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
‘Doc’ Evatt’s great dissenting judgement
What does a dissenting judgement, from High Court in the 1930’s, tell us about a brilliant, but polarising, Australian. HV Evatt, better known as Doc, was an internationally recognised jurist, and a leading politician. Evatt was Australia's youngest ever High Court judge, but remains best known for taking Labor into the political wilderness during the Menzies years. A new, The Brilliant Boy, seeks to set the record straight.
The role of witness anonymity
Witnesses giving evidence in court and during inquests from behind a screen and under pseudonym names. Sometimes there are highly sensitive investigative techniques involved, or undercover assets who could be put at risk. But Law Professor Leslie Thomas says it’s too often simply to spare state agents from embarrassment. And that’s not a good enough reason for the families and a treat to open justice.
History of Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is not a region characterized by “ancient hatred” as it’s often stated. But why has the region seen so much conflict? Historian John Connelly says it’s a place where people possess a disturbing knowledge: that in the course of history, nations come and go. Some disappear. Therefore, maintaining your culture and language has become a necessity. Big Ideas explores their particular form of nationalism in Eastern Europe.
Covid "iso" and the teen brain
Do you worry about the teenagers in your life? If so, you’re in good company. Socrates, Aristotle and even Shakespeare wrote of the impulsiveness and peer influence of adolescents. Once, hormones were blamed. Now, MRIs tell us their brains haven’t finished developing - in key areas associated with much-maligned teenage behaviour. These include planning, self-awareness, inhibiting inappropriate actions and even understanding other people. So, given the brain changes through adolescence, how might the pandemic impact its development, along with teenage mental health?
Food , family and multicultural Australia
Food connects us with family and builds community. For migrants it offers a taste of the old country and an entrée into the new. For indigenous Australians, it’s sixty thousand years of knowledge about bush tucker. We visit two multicultural festivals to discover food and cultural identity.
How a dispute over land clearing turned deadly
What does a brutal murder tell us about our attitudes to land ownership, farming, and the natural environment? There are laws in Australian limiting the clearing of native vegetation. These laws have long been controversial, and many farmers fiercely oppose them. But none have ever gone as far as farmer Ian Turnbull, who shot and killed environmental compliance officer, Glen Turner.
Paul Barclay speaks with Kate Holden, who tells the story in her book, The Winter Road