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Medical marijuana as the next wonder drug? - Professor Iain McGregor

People involved in medical cannabis can find themselves in a twilight zone where the law may prevent uses of cannabinoids claimed to have life-saving effects. Professor Iain McGregor explains the vision, stories and studies behind the University of Sydney’s Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics. Soundbite and transcript at

Duration: 00:27:21

How to care for your cats and dogs (ethically) - Dr Anne Fawcett

Australia has one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world. What is our obsession with our pets, and what does it mean for the animals we claim to love? The University’s resident Dr Doolittle, Dr Anne Fawcett, has a background in philosophy and is also a practicing vet. In this episode, she and host Dr Chris Neff discuss the ethics around our interactions with our pets.

Duration: 00:21:21

How to prevent crime before it happens - Dr Garner Clancey

Most times we think of crime, it’s after the fact. But what if through certain measures we could stop a crime before it happens? No this isn’t a Tom Cruise movie, it’s a chat with Dr Garner Clancey, senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Sydney Law School. He joins Open for Discussion to discuss crime statistics (which for most categories aren’t on the rise) and the strategies used today to prevent crimes.

Duration: 00:24:11

How insects are solving our problems in the city - Dr Tanya Latty

How can insects, slime mould and other brainless organisms – which comprise the majority of life on Earth - inform next-generation engineering, optimal transport systems and help us build the smart cities of the future? Dr Tanya Latty’s team at the Insect Behaviour and Ecology Lab is studying insects to see how humans can learn the lessons road-tested in Nature and then apply them to the human condition. Image by Vinayaraj CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Duration: 00:17:14

Big Sugar

Mary Poppins said “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” but adding too much of the sweet stuff is contributing to obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and poor dental health. Dr Becky Freeman speaks to Chris about how ‘Big Sugar’ is using the ‘Big Tobacco’ industry playbook to saturate us with sugar.

Duration: 00:29:31

Confronting radical extremism

How does radicalisation happen? Why would a young person adopt an extremist ideology and even pursue their beliefs through violence? Hussain Nadim, a doctoral candidate in The University of Sydney's Department of Government and International Relations joins Open for Discussion to demystify this topic. Last year Nadim was named by Forbes as a global leader in law and policy. He's advised the military and security agencies of Pakistan on deradicalisation and counterterrorism and been a...

Duration: 00:22:05

Public space: a contested and changing area

What is public space in modern society and why is it important? Associate Professor of Urban Geography, Kurt Iveson, explains how he has had to re-invent his role, touches on IT-enabled experiences in city environments and shows how conversations about contested spaces can have unexpected, and welcome, results. Cronulla riots photo courtesy of Flickr/Wormer, used under the Creative Commons licence.

Duration: 00:24:09

Food for thought: the science of eating a healthy diet - Associate Professor Amanda Salis

Almost every week it seems there’s a story in the news telling us about food and nutrition, and what we should eat to say healthy and avoid being overweight. But very often this week’s message contradicts what we heard only last week. In this podcast, weight loss scientist Associate Professor Amanda Salis speaks to our host Dr Chris Neff about the challenge of eating well in a world of confusing advice. Amanda is a senior research leader at the University of Sydney’s Boden Institute of...

Duration: 00:22:19