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Podcast Profile: Ockham’s Razor

podcast imageTwitter: @ABCscience@teegstar
Site: www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor
250 episodes
2018 to present
Average episode: 11 minutes
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Categories: Broadcast Radio Programs • Science-Adjacent • Story-Style

Podcaster's summary: Ockham’s Razor is a soap box for all things scientific, with short talks about research, industry and policy from people with something thoughtful to say about science.

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-14 06:46 UTC. Episodes: 250. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2024-Mar-07
Some news about Ockham's Razor and introducing Quick Smart
If you've been wondering where we've been – Ockham's Razor is going on hiatus for a little while.But don't worry, we've got your pod needs covered with Tegan Taylor's other excellent and informative shows, Quick Smart and What's That Rash?Find more episodes of Tegan's podcasts here:Quick SmartWhat's That Rash?Presenter:Tegan TaylorProducer:Tegan Taylor, Rose KerrSound engineer:Bethany Stewart
2023-Dec-17 • 12 minutes
Satellites, citizen science and space
What role could you play in the fight against space junk?This week, Mars shares her thoughts on the role of citizen science in space research.
2023-Dec-10 • 11 minutes
What should rewilding look like in Australia?
Scientists have lots of different ideas about how to conserve our native species. One of these ways is rewilding.
2023-Dec-03 • 12 minutes
If DNA is the sheet music, epigenetics is the conductor
Razia Zakarya is an epigeneticist. But what does an epigeneticist do exactly? Razia is here to explain! Today, why DNA and epigenetics is important for chronic disease research.
2023-Nov-26 • 12 minutes
Making science fun isn't oversimplifying it
Science doesn't have to be restricted to old white men in lab coats. Maddie reckons it's time to make science fun! Without losing it's important messages.
2023-Nov-19 • 12 minutes
Examining the labels we put on science
First Nations people were the first scientists in Australia. But they don't just stay in the past tense – they're still here, and still actively contributing to science.Today's speaker Maggie Walter is Palawa and she's here to talk about how we think about First Nations science.
2023-Nov-12 • 11 minutes
Imagine you're a snowflake...
Today's speaker Chelsea explores the extreme cold in Antarctica to bring home something important... Ice cores! These ice cores can be used to uncover clues about Australia's past.
2023-Nov-05 • 11 minutes
What radio and space research have in common
Today's speaker works with radio of a slightly different sort – radio astronomy!Dr Laura Driessen explains what radio is… and isn't.
2023-Oct-29 • 11 minutes
Big conservation in small spaces
As cities grow, nature becomes more and more fragmented. So how can we protect native species without big areas to conserve?Brendan Wintle says we need look into smaller places, like your own backyard or the bushland down the street.
2023-Oct-22 • 11 minutes
The giant urine battery, and other art-science fusions
Guess what happens when art and science collide?
2023-Oct-15 • 11 minutes
The ancient story of Prometheus still has lessons today
Fire has been fundamental for human development - but have you ever stopped to think about how it might be causing us harm? Fay Johnston wants us to rethink our relationship with fire, through a retelling of a story.
2023-Oct-08 • 11 minutes
Yeast: a manufacturing powerhouse
Bread... Beer... Bioengineering?Yeast really can do it all.Today's speaker Jason Whitfield wants us to consider what our world could look like with emerging bioengineering tech.
2023-Oct-01 • 11 minutes
The creatures in the ocean's twilight zone
Diving into the "twilight zone", there's some amazing aquatic creatures. These fish fascinate today's speaker Yi-Kai Tea. He's even named a few.
2023-Sep-24 • 11 minutes
What fool's gold can tell us about the origins of life
Do you have a favourite mineral? Maybe you love the gleam of a tiger's eye or the sparkle of an amethyst.
2023-Sep-17 • 11 minutes
A peek into the future of glaucoma treatment
Flora Hui's hope for the future is that blindness from glaucoma no longer exists.And as an optometrist and researcher, she's at the forefront of finding better treatments.
2023-Sep-10 • 11 minutes
What microfluidics can do for you
Microfluidics is an exciting field of science that has the potential to change the way we do drug trials. Today's speaker Susi Seibt is keen to explore the future applications of this teeny tiny science.
2023-Sep-03 • 10 minutes
How do you brew
What do you love about that first sip of beer? Maybe it's the bitterness, the fizz or the fruitiness?
2023-Aug-27 • 11 minutes
Thinking of the earth like a vanilla slice
Beneath the cold ice sheets of Antarctica lies the dynamic deep earth. So what happens when the two interact?Today's speaker Niam is eager to find out.
2023-Aug-20 • 11 minutes
Why would we need a celestial lighthouse?
Let's go on a space adventure!Gomeroi woman and astrophysics honours student Krystal explores the scale of our universe.
2023-Aug-13 • 11 minutes
Safety, science and a platypus
If we had a time machine, we could go back and fix the mistakes we've made. But that probably isn't the best way to prevent mistakes before they happen...Trish Kerin believes everyone has a right to be safe at work and has a creative way to encourage us to spot warning signs early, saving us from mistakes ahead of time.
2023-Aug-06 • 12 minutes
When AI surprises a software engineer
We're getting pretty familiar with hearing people talk about AI and what it could mean for our future.Luckily we humans still have the power to shape how that will look.Rashina Hoda is one of those humans and she's hoping to make sure AI is used in an ethical way.
2023-Jul-30 • 12 minutes
Advancing women's health with mice?
Researchers have a lot of unanswered questions about female reproductive health.Today's speaker has a story of a discovery that will hopefully advance this area of science, but found in a very unlikely place.We have some live shows coming up, and we'd love to see you there! Get your tickets here.
2023-Jul-23 • 12 minutes
Peeking inside unhappy Aussie knees
How are your knees feeling? There's a pretty good chance one or both of them are sore — after all, knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability globally, and Australia's no exception.Trouble is, we don't really have any way of treating it. But never fear — this week we're hearing from someone who's bringing her engineering background to take a peek inside dodgy knees and see what it might take to fix them.We have some live shows coming up! We're heading to Sydney and the Huon Valley in Tasmania. Che...
2023-Jul-16 • 12 minutes
What can hot springs tell us about the origins of life?
Do you think we're alone in the universe? Could there be other life out there?And, whether there is or isn't, how does life come to be, anyway?(Is this sounding a little like your mate on a camping trip getting a bit too deep while looking up at all those stars?)Well, this time we're hearing from someone who's trying to unpick the origins of life — here on Earth, and maybe other places too.We've got a bunch of live shows coming up! You can find more details here.
2023-Jul-09 • 12 minutes
Indigenous voices in water planning
What does it take to survive on the driest inhabited continent on Earth? Indigenous people have tens of thousands of years of knowledge about this, but their place in the conversations about water planning and management are often tokenistic at best, or worse, completely absent.Bradley Moggridge wants to change that. He's a Kamilaroi man and hydrogeologist, and he knows Indigenous knowledge needs to be central to Australia's water future.Want to join the audience at our next live show? We're heading to Melb...
2023-Jul-02 • 11 minutes
Crashes, collisions and earthquakes: an engineering challenge
To protect our heads in a crash or collision, we wear a helmet.But what about if we need to protect a building?That's probably too big for a helmet…Engineer Tatheer explores creative solutions to these big problems.We have some upcoming live Ockham's Razor shows!We're heading to Melbourne, Huon Valley and Sydney.Check them out and join the audience here.
2023-Jun-25 • 12 minutes
Mussels: Not exactly cute, but definitely important
When it comes to conservation, it's easy to get excited about protecting creatures that make you go "aww". Like, "aww, what a fluffy koala!", or "aww, what a cute lizard!"
2023-Jun-18 • 11 minutes
Stone tools and secrets of the past
What’s the most important human invention from history? The wheel? Fire? How about… language and culture?Archaeologist Sam Lin takes us on a tour of very early human history, featuring an item that crops up too regularly to be an accident: an almond-shaped piece of sharpened stone.Sam's talk was first broadcast in February 2022.
2023-Jun-11 • 11 minutes
Including First Nations voices must be more than just lip service
No one likes having their ideas taken for granted, without recognition or pay.For First Nations Australians, their expansive knowledge is often used without proper consultation or respectful communication. So how do we tackle the problem? Tahlia, a Ballardong Whadjuk and Wajarri Yamaji engineering student, shares her thoughts.
2023-Jun-04 • 10 minutes
The science of ice cream
Here on Ockham's Razor, our soapbox for science, we try to bring you science that's deeply applicable to your daily life.
2023-May-28 • 12 minutes
How trauma harms and how to heal
When it comes to mental health, we're so much better as a society at talking about it than we used to be.
2023-May-21 • 11 minutes
Inspiring the next generation of deadly scientists
Corey decided to be a scientist, no matter what anyone else said. It ended up taking him on some life changing adventures.Now, he's using his love of science to make sure all kids, even in the most remote parts of Australia, have the chance to achieve their dreams.
2023-May-14 • 12 minutes
Investigating murder mysteries with… bugs?
This week's episode is one for the true crime podcast fans. Paola is a forensic entomologist meaning she uses bugs to help solve murders. So, what can the bugs tell us?Just a heads up, this episode includes descriptions that get a bit gruesome. Listen with care.
2023-May-07 • 11 minutes
The hidden cost of fish and chips
We often think of sharks as villains -- but as far as humans vs sharks go… we're the bad guys.
2023-Apr-30 • 11 minutes
Creating equity on the pathway to science careers
People who want to be a scientist, should have the opportunity to pursue a career in science - right?Well, there are barriers that make it much harder for some people to become the scientists they dream of being.Today, Linda Agnew explores how we can create equitable opportunities in STEM for people with disabilities.
2023-Apr-23 • 10 minutes
Could a planet like Luke Skywalker's exist in our universe?
It's the perennial question when it comes to considering the universe – could there be life on other planets?
2023-Apr-16 • 11 minutes
Everything you ever (or never) wanted to know about ticks
They're the unwanted hiking companion that is trying to suck your blood. Today, Charlotte tells us about why ticks want to follow us home.
2023-Apr-09 • 11 minutes
Waterways are teeming with life - how can we protect them?
Callum is thinking about the future of freshwater systems in Australia. They're full of life, within and around the water.But how do we protect these waterways when humans also rely on them? Callum Donohue explores this careful balance.
2023-Apr-02 • 11 minutes
Tiny creatures have a big conservation problem
To plan conservation efforts, scientists need to know what species are in an area, how big the populations are, how they interact... The list goes on. But what happens when the creatures that need conserving are so small you can barely see them?Today, Lisa Kirkendale explores the importance of taxonomy in conservation, and why even the tiniest of creatures need attention.
2023-Mar-26 • 11 minutes
An Atom's Eye View
Jacob is no stranger to becoming immersed in the world he's researching. He's a nanotechnologist, so things are about to get tiny.Today, Jacob Martin explains why his research requires a balance of the real and virtual worlds of scientific experimentation.
2023-Mar-19 • 11 minutes
Meteorites and meteor-wrongs
We've all looked at the night sky in the hope of seeing a shooting star, but today's speaker looks at the ground to find meteorites!Ellie Sansom explains what it takes to go on a meteorite hunt in the Australian outback.Next live show:The next Ockham's Razor live show is in Brisbane on the 24th of March. You can find tickets here. We'd love to see you there!
2023-Mar-12 • 11 minutes
When bias in science is a good thing
Bias is usually regarded as something to avoid in scientific research, but that doesn't always have to be the case.James Hill explores the role his lived experience as a queer Ngarrindjeri man plays in his research, and what can be gained by inviting bias into science.Next live show:Ockham's Razor is coming to the World Science Festival in Brisbane and we'd love to see you there. You can find tickets here.
2023-Mar-05 • 11 minutes
The coral reef you didn't know you needed to know about
When you think of Australia's most famous coral, the Great Barrier Reef likely comes to mind. But there's a coral reef ecosystem in the north of WA that also deserves attention.Today, Zoe takes us on a journey to the corals of the Kimberley region, to tell us why they give her hope for the future of coral populations globally.
2023-Feb-26 • 10 minutes
Choosing the science story we want to tell
What can stories tell us about science? And what science can we explore through stories?This week, science writer Lauren Fuge asks us all to imagine the future of science.
2023-Feb-19 • 11 minutes
Is this a job for AI or humans?
What is a task for AI and when does a human need to intervene? And when is a compassionate response better than an accurate one?These are the big questions explored by today's speaker, Carolyn. Next live show:The next Ockham's Razor live show is in Perth on the 22nd of February. Find all the details and tickets here.
2023-Feb-12 • 12 minutes
Representation is key if we want health equity
Having a voice in conversations that concern your experiences is vital, especially when it comes to First Nations health. Today, Kim Morey explores what an inclusive future in healthcare looks like. Next live show:Our next live show will be in Perth on the 22nd of February. Find tickets and more info here.
2023-Feb-05 • 11 minutes
Rats, sharks and snails: The teeth dentists are envious of
Would you rather have rat, shark or snail teeth? Turns out, they all have characteristics that could be used as inspiration for human dentistry. Dentist Greg explores the future of dentistry and what we can learn from the animal world.The next Ockham's Razor live show is in Perth in February! You can find details and tickets here.
2023-Jan-29 • 11 minutes
Theatre and community health: the unexpected duo
How do you organise a community health program when no one speaks the same language? When researcher Renly was faced with this question, she worked on a creative solution. This week, Renly Lim explores using theatre to communicate science. The next Ockham's Razor live podcast event is coming up soon! We'll be in Perth in February. You can find details and tickets here.
2022-Dec-18 • 10 minutes
Harnessing microbes to fight bowel cancer
Susan Woods wants you to put her out of a job.And she's not even asking that much of you – in fact you may have already done your bit.Susan is a gut cancer researcher. If everyone who was eligible did their bowel screening test, she'd probably be unemployed.But just in case, she's looking into solutions for the worst prognosis bowel cancers and conscripting certain microbes to help her do it.Speaker:Dr Susan WoodsSenior research fellow, Gut Cancer Group, SAHMRIHost: Tegan TaylorProducer:Tegan Taylor, Rose K...
2022-Dec-11 • 11 minutes
An echidna investigation
Sometimes science requires getting a little messy. Researcher Tahlia has been working with citizen scientists through a slightly strange request... Sending her echidna poo. Today, Tahlia explains the challenges in conserving echidnas and what we can do to help. Speaker:Dr Tahlia PerryPostdoctoral ResearcherUniversity of AdelaideHost:Tegan TaylorProducer: Tegan Taylor, Rose Kerr
2022-Dec-04 • 11 minutes
The magic of storytelling in… maths?
Looking at a maths equation, do you see numbers or characters in a story?If you're thinking of numbers, there might be another way to see the full picture. Today, Associate Professor Amie Albrecht explores the unexpected combination of maths and storytelling. Speaker:Amie AlbrechtAssociate Professor of MathematicsInterim Dean of Programs (Education Futures)University of South AustraliaHost:Tegan TaylorProducer:Tegan Taylor, Rose Kerr
2022-Nov-27 • 11 minutes
The ideology of wilderness 'destroying this continent'
This episode was first released in June 2022. What does a natural landscape look like to you? Maybe you think of a dense forest, or a sparkling body of water. Somewhere untouched by humans, right? Maybe the word "wilderness" comes to mind.Today we're hearing from someone who wants you to think twice about this idea of wilderness.Michael-Shawn Fletcher is a geographer and a descendant of the Wiradjuri – and he wants to challenge the idea that country that's untouched by humans is a good thing.Guest:Associate...
2022-Nov-20 • 10 minutes
Sleeping your way to better relationships
When you're tired, are you grumpy? Maybe stressed? Feel like you can't socialise? We know we need to get good sleep for our own health, but it's also really important in our social lives.Today, Joel Raymond explores what happens in our relationships when we don't get enough sleep. Speaker:Joel RaymondPhD candidate, School of Psychology and Brain and Mind CentreThe University of SydneyHost:Tegan TaylorProducer:Tegan Taylor, Gemma ConroyNext live show:The next live Ockham's Razor event is coming up soon! If y...
2022-Nov-13 • 12 minutes
How terms like "anti-vax" can be unhelpful
How many times do you think you've heard the words "anti-vax" in the last 3 years? What about, "vaccine hesitant"?It would probably be countless.But are these terms actually helpful in communicating the need for vaccines?Associate Professor Holly Seale explores how language and listening are essential in having meaningful conversations about vaccination.Speaker:Associate Professor Holly SealeSchool of Population HealthUniversity of New South WalesHost:Tegan TaylorProducer:Tegan Taylor, Gemma ConroyNext live...
2022-Nov-06 • 11 minutes
Psychedelics to treat eating disorders?
Eating disorders are extremely complicated to treat, leaving people potentially struggling for decades. But there's a new contender in the treatment field: psychedelic drugs.Sarah-Catherine Rodan talks us through how the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – used in a very particular way – could help people with anorexia.The nature of this talk means we're going to be hearing about eating disorders, so if that's not going to be helpful for you, feel free to skip this episode.Speaker:Sarah-Catherine Rodan, ...
2022-Oct-30 • 12 minutes
Crocodiles and the question of conservation
Conserving native species and landscapes is one of the biggest challenges scientists face in our future.But what does conservation actually mean?Graheme Webb has been working with crocodile populations for decades.He's been pondering the big conservation question and says part of the challenge we face is understanding what we mean by the word itself.Speaker: Professor Graheme WebbManaging director of Wildlife Management InternationalHost: Tegan TaylorProducer:Tegan Taylor, James Bullen
2022-Oct-23 • 11 minutes
How to survive the dating scene as a male spider
Have you been unlucky in love?Keep swiping right on the wrong ones?Well just remember it could be worse. You could be a male spider.Let's get empathetic for these arachnids who live in constant fear their partner's going to bite their head off – literally.Guest: Anastasia ShavrovaPhD candidate, School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Science, UNSW SydneyHost:Tegan TaylorProducer:Gemma Conroy, Tegan Taylor
2022-Oct-16 • 12 minutes
Music to lift your mood
When you're feeling down, are you someone who needs to hear a sad song to let your emotions out, or do you seek out an upbeat track to pump up your mood?
2022-Oct-09 • 12 minutes
What can hot springs tell us about the origins of life?
Do you think we're alone in the universe? Could there be other life out there?And, whether there is or isn't, how does life come to be, anyway?(Is this sounding a little like your mate on a camping trip getting a bit too deep while looking up at all those stars?)Well, this time we're hearing from someone who's trying to unpick the origins of life — here on Earth, and maybe other places too.
2022-Oct-02 • 11 minutes
What's that on the weather radar, besides rain?
Does your routine when planning any outdoor activity involve checking the weather radar for rain?Sometimes you can see a clear radar and it's raining – and sometimes, that radar image shows heaps of activity but there's not a cloud in the sky… so what's happening?Rebecca Rogers, who's a techno-ecologist, is big into using radar – but not for weather watching…
2022-Sep-25 • 11 minutes
Smart technology: From clean room to your bedroom
Flexible. Innovative. Sensitive.They're attributes of the next generation of electronics. They're also great attributes in the people who are designing them.Madhu Bhaskaran is an engineer who embodies all the qualities we mentioned before – and she knows that coming up with new tech is only the first step in a long journey to market.
2022-Sep-18 • 12 minutes
When malaria policy gets personal
To say that malaria elimination is close to home for Varunika Ruwanpura is an understatement.Her mum literally gave birth to her while sick with malaria.Varunika is now lending a hand in the fight for elimination.She's chosen to focus on health policy – it might sound a little unsexy at first, but as she explains, it's a powerful tool many of us don't think about enough.
2022-Sep-11 • 11 minutes
Pig-nosed turtles, rabid poodles and other adventures in ecology
What makes a pig-nosed turtle's flippers so special?What's the most dangerous creature you'll encounter on a research trip to the Amazon jungle?What's the optimum age for freaking your kids out with wildlife cosplay?Carla Eisemberg has the answers to all these questions and more as she gives us a tour of what it's like to be an ecology researcher and teacher.
2022-Sep-04 • 11 minutes
The value of communicating science well
If a tree falls in a forest and there's no one around to hear it… you've heard this one before, haven't you?What about if someone does a groundbreaking bit of science, but no one finds out about it?Tom Carruthers makes the case for, not just good science, but good science communication.
2022-Aug-28 • 11 minutes
Could degraded soil be helping drive climate change?
When we think about climate change, we're usually looking up – towards the sky, where greenhouse gases form a heat-trapping blanket over the planet.But some people — including Freya Mulvey — say part of the global warming equation is found in the other direction… right beneath our feet.
2022-Aug-21 • 10 minutes
The art and science of taxidermy
There are a lot of fields that claim to fuse art and science.But while it might not be the first one that springs to mind, the field this week's speaker specialises in is arguably most worthy of the fusion.Jared Archibald has spent a large chunk of his career as a taxidermist. It's science for sure – a knowledge of anatomy and animal behaviour are essential – but there's an artistry to it too.
2022-Aug-14
Using drones to deliver essential medical supplies
When a lot of us first heard of drones a couple of decades ago, it was about their use in military operations.Now people use them to take photos of their neighbours or maybe even get pizzas delivered.But Vanya Bosiocic has a much more important – and constructive – use for drones.
2022-Aug-07 • 11 minutes
Meet the dolphins and whales of the Top End
What's your favourite animal? It doesn't matter really — because this talk is about to change your mind.Carol Palmer, who's based in Darwin, studies marine megafauna. Yes, dolphins and whales live in the waters of northern Australia! And she's about to convince you that the most charming animal on the planet is the false killer whale.
2022-Jul-31 • 9 minutes
Climate change and our health
We know climate change is bad for the health of the planet, and many of the species that live on it. That includes us humans.Bushfires, heat waves, flooding — they all have human health impacts.Sounds bleak, doesn't it? But today, we're hearing from someone who says if we're prepared to take a level look at this challenge, there are ways we can better meet it.
2022-Jul-24 • 11 minutes
Better screening for autism
Do you know someone on the autism spectrum? Perhaps you are on it yourself. This episode, we're hearing from a speaker who says we need to be better at diagnosing autism as early as possible — not to medicalise people, but to ensure we're making a world that supports and includes them.
2022-Jul-17 • 11 minutes
Hunting for a missing Aussie mouse
What does it take to bring an extinct species back from the dead? Well, sometimes — a Woman's Day magazine.This week, we're hearing from Tyrone Lavery, a detective who hunts — in a good way — for lost Australian mammals. And he's on particular lookout for a sweet little native mouse.
2022-Jul-10 • 11 minutes
Peeking inside unhappy Aussie knees
How are your knees feeling? There's a pretty good chance one or both of them are sore — after all, knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability globally, and Australia's no exception.Trouble is, we don't really have any way of treating it. But never fear — this week we're hearing from someone who's bringing her engineering background to take a peek inside dodgy knees and see what it might take to fix them.
2022-Jul-03 • 12 minutes
Indigenous voices in water planning
What does it take to survive on the driest inhabited continent on Earth? Indigenous people have tens of thousands of years of knowledge about this, but their place in the conversations about water planning and management are often tokenistic at best, or worse, completely absent.Bradley Moggridge wants to change that. He's a Kamilaroi man and hydrogeologist, and he knows Indigenous knowledge needs to be central to Australia's water future.
2022-Jun-26 • 12 minutes
Australia's place in the future of radio astronomy
Don't you love tipping your head back on a clear, dark night, and seeing those silvery stars twinkling above you? We know in our brains that they're giant balls of burning gas, even though they look like fairy dust scattered across the sky. And the reason we know this is because of the science of astronomy.This week we're hearing from an astronomer about the incredible discoveries her field has managed to uncover, and what the next generation of radio astronomy might achieve… right here in Australia.
2022-Jun-19 • 12 minutes
Parasites in your favourite dish
You probably have a favourite colour, flower, or song. But do you have a favourite parasite?Shokoofeh Shamsi does - although she studies parasites for a living, so maybe that makes a bit more sense.The bad news for the rest of us who don't spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff? Her favourite parasites live in many Australians' favourite food.
2022-Jun-12 • 11 minutes
Harnessing the power of exercise to preserve your retina
We know that exercise is good for us — good for our muscles and bones and mental health. But what if it's good for other parts of us as well? Research is showing that exercise releases molecular signals that can protect our eyes from diseases like age-related macular degeneration. The next step is to figure out how to harness these benefits, which is exactly what Dr Joshua Chu-Tan is on a mission to do.
2022-Jun-05 • 11 minutes
The ideology of wilderness 'destroying this continent'
What does a natural landscape look like to you? Maybe you think of a dense forest, or a sparkling body of water. Somewhere untouched by humans, right? Maybe the word “wilderness” comes to mind.Today we’re hearing from someone who wants you to think twice about this idea of wilderness.Michael-Shawn Fletcher is a geographer and a descendant of the Wiradjuri – and he wants to challenge the idea that country that's untouched by humans is a good thing.
2022-May-29 • 11 minutes
What's the future without planning?
Do you have a favourite place that’s been affected by the extreme weather that’s hit Australia over these past couple of years?This week on Ockham's Razor we’re hearing from Barbara Norman, who has her own special place that’s been hit hard by climate change.But luckily, Barbara is an expert in urban and regional planning, and she has ideas on how we can plan better to adapt to climate change.
2022-May-22 • 10 minutes
The 'science donut'
There are some moments you can look back on and go 'yep – that’s when I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.' The moment your ambition really crystallised.This week, we’re hearing from Emily Finch about when that moment happened for her – on a family field trip to what she calls the “science donut”.
2022-May-15 • 11 minutes
Pandemic preparation and the data pyramid
Priyanka Pillai combines computer science skills and a background in biomedical sciences to take on complex challenges in health data, particularly for pandemic preparedness research.You know, just in case we ever need that sort of thing …
2022-May-08 • 10 minutes
Sex in a changing world
Sexual selection is a potent evolutionary force responsible for much of the weird and wonderful diversity of life on our planet. So what happens when it's disturbed by human-induced environmental change?
2022-May-01 • 10 minutes
Australia's future in space
What’s Australia best known for? Venomous creatures? Football with weird rules? What about… space exploration?
2022-Apr-24 • 9 minutes
Lessons from the Para-powerlifters
Who’s the strongest person in the world? And how would you measure it? Today’s guest has a metric in mind.
2022-Apr-17 • 11 minutes
The mindblowing physics you may not have heard of
Somewhere between the very, very big physics and the very, very little physics is ... condensed matter physics.You might not have heard of it before, but it’s just as mindblowing – as today’s guest Elise Kenny will demonstrate.
2022-Apr-10 • 10 minutes
Climate adaptation: how this 'ugly cousin' went from zero to ... hero?
If you’re not something straightforward like a lawyer or a teacher or an electrician, there’s a question you hate getting at dinner parties – what do you do?And this week on Ockham’s Razor we're hearing from someone who particularly dreads this question.But Johanna Nalau's job – and what it means for our future – is an important one to get your head around.
2022-Apr-03 • 11 minutes
Why Australia is the lucky country when it comes to snakes
It’s no secret that Australia is home to many a venomous snake but this week’s guest wants to convince you that we should look at this as a blessing, not a curse.
2022-Mar-27 • 11 minutes
Unseen minerals all around us
Look, don’t put your mobile phone in a blender. Just… trust me on this one.But if you did, you’d find more of the periodic table of elements in that pulverised phone dust than you might expect.What’s that, you want more context? Allison Britt from Geoscience Australia can explain.First broadcast 11 July 2021.
2022-Mar-20 • 12 minutes
Hiding drugs in nanomaterials to repair brains
If you could take your brain and zoom in a couple of times – and then a bit more – you’d see structures that look like towers and tentacles, and behave like pieces of automatic Lego. It’s a crazy miniature world, and one we’re going to get a tour of today.Our tour guide is Dr Kiara Bruggeman, who’s hijacking and hacking these nano-sized structures, in the hopes of helping stroke-affected brains heal.[First aired July 25, 2021]
2022-Mar-13 • 11 minutes
Artificial intelligence, sound design and creativity
They will have played a critical role in many of your favourite albums, but what exactly does an audio mastering engineer do?And how is artificial intelligence shaking up what's traditionally been an exacting audio science?
2022-Mar-06 • 12 minutes
The mental health seesaw
What makes someone who cruises through life relatively happily different to someone who struggles with mental health issues?At least part of it lies in our genes – and there’s not much we can do about that. But there are other factors that we can control. Mary McMillan is trying to figuring out the divide between the two through a highly scientific process involving ... spit in a cup.First broadcast 28 March 2021.
2022-Feb-27 • 11 minutes
Artificial muscles and medical devices
What does it take to peel a banana? It’s something most of us can do without thinking, but imagine making a machine that could operate with that much dexterity.This week, we’re hearing from Geoff Spinks, a materials engineer whose focus is on creating teeny, tiny machines that could fit inside your body.
2022-Feb-20 • 11 minutes
We've let down our kids when it comes to healthy food
What does it take to raise a generation of healthier kids?Well it depends a bit on what’s around them – and what’s further away. What’s cheaper, or at least feels like better value for money. And what options they have in their downtime.
2022-Feb-13 • 9 minutes
Knowledge through the generations
Each year, in hundreds of Australian towns, the annual highlight is the country show.For Kathryn Bowden, showtime isn’t just about checking out the stock and produce. It’s a reminder of the generations of farming knowledge that have been passed down through her family, and the ability of Australian farmers to adapt to the changing world around them.
2022-Feb-06 • 11 minutes
Stone tools and secrets of the past
What’s the most important human invention from history? The wheel? Fire? How about… language and culture?This week, archaeologist Sam Lin takes us on a tour of very early human history, featuring an item that crops up too regularly to be an accident: an almond-shaped piece of sharpened stone.
2022-Jan-30 • 11 minutes
Queue-jumping gobies and us
What can gobies – those teeny bottom-dwelling fish – teach us about how we cope with lockdowns?
2021-Dec-19 • 9 minutes
Soil your undies!
What do your undies have to do with the health of Australian soils?Dr Oliver Knox is a researcher in cotton farming and soil health -- and he wants you to give you a challenge.First broadcast 18 April 2021.
2021-Dec-12 • 10 minutes
How music affects your brain and body
Are you a fan of pop music? What about rap? Or maybe you like edgy, experimental, electronic stuff?Well – that’s what you think. But if we covered your head with sensors and played you some music, we might discover differently.First broadcast 28 August 2021.
2021-Dec-05 • 10 minutes
Bringing passion back to learning
We know that giving students choice and ownership over their own learning is best, but has it been lost from the education system?
2021-Nov-28 • 11 minutes
Understanding cancer to improve the way we treat it
Think about the stem cells in an embryo – they’re a bit like a teenager on the brink of adulthood, with the potential to be almost anything they want to be.
2021-Nov-21 • 11 minutes
Humans as part of nature
There are those places in nature that we come back to, again and again. The reason we come is because they’re so beautiful, or peaceful… but it’s the act of returning regularly that helps us notice when things are different. The landscape is telling us in those subtle changes what’s happening to it.
2021-Nov-14 • 12 minutes
Salami smuggling in Papua New Guinea
What do boiled bandicoot, smuggled salami and an invisibility cloak have in common?Dr Deb Bower can tell you. She's a conservation biologist working on reptiles and amphibians ... with no shortage of fieldwork adventures to share.And the key to understanding the relationship between those seemingly very different items lies among the rough forest tracks of Papua New Guinea.Originally broadcast 7 March 2021.
2021-Nov-07 • 12 minutes
The handsome beast — and other enigmatica
520 million years ago, the oceans teemed with some of the most bizarre animals ever to have lived.
2021-Oct-31 • 12 minutes
Making better decisions to help the Great Barrier Reef
Every day we make hundreds of choices, big and small, that build to become the story of our lives – the friends we make, the careers we choose, our partners and our purpose.
2021-Oct-24 • 11 minutes
Garden hose, acrobatic ants and a piece of string
What if our entire universe, including you and I, could be boiled down to one object: a vibrating string?
2021-Oct-17 • 11 minutes
Disappearing sea snakes
They breathe air but live underwater, and like their land-dwelling counterparts their bites are venomous.
2021-Oct-10 • 11 minutes
Finding kindness on the backroads of Bangladesh
Nathan Brooks-English usually studies the geological processes that make mountains but on one particular field trip, the thing he learned most about was human connection.
2021-Oct-03 • 11 minutes
The gut microbiome ... of bees
You’ve got one, I’ve got one, and even cows have them. I’m talking, of course, about a microbiome – that collection of trillions of microorganisms that live on and in us and that we literally couldn’t live without.You know who else has a microbiome that’s a matter of life and death? One of our favourite insects: the honeybee. This week, we’re hearing from Mengyong Lim, who’s been getting up close and personal with bees’ digestive tracts to make sure we humans aren’t wreaking too much havoc on them…
2021-Sep-26 • 10 minutes
Better living through chemistry?
The year is 1911, and a young man by the name of Thomas Midgely Jr. is graduating university with a degree in engineering.Thomas doesn’t know it yet, but he will have a greater impact on the Earth’s atmosphere than any other single organism.He will help create two world-changing chemical inventions that will improve the lives of many, and negatively change two parts of our ecosystem in the process with decades-long consequences.
2021-Sep-19 • 12 minutes
Our vast underwater forests at risk
If there’s one thing Australians know how to be smug about, it’s that our country is home to some of the most incredible ecosystems in the world.But today, we’re visiting one that is massive in size, massively economically important … and massively underappreciated, to the point that that you may never have even heard of it.
2021-Sep-12 • 10 minutes
Startups, innovation and regional Australia
Mention the term “startup” and your mind probably goes to Silicon Valley and high-tech computer science.But startups exist in regional Australia as well – and what’s more, they’re crucial to our future.This week, we’re hearing from Elena Kelareva on startups in Gippsland, in regional Victoria – and how getting away from preconceptions is one of the first steps to startup success.
2021-Sep-05 • 11 minutes
Dogs, devils and contagious cancers
Where does cancer come from? Well there are a few answers to that question – genetic changes, maybe it’s triggered by a virus.But for two species of cute, fuzzy animals, they can be transmitted directly.This week, we’re hearing from Ruth Pye about this surprising thing that two species in very different parts of the world have in common.
2021-Aug-29 • 10 minutes
How music affects your brain and body
Are you a fan of pop music? What about rap? Or maybe you like edgy, experimental, electronic stuff?Well – that’s what you think. But if we covered your head with sensors and played you some music, we might discover differently.
2021-Aug-22 • 11 minutes
Healthy humans, healthy environment
Our own health and the health of our planet as two things that are intertwined.Today, we hear from obstetrician Kristine Barnden about the gap between good health in theory, and the challenges to having it in practice.It’s something Kristine sees not just in human health… but in the health of our climate as well.
2021-Aug-15 • 12 minutes
The myth that Australia doesn't have earthquakes
Did you know that across the Tasman, in New Zealand, some kitchens have roller cupboard doors instead of, you know, normal cupboard doors?It’s because of the earthquakes. Sometimes they’re so bad that your crockery can shake out of your cupboards and smash, and the roller ones prevent this.Lucky for us, earthquakes don’t really happen in Australia, so it’s not something we need to worry about. Right?Well… it’s time you met seismologist Dr Trevor Allen.
2021-Aug-08 • 12 minutes
Tigers, leopards and unforeseen consequences
If you had to pit endangered species next to each other in a contest of who was most good-looking, tigers would have to be pretty close to the top of the list. They’re gorgeous – and getting people on board with the idea of protecting them isn’t too hard.But what about the people who live on the edges of their habitat?This week, we discover that conservation is a noble goal… but it’s got to be done in partnership with local communities.Our narrator: Professor Wendy Wright from Federation University. And the...
2021-Aug-01 • 12 minutes
Resilient farms and water worries
Living as we do in a country that’s prone to drought, it’s no surprise that the subject of irrigation for farming can become a contentious one in Australia.Stepping up to the mic today is Rose Roche, who wants to bring some much-needed nuance to the water debate… and she’s enlisting the help of fairy tales and Disney princesses.
2021-Jul-25 • 12 minutes
Hiding drugs in nanomaterials to repair brains
If you could take your brain and zoom in a couple of times – and then a bit more – you’d see structures that look like towers and tentacles, and behave like pieces of automatic Lego. It’s a crazy miniature world, and one we’re going to get a tour of today.Our tour guide is Dr Kiara Bruggeman, who’s hijacking and hacking these nano-sized structures, in the hopes of helping stroke-affected brains heal.
2021-Jul-18 • 11 minutes
How communities can recover from disasters like bushfires and COVID-19
You know in movies, where it turns out the scrappy young hero had the power to succeed inside themselves all along – they just had to learn how to harness it?It turns out this is more than just a storytelling trope – it can also be true for communities, recovering from disaster.
2021-Jul-11 • 11 minutes
Unseen minerals all around us
Look, don’t put your mobile phone in a blender. Just… trust me on this one.But if you did, you’d find more of the periodic table of elements in that pulverised phone dust than you might expect.What’s that, you want more context? Allison Britt from Geoscience Australia can explain.
2021-Jul-04 • 11 minutes
Food supply in a pandemic
We’re pretty used to walking into a supermarket and expecting the stuff we want to be on the shelf.Or at least we were until last year, when panic-buying lifted the curtain a bit on just how complex our food supply can be.Lucky for us, it’s something smart people are studying hard – including development economist Katie Ricketts.
2021-Jun-27 • 10 minutes
Bringing passion back to learning
We know that giving students choice and ownership over their own learning is best, but has it been lost from the education system?
2021-Jun-20 • 11 minutes
Is there a future for brown coal?
When I say “brown coal”, what word comes to mind? Dirty?Well maybe that’s fair… if you want to burn it. But Vince Verheyen reckons there’s a future for it in a net zero emissions world.The starting point is understanding what it is, geologically, and how to make the most of its ingredients.
2021-Jun-13 • 11 minutes
Trolling, cyber-abuse and radical empathy
Why is it that so many people are horrible online? Are they always bad people?
2021-Jun-06 • 10 minutes
The cost of trust
Caveat emptor – buyer beware.
2021-May-30 • 11 minutes
Humans as part of nature
There are those places in nature that we come back to, again and again. The reason we come is because they’re so beautiful, or peaceful… but it’s the act of returning regularly that helps us notice when things are different. The landscape is telling us in those subtle changes what’s happening to it.
2021-May-23 • 11 minutes
Will I get better?
Why are medicos often so bad at giving us a straight answer to this question – and how could they respond better?
2021-May-16 • 11 minutes
Understanding cancer to improve the way we treat it
Think about the stem cells in an embryo – they’re a bit like a teenager on the brink of adulthood, with the potential to be almost anything they want to be.
2021-May-09 • 11 minutes
What the Stone Age can teach us about waste management
Morbid question for you - how long do you reckon your remains hang around for, after you die? How about the rest of the things you’ve used in your life?
2021-May-02 • 11 minutes
Reconnecting with nature
Take a moment and imagine yourself in nature - whether it is walking in a magical rainforest, swimming in the ocean, or a moment of wonder at the animals and plants around.
2021-Apr-25 • 11 minutes
The romantic self-saboteur
What happens when you’re very young can have a life-long effect on your relationships, as Raquel Peel knows all too well.
2021-Apr-18 • 9 minutes
Soil your undies!
What do your undies have to do with the health of Australian soils?
2021-Apr-11 • 9 minutes
Breaking open big data
What did you do when you woke up this morning? Social media on the mobile, checking the weather on your speaker or your heartrate and sleep patterns on your smart watch?
2021-Apr-04 • 11 minutes
A fossil mystery
If the numbers of TV shows on the topic are anything to go by, everyone loves a cold case – trying to crack a mysterious death from the past.
2021-Mar-28 • 12 minutes
The mental health seesaw
What makes someone who cruises through life relatively happily different to someone who struggles with mental health issues?
2021-Mar-21 • 11 minutes
Garden hose, acrobatic ants and a piece of string
What if our entire universe, including you and I, could be boiled down to one object: a vibrating string?
2021-Mar-14 • 11 minutes
The handsome beast — and other enigmatica
520 million years ago, the oceans teemed with some of the most bizarre animals ever to have lived.
2021-Mar-07 • 12 minutes
Salami smuggling in Papua New Guinea
What do boiled bandicoot, smuggled salami and an invisibility cloak have in common?
2021-Feb-28 • 11 minutes
Disappearing sea snakes
They breathe air but live underwater, and like their land-dwelling counterparts their bites are venomous.
2021-Feb-21 • 11 minutes
Finding kindness on the backroads of Bangladesh
Nathan Brooks-English usually studies the geological processes that make mountains but on one particular field trip, the thing he learned most about was human connection.
2021-Feb-14 • 12 minutes
Tiny but mighty
Microbes are critically important to the health of a coral reef.
2021-Feb-07 • 10 minutes
Aged care — giving families a voice
It's a story familiar to many families. A loved one is in aged care, and it's only after you visit them that you discover things are going wrong.
2021-Jan-31 • 10 minutes
How do top cricketers stay mentally sharp?
Tens of thousands of fans watching on. The weight of a country's hopes on your shoulders. And a leather ball speeding towards you at 140 kilometres per hour.
2020-Dec-20 • 11 minutes
A meme of sand and hope
When life gives you fire, you don't need more coal. This talk was first broadcast on 26 April, 2020.
2020-Dec-13 • 10 minutes
The Frankenstein postdoc
When Kylie Soanes bounced out of her graduation ceremony with a newly-minted PhD, she thought she knew what she was in for. This talk was originally broadcast on August 6, 2017.
2020-Dec-06 • 12 minutes
Making better decisions to help the Great Barrier Reef
Every day we make hundreds of choices, big and small, that build to become the story of our lives – the friends we make, the careers we choose, our partners and our purpose.
2020-Nov-29 • 12 minutes
Life after Earth ... for capitalists
It might be the ultimate dream for preppers and Trekkies: life in a Dyson sphere. Astrophysicist Natasha Hurley-Walker takes us to a possible distant future via the physics of continuous economic growth. This talk was first broadcast on October 27, 2019.
2020-Nov-22 • 12 minutes
The case of L Ron Hubbard v Science
It's one thing to big note yourself. But the founder of the Church of Scientology is guilty of scientific fraud, explains author and investigative journalist Steve Cannane. This program was first broadcast on September 8, 2019.
2020-Nov-15 • 12 minutes
Einstein's physics for kids
Can kids understand relativity and quantum physics? This program was first broadcast on 8 December, 2019.
2020-Nov-08 • 12 minutes
Wind farms and a community divided
What happens to communities when a company wants to put in a wind turbine farm? This program first aired on November 12, 2017.
2020-Nov-01 • 12 minutes
Bridging the discipline divide
Cross disciplinary research, undergraduate study, postgraduate study, double degrees! This program first aired on February 4, 2018.
2020-Oct-25 • 11 minutes
Tackling obesity with a twist
Treating obesity is never as simple as eat less, exercise more. This program first aired on November 17, 2019.
2020-Oct-18 • 11 minutes
The brilliant mind of Oliver Sacks
Neuroscience PhD student Samuel Mills reflects — and shares a few stories about the brilliant neurologist and author — at Melbourne's Laborastory. This program first aired on April 22, 2018.
2020-Oct-11 • 12 minutes
Using virtual reality to explore your insides
Could VR headsets save your life? This episode first aired April 29, 2018
2020-Oct-04 • 11 minutes
The economic impact of refugees
How NASA helped calculate the economic value a refugee population brought to town. (First broadcast March 11, 2018.
2020-Sep-27 • 11 minutes
Clean coal?
Truly clean coal technology is not a myth, argues University of Newcastle chemical engineering researcher Dr Jessica Allen.
2020-Sep-20 • 11 minutes
Nature, nurture and gender
Understanding gender when biologists and gender theorists are at odds. [First aired March 25, 2018]
2020-Sep-13 • 11 minutes
Baron, scholar, spy
Franz Nopcsa — aristocrat, spy and a co-founder of paleobiology.[First aired on March 18, 2018]
2020-Sep-06 • 12 minutes
Traditional medicine and malaria
Modern drug research and ancient medicine intertwine in this tale of the fight against malaria. This episode first aired February 11, 2018.
2020-Aug-30 • 12 minutes
John Stapp, the daredevil who pushed our understanding of G forces.
John Stapp was a pioneering researcher into the effects of 'rapid human deceleration' on the body. This episode first aired February 25, 2018
2020-Aug-23 • 12 minutes
Remembering Maryam Mirzakhani.
Australian mathematician Nalini Joshi pays a personal tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani. This episode first aired January 21, 2018.
2020-Aug-16 • 9 minutes
The complexity of pregnancy
Sheila Pham's pregnancy spawned more than a child. This episode first aired October 13, 2019.
2020-Aug-09 • 11 minutes
From the lab to the patient
Only a fraction of health research makes its way into clinical practice. This episode first aired September 29, 2019
2020-Aug-02 • 9 minutes
New stemsation: do stem cells live up to the hype?
It all starts with tubes of warm, thick, gooey fat delivered fresh to the lab. This episode first aired on 6 October, 2019
2020-Jul-26 • 12 minutes
We need to open science up to everyone
'After all, isn't sharing knowledge and discovery what science is really all about?' This program first aired September 23, 2018
2020-Jul-19 • 12 minutes
Romancing the stars
Devika Kamath's discovery about stellar relationships is causing a rewrite of the textbooks. This program first aired August 4, 2019
2020-Jul-12 • 11 minutes
Fertility drugs and nuns' wee
An unlikely group of women played an important role in the early days of fertility treatments. (First broadcast July 7, 2019)
2020-Jul-05 • 11 minutes
The Titanic and beyond
Emily Jateff's work has taken her to the Titanic. Four times! This program was first broadcast on July 28, 2019.
2020-Jun-28 • 10 minutes
The future is fungus
Fungi are behind everything from blue cheese and truffles to zombi-making head spikes. This program was first broadcast on June 16, 2019.
2020-Jun-21 • 11 minutes
To catch a (wildlife) thief
Can an eclectic band of scientists help stem the bloody trade in wildlife? This program was first broadcast on June 23, 2019.
2020-Jun-14 • 11 minutes
Algorithms that make art
Computers write poems and jokes, and generate music and images. But is it art? This program first aired on 26 May, 2019.
2020-Jun-07 • 10 minutes
The big bran theory
Could a 'healthier' rice help offset obesity and malnutrition in poorer countries? This program first aired on 10 March, 2019.
2020-May-31 • 9 minutes
A vaccine for gonorrhoea?
Covid-19 isn't the only vaccine we need, as gonorrhoea gains resistance to our treatments.This program first aired on 14 October, 2018.
2020-May-24 • 10 minutes
Awe-inspiring weather with Nate Byrne
The real reason Nate Byrne isn't a professional wizard. This program first aired on 15 July, 2018.
2020-May-17 • 11 minutes
Venturing to a breakaway iceberg
We know more about the back of the moon than about parts of our oceans. This program first aired on 27 May, 2018.
2020-May-10 • 10 minutes
A pinch of salt with that news headline, please
What questions should you ask about that new health or science development to make sure it's legit? This program first aired on April 15, 2018.
2020-May-03 • 11 minutes
How to build your own satellite
When PlaySchool meets cube-sat.
2020-Apr-26 • 11 minutes
A meme of sand and hope
When life gives you fire, you don't need more coal.
2020-Apr-19 • 12 minutes
Creating the perfect sports team
Star players don't mean a champion team.
2020-Apr-12 • 12 minutes
Can a river sing?
If the (once) mighty Murray could sing, how would it sound?
2020-Apr-05 • 9 minutes
Moving beyond 'us' and 'them'
Why does talk of climate change always seem to end up with 'us' and 'them'?
2020-Mar-29 • 11 minutes
Fire, hope and healing
When your coping mechanism is destroyed, how to cope?
2020-Mar-22 • 12 minutes
People, animals and pandemics
The Spanish Flu devastated the world a century before COVID-19.
2020-Mar-15 • 11 minutes
Forensic archaeology
Nuclear technolgy is revealing the historical travels of ancient ochres.
2020-Mar-08 • 11 minutes
How to run a research institute
It's time to say goodbye to 'research hotels'.
2020-Mar-01 • 12 minutes
Is all freshwater up for grabs?
Up to 5 per cent of the world's fresh water is buried under the sea. Should we tap it?
2020-Feb-23 • 11 minutes
How to fake acupuncture
You can't fake sticking needles into someone, without a little magic ...
2020-Feb-16 • 12 minutes
The future is one part tequila
Could three crops transform our farming - and our climate impact?
2020-Feb-09 • 12 minutes
Is eating meat bad for you?
What makes food 'good' goes well beyond science and health.
2020-Feb-02 • 8 minutes
The greatest time machine ever invented
How to study the ancient rocks of Antarctica without leaving South Australia.
2020-Jan-26 • 12 minutes
Down with war ... on cancer
Could we treat cancer better by doing less? Surgeon Christobel Saunders thinks so.
2019-Dec-15 • 11 minutes
It could happen to your child
You're carrying a few lethal genes, but how would you know? Ockham's Razor returns January 26, 2020.
2019-Dec-08 • 12 minutes
Einstein's physics for kids
Can kids understand relativity and quantum physics?
2019-Dec-01 • 12 minutes
Green energy for lazy people
Jemma Green is building a path of least resistance to renewable energy.
2019-Nov-24 • 12 minutes
HealthLit4Kids
A little health literacy program in Tassie is making waves on a global stage.
2019-Nov-17 • 12 minutes
Tackling obesity with a twist
Treating obesity is never as simple as eat less, exercise more.
2019-Nov-10 • 12 minutes
The end of tobacco smoking
Tobacco smoking has caused untold death and disease. But is a world without cigarettes possible? Public health academic Coral Gartner has a dream ... and a plan.
2019-Nov-03 • 12 minutes
Nudity, easels and the science of embodiment
Zoe Kean has always suspected that taking part in life drawing classes changes us - and now she's found a scientist who shares her curiosity and has begun to study the effect.
2019-Oct-27 • 12 minutes
Life after Earth ... for capitalists
It might be the ultimate dream for preppers and Trekkies: life in a Dyson sphere. Astrophysicist Natasha Hurley-Walker takes us to a possible distant future via the physics of continuous economic growth.
2019-Oct-20 • 12 minutes
The downside of good science communication
Collaborating with an artist to bring Tassie wildlife science to a broader audience has created a dilemma for saltmarsh researcher Vishnu Prahalad.
2019-Oct-13 • 8 minutes
The complexity of pregnancy
Sheila Pham always thought it would be great to have kids; but one thing that worried her was what you had to go through beforehand.
2019-Oct-06 • 9 minutes
New stemsation: do stem cells live up to the hype?
It all starts with tubes of warm, thick, gooey fat delivered fresh to the lab.
2019-Sep-29 • 11 minutes
From the lab to the patient
Only a fraction of health research makes its way into clinical practice. And it takes years to make the journey.
2019-Sep-22 • 10 minutes
The other microbiome ...
Move over gut: it's time to meet the vaginal microbiome.
2019-Sep-15 • 12 minutes
The secrets hidden in crystals
Crystals aren't just beautiful - they tell stories that can help answer some of the big questions of our planet's past - and our own.
2019-Sep-08 • 12 minutes
The case of L Ron Hubbard V Science
It's one thing to big note yourself. But the founder of the Church of Scientology is guilty of scientific fraud, explains author and investigative journalist Steve Cannane.
2019-Sep-01 • 11 minutes
Today no one got eaten.
Geophysicists might expect to face earthquakes or volcanoes in their work. But Kate Selway has to factor hungry Polar bears into her research.
2019-Aug-25 • 9 minutes
Where do ideas come from?
Archimedes had the original Eureka moment in the bath. Mathematician Geordie Williamson had a geometry-shattering insight in the shower. Where do our ideas come from?
2019-Aug-18 • 13 minutes
John Snow and the Broad St pump
Dr Jim Leavesley on the other John Snow, cholera and the birth of epidemiology. (First broadcast September 5, 2004).
2019-Aug-11 • 11 minutes
Thomas Harriot: England's Galileo
Robyn Arianrhod with the story of an Elizabethan mathematician you've never heard of.
2019-Aug-04 • 12 minutes
Romancing the stars
Trashy mags are full of stories about love among the stars. But astrophysicist Devika Kamath has discovered what happens when real stars hook-up -- and is rewriting the astronomy textbooks as a result!
2019-Jul-28 • 11 minutes
The Titanic and beyond
Maritime archaeology doesn’t sound super-sexy, but Emily Jateff's work has taken her to some extraordinary places – like to the Titanic. Four times!
2019-Jul-21 • 11 minutes
Tackling cancer with maths
Medical research is full of in vitro and in vivo experiments, but mathematicians are tackling tumors with in silico studies.
2019-Jul-14 • 11 minutes
Silicosis is NOT the new asbestosis
When a young Gold Coast stonemason died from silicosis in March, it was branded 'the new asbestosis'. But the media couldn't have been more wrong.
2019-Jul-07 • 11 minutes
Fertility drugs and nuns' wee
An unlikely group of women played an important role in the early days of fertility treatments.
2019-Jun-30 • 10 minutes
Jobs in the age of intelligent machines
The robots are coming, but - phew! - they're only stealing some of our jobs.
2019-Jun-23 • 11 minutes
To catch a (wildlife) thief
There's nothing criminals love more than finding a branch of crime that pays, but is poorly enforced - like wildlife trafficking. Can science fight back? Lydia Tong thinks so.
2019-Jun-16 • 10 minutes
The future is fungus
Fungi are behind everything from blue cheese and truffles to zombi-making head spikes. And that's just the ones we know about it.
2019-Jun-09 • 11 minutes
When anaesthetists can't sleep ...
What do you call an insomniac anaesthetist? Michael Toon.
2019-Jun-02 • 12 minutes
Reimagining the thylacine
Can we bring back mammals from extinction? It will take more than just technology, says evolutionary geneticist Andrew Pask.
2019-May-26 • 11 minutes
Algorithms that make art
Computers write poems and jokes, and generate music and images. But is it art?
2019-May-19 • 12 minutes
What's in a name?
What have the Wallace Line, Confucius and plane crashes got in common? Taxonomy, as it happens.
2019-May-12 • 12 minutes
The truth about Australia's megafaunal extinctions
Australia was once home to a range of massive animals - giant wombats, oversized kangaroos and mega-lizards that would have rivalled those of the Serengeti.
2019-May-05 • 12 minutes
Can animals save the planet?
In times gone by we used animals as an indicator of danger. Dogs warned us of predators and unfamiliar people. Fish showed the water was clean and birds indicated air quality.
2019-Apr-28 • 10 minutes
The fallout from nuclear nations
Fred Pearce’s book Fallout is a fascinating insight into a few of the disastrous episodes which took place during the hasty and ill-informed projects of the nuclear age, Dr Helen Caldicott says.
2019-Apr-21 • 11 minutes
Life, the universe and astrophysics
An ill-conceived midnight skinny-dip, a remote beach, hurricane-stirred waters … and the nature of the universe, with astrophysicist Professor Tamara Davis.
2019-Apr-14 • 12 minutes
Tips for surviving the robot apocalypse
Have you seen a robot outside, or as roboticists like to say 'in the wild' this week? This year?
2019-Apr-07 • 12 minutes
Why aren't we living in sustainable cities?
Blue sky thinking is a feature of much discussion around the future of our cities — but will it really help us create the sustainable cities of the next century?
2019-Mar-31 • 12 minutes
DNA ancestry testing and race
How does our collective fascination with DNA ancestry testing interact with our ideas and conversations about race?
2019-Mar-24 • 11 minutes
A tale of frozen sperm
This is the tale of Ernest John Christopher Polge and his substantial contribution to the field of reproductive biology.
2019-Mar-17 • 8 minutes
Protecting the eastern bettong
Australia has the highest mammal extinction rate in the world. And of those that do remain, many are in danger of going the same way — including the eastern bettong.
2019-Mar-10 • 11 minutes
The big bran theory
A rice grain with more nutrients, high fibre and low calories could be a solution to the double burden of obesity and malnutrition in many countries around the world.
2019-Mar-03 • 11 minutes
Where will Australia's space industry be in 30 years?
Professor Anna Moore has some bold predictions for the future of space technology … and how it might affect Australia.
2019-Feb-24 • 10 minutes
The 'deficit discourse' of Indigenous health
Negative stories in the media, and the focus on problems, can reinforce negative stereotypes about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
2019-Feb-17 • 9 minutes
The internet and your memory
More and more, we rely on the internet for the quick recall of facts, figures, dates and events.
2019-Feb-10 • 12 minutes
Training intensive care patients like elite athletes
Imagine waking up one day in intensive care — flat on your back, staring at the ceiling, not even breathing for yourself.
2019-Feb-03 • 10 minutes
'Problem finders' for the wicked challenges ahead
Tempestuous times often throw up revolutionary innovations — and we need the right people to harness them.
2019-Jan-27 • 12 minutes
Beatrix Potter's mushroom obsession
When you hear the name Beatrix Potter, what springs to mind? Is it those beautiful illustrations of rabbits, mice and squirrels? Or is it … mushrooms?
2019-Jan-20 • 11 minutes
Facts, fear, fake news and Facebook
Pause before you hit that 'like' button on Facebook.
2019-Jan-13 • 9 minutes
Stealing from the wellness gurus
When you really watch the wellness gurus at work, they are 'bloody effective' at connecting and engaging with their audience, says Dr Darren Saunders.
2019-Jan-06 • 12 minutes
The tricky business of cancer research
Dr Fiona Simpson has spent her life working to create drugs that can treat deadly cancers.
2018-Dec-30 • 10 minutes
Awe-inspiring weather with Nate Byrne
ABC News Breakfast weather presenter Nate Byrne loves the weather — and he wants you to love it too.
2018-Dec-23 • 12 minutes
I stress, you stress, how do we stress less?
Ever had a friend or colleague snap at you for no real reason, acting really out of character?
2018-Dec-16 • 11 minutes
Venturing to a breakaway iceberg
It's been said we know more about the back side of the moon than we do about parts of the Earth's oceans.
2018-Dec-09 • 11 minutes
Stop being so nano-phobic
Martina Stenzel wants us to fight our fear of nanoparticles — often the subject of negative press coverage when it comes to the environment.
2018-Dec-02 • 11 minutes
Should we manipulate the genes of other species?
The truth is, humans have been actively shaping the genomes of other species for more than 10,000 years.
2018-Nov-25 • 12 minutes
Regional museums inspire the next generation of scientists
Regional areas want museums that deliver science, technology and engineering — but unlike a large state or federally funded museum, they usually don't have full time research scientists on staff.
2018-Nov-18 • 11 minutes
Storytelling that changes the world
Physicist and Australian of the Year Michelle Simmons reflects on how scientists view the world.
2018-Nov-11 • 12 minutes
A war that will never be over
It was a chance event that brought about Rob Morrison's attendance at the funeral of a WWI soldier, on the battlefield where he died a century before.
2018-Nov-04 • 11 minutes
Sniffing your breath to detect disease
Dr Noushin Nasiri gives us the lowdown on how technology may be able to sniff out disease … and the history of the idea, which stretches back thousands of years.
2018-Oct-28 • 9 minutes
Alcohol, pregnancy and parenting
The nine months of pregnancy have the ability to permanently influence our health and susceptibility to certain diseases later in life.