Ockham's Razor - Program podcast

Ockham's Razor - Program podcast


William of Ockham was an English monk, philosopher, theologian, who provided the scientific method with its key principle 700 years ago. 'What can be done with fewer assumptions is done in vain with more,' he said. That is, in explaining any phenomenon, we should use no more explanatory concepts than are absolutely necessary. Simplicity should never be despised. Thoughtful people have their say, without interruption, on important science-related topics.


Innovation on a grand scale  

Is Australia looking effectively at the shape of things ahead when it comes to innovation?

Māori culture and history  

Can you imagine New Zealand without a robust and vital Māori presence? Tony Barta says few understand how close the country came to genocide.

A teacher changed my life  

Some teachers are hard to forget, as Bodhi Hardinge has found.

Scotland, camping, and pesky ticks  

Professor John Bradshaw reminisces on a romantic camping trip – disrupted by an infestation of ticks.

Connecting people with science  

In today’s post-fact, post-truth world, how do scientists engage with everybody in the general public — not just the ones who are already listening?

The relics of scientists  

How is it that philosopher Jeremy Bentham attends senate meetings at University College London, almost two centuries after his demise?

The march of pseudoscience  

Are scientists and the scientific method being replaced by the misinformation of pseudoscience, new-age therapies and quantum mysticism?

Solving humanity's greatest risk  

Humanity is up against enormous challenges, says science writer Julian Cribb. So what could be the key to survival?

Vulnerable animals and private land  

The ANU's Dr George Wilson has long been worried about the way our animals are disappearing from the landscape. Could market forces play a role in conservation?

Plants in the southern hemisphere  

The southern continents were once united as the supercontinent Gondwana, but does this explain the links between the plants of the southern hemisphere? Dr Barbara Briggs travelled to Madagascar to find out.

Fighting ignorance from ivory towers  

To overcome the rising tide of public anti-intellectualism, Professor Mark Dodgson says the association in the public mind with academic and elite has to be broken.

Prostate cancer  

Prostate cancer is a controversial topic, and opinions on the diagnosis, treatment and management of the disease are more divergent than ever before.

Clean energy entrepreneurship  

How do we help foster the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs in a country with a "risk-averse mindset" toward clean energy? Dr Adam Bumpus has some ideas.

Central banking in the Internet Age  

It turns out that modern technology, particularly the internet, could enable our most pressing problems in banking to be solved.

The innovation race  

Technology is transforming the economies of the world but Australia is being left behind; participating in the innovation revolution from the safe confines of being a bystander. Marlene Kanga is calling on Gen Y and Gen Z to create — and not just consume.

Seeing patterns (even when they aren't there)  

Len Fisher says we’re all inclined to look for patterns in events, and there are two reasons why we see patterns even when they aren’t there: one is evolutionary, the other is mathematical.

Seeing patterns (even when they aren’t there)  

Len Fisher says we’re all inclined to look for patterns in events, and there are two reasons why we see patterns even when they aren’t there: one is evolutionary, the other is mathematical.

The life of Dr Janet Irwin  

It’s not common for doctors to speak out publicly on health issues which are contentious or viewed as political. Dr Janet Irwin was an exception to this rule.

Translating research  

Why do we hear so much more about drug and treatment innovations than about research that improves the lives of patients while they wait for those innovations to see the light of day? Professor Linda Shields says the research done by nurses, midwives and allied health professionals is taken up and translated into practice with no fanfare, but is largely ignored by the media and granting bodies.

Aquaculture in Indonesia  

What do we know about science in Indonesia? We rarely hear about what LIPI is doing — Indonesia's equivalent of the CSIRO. During her time there, Mari Rhydwen discovered the country's different approach to science — and ‘different ways of being’.

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