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Up Close

Up Close podcast

Not merely emotion: Reclaiming "passion" as a driver of human behaviour

By Andi Horvath

Philosopher of the emotions Prof Louis Charland argues that we need to reinstate the notion of "passion" in our understanding of human behaviour. Now little mentioned outside of the arts and self-help domains, passion has deep historical roots and may have important contemporary use as a lens through which to view certain psychiatric conditions.

ANDI HORVATH

Ongoing symptoms: Why isn't treatment for depression and anxiety leading to lower prevalence?

By Eric van Bemmel

Public health researcher Prof Tony Jorm asks why prevalence of anxiety and depression in North America, Australia and elsewhere has not decreased despite a quarter century of more and better treatment for two of the world's most common mental health problems.

ERIC VAN BEMMEL

Slippery descent: Untangling the complexity of our evolutionary history

By Andi Horvath

Renowned paleoanthropologist Bernard Wood explains how continuing research into fossil and other evidence of our evolutionary history produces insights but also reveals how much we have yet to learn. How good, for example, are we at telling our recent ancestors and close relatives from those of the apes? How can we know how many species preceded our own? And can we tell which of those species are our ancestors, and which are non-ancestral close relatives?

ANDI HORVATH

Twin engines of truth? How science and law interact to construct our world

By Lynne Haultain

Social science and legal scholar Prof Sheila Jasanoff discusses how science and the law interact or compete with one another in the formulation of public reason -- in the economy, the courts and the political landscape.

LYNNE HAULTAIN

The necessity of kindness: Altruism in animals and beyond

Evolutionary biologist and historian of science Prof Lee Dugatkin joins Dr Andi Horvath to discuss displays of altruism in insects, animals and humans, and how the often harsh evolutionary imperatives of survival can actually accommodate, promote or depend on acts of kindness and justice.

ANDI HORVATH

Decision neuroscience: Emerging insights into the way we choose

By Eric van Bemmel

Decision science researcher Prof Peter Bossaerts argues that investigating brain activity as we make decisions is generating new insights into how we deal with uncertainty and risk. Once the domain of economists and psychologists, the study of human decision-making is increasingly taking a neuron-level view, with implications well beyond economics and finance.

ERIC VAN BEMMEL

Publish and perish: Science and medical researchers under pressure

By Andi Horvath

Psychiatrist Joeri Tijdink discusses his research into how increasing pressures on science and medical researchers to win funding, achieve positive research results, and publish in highly esteemed journals may be linked to professional burnout and even research misconduct.

ANDI HORVATH

The end of sustainability: Realism and resilience in managing our natural resources

By Eric van Bemmel

Environmental legal scholar Prof. Robin Craig argues that the doctrine of sustainability in managing our natural resources fails to take into account an emerging age of ecological uncertainty. Instead, notions of sustainability and sustainable development need to make way for approaches based on resilience thinking, which attempts to factor in and adapt to coming large-scale social and ecological shifts brought about by climate change.

ERIC VAN BEMMEL

The social life of algorithms: Shaping, and being shaped by, our world

By Andi Horvath

Informatics researcher Professor Paul Dourish explains how algorithms, as more than mere technical objects, guide our social lives and organization, and are themselves evolving products of human social actions.

ANDI HORVATH

I'm Dr Andi Horvath. Thanks for joining us. Today we bring you Up Close to one of the very things that shapes our modern lives. No, not the technology as such, but what works in the background to drive it: the algorithm, the formalised set of rules governing how our technology is meant to behave.

Thought Controlled Futures

We talk to the people behind revolutionary technologies enabling people to control movement and manipulate objects using their thoughts alone. In particular, we take a look at the stentrode, a metal scaffold implanted in a blood vessel, that allows brain activity to be recorded and commands generated to control a full-body exoskeleton.

Andi Horvath