the Guard. He examines what has gone wrong with the British Army since 9/11, how it has changed, and what it has learnt from unsuccessful campaigns in Iraq and …
Modern parents juggle work and home and try to meet high expectations about each child reaching their potential. Two parenting experts talk about the particular demands of raising teenage girls and raising boys with a healthy masculinity. And is striving for personal happiness a worthwhile goal or does trying to …
International negotiations on climate change and biodiversity often put the scientific case behind economic and political interests. So, people increasingly turn to the courts to get justice for the environment. What makes those court cases successful? And what does a new form of environmental justice that connects nature with economic …
The rare metals war June 9, 2021
There is a dark side to clean energy and digital technologies Solar panels, wind turbines, mobile phones, and electric cars all depend on rare metals, But there are big problems with how these metals are mined, processed and traded. And there are profound economic and geopolitical impacts resulting from China’s …