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Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy

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The emergence of China as a 21st-century superpower has already had profound impacts on Australia. As China reshapes the balance of power, not only in the Asia-Pacific region but globally, its influence on Australia is likely to increase.

China’s economic and military growth will also challenge the world’s other superpower – and Australia’s traditional security ally – the United States. Caught between these two superpowers, Australia’s ability to manage this difficult diplomatic balancing act could well determine its future prosperity and security.

In this podcast I speak with Kerry Brown, executive director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, about Australia’s place in the Chinese Century and the role diplomacy has to play.


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Image: Shutterstock // Music: Free Music Archive/Kindread, Lo Ka Ping and Chan Wai Fat.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Milky Way in the Bush, Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia

We are going great guns with this podcasting caper and #3 is now live. You can subscribe via iTunes to the whole series, or subscribe to this blog for future episodes from me.

Speaking with: Duane Hamacher on Indigenous astronomy

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have between 40,000 and 60,000 years of pre-colonial history that includes stories of constellations they observed in the night sky and traditions that align with the stars and the moon. But until recently, these stories were largely dismissed by the scientific community.

Researchers are now finding that Indigenous oral traditions contain vast environmental and scientific intelligence. These complex knowledge systems have helped Indigenous people survive Australia for tens of thousands of years.

I catch up with cultural astronomer Duane Hamacher about Indigenous astronomy and its complex relationship to history, culture and applied scientific knowledge.


Subscribe to The Conversation’s Speaking With podcasts on iTunes.

Image: flickr/Ben Ashmole

Music: Free Music Archive/Chris Zabriskie

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

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Podcast#2 is up and on the interwebs. You can subscribe via iTunes to the whole series, or subscribe to this blog for future episodes from me.

Speaking with: Sarah Sorial on free speech and democracy

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Freedom of speech is often seen as a cornerstone of democracy, but the unfettered right to express opinions can infringe other fundamental rights. Minority groups are especially at risk of verbal attacks and intimidation, and some countries, including Australia, have legislated protections that limit free speech.

When Attorney-General George Brandis ordered a review of the Racial Discrimination Act and introduced amendments in a failed attempt to remove some of these protections in March this year, he ignited a passionate debate on the importance of free speech and its intersection with other human rights.

In this podcast, I speak with Sarah Sorial, senior lecturer at the University of Wollongong, about the role of free speech in a democracy and how it can co-exist with other rights.

Image: flickr/CeBIT Australia

Music: Free Music Archive/Podington BearThe Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

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