At 2021 World Science Festival Brisbane we did things a little differently!


We worked closely with Griffith Film School’s LiveLab to pre-record five of our most interesting conversations, and we recorded all of our live conversations at QPAC – all these conversations are posted below and on YouTube for you to enjoy in your own time.

May 19, 2021 • 1hr 30mins

Running the Planet Without Costing the Earth

Participants: Alexander Colsmann, Cathy Van Extel, Fanny Boulaire, Richard Taylor, Michelle Taylor

Why is it so hard to switch to clean energy? A (solar) panel of energy experts explore the path to a sustainable energy future and reveal some of the ground-breaking solutions that just might save our planet. Presented with QUT

May 13, 2021 • 1hr 21mins

Hunting the Cosmic Dawn

Participants: Carl Smith, Nichole Barry, Tamara Davis, Brian Schmidt, Andrea Ghez

Why is SKA set to rock the universe? Join a constellation of astrophysicists and their celestially inclined counterparts as they shine new light into the cosmos to determine what the first stars looked like, the nature of dark energy and the future of the universe. Presented with The University of Queensland.

May 13, 2021 • 1hr 32mins

Cities 2060

Participants: Niraj Lal, Tuba Kocaturk, Tony Matthews, Paul Burton, Shipra Narang Suri

Why is it so important to plan for 2060 now? Specialists in built environment, urban design, architecture, town planning and tech come together to imagine the cities of our future.  Presented with Griffith University


May 13, 2021

Why Trust a Scientist?

Participants: Niraj Lal, Rachel Ankeny, Cheryl Praeger, Karen Ferry and Norman Swan

In a world where misinformation and mistrust thrive, fake news can go viral and conspiracy theories are more popular than ever – science is under attack. Opinions trump facts and truth is no longer absolute. Why should we trust scientists? Or perhaps more tellingly, what does it mean if we can’t?

May 13, 2021 • 1hr 1min

Science Vs Politics

Participants: Hugh Possingham, Jamila Rizvi, John Byron, Malcolm Turnbull, Christine Jackman

Why are politicians and scientists often at odds? Political insiders reveal the behind-the-scenes machinations that occur when government is faced with scientific evidence that may, or may not inform policy and action.

May 12, 2021 • 1hr 29mins

Pulse of the Pandemic

Participants: Raina MacIntyre, Michael T Osterholm, Wendy Zukerman, Paul Young, Norman Swan, Jeanette Young and Brett Sutton.

Why didn’t we listen to the warning signs? On the first anniversary of social distancing and large-scale lock downs in Australia, we review a devastating year, assess the state of play in 2021, and draw out the lessons of the past in order to pandemic-proof our future. Presented with The University of Queensland


March 23, 2021 • 60 minutes

The Moon is Mine: A Hypothetical

Participants: David Flannery, Richard Garriott, Adam Gilmour, Bernie Hobbs, Joni SystmaJonathan Fulcher

The year is 2030 and space tourism is now a thriving reality. But one company is setting its sights slightly further afield with a mission to mine the Moon. But who owns the Moon? What if another company or country beats them to it? Will the investors backing the lunar prospecting strike it rich or will it fail to launch?

March 19, 2021 • 60 minutes

Disrupting Bushfires

Participants: Stephen Pyne, Hugh Possingham, Ruth LuscombeVictor Steffensen

Our panel of fire-savvy specialists look to the past, present and future for ways to survive the current ‘Pyrocene’.

How can we combine the knowledge and skills of traditional owners with cutting-edge technologies such as satellites, artificial intelligence and drones, to protect our sunburnt country?


March 19, 2021 • 60 minutes

Mind Altering Medicines

Participants: Margaret RossOlivia Carter, Paul Liknaitzky, Matthew W. JohnsonTegan Taylor

Almost 60 years after psilocybin was banned, researchers at John Hopkins University in the USA suggest that magic mushrooms can treat cancer-related psychiatric distress, depression, anxiety and addiction.

Take a trip into the world of hallucinogens as our medicinal magicians reveal insights from Australia’s first psilocybin clinical trials.

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