250 episodes

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

Future Tense ABC Podcasts

    • Society & Culture

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

    Is dumbness our destiny?

    Is dumbness our destiny?

    Most of us are healthier, wealthier and better educated than ever before. We have greater access to knowledge and expertise than any previous generation. So, why do humans keep doing stupid things? And why is the world awash with conspiracy? Have we already passed “peak intelligence”? And if so, what can we do to ensure a smarter future?

    • 29 min
    Litigating our way out of climate change

    Litigating our way out of climate change

    Responses to climate change are often marked by frustration as much as fear. Those seeking to end our fossil-fuel dependency are increasingly turning to litigation to force the hands of companies and governments - often on human rights grounds. But do the courts have a legitimate role to play in leading the way? Or is this a form of judicial activism?

    • 29 min
    The power of storytelling – a cautionary tale

    The power of storytelling – a cautionary tale

    Stories like opinions have become a necessity of modern life.  Everybody is encouraged to have an opinion and everybody – in the vernacular of countless motivation speakers – is encouraged to be the “hero of their own story”. But are we in danger of making too much of them? If the story becomes the central device for much of our communication, do we risk losing our sense of objective reality? 

    • 29 min
    Is the process of ageing inevitable?

    Is the process of ageing inevitable?

    Some animals, like sea sponges, can live for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. They also never get cancer. Understanding why that’s the case has led scientists to question conventional notions of ageing. The idea that future humans may never grow old now seems theoretically possible.

    • 29 min
    Rewilding to safeguard biodiversity

    Rewilding to safeguard biodiversity

    Rewilding is a conservation approach based on the reintroduction of lost animal species to their natural habitats. Its original manifestation was controversial because it centred on apex predators like wolves. But the approach has matured and advocates believe it now has a crucial role to play in securing future biodiversity levels.

    • 29 min
    Social media: harm and transformative justice

    Social media: harm and transformative justice

    Despite increased safety features, policies and content moderation practices, social media platforms continue to be sites where people perpetrate and experience harm. A new approach to platform governance called Transformative and Restorative Justice could help address the underlying causes of harmful behaviour and promote safer and more inclusive digital communities.

    • 29 min

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