Oxford doctoral researcher Hanna Nowicka explains the development of her interest in biomedical engineering and her work on brain imaging methods, and shares some of the realities of DPhil/PhD life. Hanna is a Clarendon Scholar who conducted her research at FMRIB, Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging.
Author: Christine Gallagher
‘A Country Practice’ was a popular family drama which aired on Australian television from 1981 and into the early 90s and which is currently available on 7Plus. There has been a place for nostalgia television during the Covid shut downs and my guest, and sister, Anne-Marie Gallagher has been keenly re-watching the show in recent months. Anne-Marie shares insights about some of the beloved characters, production history, and social themes which were addressed in a progressive way for the time.
Cast list of characters discussed:
Lorrae Desmond — Shirley Gilroy (nee Dean)
Brian Wenzel — Frank Gilroy
Shane Porteous — Terence Elliot
Penny Cook — Vicky Bowen
Grant Dodwell — Simon Bowen
Anne Tenney — Molly Jones
Shane Withington — Brendan Jones
Syd Heylen — “Cookie” Vernon Locke
Gordon Piper — Bob Hatfield
Joyce Jacobs — Esme Watson
Joan Sydney — Maggie Sloan
Honourable mentions of Bev the faceless switchboard operator, Fatso the Wombat and Doris the alcoholic pig
Talking sci-fi and fantasy fiction with author and comedian Sam Bowring. You’ll hear about some of the thinking behind Sam’s Broken Well Trilogy and his approach to writing his latest book, Scharlette Doesn’t Matter and Goes Time Travelling. To find Sam’s books, stand-up comedy and more you can visit his site via this link: sambowring.com
A conversation for the interest of students of History and others interested in scholarly approaches and attitudes to biography and autobiography as historical methods. Professor Barbara Caine explains changing perceptions of biography in the historiography and the emergence of what some refer to as a biological turn and more recently an autobiographical turn.
Professor Caine is author of Biography and History and books on the Strachey family, English feminism, Victorian feminists, and the sisters of Beatrice Webb, among other works. Professor Caine’s current research is on the history of women’s autobiography from the mid 18th century to the present.
A brief introduction to the contributions of Socrates and Plato and other influential ancient Greek thinkers with freelance philosopher Dr Tim Dean. This is an unpublished excerpt from a longer conversation with Tim about the Philosophy of Love.
Soon to come, a History episode with Professor Barbara Caine about changing attitudes towards biography as a method throughout historiographical turns from around the 17th century to the present.
Valentine’s Day is a time when romantic love is idealised. This conversation explores the usefulness of different philosophical conceptions of love and considers contemporary applications of various ancient Greek words for love: éros, storgē, philía and agápe. Dr Tim Dean is a freelance philosopher, an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, and a faculty member at the School of Life.
In her 20 year career Alexandra Carlton has carved out a reputation as a skilled feature writer and editor across numerous magazines and digital media sites. These days as an accomplished freelance writer Alex’s work can be found across a variety of formats and publications including features for Marie Claire, articles for News.com.au and travel writing for Qantas.
In this conversation Alex shares insights about her practices of interviewing and storytelling, and thoughts on how developments in digital media have informed changing practices of journalists, along with the core skills that transcend media technologies.
Film scholar Davis Rivera shares his favourite films of the 2010s including narrative films, documentaries and a couple of exceptional stand-out series. Davis has kept a record of his personal ratings of films since he was aged 13 and has a database of more than 3000 film ratings. These are his picks of the decade.
Davis Rivera’s favourite films of the decade:
1. The Hunt (2012) directed by Thomas Vinterberg, and written by Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg
2. Rules Don’t Apply (2016) directed and written by Warren Beatty
3. Melancholia (2011) directed and written by Lars von Trier
4. Happy Hour (2015) directed by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, and written by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, Tadashi Nohara, Tomoyuki Takahashi
5. The Turin Horse (2011) directed by Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, and written by László Krasznahorkai and Béla Tarr
6. Hereditary (2018) directed and written by Ari Aster
7. American Sniper (2014) directed by Clint Eastwood, and based on the memoir by Chris Kyle
8. The Staircase (2018) directed and written by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
9. River of Fundament (2014) directed by Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, and inspired by the Norman Mailer novel Ancient Evenings
10. Hacksaw Ridge (2016) directed by Mel Gibson, and based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector
11. Mysteries of Lisbon (2010) directed by Raúl Ruiz, and based on the 1854 novel by Camilo Castelo Branco
12. Jackass 3D (2010) produced by Johnny Knoxville and Spike Jonze, and directed by Jeff Tremaine
13. Lenny Cooke (2013) directed by Josh and Benny Safdie
14. The Last of the Unjust (2013) directed by Claude Lanzmann
15. The Counselor (2013) directed by Ridley Scott, and written by Cormac McCarthy
Other notable mentions:
The Image Book (2018) directed and written Jean-Luc Godard
Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) created by David Lynch and Mark Frost
Jesus is King (2019) produced by Kanye West, and directed by Nick Knight
Films by Kelly Reichardt: Certain women (2016) and Meek’s Cutoff (2010) and others
An explanation of vectorology and genome editing and how viral vectors are used in gene therapy. Dr Leszek Lisowski is a molecular biologist who is Group Leader of Translational Vectorology at the Children’s Medical Research Institute and Manager of its Vector and Genome Engineering Facility.
A nostalgia trip for those who lived through it and a cheat sheet for those seeking an introduction to the premise and characters of the TV series Beverly Hills 90210. This conversation with pop culture aficionado Liz Marques is a primer for watching the reboot, BH90210.
Answering questions asked by Year 8 students from Christian College, Geelong about the processes of creating a podcast. The students are researching, scripting and recording their own podcasts for a Digital News unit of study.
Below are time markers for sections and questions to help the students find the most relevant parts for their assignments.
01:48–04:48 Script writing
04:48–09:35 Sounds and voices
11:42–17:58 Generating ideas
19:20–21:30 Key tips
21:30–23:00 Final thoughts
Special thanks the to the Geelong Cats Football Club for approving the use of the Club theme song.
Audio from the following video was used as an example of vox pops along with a recommendation for the YouTube channel Behind the News
A guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Jeremy Ray, Managing Editor for FANDOM. If you’re interested in The Avengers but the thought of catching up with 23 movies is stopping you from investing time in the series this conversation should help you get on board. You’ll find an introduction to some of the Avengers characters and a snapshot of the story arcs across the three phases of Marvel movies as well as a short list of 5 or 6 must see films.
The FANDOM Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki lists the movies in chronological order should you want to follow along with that part of the conversation.
This episode was recorded at the FANDOM headquarters in Sydney and the feature image on the podcast post webpage is a photo of an entire wall in the Marvel meeting room there.
A conversation about chemistry with no assumed knowledge. Chemist Dr Adrian George explains some of the history of chemistry as a discipline and gives an introduction to foundational concepts along with examples of how the knowledge of Chemistry is applied and can explain so much around us. Adrian is a senior lecturer with the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney.
The resignation of Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party and the end of her Prime Ministership is a moment to revisit some of my conversation with former Number 10 advisor Nick Rowley about the problems of Brexit and the challenges faced by government leaders in the UK along with some additional thoughts about this development.
Marianna Papas is the creator of women’s fashion label LuLu Manna and founder of LuLu Manna Boutique. Marianna shares insights from her years of experience within the fashion retail and textile industries including the challenges and rewards of starting her own business. I was also interested to hear Marianna’s views on personal styling and to reminisce a little about fashion trends of the 1990s (some of which are coming back in style again).
As a follow to the last episode about having a baby and discussions of conception and breastfeeding we revisit conversations with previous guests who have related specialist views.
Reproductive geneticist Nada Kubikova speaks about declining fertility and miscarriages as well as her clinical work on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis which can be used during IVF to identify embryos affected by genetic defects (recorded Feb 2017). At the time of recording Nada was a doctoral researcher within the Institute of Reproductive Sciences at the University of Oxford now based in the Oxford Science Park.
Dr Julie Smith is an Associate Professor at the Research School of Population Health at the Australian National University (ANU) who has been an expert advisor to the World Health Organisation. Julie speaks about some of the evolutionary health benefits of breastfeeding and public policy contexts and impacts of the hospitalisation of births and the emergence of milk formula (recorded Sept 2017).
The conversation with Emma Bellamy, author of Baking A Baby, can be found by clicking here
Baking A Baby author Emma Bellamy explains her philosophy of conscious co-creation in preparing to have a baby and shares practical advice based on personal experiences. The first half of the conversation canvasses processes of transformation and preparation which can be done pre-conception, and the second half of the conversation turns to conception, birth and breastfeeding.
Other discussions of conception and breastfeeding can be found by clicking here. Guests are a reproductive geneticist and an academic researcher interested in the impacts of public policy on breastfeeding.
Nick Rowley shares insights from his time as an advisor on climate change at the 10 Downing St Policy Directorate in the Office of Prime Minister Tony Blair, along with thoughts on Brexit, political communication, and his experiences teaching public policy at the University of Sydney.
Read Nick’s analysis of Brexit for ABC News here: ‘Brexit: The incurable British headache that won’t go away’
Associate Professor Glenn Anthony Brock explains deep time and the emergence and evolution of bilaterian animals that arose during the Cambrian Explosion. He also shares his experiences of field and lab work and insights about his discipline and academic life. Glenn is a researcher and lecturer with the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University.
Below is an example of more you can learn from Glenn’s Instagram
Credit: @palaeobiologist on Instagram
“Holothurians, or sea cucumbers, are an abundant and diverse group of worm-like, soft-bodied echinoderms. Their modified elongate pentamerous bodies are beautifully suited to be vacuum cleaners of the sea – swallowing huge amounts of sediment, digesting the organic material then pooping out the sediment like a conveyor belt! What a life! 😁👌🏼 Despite appearing to be completely soft bodied most species do have a skeleton – hundreds of microscopic ossicles made of calcite embedded in the body wall. These come in a wide variety of shapes, including this beautiful tiny (0.4 mm across) wheel shaped sclerite from a modern species of Chirodota.”
Insights about professional tennis from player development to life on the circuit and coaching and management approaches as well as some of the basics of what are the grand slam tournaments and court surfaces. Jaslyn Hewitt-Shehadie from Tennis Australia is National Academy Manager, Talent Development Manager and Wellbeing Ambassador for New South Wales and a former professional player who shares her expertise and personal experiences.
See Jaslyn’s Instagram for footage of her playing doubles with her brother Lleyton Hewitt in an exhibition match at the 2019 Sydney International.
Boy & Bear guitarist Killian Gavin shares thoughts on some of the albums which have been influential in his musical awakenings—Cat Stevens’ Tea for the Tillerman, Neil Young’s Harvest, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tamam Shud’s Evolution—as well as other reflections on song writing and live performance.
Below is a live performance by Neil Young mentioned by Killian during the discussion along with a couple of additional videos. One is an all-time favourite of mine which is relevant to our conversation. The other is a live Boy & Bear concert. Look out for a forthcoming new Boy & Bear album by following the band on social media.
Interesting to hear Neil Young’s introduction which explains his inspiration for the song. It’s not a father-son song as I had thought and as discussed with Killian.
In New South Wales there have been renewed calls for pill testing at music festivals. In this short excerpt from our 2016 conversation August De Loor of Stichting Adviesburo Drugs in Amsterdam speaks about his successful campaigns testing the quality of ecstasy pills at parties and other substances at his drug testing houses where people have been able to visit without fear of police intervention. August has been a leading advisor on Amsterdam’s drug policies for 50 years.
Dan Ilic shares stories and insights from his career in media and his work at the intersections of comedy and journalism including creating sketch comedy and political satire. Dan has been a presenter on numerous network television and public radio programs and most recently held senior roles as Executive Producer of ‘Tonightly’ on ABC television and as Executive Producer of Satire at Fusion Media.
View below some of Dan’s work mentioned in the podcast
And here’s an additional clip not discussed which is always good for a chuckle
English obscenity law from the Victorian period in the mid-nineteenth century was unevenly applied to literature available to working class audiences. Hierarchical thinking and elitism in the application of the law was enduring and is evident as late as 1960 during the Lady Chatterley’s Lover trial. This is an idea explored in a forthcoming book by Professor Chris Hilliard from the University of Sydney. Chris is researching censorship and cultural change in Britain from the Victorian period to the 1970s.
A conversation about diplomacy and Indonesia including the Australia-Indonesia relationship.
Bapak Hermanus Dimara adalah Konsul Fungsi Penerangan, Sosial dan Budaya, Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia untuk New South Wales, Queensland dan South Australia berkedudukan di Sydney
Dread, surrealism, trash and a good dose of slasher movies—a discussion of films appropriate for the Halloween season. Davis Rivera is a programmer for the Austin Film Society and a film scholar with an MSt in Film Aesthetics from the University of Oxford.
A general explanation of the US midterm elections with no assumed knowledge followed by an analysis of what the 2018 results might mean for the major parties and the future of US politics. The imminent Supreme Court appointment is discussed as is the potential for influential gerrymandering with upcoming redistricting. Alex Carlton is a journalist and social commentator with a special interest in US politics and US political culture.
Insights about public relations techniques with Nicole Reaney who is founder and director of InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn. Topics include tips for agency pitches to potential clients and story pitches to traditional media journalists and more recent developments in brand marketing via social influencers. Nicole also shares her personal story of entering the industry and starting and growing her business.
Reviews of some of my favourite music performances from live studio sessions by Durand Jones & the Indications, Dub FX featuring CAde, Grieves, The Milk, Shakey Graves and Daryl Hall with Chromeo. To listen to the commentary use the audio bar on this page or download the Wide Open Air Exchange podcast from iTunes or Stitcher or your preferred podcast platform. See the videos embedded below and support the artists and studios via their online portals.
A conversation about some of the techniques of beer brewing and the flavour profiles of different beer styles with master brewer and Director of Dad & Dave’s Brewing, John Dumay. John is also an Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at Macquarie University with specialities in Intellectual Capital and Knowledge Management as well as methodologies of academic writing and interviewing.
Nerida Campbell is an historian with an interest in criminal and deviant history including the treatment of women in criminal histories. Nerida is curator of the Sydney portfolio for Sydney Living Museums where her current Underworld exhibition includes images from the the ‘Specials’ collection of the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive: a series of unique and candid mug shots of suspects in custody taken between 1920 and 1930.
Dr Lynette Riley is a Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi woman from Dubbo and Moree with a long career as an educator. Lyn is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. Her doctoral research looked at conditions of academic success for Aboriginal students. Lyn has experience as a teacher and in Aboriginal education and administration within primary schools, high schools, TAFE, state offices and universities. Lyn is also a member of the National NAIDOC Committee.
Further resources mentioned during the podcast conversation:
Kinship Learning Module co-developed by Lynette Riley
Survival: a history of Aboriginal life in New South Wales by Nigel Parbury
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Appropriate Terminology Representations and Protocols of Acknowledgement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from Flinders University
Narragunnawali Platform from Reconciliation Australia
A conversation about architectural history as an interdisciplinary study of art history, intellectual history and visual culture. Deborah Ascher Barnstone is a professor of architectural history and architectural design at UTS and a licensed architect and principal with Ascher Barnstone Architects. Deborah’s latest book is titled, The Break with the Past: Avant-Garde Architecture in Germany, 1910 – 1925
Reviews of movies you can watch at home this Easter holidays each with appropriate themes for the season. These are non-biblical stories although one has a redemption theme and another angels, two have Easter settings, two feature chocolate and one stars a bunny rabbit.
Ecologist Dr John Martin from the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney discusses some of the history and benefits of citizen science which involves public participation in research projects. John also shares advice for individuals interested in studying ecology and thoughts on intervention research methods such as trapping animals for study and tracking.
Dr Ooi Kee Beng is Executive Director of the Penang Institute which is a major public policy think tank in Malaysia. Dr Ooi explains some of the political history of Malaysia in relation to global history and international order and by critically analysing concepts of colonialism, nationalism and regionalism. Dr Ooi is an accomplished academic and author and his public commentary can be found at Wikibeng.com
A 90 second explanation of which parts of two soul songs from the 1970 album Band of Gold by Freda Payne were sampled in the creation of the 1988 hip hop song ‘Strong Island’ by J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E.
Click here to be directed to the full length podcast conversation about crate digging with Danny Chifley aka Banga.
Lucy Haslam has been a leading advocate for patient access to medical cannabis since witnessing the relief her son Dan had from using cannabis when he was terminally ill. Lucy has been at the forefront of a movement to make medical cannabis more accessible in Australia.
This conversation follows from earlier episodes explaining what is medical cannabis, what are the regulatory frameworks in Australia, the market forces impacting a lack of investment in clinical trials which limits the number of registered cannabis products, and developments in cannabinoid science. You may wish to listen to these first to contextualise this most recent discussion.
More about developments in cannabinoid science following a previous discussion about medical cannabis. Professor of Psychopharmacology Iain McGregor is Academic Director of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney. Iain explains the human endocannabinoid system and potential medical uses of various components of cannabis, and comments on Australia’s regulatory approach to medical cannabis.
Broken Hill is a mining town in outback Australia. The red dusty landscape of its surrounding regions has been a backdrop for numerous films including Mad Max 2 and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It is the only heritage listed city in Australia and a place with a thriving arts scene. Locals Andrea Roberts and Bonnie Fitzpatrick share their knowledge of Broken Hill’s history and culture and memories of growing up there.
A look at Donald Trump’s first year as President of the United States through the lens of some of his Twitter activity. My guest is journalist Alexandra Carlton, a Sydney-based social commentator and magazine writer and editor. Alex’s analysis of Trump’s presidency is informed by her keen observation of US politics and her interest in the history of American political culture. Her articles on US politics have been published by Marie Claire, news.com.au and other media outlets, and you can find her replies to Trump’s tweets @alex_carlton
A discussion of medical cannabis and the regulatory frameworks and market forces which impact its availability in Australia and elsewhere. Nick Lintzeris is a director of drug and alcohol services in Sydney, a conjoint professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney, and a chief investigator for the newly established Australian Centre for Cannabinoid and Clinical Research Excellence.
Danny Chifley a.k.a. Banga is a familiar voice on Sydney radio station 2SER where he hosts Friday Drive and co-hosts the hip hop program Hardcore Classic. He is a funk, soul and hip hop music aficionado who has recorded and performed as part of the groups Chaos Maths and Dirtbox Kings. Banga has an impressive vinyl record collection and here he shares five albums to look out for when crate digging in Australia.
Dr Elisabeth Kirkby shares insights from her lifetime of vocational pursuits. Lis was a theatre actress in Britain, a radio broadcaster in Singapore and Malaya, and a star of the Australian television soapie ‘Number 96’ before becoming a parliamentarian and state leader for the Australian Democrats political party. At the age of 93, Lis graduated with a doctorate from the University of Sydney.
Dr Marilynn Davis is a professional educator of outdoor leaders in first response strategies for wilderness accidents and other pre-hospital care. Marilynn has volunteered with Teton County Search and Rescue in Wyoming and she featured on the television program Backcountry Rescue on the Outdoor Channel.
Old-time is a genre of American folk music which developed in the Appalachian Mountains region from a fusion of British/Irish folk and West African musical traditions. Joe Glover is banjo player for the folk band Shelley’s Murder Boys and he explains the roots of old-time music along with sharing techniques for playing the banjo and banjo making. Joe also plays harmonica for the blues band Backsliders.
Professor Naguib Kanawati is Director of the Australian Centre for Egyptology at Macquarie University. He explains his fascination with the Old Kingdom and why he considers that researchers should have hands-on experience of archaeological digs. Professor Kanawati has an inspirational personal story of pursuing what he loves doing.
The education sector in Australia is producing five times as many graduates of video game development courses than there are jobs in the industry. Many of the graduates end up working for poker machine companies. Jeremy Ray discusses his research on this subject for a feature article published in Game Informer magazine.
You can hear an unedited version of this discussion and a longer conversation about video games and the gaming industry in the original podcast episode here.
A discussion of gaming and the video game industry with Jeremy Ray a.k.a. Junglist. Jeremy is best known as a video game critic and a journalist with interests in game and industry development. Among his accomplishments, Jeremy co-created Good Game on ABC television and 5 inch Floppy for GameArena and he recently became Managing Editor of FANDOM in Australia.
Often the first question people ask astronomer Ben Pope is whether Pluto should be a planet. Ben shares his thoughts on this and how it relates to different approaches to astronomy. He also explains his own research of astronomical imaging. Ben has a DPhil in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford and is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney. He’s been awarded a NASA Carl Sagan Fellowship to pursue research at NYU.
A discussion of human milk sharing and emerging markets in breast milk with Dr Julie Smith from the Australian National University. Julie was formerly a senior economist for Australian and New Zealand governments, an advisor to the World Health Organisation, and a breastfeeding councillor and board member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
There are not many people who can say they were in counter terrorism during the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States. Nick O’Brien, who worked for Scotland Yard for thirty years, was on duty in charge of international intelligence and operations in Special Branch and he recalls the gravity of that moment.
You can access the full conversation with Nick O’Brien about counter terrorism here.
Nick O’Brien is Associate Professor of Counter Terrorism and Head of the Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security at Charles Sturt University. Nick worked for Scotland Yard for thirty years, and on the day of the 9/11 terror attacks he was in charge of international intelligence and operations in Special Branch. We discuss issues related to terrorism including the impacts of community relations and possible future implications of climate change on migration and security.
Insights about the purpose of science communication and techniques for practitioners in a discussion with Dr Will Grant from the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at the Australian National University. Will is a researcher, lecturer and convenor of graduate studies and workshops at CPAS. He also co-hosts an entertaining podcast, The Wholesome Show, in conversation with scientists.
From Ovid’s Metamorphoses to the poetry of Charles Bukowski and the textual nuances of Madame Bovary, Sarah Houillon shares insights from her broad interest in literature and her own artistic inclinations. Sarah has been a fellow of New College, Oxford where she taught French literature and language and a member of Pembroke College, Oxford as a graduate of English literature.
A conversation about identity and languages with Lily Begg from Pembroke College, Oxford. We met when Lily was editor-in-chief of The ISIS magazine in Oxford where she’s studying French and Italian. Lily shares personal insights from her experiences living in Belgium and England and on a student exchange in Italy and from her roles as a language translator, magazine editor, and theatre director.
Olivia Durand is an Oxford scholar researching neo-Frenchness in the cities of New Orleans and Odessa. Olivia has lived in the United States as a Fulbright scholar and in the Ukraine working for the French Foreign Office. A doctoral researcher with the Department of Global and Imperial History at Oxford University, Olivia is also vice-president and treasurer of the MCR at Pembroke College.
Dinant Riks is a doctoral researcher of chronic migraines with the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford University where he’s a member of Pembroke College. Dinant is using MRI technology to explore changes in the structure and function of the brain in the treatment of chronic migraines. We also discuss issues related to pain medication and Dinant shares insights from his previous studies of pharmacology and psychology.
As a school leaver Timothy Farrant took up a trade in amenity horticulture and worked as a greenkeeper on golf courses and as a farm labourer. It was whilst on his Morman mission that Tim was encouraged to apply to university and went on to study Medieval History. Tim is currently a Clarendon Scholar of Theology at Pembroke College, Oxford where he’s researching Augustinian influences on zoology in the Middle Ages.
Lindsey Cohick is a Clarendon Scholar with the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University and a member of Pembroke College. Her current research focuses on pirates as non-state actors in the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’, around 1650-1730. We discuss her previous research of Japanese history particularly the construction of the Samurai ethos of ‘death before dishonour’. Lindsey is also a creative writer and a comics enthusiast.
Kira Huju is an Oxford scholar in the Department of Politics and International Relations and a member of Balliol College. Her interests in feminism and decentering International Relations have informed Kira’s research of Indian politics and foreign policy. Kira also shares personal insights about honing her approach to issues of social and global justice and her response to criticisms of political correctness.
Lucinda Cadzow is a Clarendon Scholar in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University. Lucinda has written about soft balancing and is currently researching the global governance of tax. Hailing from the Yarra Valley in Australia, Lucinda shares her story of exploring other vocations before discovering an interest in and aptitude for political theory, political economy and international relations.
An analysis of the policy implementation of Donald Trump’s campaign promises in his first 100 days as President of the United States of America. Hailing from New York, Gabriel Delaney studies Politics at Oxford University and has experience as a presidential election field organiser in Pennsylvania for the 2012 Obama campaign. As well as critiquing Trump’s presidency, Gabriel is very good at explaining some of the mechanics of the U.S. political system.
Theologian Dr Chris Deacy from the University of Kent in Canterbury specialises in analysing the intersections of religion and secular films. Chris explains his approach with reference to popular films including Groundhog Day and Fight Club. We also discuss some philosophical questions about religion and Chris shares stories from his formative years and his discovery of film and theological studies.
World renowned professor of evolutionary psychology, Robin Dunbar, explains his famous theory of social group size which suggests there is a limited number of relationships that humans (and other primates) can maintain. We also discuss some of his other findings related to social bonding and the release of endorphins activated by laughing, singing, and dancing together. Professor Dunbar is with the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and he’s a Fellow of Magdalen College.
Ryan Terribilini comes from technology and public policy roles at Google and Ripple to study Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. We discuss some of the emerging issues related to internet privacy and surveillance in a world in which we increasingly interact online and in which global finance operates using new technologies. Ryan also explains android ecosystems, bitcoin and distributed ledger technology. Ryan is a member of Pembroke College, Oxford.
Geeking out over the career and music of The Beatles with Chris Bayne from the Oxford Beatles. We discuss The Beatles story from their early years and chronologically through each studio album 1963-1970. Chris also shares details of a theatrical production the Oxford Beatles are developing for the 50th anniversary of the Sgt. Peppers album this year. You’ll also hear covers of Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane by the Oxford Beatles.
An explanation of why The Jungle Book was recognised for best visual effects at the Academy Awards. Below is an excerpt of my pre-Oscars conversation with James Whitlam from Framestore. James explains the visual effects techniques used in the film based on the five categories it won at the Visual Effects Society Awards beginning with Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature.
An Oscars episode about the films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects this year. James Whitlam is executive producer of film at Framestore in London where he’s currently in final delivery on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Previously James worked with Iloura as a producer on Deepwater Horizon, which is one of the nominees this year, and with Rising Sun Pictures on five Harry Potter movies, Wolverine, Superman and other major Hollywood films. James shares industry insights and technical knowledge from his 25 year career in visual effects.
Andrew Linden is a doctoral researcher of population health at Oxford University specialising in epidemiology. Andrew uses data from the UK and China Kadoorie Biobanks to investigate how adult height is related to chronic diseases. A Clarendon Scholar and a member of Brasenose College, Andrew is also a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa and he was an actuarial consultant in London before moving to Oxford.
Lotta Haegg met her husband through an online dating site after taking a proactive approach to finding a partner. She’s now happily married. I’m happily single and together we discuss our experiences of attraction, dating, relationships and break-ups. Topics include online dating profiles, first dates, falling in love, living together, resolving conflict, and the benefits of married life and single life.
Nada Kubikova is a reproductive geneticist doing clinical work and doctoral research in a leading Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) lab in Oxford. PGD can be used during IVF to identify embryos affected by genetic disorders or abnormalities. Nada discusses innovations and ethical issues in her field. She also explains why infertility occurs in women. Nada is a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford University and a member of Brasenose College.
Corina Smith is a doctoral researcher at Oxford University studying the ancient Chinese texts, the Shangshu. She shares stories of learning Mandarin and living in Beijing and discusses the benefits of these experiences. We also touch on music as Corina grew up listening to prog rock and appreciates the history of its emergence in Britain in the 1970s. Corina is a Clarendon Scholar with the China Centre at Oxford University and a member of Pembroke College.
Inspired by U2 stealing back the song ‘Helter Skelter’, here is a reclaiming of ‘My Way’ after the Trumps used it for their first dance as president and first lady at an inauguration ball last weekend. Also your messages about previous episodes including comments on US politics, Amsterdam’s soft drug policy, sexism experienced by women in science, and thoughts on whether human connections will be possible with virtual reality technology.
A discussion of Trump’s inauguration ceremony, a breakdown of his speech, and thoughts on what we might expect from his first days as president in US foreign and domestic policy. Oxford scholar Mitchell Robertson brings insights about American politics and history to this analysis. Mitchell is a doctoral candidate associated with the Rothermere American Institute and he has a Master of Studies in United States History from Oxford University.
Windex Pete is a New Orleans local who plays a washboard percussion instrument. We met in the Tremé neighbourhood on the street where he appears in the Cee Lo Green video for ‘Music to My Soul‘. Pete tells stories about some of the many famous people he’s met including the Jacksons and Mick Jagger. He explains zydeco music and plays other songs including the soundtrack to his first slow-drag dance with a girl. We also share personal experiences of quitting smoking and the deaths of our fathers.
Alice Schwarze is a physicist with the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University and a member of Pembroke College. Alice is a Clarendon Scholar specialising in systems approaches to biomedical science. She currently works on modelling protein-interaction networks for pharmaceutical applications. Alice got interested in physics as a young teen attending Mensa summer camps. We discuss her career development including what it’s like working in a male-dominated field. Alice shares advice for young women thinking of becoming scientists.
August de Loor has been a drugs policy advisor and social worker in Amsterdam for 50 years. Here he explains the social benefits of separating soft and hard drugs through the communal use of cannabis in the coffeeshop system in Amsterdam. August discusses developments in drug culture and recalls his community initiatives including working closely with heroin users and starting a needle exchange as well as running a drug-testing project for many years. August advocates for a “Third Way” of dealing with drugs which comes from society rather than the criminalisation of drug use or the medicalisation of drug rehabilitation.
Jojo Rahamim is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at Oxford University where he is working on quantum computing. Jojo also has experience with particle physics and rocket science and you’ll hear about how nanofibers are made and how rocket thrusters work. We discuss nuclear power, ethics in science, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and even time travel. Jojo shares stories of travelling across India in a rickshaw rally, attending the Burning Man festival, and performing in a children’s entertainment troupe. He also explains the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.
Johanna Koehler is a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford University specialising in decentralisation and water security in Kenya. Johanna recently returned from Kenya and she shares what it’s like on the ground in local communities as well as at governance and policy levels. We also discuss Johanna’s earlier field work in South Korea and the Korean demilitarised zone. Her research of the South and North Korea divide was inspired by her family’s experience being separated between East and West Germany.
Dylan James is a Clarendon Scholar of Ancient History in the Classics Faculty at Oxford University who specialises in Greek and Roman historiography. We discuss his intellectual development from being fascinated with ancient history and classics as a child to learning Latin and Greek languages as a young man so he could study classical texts for his honours, masters, and now doctoral research. Dylan is somewhat of an all-rounder and we also chat about his other pursuits in music, sport, comedy, and politics.
Post-election analysis including a breakdown of voter demographics with Mitchell Robertson from Oxford University. Mitchell explains who voted for Donald Trump in terms of sex, age, race, education, and geography and where Hillary Clinton fell short. We also discuss the House and Senate results and the prospects for Trump pursuing his policies. Mitchell is a doctoral candidate associated with the Rothermere American Institute and he has a Master of Studies in United States History from Oxford University.
Since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election I’ve received several messages from friends asking how this could have happened. Here is a little of my conversation with Gabriel Delaney from before the election in which he gives a good overview of how support for Trump is a push back against political correctness and elite establishment politics in America and a reflection of white nationalism by a portion of the population.
To be clear, Gabriel is a Democrat and was supporting Hillary Clinton. This conversation was an election explainer and an overview of the political narratives of each of the candidate’s campaigns. You’ll find the full conversation here.
I’ve seen an outpouring of grief over the election result and fear of what’s to come. Maybe I’m overly optimistic but I’m expecting Trump to be more restrained in office than in campaign mode. The realities of the presidency and institutional checks and balances should reign him in. He’ll likely continue to have loose lips but I struggle to imagine him going through with some of his wild ideas. Here’s hoping.
Ben Daus-Haberle is co-president of Republicans Overseas UK in Oxford where he is studying International Relations. Ben hails from Massachusetts and his parents were Democrats. He worked for John Kerry and campaigned for Obama in 2008 before having an intellectual and ideological conversion to Republicanism whilst studying at Yale University. On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, Ben shares what being Republican means to him as well as his thoughts on Trump and the future of the Republican Party.
US presidential election guide with Gabriel Delaney who was a field organiser for the Obama campaign in 2012. Gabriel is from New York and he is currently studying politics at Oxford University with a research interest in political narratives. We discuss the narratives of the Clinton and Trump campaigns and Gabriel explains the electoral map and what is needed by each candidate to win. He also shares insights about strategies in the final days before the election from his experiences of campaigning in Pennsylvania and his involvement with Democrats Abroad UK.
Oxford climate scientist Professor Myles Allen explains the Paris agreement on the day it comes into force and ahead of COP22. Professor Allen leads the Climate Research Programme at the Environmental Change Institute in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford where he also heads the Climate Dynamics Group in the Department of Physics.
Answering your messages and comments with audio from previous episodes. Topics include media coverage of funerals, the gentrification of Austin, Dolly Parton, the Black National Anthem, film remakes, Elvis, and pursuing your childhood dreams. Features music by Radford Ellis from his album Lonely Blue Boy.
Jack O’Sullivan is a medical doctor who researches overdiagnosis. He explains concerns about unnecessary tests detecting cancers which might never develop into serious health problems for individuals in their lifetimes. We also discuss the invention of medical conditions for commercial pharmaceutical purposes, among other topics. Jack is a Clarendon Scholar with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University.
Jaime Swift is a biological and forensic anthropologist and archaeologist. She is a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford University and a doctoral candidate in Archaeological Science. Jaime studied criminology and was a federal agent with the Australian Federal Police. She also previously spent a year on the professional tennis circuit. We discuss Jaime’s career as well as her impressive archaeological research findings.
Carolyn Davis is co-host of the podcast Snatched! and a doctoral researcher at the University of Texas. One of the few black people in her grad program, Carolyn discusses diversity issues in Austin as well as national racial injustices with policing and the prison system. Carolyn shares personal insights as a queer bisexual woman. We also discuss her research of 18th century transatlantic literature and the class she teaches about fandom.
This week is dedicated to an explanation of gender identity terminologies and concepts which Jess O’Rear explains both from an academic perspective and from his personal experience transitioning from being assigned female at birth to identifying as a genderqueer transgender man. Jess is a PhD student at the University of Texas in Austin.
Radford Ellis is a Memphis singer known for his Elvis tribute on Beale Street. Radford knew Elvis for many years from care-taking at Graceland, initially cutting the yard. He was a confidant to Elvis, sometimes sitting on the roof together talking all night. Radford was also a body-double decoy for Elvis after concerts a few times. A musician in his own right, Radford was so often compared with Elvis that he was compelled to perform his songs. Music in this episode is used courtesy of Radford Ellis.
Tim Sampson is communications director for the Soulsville Foundation which runs the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Stax Music Academy and the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis. We discuss the history of Stax Records including artists Booker T. Jones, Otis Redding, Jean Knight, the Staple Singers and Isaac Hayes as well as the establishment and operation of Soulsville which Tim has been involved with since day one.
Miss Joyce is a Memphis soul/R&B singer with an inspirational story. Joyce Howard-Hemans was a preacher’s kid who found a secular spirituality and left home at fourteen to carve out her own place in the world. She’s faced hardships including a period of homelessness and losing multiple friends to gang violence and she’s channelled her experiences into her music and songwriting.
Don Cusic is Curb Professor of Music Industry History at Belmont University in Nashville. He’s been in the music business for 45 years as a journalist, record producer, artist manager and songwriter. Don explains the development of the Nashville Sound and discusses country stars Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and others and he shares what it was like working with Roy Orbison at Monument Records.
Lotta Haegg is a talk-radio producer living in London. We discuss what it’s like being a radio producer and Lotta tells of her first radio shifts during major news events. Lotta also shares stories from her years growing up in regional Australia and Sweden and speaks of her experience as a step mum to teenagers.
Davis Rivera is an Oxford scholar specialising in Film Aesthetics. He wrote his dissertation on the Hungarian director Béla Tarr. Davis is originally from Port Arthur, Texas. He fields my questions about his origins as a cinephile, the state of Texas, Southern rap, and various filmmakers and actors including an in-depth discussion about his favourite actor Warren Beatty.
Mike King is founder of Smile Kids Japan, a non-profit organisation which connects volunteers with child welfare institutions. He’s also in the final stages of a DPhil in Social Policy at Oxford University. I met Mike through our college Pembroke and we chat a bit about college life before talking about his organisation and research. We discuss how Mike got started with the volunteer work in Japan, his experience with fundraising, and his subsequent policy research.