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Up Close

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Melbourne, Australia


Up Close is an online, audio talk show of research, opinion and analysis, presented in English, from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Up Close has an audience in over 100 countries, and program episodes are currently downloaded over 40,000 times per month. Topics are diverse, and include interviews with experts and researchers in the arts and humanities, in law and business, and in life and physical sciences. Guests on the program include senior academics from the University of Melbourne as well as universities and research institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia. Every episode of Up Close is available as a podcast, an mp3 download or as on-demand streaming audio. Episodes are also transcribed to text, and offered in both PDF and HTML formats.




#403: The rise and reach of transnational policing

Criminologist Ben Bowling on how policing is increasingly crossing national borders, chasing globalized crime and cyber offenses, and raising serious questions about governance and public accountability. Ben also examines issues around stop-and-search police powers in the global context. Presented by Peter Clarke. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/RozZY1

Duration: 00:39:55

#402: Silent killer: Coming to grips with an emerging epidemic of viral hepatitis

Infectious diseases expert and epidemiologist Dr Ben Cowie explains why viral hepatitis is fast becoming a hidden epidemic with significant public health consequences. Most people with chronic hepatitis types B and C aren't even aware they have the diseases as they show no obvious symptoms or signs, yet they risk severe illness or liver damage. So how is the global health community targeting hepatitis, and how to to grow awareness in a largely unsuspecting public? Presented by Dr Andi...

Duration: 00:36:13

#401: Why feeling pain is key to our happiness

Research psychologist Brock Bastian argues that a willingness to experience pain is crucial to our pursuit of genuine happiness, and that our efforts to escape unpleasantness or seek out only the positive in fact weaken us in managing life's inevitable difficulties. Presented by Eric van Bemmel. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/yq3DZw

Duration: 00:35:17

#400: Phantom democracies: John Keane on the New Global Despotism

Political scientist and author John Keane on the recent proliferation of corrupt political regimes that employ democratic rhetoric, staged elections, social media and economic growth to cultivate public loyalty and give the appearance of legitimacy. Presented by Peter Mares. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/Dey5pe

Duration: 00:43:24

#399: How attitudes disable: Rethinking our assumptions about people with impairments

Social epidemiologist Prof. Eric Emerson argues that "disability" and "being disabled" really refer to the effects of social and economic marginalisation of people with certain types of physical or mental impairments, and not the personal impact of the impairments themselves. While some societies have made strides in improving the lives of the people with impairments, we have yet to tackle our fundamental assumptions about disability and how it arises from the interaction between health...

Duration: 00:28:11

#398: The baby makers: The science behind healthier embryos and better IVF

Reproductive biologist Professor David Gardner explains what we're still learning about healthy embryo development, how it's being applied to improve IVF technologies, and the unexpected insights it may offer into how cells implant themselves and proliferate -- including how cancers take hold. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/oFPLN2

Duration: 00:29:10

#395: China in Africa: Who benefits?

Economist Dr Lauren Johnston examines the evolving political and economic relationships between China and Africa, and how the East Asia giant is adapting its own model of aid, trade and investment to grow regional African markets and economies while securing a rising supply of energy and mineral resources for itself. Presented by Peter Clarke. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/qgYYVK

Duration: 00:35:08

#394: What's killing women? Sex differences and the shifting landscape of age-related disease

Population health researcher Professor Cassandra Szoeke outlines what ails women as they grow older, how men differ from women in age-related diseases, and how public awareness and personal lifestyle change have been shown to have a positive impact on women's quality of life in their later years. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/EwLkUx

Duration: 00:30:10

#393: Antagonize your ageing: The science behind living healthier for longer

Geriatrician Professor Andrea Maier describes what happens to our cells as we age, and explains the causes of age-related diseases. She also discusses how positive lifestyle choices and preventive medical interventions can help us live healthier for longer. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath. Full transcript and more info at: https://goo.gl/YE51mv

Duration: 00:32:54

#392: Feeding the 9 billion: Inconvenient truths about global food security

Sustainable agriculture expert Prof Tim Reeves discusses the profound changes required in agricultural practice, public policy and consumer behavior if we are to feed earth’s ever-growing human population that is projected to exceed 9 billion in 2050. Business as usual won’t pass muster anymore. With host Dr Andi Horvath. Full transcript and more info at: https://goo.gl/sHvJ0R

Duration: 00:37:38

#391: Not the highest bidder: China’s crony capitalism and the large scale looting of public assets

Governance expert Prof Minxin Pei describes how collusion between China’s political and business elites have resulted in the privatization of public assets for enormous personal gain. He also explains why the current crackdown on corruption is but a bandaid and that a free media and liberal democracy may be the key elements to a lasting solution. Presented by Peter Clarke.

Duration: 00:41:38

#390: The human cost of hate: The lasting damage caused by homophobia and transphobia

Psychiatric epidemiologist Professor Michael King discusses the devastating psychological harm suffered by victims of homophobia and transphobia. He also examines the role of families, governments and religion in curbing the problem. Presented by Lynne Haultain. Full transcript and more info at: https://goo.gl/dklRIT

Duration: 00:25:48

#388: The power of a warm welcome: Forging a humanitarian response to refugees

Are refugees fleeing persecution today generally seen as people who need help, or problems to be pushed away? Migration and refugee researcher Prof. Uma Kothari discusses how media representations of asylum seekers influence us in how we attend and respond to the plight of individuals and groups fleeing their countries in search of safety. Presented by Peter Mares. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/2bXfGF

Duration: 00:34:12

#387: Team positive: Taking the science of wellbeing to a systems level

Research psychologist Associate Professor Lindsay Oades explains how positive psychology and wellbeing literacy, once largely focused on the individual, are being taken to a group level to promote healthier, more skillful interactions in organisations and human networks. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/HpwLhw

Duration: 00:30:53

#386: Global warming's companion crisis: Reactive nitrogen as a threat to human and planetary health

Environmental physicist Prof Mark Sutton explains how our fast growing "nitrogen footprint" from agriculture and industry is reaching crisis levels as reactive nitrogen pollutes our air and soil and is a direct threat to human health. A leading researcher and advisor on nitrogen policy, Prof Sutton argues that smarter nitrogen management is not only a health and environmental priority but will prevent continued enormous economic losses. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath. Full transcript and...

Duration: 00:36:43

#385: Outbreak! Human pandemics and how to manage the inevitable

Virologist Eddie Holmes explains how viral and bacterial pandemics of the type that spawned the Black Death and Ebola remain an unpredictable and inevitable part of our future. Professor Holmes describes how new technologies like genomic sequencing help us explore the origins and evolution of pathogens linked to pandemics as far back as Ancient Rome, and how evolving biosecurity and surveillance systems offer us a chance containing outbreaks. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath. Full transcript...

Duration: 00:30:34

#384: Exploring the impact of city lights on birds, and building better detergents

In our annual PhD episode, we chat with two young researchers on their diverse investigations. We hear from bioscientist Anne Aulsebrook, who is looking at how urban lighting and light pollution is impacting the health and behaviour of wild birds that make their home in our cities. We also speak to chemical engineer Mitcholl Nothling about his research into how enzymes like those found in our digestive systems could be harnessed to create sustainable and more efficient detergents....

Duration: 00:22:08

#383: Crimes of state: When a nation goes from protector to perpetrator

Criminologist Penny Green explains how states, entrusted to define crimes and enforce the laws that deter them, can themselves be complicit in the worst social harms. Professor Green is director of the International State Crime Initiative, which seeks to understand how states can become perpetrators rather than protectors, and how civil society groups can be enlisted to fight back. Presented by Lynne Haultain. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/HKm0dr

Duration: 00:33:54

#381: Let's get physical: Designing cities with our health in mind

Urban public health researcher Prof Mark Stevenson describes the better human health outcomes to be had in cities that emphasize active transport modes like cycling and walking, while discouraging dependence on cars. Presented by Lynne Haultain. Full transcript and more info at: goo.gl/eEPguZ

Duration: 00:28:36

#379: Old and in the way? Aging workers and generational battle lines in the workplace

As populations in the developing world continue to age due to longer life expectancies and lower birth rates, what will be the impact on the workplace? Is there a place for positive age discrimination at a time of high youth unemployment, or should the rights of all workers -- regardless of their years -- be respected? And to what extent do economics, culture and individual aspiration play into how societies decide how long one can or should work? Industrial relations and elder law expert...

Duration: 00:30:17

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