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Interviews

Future Tense - Full program podcast

ABC Radio National

+14 FANS
A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.
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29:06 | Aug 11th

Netflix dominates online TV streaming, but for how long? Also, Cory Doctorow on how more government regulation could inadvertently make the tech giants even stronger.

29:05 | Sep 15th

Police officers in many  western countries now dress like paramilitaries. Special police units are being trained and organised along military lines and issued with military-grade weapons. Is this creeping “militarisation” justified and what are the f...Show More
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29:07 | Sep 8th

A tale of two media environments: in the US, journalistic freedom is increasingly under threat from demonising rhetoric and the violent personal targeting of reporters; while in Ethiopia, the country’s new leader has opened the gate to press freedom....Show More

29:05 | Sep 1st

Get an update on Google’s controversial proposal to take over the construction and regulation of a section of Toronto; learn about how the ancient Athenians used Tragedy to guide their future decision-making and follow the rush to develop low-orbit s...Show More

29:06 | Aug 25th

Why do we see the past through rose-coloured glasses, but not the future? Psychologists tell us that human beings have a tendency to be fearful and pessimistic about the future, while simultaneously romanticising the past. If the theory is true, it m...Show More

29:07 | Aug 18th

Nature Based Solutions is an environmental approach that seeks to counter the negative effects of climate change by working with nature.

29:06 | Aug 4th

The world of classical music is changing. Some are predicting the demise of orchestral events. Others see opportunity in social media and a new sense of engagement between the audience and musicians.

29:06 | Jul 28th

Countercultural movements, like Occupy Wall Street, are meant to be future-focussed — revolutionary even. So why do they often fade into commercialism? Are they simply a function of consumer capitalism? If so, what future do they have? And must they ...Show More

29:07 | Jul 21st

The CIA’s former counterintelligence chief warns Western spy agencies are being “overwhelmed” by their adversaries. And new surveillance technologies could spell the death of the traditional agent-in-the-field. The future of espionage looks problemat...Show More

29:05 | Jul 14th

Automation and outsourcing are dirty words for many people in Western countries worried about their future employment prospects. Developing countries are seen to be the major beneficiaries of off-shore labour, with multinationals hoovering up increas...Show More

29:06 | Jul 7th

The dystopian best-seller 1984 was published exactly seventy years ago. Its influence has been profound. But does it really speak to today’s politico-cultural environment?

29:08 | Jun 30th

Many Western governments continue to struggle with free speech. It’s not that they’re necessarily against it, it’s just that they don’t know how to effectively regulate out the offensive stuff.

29:06 | Jun 23rd

Our emotions are being manipulated, hacked and shared like never before. So what does this mean for their future, our relationships and the technology that's reading them?

29:07 | Jun 16th

Are entrepreneurs the great innovators we’re told they are? What if the ideal of the lone genius is simply a myth? Innovation is a buzz term that’s become so over-used as to be almost meaningless. It’s time to be more innovative in our understanding ...Show More

29:07 | Jun 9th

Corruption exists in every country in the world. It’s estimated that around $US2 trillion is lost each year to bribes globally. It not only corrodes societies, it also steals their future potential. Yet we struggle to understand its nature and how to...Show More

29:05 | Jun 2nd

Some of the world’s largest and most influential companies make no profit. They are monopolistic in intent and very future focussed - they favour growth over profitability. So, do they represent a new stage of capitalism, or a dangerous aberration?

29:05 | May 26th

Hear about a plan to turn the air-conditioners of the world into a network of carbon-sucking fuel producers. Learn about a new licencing system for open-source seeds. Get the low down on who really lives in “tiny houses” and why.

29:05 | May 19th

Artificial intelligence is now even entering the classroom - where does this take us? Also, Wikipedia’s role in the dissemination of news – a robust platform for fact? Or an invitation to constant revisionism?

29:05 | May 12th

Analysts say that many countries and companies will soon be forced to make a decision between the Chinese version of the Internet and the liberal, Western model - both models have a very different underlaying philosophy and understanding of governanc...Show More

29:05 | May 5th

Advances in technology and medicine have been so great in recent decades that some scientists now believe we’ve altered the nature of evolution for plants and animals. Some even claim that it’s effectively stopped in humans.

29:07 | Apr 28th

Exponential urbanisation and automation look like making the future an increasingly rowdy place. We explore our changing attitudes to noise.

29:06 | Apr 21st

A lot of time and money is being spent trying to ensure the security of Artificial Intelligence systems, but what if you’re interested in tricking the system, not hacking it?

29:06 | Apr 14th

Commercial DNA research is booming. People are motivated not just to check for disease indicators but to search out unknown relatives and lost ancestors.

29:07 | Apr 7th

Once the preserve of tech companies and government agencies, hackathons are now being employed in the community sector to quickly develop and test blue-sky ideas and create innovation in the social welfare world.

29:06 | Mar 30th

Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service has been taken over by dummies (mannequins to be precise). It’s all part of the development of an immersive training facility to counter the tyrannies of distance.

29:05 | Mar 23rd

Critics say that the proliferation of modern, wafer-thin skyscrapers are symbols of rising urban inequality. Also: Are levels of density in our cities making us ill? And what's the impact of short-term letting on urban affordability?

29:07 | Mar 16th

Voice-activated speakers are mostly being used to listen to music and check the weather. The Reuters Institute’s, Nic Newman, thinks that’s about to change. Also, have we just entered the “golden age” of podcasts?

29:06 | Mar 9th

Luxembourg is just about to make its public transport free. The first country (albeit a small one) to do so. But do the promises of a cleaner, less congested urban environment really stack-up?

29:06 | Mar 2nd

An emphasis on merit is often seen as the answer to inequality. Some argue merit should be used to guide all forms of political, economic and social progress. But who determines what is meritorious? And is it possible to build a genuinely meritocrati...Show More

29:06 | Feb 23rd

Only about nine per cent of the ocean floor has been mapped using high-definition technology. But a new global initiative aims to change that. It’s called the Seabed 2030 Project. Also, how viable is seabed mining? And will climate change see the Arc...Show More

29:04 | Feb 16th

Google+ will soon be shut down. So why did the social network fail? And what does its demise tell us about social platforms in general? Also, understanding the real history of our current data privacy dilemma; and why the tech titans of today look a ...Show More

28:52 | Feb 9th

Street artists are busy commandeering as many city surfaces as their paints will allow, authorities are trying to neutralise the threat, while advertising agencies are keen to clone the potency of hand painted art.

28:52 | Feb 2nd

Autonomous weapons are on the march. Response speeds are everything. But in the heat of battle, ultrafast algorithmic decision-making can prove a curse, not a blessing.

28:52 | Jan 26th

It’s a golden time for Antarctic research, with more and more countries taking a direct interest in the great southern continent. But suspicions abound as to the real motivations of key Antarctic players.

29:07 | Jan 19th

The future of diplomacy: Backroom manoeuvrings are giving way to public forums. And carefully laid plans can come unstuck with a single tweet.

29:07 | Jan 12th

Diplomacy is often viewed as a way of smoothing the friction points between states, but international relations are becoming increasingly assertive and highly personal.

29:06 | Jan 5th

Are the systems we’ve developed to enhance our lives now impairing our ability to distinguish between reality and falsity? Can teaching of ethics and critical thinking help lead us out of the shadowlands?

29:07 | Dec 29th, 2018

Are rituals still needed in a world mediated through digital devices? Rituals exist in our everyday life, as a way of helping us to make sense of the world.

28:58 | Dec 22nd, 2018

The GIF, this little looped video, is often misunderstood as a component of modern communication. It has an important role to play in making modern digital discussion smoother.

29:04 | Dec 15th, 2018

We hear about the EU-funded project Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law. We get up-to-date on a new data trust mark for Australian researchers. And we take you back to the Quayside 'Google' project in Toronto.

29:03 | Dec 8th, 2018

More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, but only around 2.5 percent is drinkable. In this episode we talk to various scientists engaged in making water out of thin air.

29:04 | Dec 1st, 2018

A cross between a bus and light rail promises better transport; humans are sounding more like bots online; and solar panels on roads might deliver more hype than energy.

29:06 | Nov 24th, 2018

What role has social media played in the rise of populist politics? Also, what responsibility should technology companies have in preventing the misuse of social media by political extremists?

29:04 | Nov 17th, 2018

Inclusive design isn’t just about meeting the needs of the disabled, it’s about opening-up the possibility of creating better products and services for everyone.

29:05 | Nov 10th, 2018

Smart phones have become an essential part of our lives. But are they so familiar, we sometimes underestimate their importance? The role they’ve played in helping to shape our interests and interactions?

29:06 | Nov 3rd, 2018

Parts of Australia were built on mining and coal-fired power-generation. Then they lost those industries. Future Tense looks as innovative ways to move forward.

28:57 | Oct 27th, 2018

E-sports – competitive video gaming – is set to leave traditional performance sport in its wake. Whether to recognise e-sports as a real sport is not the main issue any more; the main challenge is to create working governance structures.

28:57 | Oct 20th, 2018

How do you read? And how will you be reading in the future? Writers, journalists and publishers discuss the changing digital and literary world and how it could look in the years to come.

28:55 | Oct 13th, 2018

Future Tense looks at the seemingly lost art of listening - listening, not just hearing! And what being responsive can mean in the modern world.

28:57 | Oct 6th, 2018

It is time to put aside the novelty aspect of unmanned aerial vehicles and start designing domestic drones that are fit for purpose. But how do you regulate a technology that has so many different uses and such varying capacities?

28:57 | Sep 30th, 2018

The world of classical music is changing. Some are predicting the demise of orchestral events. Others see opportunity in social media and a new sense of engagement between the audience and musicians.

28:56 | Sep 23rd, 2018

A massive data project is underway in Europe. It aims to create a kind of “Google map of the past” – making the minutia of history as accessible as today's social media. Also, the results of a study  into geo-engineering and agriculture; and a new co...Show More

28:57 | Sep 16th, 2018

Across the western world populations are ageing. And that means what we eat needs to change in order to give us the best possible future.

28:59 | Sep 9th, 2018

Three perspectives on the power of Facebook and content platforms. Was Facebook’s current form inevitable? Can it be “constitutionalised”? And, understanding content moderation.

28:57 | Sep 2nd, 2018

Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used for decision making, and there are now fears about how that might impact on human rights.

28:56 | Aug 26th, 2018

Cross-laminated timber is becoming a construction staple and the towers of tomorrow may soon be predominantly built of wood. It's cheaper and faster.

28:52 | Aug 19th, 2018

Many countries now see great economic potential in space activity. Competition is increasing. Are we moving away from the notion that space is for all humankind? And is conflict in space inevitable?

48:59 | Aug 12th, 2018

Forget the humans versus machine dichotomy. Our relationship with technology is far more complicated than that. To understand AI, first we need to appreciate the role humans play in shaping it.

28:56 | Aug 5th, 2018

With big data and algorithms you could extend your 'virtual self' beyond the grave. And could meeting your future self help change your current behaviour?

28:56 | Jul 29th, 2018

US research says e-health data is particularly vulnerable to attack. The theory of the Extended Mind – should our tools be classified as a part of cognition. And forget the Anthropocene, we’re entering the Synthetic Age.

28:56 | Jul 22nd, 2018

The future of diplomacy: Backroom manoeuvrings are giving way to public forums. And carefully laid plans can come unstuck with a single tweet.

28:56 | Jul 15th, 2018

Diplomacy is often viewed as a way of smoothing the friction points between states, but international relations are becoming increasingly assertive and highly personal.

28:52 | Jul 8th, 2018

Even those who campaign against the overuse of plastic, argue for a more nuanced understanding of its role in our lives. Future Tense looks at these nuances.

28:56 | Jul 1st, 2018

The advantages of going cashless are many and well known. But in the race to a completely cashless future, what do we put at risk and who benefits most?

28:55 | Jun 24th, 2018

Interesting alternatives to current burial practices include freeze-drying and shattering a corpse; and dissolving bodies in purpose-built alkaline washing-machines.

28:56 | Jun 17th, 2018

Let's look at the virtue of sharing: How could sharing shape our future, and what do we stand to lose if we refuse to share?

28:56 | Jun 10th, 2018

Could a fixation with metrics distract and divert us from the real work at hand? And how bad is the Dark Web - really?

28:59 | Jun 3rd, 2018

"Good enough" solutions are damaging our ability to solve the major global problems of the world. And blockchain is revolutionising digital art.

28:52 | May 27th, 2018

In Canada, Google is set to re-develop and manage a large area of downtown Toronto. In China, the Communist Party government has been running trials on a personal rating scheme for all Chinese citizens.

28:52 | May 20th, 2018

Clive Hamilton says that the Communist Party leadership in Beijing has begun to subtly, and not so subtly, influence the political and social affairs of democratic nations.

28:52 | May 13th, 2018

Many believe that the future of activism relies on quiet persistence, targeted political involvement and an attitude that refuses to “look away”.

28:52 | May 6th, 2018

Nature Based Solutions is an environmental approach that seeks to counter the negative effects of climate change by working with nature.

28:52 | Apr 29th, 2018

Are rituals still needed in a world mediated through digital devices?

28:52 | Apr 22nd, 2018

We look at the political manoeuvrings of the major manufacturers, emerging competition from new players, and efforts to make the industry climate friendly.

28:52 | Apr 15th, 2018

Are the systems we’ve developed to enhance our lives now impairing our ability to distinguish between reality and falsity?

28:52 | Apr 8th, 2018

How do you correctly interpret a site that was initially unearthed so long ago? Modern archaeology provides new tools to chip away at the secret.

28:52 | Apr 1st, 2018

Green innovation comes in many forms. And promising project don't have to be big, they only have to make a start.

28:52 | Mar 24th, 2018

News organisations are struggling to engage with online readers and even “digital first” darlings, like Vice and Buzzfeed, are now losing profit and shedding staff.

58:58 | Mar 17th, 2018

What will future cities look like? How will they function and—importantly—how do we keep them focussed on human need?

28:52 | Mar 10th, 2018

What needs to change in order to restore the alliance as an effective military force?

28:52 | Mar 3rd, 2018

Has our contemporary embrace of disruption become a problem rather than a solution?

28:52 | Feb 24th, 2018

And how will Australian aid shape the future of the Pacific?

28:52 | Feb 17th, 2018

Future Tense looks at the rise of China as a mega-donor and efforts to improve global aid transparency and effectiveness.

57:35 | Feb 10th, 2018

In the race to take advantage of new technological possibilities in the workplace, is a focus on rights and responsibilities being neglected?

28:52 | Feb 3rd, 2018

The GIF, this little looped video, is often misunderstood as a component of modern communication.

28:52 | Jan 27th, 2018

We take a look at three sectors in which China is beginning to dominate: trade, artificial intelligence and energy.

28:52 | Jan 20th, 2018

Neuroscientist Robert Burton reckons our brains simply aren’t up to tackling the problems of the complexity of modern life. Could collective intelligence help?

28:52 | Jan 13th, 2018

Is democracy as we know it doomed? And could there be alternative forms of political representation?

28:51 | Jan 6th, 2018

Moving forward isn’t just about denouncing fake news and ignorance, it’s also about rethinking some of the assumptions we have around the ways in which we communicate and debate.

28:52 | Dec 30th, 2017

The ‘cult’ of happiness could be damaging to business performance and the sanity of employees. And research suggests that maintaining a level of pessimism in the workplace is actually beneficial to maintaining a corporate edge.

28:52 | Dec 23rd, 2017

Digital technology is opening up new relationships between humans and animals – instead of alienating us from nature as in the past.

28:52 | Dec 16th, 2017

Ethical principles for algorithmic decision making; more women in the tech industry; inclusion in AI and design - these of all issues of increasing significance in the future.

28:52 | Dec 9th, 2017

There are more than 10,000 mental health apps on the market, but only a fraction have been scientifically evaluated.

28:52 | Dec 2nd, 2017

What is the relationship between depression and digital technology?

28:52 | Nov 25th, 2017

Are old expectations and strategies prolonging our military conflicts? And is ISIS winning the cyber war?

28:52 | Nov 18th, 2017

Cryptocurrencies enable us to transfer money with no fees and no bank, instantly. This is just the beginning of what digital currencies and blockchain technology can do.

28:52 | Nov 11th, 2017

Are cyber insurance policies too complicated? Could identification technology prevent drones from flying into areas they shouldn't? And could private gardens help solve the refugee housing crisis in Europe?

28:52 | Nov 4th, 2017

Inclusive design isn’t just about meeting the needs of the disabled, it’s about opening-up the possibility of creating better products and services for everyone.

28:52 | Oct 28th, 2017

Public universities increasingly look and sound like corporations. But is it time to refocus on teaching priorities?

28:52 | Oct 21st, 2017

Many believe that the future of activism relies on quiet persistence, targeted political involvement and an attitude that refuses to “look away”.

28:52 | Oct 14th, 2017

Islam-focussed start-ups often find it difficult to attract venture capital. We’ll explore the reasons why and the potential for development.

28:52 | Oct 7th, 2017

It’s a “wicked” problem: how to safeguard individual privacy in a world that now runs on the trade of personal data.

28:52 | Sep 30th, 2017

The franchise model is on the rise and it’s moving beyond fast food and coffee outlets. We ask why? Is there more to it than a simple secret love of conformity?

28:52 | Sep 24th, 2017

As technology has become more sophisticated, its use by the perpetrators of domestic violence has only increased. But the Smart Home also has the potential to make the home a safer place.

28:52 | Sep 17th, 2017

Future Tense highlights several innovative projects designed to help build fish farming systems that are green, clean and more efficient.

28:52 | Sep 10th, 2017

We are increasingly being policed by robots. What are the implications? And what's the latest in solar technology?

28:51 | Sep 3rd, 2017

Surfers now attract multi-million dollar sponsors and surfing is to become an Olympic discipline. But how will this change the sport?

28:52 | Aug 27th, 2017

The sheer scope and volume of data now available has seen human rights archivists forced to rethink the way they do things.

28:52 | Aug 20th, 2017

Why robotics needs to be as much about ethics, accountability and psychology as technology.

29:29 | Aug 13th, 2017

Does the digital world fall short of what it initially promised?

28:52 | Aug 6th, 2017

Prisons of the future focus on rehabilitation - not retribution. And what if new technology could keep offenders in their own homes and prevent them from committing new crimes?

28:52 | Jul 30th, 2017

The cruise line industry is booming. The bigger the boats, the larger the profits. But what, if any, are the engineering and environmental limits?

28:52 | Jul 23rd, 2017

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.

28:52 | Jul 16th, 2017

Digital technology is opening up new relationships between humans and animals – instead of alienating us from nature as in the past.

28:52 | Jul 9th, 2017

The “One Health” movement is about understanding the connection between the human condition and the health of the environment.

28:52 | Jul 2nd, 2017

Failure, disaster and challenges - it's all part of human nature and the future.

28:52 | Jun 25th, 2017

Algorithms use your data to determine the maximum you as an individual are prepared to pay products and services. And - should Artificial Intelligence be granted legal rights?

28:52 | Jun 18th, 2017

Neuroscientist Robert Burton reckons our brains simply aren’t up to tackling the problems of the complexity of modern life. Could collective intelligence help?

28:52 | Jun 11th, 2017

Is democracy as we know it doomed? And could there be alternative forms of political representation?

28:52 | Jun 4th, 2017

What can unions do to transform themselves to meet the new realities of the 21st century?

28:52 | May 28th, 2017

Australia is now one of the least unionised countries in the OECD. What's behind the union movement's decline and what factors impede its future?

28:52 | May 21st, 2017

Do temporary outlets suit our social media times and are they the perfect mid-point between the online experience and traditional bricks and mortar?

28:51 | May 14th, 2017

Moving forward isn’t just about denouncing fake news and ignorance, it’s also about rethinking some of the assumptions we have around the ways in which we communicate and debate.

28:51 | May 7th, 2017

High speed trains travelling in a vacuum tube and planes that take off from a donut-shaped runway – rethinking the way we travel.

28:52 | Apr 30th, 2017

Building Wellness - it's a new trend aiming to ensure that the buildings we work and live in actively improve human health and well-being.

30:26 | Apr 23rd, 2017

Could a 24-hour economy improve your quality of life? Edwina Stott takes a look at our perceptions of the night, and how round-the-clock neighbourhoods could look and function.

28:52 | Apr 16th, 2017

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.

28:52 | Apr 9th, 2017

Voice operated devices and software are popping up everywhere. Is the nature of computer-human interaction changing?

28:52 | Apr 2nd, 2017

If your car won’t work without the software that controls the engine, does it really make sense to talk of owning the vehicle? And what if you could repair your smartphone, but you're not allowed to?

28:52 | Mar 25th, 2017

We're discovering new species at an accelerating rate. The disposable cardboard glider or the living transport system? Not quite, they're something completely different.

28:52 | Mar 18th, 2017

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?

28:52 | Mar 11th, 2017

Would you like to extend your 'virtual self' beyond the grave? And could meeting your future self help change your current behaviour?

29:21 | Mar 4th, 2017

Social media is old enough now that it’s had to incorporate the reality of death: personal profiles are turned into memorial sites; recordings serve as a last avenue for goodbyes and images increasingly make us a witness to death itself.

28:52 | Feb 25th, 2017

From ultrasound screen shots to online memorial sites, the image reflects our future potential, our current existence and our memory.

28:52 | Feb 18th, 2017

Find out why play is not just unstructured activity and why we are so obsessed with time. And get some old advice for living in the modern world.

28:52 | Feb 11th, 2017

The ‘cult’ of happiness could be damaging to business performance and the sanity of employees. And research suggests that maintaining a level of pessimism in the workplace is actually beneficial to maintaining a corporate edge.

28:52 | Feb 4th, 2017

In which ways is poetry being used in the modern world? And can the very human quality of poetry survive the development of non-human poets?

28:52 | Jan 28th, 2017

We're all complicit in spreading ignorance. And unless we understand the forces that actively generate ignorance we have little hope of overcoming it.

28:52 | Jan 21st, 2017

Algae could be the food and fuel source of the future. And you can even make surfboards out of the stuff!

28:52 | Jan 14th, 2017

Seed banks around the world aim to preserve the genetic basis of plant life in order to help humans adapt to future global climate change. We talk with several people involved in such endeavours, and we also meet American David Milarch who gives us a...Show More

28:52 | Jan 7th, 2017

A new field of research called Plant Neurobiology states that plants are intelligent - in their own way.

28:52 | Dec 31st, 2016

What role do traditional galleries and new online social platforms play in progressing digital art and serving the interests and needs of artists in the connected age?

28:52 | Dec 24th, 2016

How do we embrace the benefits of a world run on the power of attention/distraction without sending ourselves crazy or constantly diminishing our ability to get jobs done?

28:52 | Dec 17th, 2016

Automation isn’t just related to the factory floor or the supermarket checkout, it’s an essential part of all aspects of our digital lives.

28:52 | Dec 10th, 2016

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?

28:52 | Dec 3rd, 2016

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.

28:52 | Nov 26th, 2016

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.

28:52 | Nov 19th, 2016

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

27:51 | Nov 12th, 2016

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

28:52 | Nov 5th, 2016

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.

29:01 | Oct 29th, 2016

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?

29:13 | Oct 22nd, 2016

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.

29:22 | Oct 15th, 2016

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?

29:25 | Oct 8th, 2016

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

29:13 | Oct 1st, 2016

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?

28:38 | Sep 25th, 2016

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.

29:06 | Sep 18th, 2016

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

28:49 | Sep 11th, 2016

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

53:05 | Sep 10th, 2016

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?

28:49 | Sep 4th, 2016

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

29:21 | Aug 28th, 2016

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?

28:50 | Aug 21st, 2016

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?

28:50 | Aug 14th, 2016

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?

28:50 | Aug 7th, 2016

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 w...Show More

28:50 | Jul 31st, 2016

Digital news platforms are now losing their control over distribution to the goliaths of the online world – Facebook and Google. So what are the implications for the future of serious, civic journalism?

28:50 | Jul 24th, 2016

Future Tense looks at the regulatory framework that exists to guide CRISPR’s usage - and ponders ethical considerations.

28:50 | Jul 17th, 2016

Future Tense explores how CRISPR, a new genome-editing technology, is now being used to help fight human disease and to produce more resilient and nutritious crops.

28:50 | Jul 10th, 2016

There are so many more platforms available to writers these days and so many more ways in which to tell a story.

28:50 | Jul 3rd, 2016

Big data and its influence on sport – the good and the bad. And also why our 'collective memory' doesn’t always make a good base for predicting the future.

28:50 | Jun 26th, 2016

The fine line between truth and falsity is now multi-layered; and there’s also more deceit and outright lies about – or so it seems.

28:50 | Jun 19th, 2016

Discovering the flaws that limit the adoption of blockchain technology; acting against the digital threat to Australia's culture; and regaining personal agency through the way you speak.

43:36 | Jun 12th, 2016

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality open up new possibilities for a tailored and personalised experience, enhancing interaction, understanding and engagement.

28:50 | Jun 5th, 2016

The cruise line industry is booming. The bigger the boats, the larger the profits. But what, if any, are the engineering and environmental limits?

28:50 | May 29th, 2016

How do we embrace the benefits of a world run on the power of attention/distraction without sending ourselves crazy or constantly diminishing our ability to get jobs done?

29:09 | May 22nd, 2016

On how people can improve their decision-making skills by thinking a little bit more like computers; how young children can learn computer programming with wooden toy blocks; and how visually-impaired people can make better use of digital technology.

29:09 | May 15th, 2016

Researchers around the globe believe the development of a functioning Quantum computer is now within reach. So what exactly would a quantum computer do and who would use it?

28:50 | May 8th, 2016

Three thinkers join us to share their thoughts on modern life and our relationship with technology – a futurist, a neuroscientist and an historian...

28:50 | May 1st, 2016

Engineers at Imperial College London have come up with the design and engineering specifications for a giant futuristic flying boat – one that could carry up to 2,000 passengers.

28:50 | Apr 24th, 2016

Algae could be the food and fuel source of the future. And you can even make surfboards out of the stuff!

29:20 | Apr 17th, 2016

A new OECD definition of development aid now includes more forms of military assistance and measures to house and process refugees within a member state’s own borders. So what's the future of aid?

28:50 | Apr 10th, 2016

What role do traditional galleries and new online social platforms play in progressing digital art and serving the interests and needs of artists in the connected age?

28:50 | Apr 3rd, 2016

What will future cities look like? How will they function and – importantly – how do we keep them focussed on human need?

28:50 | Mar 26th, 2016

We make many things out of glass: window-panes, bottles, fish-tanks and even roads – yes, roads!

28:50 | Mar 19th, 2016

Does the digital world fall short of what it initially promised?

28:50 | Mar 12th, 2016

So-called ‘organoids’, miniature body parts, help to meet the ever increasing demand for transplant organs and supplement human donations. Future Tense presents new organ transplant technology research.

29:19 | Mar 5th, 2016

A new field of research called Plant Neurobiology states that plants are intelligent - in their own way.

28:50 | Feb 27th, 2016

Neil Selwyn is a digital technology researcher who argues for a more nuanced discussion around the role of technology in the classroom.

29:20 | Feb 20th, 2016

Our obsession with rating everything from products to meals and performance has a huge economic impact. But what are the limits? In China, they’ve begun implementing a ‘social credit system’.

29:20 | Feb 13th, 2016

City living is increasingly a vertical experience. The more our major urban centres expand, the more they also seem to stretch into the sky.

29:19 | Feb 6th, 2016

In this episode we get an update on usage trends for digital devices; speak about online privacy and the law; and find out about the online art project that went from celebration to critique.

29:06 | Jan 30th, 2016

On the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen they’ve built a vast concrete bunker - a huge seed vault buried deep into the permafrost and designed to help protect the genetic diversity of our plants and crops.

29:19 | Jan 23rd, 2016

They infuriate some and delight others, but whether you like them or not, Emoji are certainly getting harder to ignore.

29:19 | Jan 16th, 2016

The technological progress of flight has been pretty amazing.

29:20 | Jan 9th, 2016

We might not give it much thought, but how we move is naturally predetermined. Left to our own devices we don’t usually walk in straight lines or make 90 degree turns, so why do so many architects and urban planners still favour grids and sharp angle...Show More

29:20 | Jan 2nd, 2016

Author Paul Bogard worries that we’re losing our sense of darkness, that our taste for banishing the night is turning Earth into the planet that never sleeps. In Europe and North America the amount of light in the night sky continues to increase by a...Show More

29:19 | Dec 26th, 2015

Our social media platforms encourage us to opinionate, to share, to show and to engage - but rarely do they encourage us to listen.

29:20 | Dec 19th, 2015

Data science has been described in the Harvard Business Review as the “sexiest job of the 21st Century”. Analysis of large, diverse and evolving data sets is increasingly used to draw conclusions about individuals, communities and the societies in wh...Show More

29:19 | Dec 12th, 2015

In this edition of Future Tense we speak with three researchers exploring some of the less obvious aspects of change over time - concerning people, identity and attitude.

29:19 | Dec 5th, 2015

Fans have long had a role in influencing and in some cases helping to shape the works of popular culture they adore. But when they get restless in the modern age, they now have the resources to take a piece of fiction and make it their own. Some cont...Show More

29:19 | Nov 28th, 2015

Online information security is estimated to be worth more than $75 billion annually. So why is the digital world still so fragile despite all that we’ve learnt about online fraud and malicious attacks?

29:20 | Nov 21st, 2015

Future Tense examines new trends in agricultural robotics - away from a mentality that heavy equipment means bigger yields.

29:20 | Nov 14th, 2015

There are many areas, such as dexterity and instinctive creativity, in which robots and programs still lag behind human capacity. Making them more like us is a threatening proposition for some, but it’s crucial if machines are to fulfil their promis...Show More

29:19 | Nov 7th, 2015

People like entrepreneur Richard Branson love to talk up the potential of super fast flight: London to Sydney in just two hours. But there’s a lot of work still to be done on engine design if such ambitions are ever to be realised. Hypersonics is an ...Show More

29:20 | Oct 31st, 2015

This week on Future Tense we meet the time-travelling software developer using immersive technology to recreate Australia prior to 1788; we hear about an innovative program to get young girls interested in science and tech by bringing out their inner...Show More

29:19 | Oct 24th, 2015

Virtual Reality is not a new technology, it’s been around in various forms for decades, but enthusiasts believe it’s now on the cusp of a golden age.

29:20 | Oct 17th, 2015

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?

29:20 | Oct 10th, 2015

Curtin University’s Peter Newman has some good news on the environmental front – car usage across the world has peaked and is now on the decline. But, says Newman, unless we start changing the way we design our cities we may end up squandering time a...Show More

29:20 | Oct 3rd, 2015

Identity and citizenship have always been malleable social and political constructs. In the 21st century it seems they’re changing again - and in interesting ways.

29:20 | Sep 27th, 2015

Preparing for the Apocalypse might sound extreme, but should we all be better prepared for impending disaster?

29:20 | Sep 20th, 2015

These days many of us dice and slice the population according to age cohort. If you were born between a certain set of dates you’re a Baby Boomer, or a member of Generations X or Y. They’re constructs, naturally enough, but are they useful and if so...Show More

29:20 | Sep 13th, 2015

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute there are currently around 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with approximately 1800 of them kept in a state of ‘high operational alert’. How serious is the risk of a future nuclear...Show More

29:19 | Sep 6th, 2015

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 w...Show More

29:20 | Aug 30th, 2015

Two quite different topics on Future Tense today. First, examples of new technologies helping police fight crime. And then the ‘Silicon Valley oligarchs’: How companies like UBER represent a threat to competitive capitalism and the rights of workers.

29:19 | Aug 23rd, 2015

The idea is simple enough: to harness the power of big data for the betterment of law enforcement.