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Why does radio hold a special place in our hearts?

Loneliness and isolation can be a very real issue for many older Australians. Dr Amanda Krause’s research is looking at how listening to the radio can help. Episode recorded: August 3, 2018 Interviewer: Steve Grimwade Producers: Dr Andi Horvath, Chris Hatzis and Silvi Vann-Wall Audio engineer and editor: Chris Hatzis Banner image: Getty Images The survey for Dr Krause’s Radio for Wellbeing research project can be completed online. You can also visit the Community Broadcasting...


Expert Hack - a new podcast from the University of Melbourne

Expert Hack​ is a new podcast from the University of Melbourne about the changing world of work, and how industry experts are finding clever solutions to tricky problems. Learn how experts are preparing for the future and their hacks for thriving in the workplace. Go to unimelb.edu.au/experthack for more information.


Turning science into business

Back in the day, ‘applied life science’ might have referred only to winemaking. Nowadays the massive biotechnology industry is responsible for a vast array of projects that fight diseases, find the functional age of cells, and even create effective alternatives to vaccines. But, as Dr Lynn Johnson Langer warns, many of these exciting new projects will never leave the lab without the right funding and the development of relevant and in-depth business skills. Episode recorded: July 18,...


From "failed musician" to innovative entrepreneur

Susan De Weger is not your typical classical musician. The self-confessed failed musician now lectures in music entrepreneurship, exploring how musicians can connect with modern audiences and compete with the digital disruption of live music. Episode recorded: July 3, 2018 Interviewer: Dr Andi Horvath Producer, audio engineer and editor: Chris Hatzis Co-production: Dr Andi Horvath and Silvi Vann-Wall


Your online life after death

If Facebook continues growing at its current rate - by 2130 the number of dead users will surpass the living. In fact, the number of the dead on Facebook is already growing fast. By 2012, just eight years after the platform was launched, 30 million users with Facebook accounts had died, and that number has only gone up since. These days, it’s not unusual to see memorial pages on social media - but how is the digital world changing our approach to death? From algorithms that can post tweets...


ENCORE: Unexpected outcome in bagging area

In this encore presentation of Eavesdrop on Experts, environmental psychologist Dr Wouter Poortinga shares how the 5p plastic bag tax in the UK reduced consumption between 70 and 90 percent almost overnight. He discusses how, with a little bit of prompting, habits can change and how we need a plan to stop wasting take-away coffee cups. Producers: Dr Andi Horvath and Chris Hatzis Audio Engineering: Gavin Nebauer Editor: Chris Hatzis Banner image: Claudia Hooper and Lep Beljac Episode...


Exercising your emotions

Get emotional - it's for your own good. For decades, emotional stability - that is, not being outwardly emotional- has been upheld as the pinnacle of normal functioning. But things are changing, and Dr Peter Koval wants to show everyone why letting your emotions show is the way of the future. Episode recorded: 29 May 2018 Producers: Dr Andi Horvath, Chris Hatzis and Silvi Vann-Wall Audio engineer and editor: Chris Hatzis Banner image: Emotion/Flickr


Solving our climate history puzzle

Climate scientist and paleoclimatologist Dr Joelle Gergis has spent over a decade painstakingly piecing together Australia’s climate history, using historical records dating back to the First Fleet, natural records held in our trees, corals and ice and computer modelling. As she outlines in her book Sunburnt Country, published by Melbourne University Publishing, Australia’s climate has always been “spectacularly erratic”, but human activity has accelerated these rates of change. As the...


The legal rights of rivers

Rivers in New Zealand, Australia, India and Colombia have all been granted legal rights recently. Environmental law expert Dr Erin O’Donnell explains to our reporter Dr Andi Horvath why granting nature legal rights is becoming more accepted. Episode recorded: 23 March 2018 Producers: Dr Andi Horvath, Chris Hatzis and Silvi Vann-Wall Audio engineer and editor: Chris Hatzis Banner image: The Whanganui River in New Zealand was the first in the world to be awarded legal rights. Picture:...


The secret history of stone

Cultural geographer Tim Edensor is passionate about place. His career has taken him from the Taj Mahal to industrial ruins in England's north, and now to Melbourne and its stone buildings. Wandering is the best way to get to know a place, says Dr Tim Edensor, and as a cultural geographer who has explored everything from what Christmas lights reveal about British class identity to Melbourne's old stone buildings, he should know. Episode recorded: March 1 2018 Producers: Dr Andi Horvath,...


Seeing like an anthropologist

Anthropologist Monica Minnegal has spent her career observing "the extraordinary things that people do", with much of her work dedicated to learning more about the Kubo people in Papua New Guinea. A community in the last uncontrolled part of the country, the Kubo are now encountering the West through mining companies and navigating the many cultural and social changes that brings. Episode recorded: February 23, 2018 Producers: Dr Andi Horvath, Chris Hatzis and Silvi Vann-Wall Audio...


At the human-computer interface

In 1980 Ben Shneiderman published one of the first texts in the field that would come to be known as human-computer interaction, and has since pioneered innovations we take for granted today, like touchscreens and hyperlinks. He has now turned his attention to maximising the real-world impact of university research, by combining applied and basic research; a topic he addresses in his new book 'The New ABCs of Research'. He chats with our reporter Steve Grimwade. Episode recorded: December...


For the love of the stage

Acting is not natural - but it can be learned, and the VCA's Rinske Ginsberg passes on her wisdom about how the body can express an internal state; as well what it takes to make it as an actor. The Melbourne Fringe 'living legend' talks to Steve Grimwade, reflecting on life in Melbourne's radical arts scene of the 1980s, and how performance and art making has changed since. Episode recorded: December 8 2017 Producers: Dr Andi Horvath, Chris Hatzis and Silvi Vann-Wall Audio engineer:...


Human dignity and digital identity

You're chatting and posting online to your various social media accounts. But where does that data go? Who else is seeing your daily data habits? And does your social media define your identity? In this episode, Professor Luciano Floridi from the University of Oxford explores some of the ethical questions about our digital lives that are being asked by us more and each day. Episode recorded: 25 October 2017 Producers: Dr Andi Horvath and Chris Hatzis Co-producer: Silvi Vann-Wall Audio...


Is Europe heading for divorce?

The European experiment has been both revolutionary and successful, but having lurched from one crisis to the next in recent years does the future look as bright? Shaken by financial crises, Brexit and growing numbers of refugees, many - including US President Donald Trump - have questioned whether the European experiment is doomed to fail. In this episode Professor Loukas Tsoukalis from the University of Athens explains why he believes the EU will survive the current crisis, and what...


Hearing, healing And Havana

How can music and food help promote healing? In this episode we explore how music transcends barriers to bring diverse peoples together through a common language. We head to a performance by Associate Professor Adrian Hearn's band, Suns of Mercury, at the Festival of Nations. Producers: Chris Hatzis, Claudia Hooper and Dr Andi Horvath Editor: Chris Hatzis Audio engineer: Arch Cuthbertson Episode recorded: 25th October, Festival of Nations 4-5th October Banner image: Pixabay


Give me a campus among the gum trees

How do you produce a seriously juicy steak? What's the difference between brewing a lager and a pale ale? How can students produce award winning wine? What role do drones have in the future of farming? In this special episode of Eavesdrop on Experts, the team hits the road to meet the agriculture experts based in the rural town of Dookie in northern Victoria, where the University of Melbourne has a campus. They bring a unique mix of expertise from the chemical molecules responsible for...


Making Friends With Fronds - Understanding plants' feelings

How do plants sense and respond to the world around them - and do they listen when we talk? Dr Kim Johnson shares how an early fascination with plants' movements led to studying how they adapt to their environments. Far from being passive organisms, plants are constantly sensing and responding to their surroundings, including us. She discusses how plants have contributed to scientific understanding of processes like RNA silencing and how the mechanisms that give plants their shape can help...


Gene Genies - Meet the researchers mapping our DNA to combat cancer

How can genome sequencing help not only cancer treatment, but also its prevention? Two men who are looking to answer that very question, Professor Sean Grimmond and Dr Peter Campbell, discuss their research journeys and the challenges that lie ahead. Producers: Dr Andi Horvath and Chris Hatzis Audio engineer: Gavin Nebauer Editor: Chris Hatzis Production assistant: Claudia Hooper Banner image: Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre/ Claudia Hooper and Lep Beljac, University of Melbourne


Words And War - The role of the linguist in conflict resolution

The best mechanisms for change are debate, dialogue and discourse and yet this is remains something we struggle to do. Professor Joseph Lo Bianco says we need to explore new models for public discussion that don't silence controversial words, opinions and views. Coming from an Italian migrant family, Professor Lo Bianco experienced first-hand the kind of discrimination and hostility that exists in situations where distrust and fear of the Other is rife. Whilst Australia has, thankfully,...