Future Tense - Full program podcast
The smart home as a safer space
September 23rd, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
Fishing for better food solutions
September 16th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Future Tense highlights several innovative projects designed to help build fish farming systems that are green, clean and more efficient.
Robot cops, Solar paint and Solar roads
September 9th, 2017, 06:30 PM
We are increasingly being polices by robots. What are the implications? And what's the latest in solar technology?
The future of surfing
September 2nd, 2017, 06:30 PM
Surfers now attract multi-dollar sponsors and surfing is to become an Olympic discipline. But how will this change the sport?
Human rights and the archiving opportunities and challenges of the digital world
August 26th, 2017, 06:30 PM
The sheer scope and volume of data now available has seen human rights archivists forced to rethink the way they do things.
Robots, AI and ethics
August 19th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Why robotics needs to be as much about ethics, accountability and psychology as technology.
Throwing rocks at the Google bus
August 12th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Does the digital world fall short of what it initially promised?
A future of reform, not retribution
August 5th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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?
Cruising into the future - and the true cost of living digital
July 29th, 2017, 06:30 PM
The cruise line industry is booming. The bigger the boats, the larger the profits. But what, if any, are the engineering and environmental limits?
How to make spaghetti bolognese
July 22nd, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
Animals and technology
July 15th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Digital technology is opening up new relationships between humans and animals – instead of alienating us from nature as in the past.
One Health, many threats
July 8th, 2017, 06:30 PM
The “One Health” movement is about understanding the connection between the human condition and the health of the environment.
The problem with “humanity”, a museum of failure and cracking a medieval code
July 1st, 2017, 06:30 PM
Failure, disaster and challenges - it's all part of human nature and the future.
Dynamic pricing - and should AI be granted “legal personhood”?
June 24th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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?
How to problem solve - the ultimate problem
June 17th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Neuroscientist Robert Burton reckons our brains simply aren’t up to tackling the problems of the complexity of modern life. Could collective intelligence help?
What future democracy?
June 10th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Is democracy as we know it doomed? And could there be alternative forms of political representation?
Unions, freelance workers and Codetermination
June 3rd, 2017, 06:30 PM
What can unions do to transform themselves to meet the new realities of the 21st century?
Unions and the future of employee representation
May 27th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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?
Pop-up culture
May 20th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Do temporary outlets suit our social media times and are they the perfect mid-point between the online experience and traditional bricks and mortar?
Chatting with heretics
May 13th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
Hyperloops and circular runways
May 6th, 2017, 06:30 PM
High speed trains travelling in a vacuum tube and planes that take off from a donut-shaped runway – rethinking the way we travel.
Building Wellness
April 29th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
The 24-hour city
April 22nd, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
Your personal brand
April 15th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
Talking with machines
April 8th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Voice operated devices and software are popping up everywhere. Is the nature of computer-human interaction changing?
The end of ownership, iFixit and real-time encryption
April 1st, 2017, 06:30 PM
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?
A new age of discovery, cardboard gliders and the Living Transport Lab
March 25th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
What do we mean by innovation?
March 18th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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?
Augmented eternity and the potential of prediction
March 11th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Would you like to extend your 'virtual self' beyond the grave? And could meeting your future self help change your current behaviour?
Witnessing, death and memory
March 4th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
From before the cradle to after the grave – the power of the image
February 25th, 2017, 06:30 PM
From ultrasound screen shots to online memorial sites, the image reflects our future potential, our current existence and our memory.
Time, play and a word from Lord Russell
February 18th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
Is happiness vastly overrated?
February 11th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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.
Poetry in motion
February 4th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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?
Agnotology: understanding our ignorance
January 28th, 2017, 06:30 PM
We're all complicit in spreading ignorance. And unless we understand the forces that actively generate ignorance we have little hope of overcoming it.
Re-imagining algae
January 21st, 2017, 06:30 PM
Algae could be the food and fuel source of the future. And you can even make surfboards out of the stuff!
Plants and preservation
January 14th, 2017, 06:30 PM
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 lesson in how to clone a giant Californian Redwood.
Underestimated plants
January 7th, 2017, 06:30 PM
A new field of research called Plant Neurobiology states that plants are intelligent - in their own way.
Art and the Connected Future
December 31st, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
Attention / distraction
December 24th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
Automating the everyday
December 17th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Mini-brains revisited; the power of infographics; and future-focussed decision making
December 10th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
December 3rd, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
November 26th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
November 19th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
November 12th, 2016, 06:30 PM
Transparent wood and cement generated by bacteria - New materials promise to change the way we build houses in the future.
Issues of digital security
November 5th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
October 29th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
October 22nd, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
October 15th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
October 8th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
October 1st, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
September 24th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
September 17th, 2016, 06:30 PM
When fabric becomes futuristic: a 'gravity loading' space suit, electronic temporary tattoos, sweat eating sportswear and kombucha leather.
New directions for brain research
September 10th, 2016, 06:30 PM
Is it possible to modify the brain through exercise, implants or even electricity?
BWF: A conversation exploring personal, community and social histories.
September 10th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
September 3rd, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
August 27th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
August 20th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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
August 13th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
August 6th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
The post journalistic world
July 30th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
CRISPR – part two
July 23rd, 2016, 06:30 PM
Future Tense looks at the regulatory framework that exists to guide CRISPR’s usage - and ponders ethical considerations.
The CRISPR breakthrough
July 16th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Three perspectives on the future of storytelling
July 9th, 2016, 06:30 PM
There are so many more platforms available to writers these days and so many more ways in which to tell a story. 
Big data and its influence on sport
July 2nd, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Are our perceptions of honesty changing?
June 25th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Blockchain, the Age of Fang and being careless with language
June 18th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Next Gen Tech – Beyond the Screen
June 11th, 2016, 06:30 PM
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality open up new possibilities for a tailored and personalised experience, enhancing interaction, understanding and engagement.
Cruising into the future - and the true cost of living digital
June 4th, 2016, 06:30 PM
The cruise line industry is booming. The bigger the boats, the larger the profits. But what, if any, are the engineering and environmental limits?
Attention/distraction
May 28th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
The human side of computing
May 21st, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
The quest for Quantum
May 14th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
Digital vs Human
May 7th, 2016, 06:30 PM
Three thinkers join us to share their thoughts on modern life and our relationship with technology – a futurist, a neuroscientist and an historian...
Great big boats in the sky
April 30th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Re-imagining algae
April 23rd, 2016, 06:30 PM
Algae could be the food and fuel source of the future. And you can even make surfboards out of the stuff!
The changing face of development aid
April 16th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
Art and the Connected Future
April 9th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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?
Catching up with the Jetsons: cities in 2050
April 2nd, 2016, 06:30 PM
What will future cities look like? How will they function and – importantly – how do we keep them focussed on human need?
The road to the future
March 26th, 2016, 06:30 PM
We make many things out of glass: window-panes, bottles, fish-tanks and even roads – yes, roads!
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
March 19th, 2016, 06:30 PM
Does the digital world fall short of what it initially promised?
Biofabricating organs
March 12th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Underestimated plants
March 5th, 2016, 06:30 PM
A new field of research called Plant Neurobiology states that plants are intelligent - in their own way.
Lessons from the digital classroom
February 27th, 2016, 06:30 PM
Neil Selwyn is a digital technology researcher who argues for a more nuanced discussion around the role of technology in the classroom.
Rate, rank, review and measure
February 20th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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’.
A very pointy future
February 13th, 2016, 06:30 PM
City living is increasingly a vertical experience. The more our major urban centres expand, the more they also seem to stretch into the sky.
Living a digital life and some of the questions it raises
February 6th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
Plants and preservation
January 30th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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.
The language of Emoji
January 23rd, 2016, 06:30 PM
They infuriate some and delight others, but whether you like them or not, Emoji are certainly getting harder to ignore.
Flight of fancy
January 16th, 2016, 06:30 PM
The technological progress of flight has been pretty amazing.
Crowds and motion
January 9th, 2016, 06:30 PM
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 angles?
Into the light
January 2nd, 2016, 06:30 PM
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 around 6% a year.
Listening and responding
December 26th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Our social media platforms encourage us to opinionate, to share, to show and to engage - but rarely do they encourage us to listen.
We’re all data now: What Big Data could mean for law & policy
December 19th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 which they live.
Language, accents and we are what we eat
December 12th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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.
Fan culture and co-creation
December 5th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 content producers find that assertive approach threatening. But others, particularly in the gaming sector, have begun to embrace it.
Bug bounties and pentesting: the Wild West of online security
November 28th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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?
Robotic agriculture and swarming with bees
November 21st, 2015, 06:30 PM
Future Tense examines new trends in agricultural robotics - away from a mentality that heavy equipment means bigger yields.
Making machines more like us
November 14th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 promise.
Scramjets and the promise of hypersonic flight
November 7th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 increasingly competitive field of aeronautics with numerous research institutes across the world also chasing the promise of super-fast flight.
Future Tense - 2015-11-01
October 31st, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 superhero; and we explore the relationship we have with mobile devices.
Virtual Reality, real world trauma
October 24th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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.
Designing for Serendipity
October 17th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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?
From ‘peak car’ to the age of plastic
October 10th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 and resources.
Identity and citizenship
October 3rd, 2015, 06:30 PM
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.
Meet the Preppers
September 26th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Preparing for the Apocalypse might sound extreme, but should we all be better prepared for impending disaster?
The generation game
September 19th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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, for whom?
The danger of a future nuclear winter
September 12th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 conflict? And, given international tensions, is any hope of disarmament completely off the table?
Does handwriting have a future?
September 5th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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.
Future Tense - 2015-08-30
August 29th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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.
Predictive Policing: putting data on the beat
August 22nd, 2015, 06:30 PM
The idea is simple enough: to harness the power of big data for the betterment of law enforcement.
Forests and the future – Part Two
August 15th, 2015, 06:30 PM
In part two of our look at forests and the future we talk with Jenny Springer, Director of Global Programs at the Washington-based Rights and Resources Initiative. Her organisation is focussed on ensuring the rights of indigenous forest dwellers to retain their livelihoods.
If the forests turn REDD
August 8th, 2015, 06:30 PM
It’s called REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. And with a name like that it could only ever have been a creation of the United Nations.
Challenging assumptions
August 1st, 2015, 06:30 PM
Sometimes in order to progress, we need to shake things up a bit, re-work our arguments or turn orthodoxies on their head.
Archaeology: current threats, future possibilities
July 25th, 2015, 06:30 PM
There’s good news and bad news in the world of archaeology.
Online Comments – the view from the trenches
July 18th, 2015, 06:30 PM
In part two of our look at online comments and cyber civility (or the lack there of) we hear from two leading media industry practitioners:
Online Comments - a "wicked" problem
July 11th, 2015, 06:30 PM
It's a "wicked" problem, says social technologist Suw Charman-Anderson. That is, the lack of civility online when people leave comments. 
The road to the future
July 4th, 2015, 06:30 PM
We make many things out of glass: window-panes, bottles, fish-tanks and even roads – yes, roads!
Listening and responding
June 27th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Our social media platforms encourage us to opinionate, to share, to show and to engage - but rarely do they encourage us to listen.
Watching the disruptors and Project Eden
June 20th, 2015, 06:30 PM
New research from the University of Sydney Business School looks at why established industries are so ineffective at dealing with digital disruptors like Uber, Airbnb and iTunes.
Future taboo
June 13th, 2015, 06:30 PM
At any given point in time certain acts or beliefs are considered so outside the bounds of acceptable custom or behaviour that society moves to prohibit them. 
Future Tense at Remix 2015
June 6th, 2015, 06:30 PM
This week Future Tense takes you to the 2015 Remix Summit in Sydney for a panel discussion entitled...
When the *%#^ hits the fan!
May 30th, 2015, 06:30 PM
We humans are a particularly wasteful lot.
Dingoes, desalinators and a damn good roof!
May 23rd, 2015, 06:30 PM
What do dingoes, ‘green roofs’ and a small steam-driven desalinator have in common?
Prediction part two: We’ll all be ruined!
May 16th, 2015, 06:30 PM
That so many pollsters, politicians and political pundits got the results of the recent UK election so incredibly wrong tells us much about the ongoing perils of prediction.
The prediction predicament
May 9th, 2015, 06:30 PM
This isn’t just the information age, it’s the age of prediction.
Soft power with Chinese characteristics
May 2nd, 2015, 06:30 PM
China is already a significant economic and political force, but it also wants to be a cultural leader.
The language of Emoji
April 25th, 2015, 06:30 PM
They infuriate some and delight others, but whether you like them or not, Emoji are certainly getting harder to ignore.
Mercenary world – Part Two
April 18th, 2015, 06:30 PM
A Federal District Court in Washington has just convicted four former US mercenaries for the 2007 killing of innocent civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.
The market for mercenaries
April 11th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Mercenaries, private military contractors, commercial combatants – what you call them depends on your ethical viewpoint (and whether or not you’ve just hired some to supplement your own military forces).
The future is rubbish
April 4th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Increasingly the things we throw away have value. In a consumerist world, with diminishing resources, rubbish is being recycled like never before. The recycling industry is now worth $US500 billion a year and it employs more people worldwide than any other industry except agriculture. Trash is no longer just an environmental problem, it’s an economic opportunity.
Flight of fancy
March 28th, 2015, 06:30 PM
The technological progress of flight has been pretty amazing.
Crowds and motion
March 21st, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 angles?
A gamble on the future
March 14th, 2015, 06:30 PM
These are boom times for the gambling industry – and not just online, as one might expect.
Into the light
March 7th, 2015, 06:30 PM
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 around 6% a year.
Kill switches, solar soldiers and the campaign to stop killer robots
February 28th, 2015, 06:30 PM
How is it that one can disable a lost iPhone, but not a piece of military hardware that’s inadvertently fallen into the hands of an insurgent? That’s a question Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain has been pondering and his solution is to call for future weapons to be made with an inbuilt ‘kill switch’.
A piece of the Sun
February 21st, 2015, 06:30 PM
Construction has begun on a giant $US 20 billion nuclear reactor in southern France. When it’s completed in 2020 it will represent the latest experimental stage in a decades-long quest to mimic the energy generation of the Sun.
The future hero
February 14th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Can heroism be taught? What about combat medals for drone operators, or socially engineered moral crusaders? In this episode we explore how our notions of heroism are changing and who, or what, could be the “hero” of the future.
Salad days for satire
February 7th, 2015, 06:30 PM
It’s hardly a golden age for politics, but business is certainly booming for the satirist.
The power of the city
January 31st, 2015, 06:30 PM
The nation-state is a relatively recent invention – historically speaking. But there are those who believe it’s better days are already far behind it.
Playing in the digital age
January 24th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Does a sense of playfulness underpin the modern world? From information sharing to social activism to business training, the dynamics of play are increasingly important in our rapidly evolving world.
Memory, photography and social media
January 17th, 2015, 06:30 PM
Our relationship with photography has changed in the social media age. We take, alter, crop and share photos like never before. And we use them as badges – symbols of who we are and how we feel. Of course, the photograph has always been more than just a captured image, a simple record of times instantly passed. But in the modern era is the photo more message than memory?
The ideas festival of the Future
January 10th, 2015, 06:30 PM
The idea of having an ideas festival is a popular idea indeed. But the idea that they’re universally ideal as a way of fostering creative new ideas is an idea that’s hotly contested. Andrew Zolli, the curator of PopTech, has an idea that the popularity of the ideas event is linked to the idea that we still need to physically congregate together in order to create and share new ideas, even though we’re increasingly living in a digital age. But critic Eygeny Morovoz thinks Zolli and his ilk simply have no idea. Morozov argues the whole idea of idealising the idea of the idea is, to be quite frank about it, a really bad idea. And, more than that, he argues, it’s an idea whose time has past.
Being provocative in the modern world
January 3rd, 2015, 06:30 PM
Being provocative in the modern world.
Technology: the magic word!
December 27th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Arthur C. Clarke once declared: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’. But does the analogy work the other way around? Techno-illusionists like Marco Tempest argue magicians need to embrace new technologies in order to stay relevant to a 21st Century audience. But can the modern illusionist become too technologically focussed?
Advertising Part Two: The Millennials
December 20th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Jeffrey Cole, the Director of the Center for the Future at USC, Annenberg, calls them the most sophisticated media generation we’ve ever seen. They’re the ‘millennials’ and they’re every advertiser’s dream consumer.
Advertising: New tools, new expectations, new reality
December 13th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Advertising in the digital age is watching everything you do...
News in the age of digital disruption
December 6th, 2014, 06:30 PM
What will become of news in the digital age?
Meet the Preppers
November 29th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Preparing for the Apocalypse might sound extreme, but should we all be better prepared for impending disaster?
Science Fiction: Earth's repair manual?
November 22nd, 2014, 06:30 PM
Searching for gender equality, or economic security? Science Fiction allows us to dream up worlds that are possible.
Smart Cities, Digital Skins
November 15th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Imagine a city where everything from cars to street lights to traffic bridges are connected....
American Declinism: has collective fear finally become reality?
November 8th, 2014, 06:30 PM
With political deadlock in Washington, a hapless president, frustrated allies, and a failing sense of national self-confidence -- is America in its ultimate decline?
Humans and technology: two perspectives from two eminent thinkers
November 1st, 2014, 06:30 PM
In this edition of Future Tense we hear from two prominent thinkers on the intersection between humanity and technology.
After America: Who should govern the Internet?
October 25th, 2014, 06:30 PM
The United States has signalled its willingness to give up its unofficial stewardship role of the Internet. Who should take over, and who will?
Online Comments – the view from the trenches
October 18th, 2014, 06:30 PM
In part two of our look at online comments and cyber civility (or the lack there of) we hear from two leading media industry practitioners:
Online Comments - a "wicked" problem
October 11th, 2014, 06:30 PM
It's a "wicked" problem, says social technologist Suw Charman-Anderson. That is, the lack of civility online when people leave comments. 
Data-driven farming and prescriptive planting
October 4th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Censors are everywhere these days and in rural Tasmania they’re spreading across the farm. A project called Sense T has been collecting data on twenty farms around the island. They're looking for ways to improve productivity and ultimately crop yield. It’s all part of a growing move toward data-driven farming.
Citizens Juries and Deliberative Democracy
September 27th, 2014, 06:30 PM
There's a growing public disenchantment with the modern political process. But, here's a solution: Citizens’ Juries - ordinary people who are given the information and training to make decisions on civic issues.
Breaking up the NSA and going Mobile in Bhutan
September 20th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Breaking up the NSA. Going mobile in Bhutan.
Mapping oceans
September 6th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Most of us know more about other planets than the depths of the ocean. Despite covering nearly three quarters of the Earth, only around 5 per cent of the global ocean floor has been mapped in detail. And yet, with volcanoes, deep valleys, mountain peaks and vast plains, the topography of the ocean floor is as varied and magnificent as it is on land -- or on the surface of some celestial bodies. Jennifer Leake explores the challenges involved in mapping the underwater world and how developing a better understanding about what lies beneath the waves could help teach us about planet Earth.
Artificial photosynthesis
August 30th, 2014, 06:30 PM
What if humans could mimic the process that plants use to make energy, turning sunlight, water and carbon-dioxide into fuel? Around the world researchers are hard at work perfecting the science of Artificial Photosynthesis. The big challenge now is taking the work out of the lab and scaling it up.
The Sharing Economy
August 23rd, 2014, 06:30 PM
It sounds warm, fluffy and ethical - the ‘sharing economy’ - an alternative to turbo-driven commerce.
Future of psychiatry
August 16th, 2014, 06:30 PM
To understand the future direction of psychiatry you need to take a copy of the psychiatrists’ bible, the DSM – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – and throw it away!
Geo-engineering: the quick tech fix for climate change
August 9th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Geo-engineering: the quick tech fix for climate change.
Future Tense
August 2nd, 2014, 06:30 PM
Spectrum crunch and peak data. The Century Camera Project. Separating the wheat from the rice.
How Far From 1984?
July 26th, 2014, 06:30 PM
How far from 1984?
Automation, employment and a legal theory for ‘autonomous artificial agents’
July 19th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Automation, employment and a legal theory for 'autonomous artificial agents'.
Pump up the volume
July 12th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Pump up the Volume.
Food Futures - GOMA Talks
July 5th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Food Futures - GOMA Talks .
Perspectives on the power of provocation
June 28th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Perspectives on the power of provocation.
The MOOCs phenomenon, does it still have a pulse?
June 21st, 2014, 06:30 PM
The MOOCs phenomenon, does it still have a pulse?
Inside a biological heart and questioning innovation
June 14th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Inside DARPA’s biological heart. Questioning Innovation.
Gods, geeks and techno-worship
June 7th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Gods, geeks and techno-worship.
The Trouble with Facts
May 31st, 2014, 06:30 PM
The trouble with facts .
Civic Crowdfunding
May 24th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Civic Crowdfunding
Remix: Technology, creation and participation
May 17th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Remix: Technology, creation and participation.
Where Ideas Come From, the Extremely Large Telescope
May 10th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Where ideas come from. The Extremely Large Telescope.
The Arctic, Antarctic and geopolitics
May 3rd, 2014, 06:30 PM
Our polar regions are melting. It’s a serious environmental problem. But it’s also an economic opportunity for those with a geo-political stake in our northern and southern extremes. In the Arctic, Vladimir Putin dreams of creating a shipping lane to rival the Suez Canal. While in the Antarctic, China is busy making its presence felt by cutting the ribbon on yet another new research station. But is it all more than just political manoeuvring and international point-scoring? And what are the long-term environmental implications?
Underground farming, Law and Order's technology lessons and the sci-fi museum
April 26th, 2014, 06:30 PM
In the London district of Clapham they’re going underground – literally. The Zero Carbon Food company is converting an old World War II air-raid shelter into an underground market-garden. We also meet US academic and artist Jeff Thompson, who watched all 456 episodes of US TV series Law and Order- to try and chart the last twenty years of technological evolution. And we find out about the world's first science fiction museum.
The state of utopia
April 19th, 2014, 06:30 PM
We may not use the term very much these days, but we’re living slap bang in an age of utopian yearning, according to Professor Craig Bremner. He maintains utopian thought underpins modern advertising and even future city planning. Then there’s politics. The University of Wisconsin’s Erik Olin Wright runs the Real Utopias Project. We’ll meet him and find out how utopian imagining is being refashioned as a tool for creating better political systems. (This program was originally broadcast in September 2012)
The future of magic
April 12th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Arthur C. Clarke once declared: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’. But does the analogy work the other way around? Techno-illusionists like Marco Tempest argue magicians need to embrace new technologies in order to stay relevant to a 21st Century audience. But can the modern illusionist become too technologically focussed?
Forecasting technological change and grief and the future
April 5th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Three very different perspectives on the future. We speak to Lee Raine, Director of the Internet Project at the Pew Research Centre about what digital life might be like in 2025.We discover why regulatory agencies play a greater role in shaping our technological future than we might think. And finally Harvard University psychologist Don Robinaugh explains why understanding more about the complicated nature of grief may help many people in our society better deal with the future.
Photography, social media and memory
March 29th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Our relationship with photography has changed in the social media age. We take, alter, crop and share photos like never before. And we use them as badges – symbols of who we are and how we feel. Of course, the photograph has always been more than just a captured image, a simple record of times instantly passed. But in the modern era is the photo more message than memory?
Digital diplomacy and foreign policy
March 22nd, 2014, 06:30 PM
Increasingly diplomats and governments are having to fight battles and defend themselves on social media. Ben Scott, one of the pioneers of America’s office of E-diplomacy says it’s the way of the future. But he and other analysts argue that digital diplomacy is far more than the likes of Twitter and Facebook. It’s about engaging with communities and ‘non-state players’ who now have a greater voice on international issues.
Silicon Valley culture and social media, data and property rights
March 15th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Silicon Valley is often held up as a meritocracy where anyone with a good idea can change the world through technological innovation. Author and academic Alice Marwick believes that Silicon Valley is actually a place that actively excludes women and people from different social and ethnic backgrounds. We also speak to Professor Michael Fraser about his idea of attaching a property right to our digital profiles. He believes that a property right would work in a similar way to copyright licensing and potentially give people more control over how their data is used. But is the idea workable?
Chinese space ambitions and private rocketeers
March 8th, 2014, 06:30 PM
It’s predicted that by 2050 China will be the leading space-faring nation, with bases on both the Moon and Mars. And while the US and Russian space programs deal with ongoing funding challenges and waning political interest, the Chinese are quietly on a mission to become a world leader in science and technology. We explore the extent of their ambition. We also look at the rise of private US space rocketeers and find out why we need to preserve our lunar legacy.
Rubbish equals opportunity
March 1st, 2014, 06:30 PM
Increasingly the things we throw away have value. In a consumerist world, with diminishing resources, rubbish is being recycled like never before. The recycling industry is now worth $US500 billion a year and it employs more people worldwide than any other industry except agriculture. Trash is no longer just an environmental problem, it’s an economic opportunity.
Machines, automation and the future of jobs
February 22nd, 2014, 06:30 PM
For decades we've watched machines gradually replace one blue-collar job after another, but in recent years algorithms and increasingly sophisticated machines have begun eating their way into decidedly white-collar territory. And as a result, economist Tyler Cowen now predicts the hollowing out of the middleclass. But is the picture really that gloomy? We explore the impact of technological change on the way we’ll work in future.
19th Century virality, post-natural history and DIY medical tech
February 15th, 2014, 06:30 PM
The idea of photos, messages and text going viral is a very modern one indeed. Or is it? NorthEastern University’s Ryan Cordell has been digging around in old American newspapers and he reckons the 1800s were alive with viral media. We also meet the man behind the Centre for PostNatural History, a museum that showcases and documents the world’s bioengineered organisms. And we enter MIT's Little Devices Lab to find out how DIY medical technologies are being used to help improve people's lives in the developing world.
The past, present and future of email
February 8th, 2014, 06:30 PM
It’s been around for over 40 years and is something we all use but take for granted. Email, it may not be as sophisticated as some of our newer social technologies, but in 2013 it’s estimated that there were over 2.4 billion users worldwide. But as the volume of messages increases what does it mean for the future of our already bulging inboxes?
The Future of Noise
February 1st, 2014, 06:30 PM
In the last German election, every major party had a policy on dealing with noise pollution. Increasing urbanisation and automation look like making the future an increasingly rowdy place. But then there’s noise and there’s noise, with many young people, research suggests, now finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate in a quiet environment. We explore our changing attitudes to noise.
The human side of life in space
January 25th, 2014, 06:30 PM
We’ve learned how to pee in space and how to prepare pre-packaged meals, but if we’re serious about long distance inter-planetary travel, there’s still a lot more we need to work out about the psychology and physiology of living and working in zero-gravity. And as we’ll hear, some of what we thought we knew about staying healthy in space could actually prove counterproductive. (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 4th of August 2013)
The world of steampunk
January 23rd, 2014, 06:30 PM
Steampunk is a burgeoning subculture. Part Victorian gothic, part sci-fi fantasy, it’s growing in popularity and ambition. At first glance, Steampunk represents an alternative technological vision of the future—one powered by steam rather than modern forms of energy. But at its heart, it’s not really about technology at all, it’s a playful challenge to our perceptions of modernity—from fashion to music to art to literature. (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 1st of September, 2013)
Our underground future
January 22nd, 2014, 06:30 PM
When we think of underground space many of us think of carparks, subways and storage. Or we think of dark science fiction scenarios – mole people living deep below our cities! But as we move into an increasingly urbanised 21st century – is it time to rethink the way we construct? And start building down as well as up? A growing number of people think we should be making better use of our underground ‘real estate’ as a way to ease some of our future urban pressures. (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 4th of November, 2012)
The future of the documentary
January 21st, 2014, 06:30 PM
Most of us have a stuffy view of what a documentary is, but in a world where we increasingly write and post images about ourselves do we need to re-think that idea? What impact are new technologies having on storytelling? We speak to documentary makers about the role digital tools and multiple platforms are having on their craft. We also explore some of the most cutting edge approaches to what we think of as the documentary. (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 16th of September, 2012)
Living in a post-authentic world
January 20th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Bruce Springsteen says we’re living in a post-authentic world. Authenticity has become a goal not a quality. We’re encouraged to manufacture it—to fake it! It used to be sincerity we all craved, says political commentator Denis Atkins—he’s one of several guests who help us explore the modern world’s strange and at times ambiguous relationship with the truth. (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 23rd of September 2012)
The world of spam
January 19th, 2014, 06:30 PM
It’s the curse of the modern information age and the bad news is that there’s more of it to come. But what is spam? How is it changing? Who’s sending it? And why do they think so many of us need Viagra or a penis enlargement! (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 19th of February 2012)
Off earth mining and the opening of space
January 18th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Rick Tumlinson is a US businessman whose ambition is to mine asteroids and to then use the material he extracts to power space craft and satellites. He talks of developing galactic ‘gas stations’. In part three of our special summer series we look at the technical, political and legal issues involved in ‘off-earth mining’. (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 10th of March 2013)
The challenge of interstellar travel
January 11th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Imagine being an astronaut and planning for a space mission you know you have no chance of joining; a journey that won’t even happen in your lifetime, or possibly even your children’s. We meet the long-term thinkers and planners—the space visionaries not afraid to think outside the square. Or the solar-system as the case may be! (Please note this program was originally broadcast on the 24th of February, 2013)
The future of astronomy
January 4th, 2014, 06:30 PM
Astrophysicist Ray Norris reckons we’ve entered a 'golden age' of astronomy. Powerful new telescopes are allowing us to explore the once unimaginable. But astronomy is fast becoming as much about data management and interpretation as it is about stargazing. Computers are one solution, but as we’ll discover, nothing beats the human eye and mind when it comes to making sense of the cosmos. (Please note this program was originally broadcast in February 2013)
Rewilding the globe
December 28th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Elephants and Komodo dragons in Australia? Bears and wolves roaming freely throughout European villages and towns? It might sound a bit far-fetched, but this all fits within a new strand of conservation theory known as Rewilding. (Please note this program was originally broadcast in June 2013).
Future Imperfect- science fiction's role in shaping our future
December 21st, 2013, 06:30 PM
From wearable technology to 3D printing, science fiction is often credited with influencing technological change. But does science fiction predict the future, or inspire it? In a special session recorded at the 2013 Brisbane Writers Festival, three authors discuss sci-fi’s complex relationship with science and the future.
Facebook happiness and updating Raspberry Pi and Fairphone
December 14th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Social media is meant to make our lives better. It helps us to connect with others and to stay in touch. But University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross recently published the results of a study into Facebook usage. His findings suggest that using the social network could lead to feelings of sadness and loneliness. We also get an update on the Raspberry Pi and Fairphone.
Digital ecologies
December 7th, 2013, 06:30 PM
MIT Professor Sandy Pentland is concerned for the digital ecology of our online world. Like nature, it works best when it’s open and interconnecting, he believes. And keeping it that way is no small task. In this program, we get three very different perspectives on sustaining a healthy digital ecology.
The coming war on general purpose computing and thinking ahead
November 30th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Sci-fi author and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow talks about a coming 'war on general purpose computing', which could have far reaching consequences for our society. In the race to regulate the internet, governments of all persuasions are looking at ways to control how our digital devices work, and to narrow their functionality. We also get a tour of the Think Ahead exhibition in Melbourne. (Our apologies. In our original program we incorrectly described Cory Doctorow as a US blogger. He is in fact Canadian. We’ve updated the podcast to correct that mistake).
The Arcadian ideal, analogue forestry and urban buzz
November 23rd, 2013, 06:30 PM
Professor Aaron Sachs from Cornell University believes that understanding the purpose and form of old American graveyards could help us deal with future urbanisation. It's all about the 'Arcadian ideal'. We also explore the practice of 'analogue forestry' which could provide a new model for reforestation in the developed and developing world. And we go in search of the urban beehive movement.
Replaceable bodies
November 16th, 2013, 06:30 PM
The human body is breakable, frail, and fallible – and in our current age of robotic and bionic technology, it’s increasingly becoming replaceable. But as the race to develop new replacement bionic body parts quickens, what happens when these parts become stronger, smarter and longer lasting than our own?
Wearable technology
November 9th, 2013, 06:30 PM
From Google Glass to smart watches - wearable technology is currently curving upward on the hype cycle. There are now lots of companies experimenting with embedding sensors and micro-computers into the things we wear. But how much of it is pure gimmickry? And is there a commercial market for the devices?
Convergence and our cities
November 2nd, 2013, 06:30 PM
Convergence is a hot topic in media, communications and the sciences. But what does it actually mean? And are there implications for the way we live in and shape our continually growing cities? These questions and more were raised as part of a special panel discussion recorded in Melbourne for the city's 2013 Knowledge Week.
The future of the ideas festival
October 26th, 2013, 06:30 PM
The idea of having an ideas festival is a popular idea indeed. But the idea that they’re universally ideal as a way of fostering creative new ideas is an idea that’s hotly contested. Andrew Zolli, the curator of PopTech, has an idea that the popularity of the ideas event is linked to the idea that we still need to physically congregate together in order to create and share new ideas, even though we’re increasingly living in a digital age. But critic Eygeny Morovoz thinks Zolli and his ilk simply have no idea. Morozov argues the whole idea of idealising the idea of the idea is, to be quite frank about it, a really bad idea. And, more than that, he argues, it’s an idea whose time has past.
SkyTruth and gamers for good
October 19th, 2013, 06:30 PM
John Amos from SkyTruth talks about his non-profit organisation that aims to use publicly available data from satellites to watch for environmental vandalism.
Microgrids: Hyper-Distributed Power
October 12th, 2013, 06:30 PM
When it comes to power distribution, the focus of the past has been on building larger and larger electricity grids, but with size comes vulnerability.
Pranks and Tricksters Repeat
October 5th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Pranksters in the digital age see themselves as an important part of the online environment. The mainstream media may confuse them with trolls and vandals, but the modern prankster has a long tradition dating back hundreds of years.
Importance of play in the digital age
September 28th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Does a sense of playfulness underpin the modern world? From information sharing to social activism to business training, the dynamics of play are increasingly important in our rapidly evolving world.
Civic Hacking - hacking for good
September 21st, 2013, 06:30 PM
Civic hacking is about using raw government data to build new online applications that help make public services more responsive and accountable. Catherine Bracy from Code for America says it’s about reframing the very nature of government.
Improving our vision
September 14th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Project Hieroglyph encourages science fiction writers to mix with scientists to find a more thoughtfully optimistic way to look at the future through their genre. Dronestagram uses drones to capture Instagram images above warzones and battlefields. And Professor Mathew Roughan sets out on an ambitious plan to map the internet. This week, we explore three new ways of visualising what isn't seen.
Gender and technology
July 13th, 2013, 06:30 PM
The technology sector might be booming, but in 2013 women are still vastly under-represented in many areas of science and technology. Stanford University neuroscientist Jennifer Raymond says it’s not just a gender-equity issue, it’s about lost human potential. And she says we limit our ability to solve future problems as long as the gap between the sexes continues. Science journalist Wendy Zukerman takes us on a personal journey to discover why so few women pursue a career in science and technology.
GoogleX, Sea Lab and Earth Microbiome
July 6th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Google X is a secretive laboratory that aims to take over the research and innovation crown once worn by the likes of Bell Labs and DARPA. It’s also about securing the giant technology company’s future in a ruthless world of technological change. We talk to Brad Stone, the first journalist allowed inside the lab. We also explore the history of the Sea Lab project, an attempt to live and work under the seas. And finally we look at the Earth Microbiome Project, an ambitious attempt to map the world's diverse microbial community.
Rewilding the planet
June 29th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Elephants and Komodo dragons in Australia? Bears and wolves roaming freely throughout European villages and towns? It might sound a bit far-fetched, but this all fits within a new strand of conservation theory known as Rewilding. With ancient megafauna lost, and with our remaining large animals pushed further and further towards extinction, conservation theorists are looking at introducing the few large creatures we have left back into the wilderness to stimulate and restore ecosystems.
Advertising, media and children
June 22nd, 2013, 06:30 PM
Jonathan Kent hates the way in which children are increasingly being pursued by marketers and he's begun a public campaign in the UK to ban all advertising targeting children of primary school age or younger. But can such a ban work in the digital age? And in a world that’s increasingly commercial, does it even make sense? We explore those questions and more.
Fairphones, language in the digital world and the useless machine
June 15th, 2013, 06:30 PM
We have ‘fair trade’ coffee and ‘fair trade’ bananas, so why not a ‘fair trade’ mobile phone? Bas Van Abel and his Amsterdam-based colleagues are busy perfecting a cell phone that isn’t made by exploited labourers. We also explore how and why new technologies are helping to reshape our language with Tom Chatfield, author of a new book called 'Netymology'. And finally we look at the concept of the useless machine with Brett Coulthard, CEO of the Frivolous Engineering Company.
Future imaginings
June 8th, 2013, 06:30 PM
When we imagine the future are we sometimes too narrow in our thinking? Not fanciful enough? We look at the difficulties we have in imagining the future.
Driverless cars
June 1st, 2013, 06:30 PM
Former vice-president of research and development for General Motors, Larry Burns, is a champion of the ‘driverless car’. And he sees a time when traffic in our cities will swarm like insects. If he's correct, it’s certainly going to take a significant change in driver mindset and the development of some very complicated computer systems. But there are also safety and legal issues to take into account. The development of fully-automated vehicles is more than just a technology issue—it’s also about systems and society.
Future cities
May 25th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Three very different perspectives on the evolution of the city. We look at the history of four ‘future’ cities; we examine the role of the suburb in the 21st century; and we hear from architect Joyce Hsiang, the co-creator of the City of 7 Billion Project.
Airships
May 18th, 2013, 06:30 PM
For most of us, the airship is an iconic symbol of the past. But across the world teams of engineers and visionaries are working to try and resurrect the zeppelin. Prototypes have already been built and trialled, and they’re calling them the ‘pick-up trucks of the sky’—heavy-lifting, energy efficient alternatives to cargo planes and helicopters. But does the economics and the engineering really make sense?
Big data
May 11th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Microsoft researcher and MIT professor Kate Crawford recently declared that 2013 looks like becoming the year we reach ‘peak big data hype’. Endless media releases extol the virtues of big data. Business and government are meant to embrace it. But exactly what is big data? How is it different from plain old data? Is it as useful as we’re told and will it really govern our future?
Military Expenditure
May 4th, 2013, 06:30 PM
If global military expenditure is anything to go by, this will be a century of khaki and camouflage. Spending on arms and defence is at historically high levels and the experts predict more growth to come. We’ll examine why and where. Also, the new UN Arms Trade Treaty, could it ever be more than just a feel good exercise?
Future Films
April 27th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Groundhog Day was billed as a screwball romantic comedy when it was first released in 1993. Twenty years on, it’s now being described as a ‘profound work of metaphysics’. To us, it’s a film with an interesting cut on the future. The screenwriter of Groundhog Day is among our guests as we look at a clutch of films that explore different aspects of the future in surprising, and sometimes unexpected, ways.
Present Shock and the end of the hang-up
April 20th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Renowned US media theorist Douglas Rushkoff argues we now live in a state of 'Present Shock' where we’ve lost our understanding of time; and where our sense of what the future should and could be has been seriously diminished. We speak to him about the cause and the symptoms. And we also explore what the 'end of the hang-up' says about our unspoken, and often unnoticed, relationship with technology.
Proto-hackers, GPS spoofing and MOOCs in schools
April 13th, 2013, 06:30 PM
We meet the very first hackers – the phone phreaks. It was sometimes activism and sometimes mischief but author Phil Lapsley believes they laid the foundations for our current attitude towards technology. Then we speak to University of Texas researcher Todd Humphreys who says that despite their sophisticated wizardry the systems used in drones can still be hijacked. And he’s proved it. And finally we talk with Dr Craig Wilson, the head of a Miami-based school which he believes is the first non-tertiary institution to embrace the MOOCs phenomenon.
MOOCs and tertiary education
April 6th, 2013, 06:30 PM
‘MOOCs’ stands for Massive Open Online Courses and, depending on your viewpoint, they’re either the future of tertiary education or a giant marketing scam – take your pick. We explore the MOOCs phenomenon.
Media, technology and creativity
March 30th, 2013, 06:30 PM
We look at some interesting research into the ways younger people are using technology and also explore why the services of anthropologists are in hot demand – particularly in Silicon Valley. And finally we speak with a man who put a pencil and a sharpener in a jar in order to make a point about creativity – or rather our obsession with trying to work out exactly what creativity is.
Micro-Labour
March 23rd, 2013, 06:30 PM
Micro-labour isn’t a clever way of describing a recalcitrant colleague’s deficient work practices. And it has nothing to do with nano-technology either. It's about using the Internet to outsource small tasks to eager workers – sort of like a digital notice-board for odd jobs and errands. It sounds like the perfect way to earn extra income. But could its growing popularity erode working conditions and lead to exploitation?
Valuing the future
March 16th, 2013, 06:30 PM
In this program we explore the complex processes through which we put a value on future developments- everything from architecture and design to economics.
Off earth mining
March 9th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Rick Tumlinson is a US businessman whose ambition is to mine asteroids and to then use the material he extracts to power space craft and satellites. In part three of our series on space and human ambition, we look at the technical, political and legal issues involved in ‘off-earth mining’.
Codetermination, startup incubators and online personality
March 2nd, 2013, 06:30 PM
In the Anglo-Saxon world we love a good fight – our politics, our judicial system, our industrial relations, it’s all about opposing sides battling it out for supremacy. Surely there's a better way? Well there is, says Deakin University Law professor Jean Du Plessis. And it involves the use of co-determination - a different approach to industrial relations and corporate governance. We also go inside Y Combinator, one of the most influential Silicon Valley startups and look at how effective social media can be at predicting personality types.
Interstellar Travel
February 23rd, 2013, 06:30 PM
Imagine being an astronaut and planning for a space mission you know you have no chance of joining; a journey that won’t even happen in your lifetime, or possibly even your children’s. We meet the long-term thinkers and planners – the space visionaries not afraid to think outside the square.
Future Tense - 2013-02-17
February 16th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Wikipedia was once the enfant terrible of the information world. Now it’s just part of the online furniture—establishment even. We speak with Sue Gardner, the Executive Director of the organisation that governs the crowd-sourced encyclopaedia about the website’s struggle for plurality. We also look at an innovative new project to map the human brain.
Future Tense - 2013-02-10
February 9th, 2013, 06:30 PM
Powerful new telescopes are allowing us to explore the once unimaginable. But astronomy is fast becoming as much about data management and interpretation as it is about star-gazing. Computers are one solution, but as we’ll discover, nothing beats the human eye and mind when it comes to making sense of the cosmos.
Future Tense - 2013-02-03
February 2nd, 2013, 06:30 PM
The mainstream media may sometimes confuse digital pranksters with trolls and vandals, but the modern prankster is often a trickster in the tradition of the court jester: a mischievous challenger of society’s norms and sometimes a mirror to its absurdities. We explore the nature of digital pranks - ensuring we don’t take ourselves too seriously!
Future Tense - 2013-01-27
January 26th, 2013, 06:30 PM
It’s one of the great unseen drivers of our world—silently altering and shaping our social lives, the way we communicate, our access to information, our economies, our culture, the very future itself. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you—the algorithm! (This program was originally broadcast in March 2012)
Future Tense - 2013-01-20
January 19th, 2013, 06:30 PM
We often hear the term 'information overload' but is it a case of over-consumption as much as filter failure? There’s a school of thought that says we now take in information in the same way we consume fast food—without control or moderation. (This program was originally broadcast in February 2012)
Future Tense - 2013-01-13
January 12th, 2013, 06:30 PM
As our fast paced digital world continues what does that mean for the way we think about preserving things like old webpages and obsolete media formats? Are there possible lessons from our digital past for our digital future? We explore the fragility of our electronic data and also the temporary nature of the technology we use to access it. We also join the excavation of a 1970s computer chip called the 6502! (This program was originally broadcast in January 2012)
Future Tense - 2013-01-06
January 5th, 2013, 06:30 PM
The overall picture for indigenous language preservation is pretty bleak. But some highly driven people using modern technology are refusing to let some languages die. We’ll hear about the work of the World Oral Literature Project, which started in Nepal. And also Miromaa—a software program developed in Newcastle which is being used by indigenous communities around the world. (This program was originally broadcast in March 2012)
Future Tense - 2012-12-30
December 29th, 2012, 06:30 PM
We meet members of a sub-culture that’s been quietly spreading across the world. It involves things made of cardboard and paper and may even include some dice! We enter the world of board gaming. What do board games have to do with the future? Well the revival in their popularity is part of a broader retro-trend – like listening to vinyl. But it’s not just about nostalgia.
Future Tense - 2012-12-23
December 22nd, 2012, 06:30 PM
Soap opera: a dynamic new force for social change or an outdated form of storytelling? Its future seems to be mixed. In the developing world soap operas have never been more popular. But in the US, the country that created them, they're struggling to survive. (Please note this program was originally broadcast in July 2011)
Future Tense - 2012-12-16
December 15th, 2012, 06:30 PM
We’re always looking to make systems connect, everything from railway gauges to software. But in an environment of hyper-connectivity and viral media is ‘interoperability’ – the art of making systems connect – always a good thing? We explore the challenges of highly interconnected systems. And we also talk about data systems, preservation and relevancy in the modern world of the archivist – the record keeper.
Future Tense - 2012-12-09
December 8th, 2012, 06:30 PM
The concept of the 'knowledge city' is attracting a lot of attention. As part of a special panel discussion we explore what it means, particularly in a world where the growth of new digital technologies is altering the way we share knowledge, our modes of learning, and how we work and live.
Future Tense - 2012-12-02
December 1st, 2012, 06:30 PM
We live in a world where we're all accumulating more online data about where we're going, what we're doing and how we're reacting to the world around us. But what are some of the implications of that? We explore our changing relationship to data and our virtual selves. We also meet the creator of a project called We Feel Fine, which provides a glimpse into the soul of the Internet. And we also talk to one of the founders of the Museum of Endangered Sounds, a website which began as a spoof but now preserves some of the sounds from our technological past.
Future Tense - 2012-11-25
November 24th, 2012, 06:30 PM
We often hear about the big donors like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett but new approaches to philanthropy, including crowd-funding, are making it easier for ordinary individuals to give. But it’s not just about money - increasingly more people are donating both their skills and time.