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
CBC Massey lecture: On Death
Is there an afterlife? How does your time on earth determine how you’ll spend eternity? Every culture has its own version of the answer to these questions. Tomson Highway says the Cree indigenous community doesn’t fear death. Your body and spirit simply returns to Mother Earth where your ancestors will always be with you.
CBC Massey lecture: On creation
What do Christian, classical, and Cree mythologies contribute to Western thought and culture? And how does North American Indigenous mythologies provide unique, timeless solutions to our modern problems? Let's start with creation. How we think our world came to be shapes how people understand their place in it and their responsibly for nature.
Is Australia 'sleepwalking' to war with China?
Defence and security analyst, Hugh White, is concerned Australia may be 'sleepwalking' to war with China, because of our alliance with America.
He believes the US is unable to constrain a growing China in East Asia, nor win a future war against them over Taiwan.
What does all this mean for our regional security, and our relationships with the US & China?
Paul Barclay speaks to Hugh White, author of the Quarterly Essay, Sleepwalk to War, in which he also criticises the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal, and our strategic and defence planning.
Recorded at the Cinema Nova, for Readings bookstore, on June 29, 2022.
Originally broadcast on July, 20, 2022.
Hugh White — Emeritus Professor, strategic studies, ANU; principal author, Australia's 2000 Defence White Paper
Presenter / producer – Paul Barclay
Sound Engineer – David Le May
Why too much medical treatment is causing more harm than good
Much of medicine doesn't do what it is supposed to do: improve health.
That is the view of orthopaedic surgeon, Ian Harris.
He believes too many drugs are being prescribed, too much surgery is being performed, and there are too many unhelpful tests, scans, and overdiagnosis.
The 'business' of medicine, Ian says, is taking precedence over what the science tells us.
We should go back to the first principles of the Hippocratic oath and 'first, do no harm'.
Ian Harris talks to Paul Barclay
Recorded at the Williamstown Literary Festival on June 19, 2022.
Originally broadcast on July 6, 2022.
Ian Harris — Sydney based orthopaedic surgeon; Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of NSW; co-author, Hippocrasy
Foreign correspondents and the news of the world
In a global community it’s more important than ever to understand what’s going on in the rest of the world. Despite instant communication over the internet there's nothing like the considered view of a seasoned foreign correspondent. They bring you the news from conflict zones, at high powered summits, or the views of ordinary citizens. But are they telling you the stories you want to hear? Who sets the news agenda?
Why environmentalists and conservationists can be a problem for the environment
Queensland Chief Scientist Hugh Possingham is very annoyed with his fellow scientists as well as environmentalist and conservationists: They are too conservative, don’t debate respectfully, are too obsessed with growing their own organisations and can’t compromise a bit.
There’s always something interesting or challenging in this podcast. It’s utterly compelling. So many different guests and topics. Fantastic content from ABC. Love listening to this and other content from Australia here at home in Scotland. Thank you for bringing the world closer when everything seems further away.
A great podcast for people who want to be inspired!
I love this show. I have listened to it regularly and enthusiastically from the UK and Germany for 3 years now. But I am mystifies by the editors' decision to feature nothing on the corona virus. I keep refreshing every two days and can simply not understand it. I've stoppes tuning in. This show is normally so amazingly topical: what has happened? Hope everyone is OK. xx