Ambitious thinking unveiled

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Rosenberg said the program will create conversations around new ideas, ‘Big FAT Ideas aims to encourage audiences to engage with issues and concepts they hadn’t explored before, or see familiar issues from a different point of view.’

10 am: Adapt or die: the last human species
Looking at the fate of our long-gone relatives shows us that being able to adapt to changing conditions is key to ongoing survival. With the reality of climate change and an expanding population now with us, how will our species survive and have we become too specialised already?
Dr Andy Herries
Australian Research Fellow, Head of Archaeomagnetism Laboratory, Archaeology

10.20 am: Sex education that works
Despite worry about the effects of sexualised media content on children, and a swathe of research that documents a less than healthy state of young people's sexual health, Australia has still not managed to implement comprehensive school sexuality education. If it takes a village to raise a child then what are our respective roles in educating children about matters of sex, wellbeing and personal safety?
Jenny Walsh
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Heath and Society

10.40 am: Boat people: Let's solve the real problem
We spend a lot of energy on keeping the fences up and the boats out but is that where our attention and resourcing should be? What could we do to contribute to a better life for these desperate people? Improving refugee protection and human security in the rest of our region might be a good start.
Dr Savitri Taylor
Associate Professor and Director of Research, School of Law

11 am: A 'super' drugs in sport policy
Performance enhancing drugs are a part of professional sport and despite harsh penalties for those who are caught, the incentive to outsmart detection remains high. Applying economic theory to this problem might help us develop an effective disincentive to cheat by implementing a superannuation style delay on prize money.
Dr Liam Lenten
Senior Lecturer, School of Economics

11.20 am: Wear your diamonds on the inside
Chemotherapy can be effective in killing cancer cells but the dosage has to be just right so as to be lethal to the cancer cells but not the host person! Monitoring internal conditions in order to make the call on dosage is currently problematic. Diamond could be the perfect biomedical material because it is so inert and doesn’t react with other entities. This big idea requires an equally large conceptual partner – obtaining the diagnostic information is one thing – getting that information to the doctor in real time is another!
Dr David Hoxley
Lecturer, School of Physics

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