Big Ideas - Full program podcast

Big Ideas - Full program podcast


ABC Radio National presents material from Big Ideas web and TV to bring you the best public talks, debates and lectures from Australia and around the world. One single audio file of the whole program - good for continuous listening.


Our most precious liquid  

Water is an essential resource we need to share it equitably with each other and the natural world.

Pursuing immortality  

But only because science might eventually be able to achieve it, should we be pursuing immortality?

Mysteries of the brain  

How does the brain make us human? How can we control machines with our mind? And how we can feel music by linking up brainwaves to instruments.

Inside 'The Family': the legacy of a notorious apocalyptic cult.  

An investigation of the doomsday cult known as The Family, and it's charismatic leader, Anne Hamilton Byrne

How to feed the planet  

Navigating the three biggest challenges to the global food system

Where will America First take us?  

Donald Trump is determined to shake up America and America's alliances. How will it change the relationship with our most important ally?

China revolution and repression  

Will personal freedom always give way to social control in China?

Lucky country?  

Is Australia still the "lucky country"?

Consuming our future  

Only lowering our living standards will achieve sustainable growth. That’s the message from Satyajit Das.

About women and mothers  

Mothers. Everyone has one. Not every woman wants to be one. The merits of motherhood for the Modern Women is a question that can still confound, confuse, astound and confront.

Mess makes you more creative and resilient  

Messiness and randomness lie at the core of how we innovate and how we connect with each other - in short, how we succeed.

Steven Oliver: Black Comedy  

Steven Oliver is an indigenous poet and rapper, actor, singer, dancer and writer. He was the creative force behind the ABC’s cult TV show, 'Black Comedy'. It was a cheeky mix of satire, indigenous humour, and high camp. More importantly it was the first all-Aboriginal TV comedy in over 40 years. Paul Barclay is in conversation with Steven, who is also an advocate for social change. Why are there so few indigenous people on TV screens?

Nigeria - a failed state?  

Behind the violent insurgencies in Nigeria is not just corruption, but the crumbling of state, civic, customary and religious authority.

Behind the scenes of the CIA  

Former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell lifts the veil from the inner workings of the intelligence agency – somewhat.

Families and communities  

The state of the nation starts in your street

Death in Rabaul: a forgotten battle from the Pacific War.  

Seventy-five years ago, five Australians, including an eleven-year old boy and his mother, were executed for spying by a Japanese firing squad in Rabaul, in the Australian territory of New Guinea. Writer and journalist, Ian Townsend, unearths the story behind their deaths.  In doing so, he uncovers a forgotten story of World War Two. The Japanese invaded and occupied the island of New Britain, then a part of Australia, and intended it to be there South Pacific military base. Over a thousand Australians died. It was the first combat in WW2 between Australians and an invading force. Why don’t we know this part of our history? Paul Barclay is in conversation with Ian Townsend


Does the traditional travelling circus have a future in Australia?

A brief history of tomorrow  

Will the working class become the useless class as technology destroys millions of jobs?

The wonder that is glass  

Where would we be without spectacles, light bulbs and windscreens? How many lives were saved through germ identifying microscope lenses? And how pleasurable would life be without windows, computers or telephones?

Genomic medicine  

How is genomics changing medical practice?

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