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Ockham’s Razor is a soap box for all things scientific, with short talks about research, industry and policy from people with something thoughtful to say about science.
5 days ago
Resilient farms and water worries
Living as we do in a country that’s prone to drought, it’s no surprise that the subject of irrigation for farming can become a contentious one in Australia. Stepping up to the mic today is Rose Roche, who wants to bring some much-needed nuance to the water debate… and she’s enlisting the help of fairy tales and Disney princesses.
Jul 24, 2021
Hiding drugs in nanomaterials to repair brains
If you could take your brain and zoom in a couple of times – and then a bit more – you’d see structures that look like towers and tentacles, and behave like pieces of automatic Lego. It’s a crazy miniature world, and one we’re going to get a tour of today. Our tour guide is Dr Kiara Bruggeman, who’s hijacking and hacking these nano-sized structures, in the hopes of helping stroke-affected brains heal.
Jul 17, 2021
How communities can recover from disasters like bushfires and COVID-19
You know in movies, where it turns out the scrappy young hero had the power to succeed inside themselves all along – they just had to learn how to harness it? It turns out this is more than just a storytelling trope – it can also be true for communities, recovering from disaster.
Jul 10, 2021
Unseen minerals all around us
Look, don’t put your mobile phone in a blender. Just… trust me on this one. But if you did, you’d find more of the periodic table of elements in that pulverised phone dust than you might expect. What’s that, you want more context? Allison Britt from Geoscience Australia can explain.
Jul 3, 2021
Food supply in a pandemic
We’re pretty used to walking into a supermarket and expecting the stuff we want to be on the shelf. Or at least we were until last year, when panic-buying lifted the curtain a bit on just how complex our food supply can be. Lucky for us, it’s something smart people are studying hard – including development economist Katie Ricketts.
Jun 26, 2021
Bringing passion back to learning
We know that giving students choice and ownership over their own learning is best, but has it been lost from the education system?
Jun 19, 2021
Is there a future for brown coal?
When I say “brown coal”, what word comes to mind? Dirty? Well maybe that’s fair… if you want to burn it. But Vince Verheyen reckons there’s a future for it in a net zero emissions world. The starting point is understanding what it is, geologically, and how to make the most of its ingredients.
Jun 12, 2021
Trolling, cyber-abuse and radical empathy
Why is it that so many people are horrible online? Are they always bad people?
Jun 5, 2021
The cost of trust
Caveat emptor – buyer beware.
May 29, 2021
Humans as part of nature
There are those places in nature that we come back to, again and again. The reason we come is because they’re so beautiful, or peaceful… but it’s the act of returning regularly that helps us notice when things are different. The landscape is telling us in those subtle changes what’s happening to it.
May 22, 2021
Will I get better?
Why are medicos often so bad at giving us a straight answer to this question – and how could they respond better?
May 15, 2021
Understanding cancer to improve the way we treat it
Think about the stem cells in an embryo – they’re a bit like a teenager on the brink of adulthood, with the potential to be almost anything they want to be.
May 8, 2021
What the Stone Age can teach us about waste management
Morbid question for you - how long do you reckon your remains hang around for, after you die? How about the rest of the things you’ve used in your life?
May 1, 2021
Reconnecting with nature
Take a moment and imagine yourself in nature - whether it is walking in a magical rainforest, swimming in the ocean, or a moment of wonder at the animals and plants around.
Apr 24, 2021
The romantic self-saboteur
What happens when you’re very young can have a life-long effect on your relationships, as Raquel Peel knows all too well.
Apr 17, 2021
Soil your undies!
What do your undies have to do with the health of Australian soils?
Apr 10, 2021
Breaking open big data
What did you do when you woke up this morning? Social media on the mobile, checking the weather on your speaker or your heartrate and sleep patterns on your smart watch?
Apr 3, 2021
A fossil mystery
If the numbers of TV shows on the topic are anything to go by, everyone loves a cold case – trying to crack a mysterious death from the past.
Mar 27, 2021
The mental health seesaw
What makes someone who cruises through life relatively happily different to someone who struggles with mental health issues?
Mar 20, 2021
Garden hose, acrobatic ants and a piece of string
What if our entire universe, including you and I, could be boiled down to one object: a vibrating string?
Mar 13, 2021
The handsome beast — and other enigmatica
520 million years ago, the oceans teemed with some of the most bizarre animals ever to have lived.
Mar 6, 2021
Salami smuggling in Papua New Guinea
What do boiled bandicoot, smuggled salami and an invisibility cloak have in common?
Feb 27, 2021
Disappearing sea snakes
They breathe air but live underwater, and like their land-dwelling counterparts their bites are venomous.
Feb 20, 2021
Finding kindness on the backroads of Bangladesh
Nathan Brooks-English usually studies the geological processes that make mountains but on one particular field trip, the thing he learned most about was human connection.
Feb 13, 2021
Tiny but mighty
Microbes are critically important to the health of a coral reef.
Feb 6, 2021
Aged care — giving families a voice
It's a story familiar to many families. A loved one is in aged care, and it's only after you visit them that you discover things are going wrong.
Jan 30, 2021
How do top cricketers stay mentally sharp?
Tens of thousands of fans watching on. The weight of a country's hopes on your shoulders. And a leather ball speeding towards you at 140 kilometres per hour.
Dec 19, 2020
A meme of sand and hope
When life gives you fire, you don't need more coal. This talk was first broadcast on 26 April, 2020.
Dec 12, 2020
The Frankenstein postdoc
When Kylie Soanes bounced out of her graduation ceremony with a newly-minted PhD, she thought she knew what she was in for. This talk was originally broadcast on August 6, 2017.
Dec 5, 2020
Making better decisions to help the Great Barrier Reef
Every day we make hundreds of choices, big and small, that build to become the story of our lives – the friends we make, the careers we choose, our partners and our purpose.
Nov 28, 2020
Life after Earth ... for capitalists
It might be the ultimate dream for preppers and Trekkies: life in a Dyson sphere. Astrophysicist Natasha Hurley-Walker takes us to a possible distant future via the physics of continuous economic growth. This talk was first broadcast on October 27, 2019.
Nov 21, 2020
The case of L Ron Hubbard v Science
It's one thing to big note yourself. But the founder of the Church of Scientology is guilty of scientific fraud, explains author and investigative journalist Steve Cannane. This program was first broadcast on September 8, 2019.
Nov 14, 2020
Einstein's physics for kids
Can kids understand relativity and quantum physics? This program was first broadcast on 8 December, 2019.
Nov 7, 2020
Wind farms and a community divided
What happens to communities when a company wants to put in a wind turbine farm? This program first aired on November 12, 2017.
Oct 31, 2020
Bridging the discipline divide
Cross disciplinary research, undergraduate study, postgraduate study, double degrees! This program first aired on February 4, 2018.
Oct 24, 2020
Tackling obesity with a twist
Treating obesity is never as simple as eat less, exercise more. This program first aired on November 17, 2019.
Oct 17, 2020
The brilliant mind of Oliver Sacks
Neuroscience PhD student Samuel Mills reflects — and shares a few stories about the brilliant neurologist and author — at Melbourne's Laborastory. This program first aired on April 22, 2018.
Oct 10, 2020
Using virtual reality to explore your insides
Could VR headsets save your life? This episode first aired April 29, 2018
Oct 3, 2020
The economic impact of refugees
How NASA helped calculate the economic value a refugee population brought to town. (First broadcast March 11, 2018.
Sep 26, 2020
Truly clean coal technology is not a myth, argues University of Newcastle chemical engineering researcher Dr Jessica Allen.
Sep 19, 2020
Nature, nurture and gender
Understanding gender when biologists and gender theorists are at odds. [First aired March 25, 2018]
Sep 12, 2020
Baron, scholar, spy
Franz Nopcsa — aristocrat, spy and a co-founder of paleobiology.[First aired on March 18, 2018]
Sep 5, 2020
Traditional medicine and malaria
Modern drug research and ancient medicine intertwine in this tale of the fight against malaria. This episode first aired February 11, 2018.
Aug 29, 2020
John Stapp, the daredevil who pushed our understanding of G forces.
John Stapp was a pioneering researcher into the effects of 'rapid human deceleration' on the body. This episode first aired February 25, 2018
Aug 22, 2020
Remembering Maryam Mirzakhani.
Australian mathematician Nalini Joshi pays a personal tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani. This episode first aired January 21, 2018.
Aug 15, 2020
The complexity of pregnancy
Sheila Pham's pregnancy spawned more than a child. This episode first aired October 13, 2019.
Aug 8, 2020
From the lab to the patient
Only a fraction of health research makes its way into clinical practice. This episode first aired September 29, 2019
Aug 1, 2020
New stemsation: do stem cells live up to the hype?
It all starts with tubes of warm, thick, gooey fat delivered fresh to the lab. This episode first aired on 6 October, 2019
Jul 25, 2020
We need to open science up to everyone
'After all, isn't sharing knowledge and discovery what science is really all about?' This program first aired September 23, 2018
Jul 18, 2020
Romancing the stars
Devika Kamath's discovery about stellar relationships is causing a rewrite of the textbooks. This program first aired August 4, 2019