public policy

#402      36 min 12 sec
Silent killer: Coming to grips with an emerging epidemic of viral hepatitis

Associate Professor Ben Cowie

Infectious diseases expert and epidemiologist Dr Ben Cowie explains why viral hepatitis is fast becoming a hidden epidemic with significant public health consequences. Most people with chronic hepatitis types B and C aren't even aware they have the diseases as they show no obvious symptoms or signs, yet they risk severe illness or liver damage. So how is the global health community targeting hepatitis, and how to to grow awareness in a largely unsuspecting public? Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#399      28 min 10 sec
How attitudes disable: Rethinking our assumptions about people with impairments

Professor Eric Emerson

Social epidemiologist Prof. Eric Emerson argues that "disability" and "being disabled" really refer to the effects of social and economic marginalisation of people with certain types of physical or mental impairments, and not the personal impact of the impairments themselves. While some societies have made strides in improving the lives of the people with impairments, we have yet to tackle our fundamental assumptions about disability and how it arises from the interaction between health conditions and the society in which we live. Presented by Lynne Haultain.

#396      36 min 57 sec
Rivers as persons: What it means to give legal rights to nature

Erin O'Donnell
Julia Talbot-Jones

Environmental law researcher Erin O'Donnell and economist Julia Talbot-Jones explain what's behind recent moves to give legal personhood to rivers in India, New Zealand and elsewhere. With philosophical roots going back decades, new legal and legislative developments granting personhood to nature seek both to recognise indigenous or religious claims as well as provide new avenues for environmental protection. But what does this mean, and how will giving rights to nature be enforced? Can rivers now bring lawsuits, and can we, in turn, sue them? Presented by Lynne Haultain.

#388      34 min 12 sec
The power of a warm welcome: Forging a humanitarian response to refugees amid negative media imagery

Prof Uma Kothari

Are refugees fleeing persecution today generally seen as people who need help, or problems to be pushed away? Migration and refugee researcher Prof. Uma Kothari discusses how media representations of asylum seekers influence us in how we attend and respond to the plight of individuals and groups fleeing their countries in search of safety. Presented by Peter Mares.

#387      30 min 53 sec
Team positive: Taking the science of wellbeing to a systems level

Associate Professor Lindsay Oades

Research psychologist Associate Professor Lindsay Oades explains how positive psychology and wellbeing literacy, once largely focused on the individual, are being taken to a group level to promote healthier, more skillful interactions in organisations and human networks. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#386      36 min 43 sec
Global warming's companion crisis: Reactive nitrogen and its threat to human and planetary health

Prof Mark Sutton

Environmental physicist Prof Mark Sutton explains how our fast growing "nitrogen footprint" from agriculture and industry is reaching crisis levels as reactive nitrogen pollutes our air and soil and is a direct threat to human health. A leading researcher and advisor on nitrogen policy, Prof Sutton argues that smarter nitrogen management is not only a health and environmental priority but will prevent continued enormous economic losses. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#385      30 min 34 sec
Outbreak! Human pandemics and how to manage the inevitable

Prof Eddie Holmes

Virologist Eddie Holmes explains how viral and bacterial pandemics of the type that spawned the Black Death and Ebola remain an unpredictable and inevitable part of our future. Professor Holmes describes how new technologies like genomic sequencing help us explore the origins and evolution of pathogens linked to pandemics as far back as Ancient Rome, and how evolving biosecurity and surveillance systems offer us a chance of containing outbreaks. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#383      33 min 54 sec
Crimes of state: When a nation goes from protector to perpetrator

Prof Penny Green

Criminologist Penny Green explains how states, entrusted to define crimes and enforce the laws that deter them, can themselves be complicit in the worst social harms. Professor Green is director of the International State Crime Initiative, which seeks to understand how states can become perpetrators rather than protectors, and how civil society groups can be enlisted to fight back. Presented by Lynne Haultain.

#382      33 min 27 sec
Going viral: Global food security under threat from crop and livestock diseases

Prof John Fazakerley

Virologist and infectious diseases expert Prof John Fazakerley details the myriad threats to the global food supply from pathogen infestations in crops and livestock, and how new genetic and surveillance technologies are lending hope to keeping them in check. Presented by Dr Andi Horvath.

#381      28 min 36 sec
Let's get physical: Designing cities with our health in mind

Prof Mark Stevenson

Urban public health researcher Prof Mark Stevenson describes the better human health outcomes to be had in cities that emphasize active transport modes like cycling and walking, while discouraging dependence on cars. Presented by Lynne Haultain.