Future Tense - Full program podcast

Future Tense - Full program podcast


A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.


Mini-brains revisited; the power of infographics; and future-focussed decision making  

Is there a possible link between the schizophrenic brain and diet? What's the future of data visualisation? And how can you optimise your decision-making?

How to make spaghetti bolognaise  

Social researcher and author Rebecca Huntley uses the recipe for this very popular and accessible dish to highlight the varied threats to our future food supply from global climate change.

Narcissists, archaeologists and shouting into the void  

Why we need to rethink our attitudes toward narcissists. Why anyone would want to confess to software. Why can't unroll ancient scrolls in order to read them.

Pop-up culture  

Temporary outlets suit our social media times – the perfect mid-point between the online experience and traditional bricks and mortar.

Wooden skyscrapers and bacterial concrete  

Transparent wood and cement generated by bacteria - New materials promise to change the way we build houses in the future.

Issues of digital security  

For all the sophistication we humans have shown in developing new technological systems, we’ve got a surprisingly poor record when it comes to making them secure.

Drug resistance and a coming pandemic  

It’s estimated around 700,000 people die each year because of drug-resistant infections & the death-toll is expected to rise to around 10 million per year by 2050 unless more is done. So how prepared are we for future pandemics?

Your personal brand  

Could you be sued for your tattoo? Is a career in sport now about branding over athleticism? The art of personal branding is becoming increasingly complicated.

A Universal Basic Income  

Funded from the public purse, the universal basic income is a no-strings attached minimum payment. So, would it actually work as a way of reforming social welfare?

Employment in the era of exploitation  

Overtime, internships and freelance projects - the idea of work takes on a whole new dimension when there’s no promise of payment.

How to really get under someone’s skin  

We’ll find out whether the psychological barriers to human micro-chipping will inevitably limit the technology’s take-up. And does the rise of biometrics open up a consent debate?

The inside running  

Edible batteries, ingestible sensors, tiny intravenous drug delivery craft and a wound-clogging injectable sponge - new research takes a decidedly invasive approach to problem solving.

The fabric of future life  

When fabric becomes futuristic: a 'gravity loading' space suit, electronic temporary tattoos, sweat eating sportswear and kombucha leather.

New directions for brain research  

Is it possible to modify the brain through exercise, implants or even electricity?

BWF: A conversation exploring personal, community and social histories.  

Is it possible for two different experiences of the same event to be considered the truth? Has art and the media contributed to a drift in historical truth?

Putting our minds to the brain  

Despite decades of intense research, we still know very little about how the human brain actually functions.

The contingent workforce and the growth of digital taylorism  

The size of the so-called “contingent” workforce is on an upward trajectory. We explore what’s driving the trend and what it means for employees. And is a digital form of “taylorism” also on the rise?

What do we mean by innovation?  

Innovation, has become an important part of the political and business lexicon. But is our definition of innovation simply too technology focussed and too business-centric?

Designing for Serendipity  

As oxymoronic as this may sound, would the world be a better place if we all spent more time and energy designing our systems and workplaces to facilitate the possibility of serendipitous findings?

Does handwriting have a future?  

According to some, writing by hand no longer has a place in an age where people type and thumb their way using smart phones and computers. But others believe cursive writing still has an important role to play in cognitive development, particularly when it comes to memory.

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