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UNSOMNIA: Short talks for restless minds

Light bulb made out of neon lights

Tackling the issues that keep us up at night and imagining the inconceivable. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of UNSW Sydney, UNSW researchers had ten minutes each to explain what life we'll be living another 70 years from now.

Each talk is preceded by a conversation between the speaker and UNSW Scientia Professor Rob Brooks.

These podcasts are part of UNSOMNIA: a series of short talks for restless minds, co-hosted by UNSW's Grand Challenges Program and the UNSW Centre for Ideas.

Associate Professor Adrienne Torda | In the age of AI, doctors are better at being human

We each have personalised genome analysis at birth, and now robot doctors perform our operations. So, do we even need human doctors? Or will they need to b even MORE human?

 

 

Dr Vera Roshchina | Everyone is a mathematician

Imagine a future where everyone gets to truly experience maths. One where we can lift formulae off the page and turn them into patterns and shapes that we can see, feel, touch and interact with. One day, could we all be mathematicians?

 

 

Dr Jordana McLoone | Childhood Cancer - thriving not just surviving

In 70 years ALL children diagnosed with cancer will survive. But while their lives will be saved, how can we make sure we limit the side effects of treatment? How can we make sure they thrive, not just survive?

 

 

Professor Stuart Khan | Sewage science to save our cities

If we're going to survive the next 70 years, the human race needs new sources of sustainable energy and clean water. Could sewage be the answer?

 

 

Dr Rebecca Green | Futuristic hieroglyphics

As we spend more time in digital and virtual worlds, our need for written or typed text could disappear. In 70 years could we all be communicating in a new language of hieroglyphics, symbols and pictures?

 

 

Dr Katharine Kemp | Rebuilding data privacy from the ground up

Big data has fundamentally altered our laws, freedom and democracy. Is there anywhere in the real and virtual worlds where we aren’t being watched, and anything we can do keep our private lives private? 

 

 

Dr Siobhan O'Sullivan | Lab-grown steak to save pygmy possums

Humans and farm animals have taken over the planet and pushed other species to the brink of extinction. Could lab-grown meat help build the diverse and thriving planet of our future? 

 

 

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