It’s time to think about things differently, to shake things up. We often think of progress as building slowly and steadily on what has happened in the past but sometimes, we just need to look at things completely differently. It’s not always easy to throw out a comfortable understanding of how things work, but with the right guides these short talks will give you some fresh perspectives on our relationship with nature and culture, and how we understand our bodies.
Felix Aplin is a postdoctoral fellow at the Translational Neuroscience Facility, Faculty of Medicine & Health at UNSW Sydney. He holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Melbourne, and has completed research fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Hannover Medical School. He is currently a chief investigator at UNSW exploring new treatments for chronic pain, and he also works in neural engineering, medical bionics, brain-machine interfaces, and neural degeneration. He is particularly interested in using technology to connect with, and repair, our nervous systems.
Kate Faasse is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology, in the School of Psychology, Faculty of Science at UNSW Sydney. She is an ARC DECRA awardee, and recently received an Early Career Research Award from the International Society for Behavioural Medicine. Faasse’s main research area focuses on the nocebo effect – the dark side of the placebo effect – where negative expectations can cause unpleasant side effects. Her research explores how nocebo effects form, and how we can stop them.
Tema Milstein’s work tends to ways culture and communication shape ecological understandings, identities, and actions. Her recent edited books, the Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (2020) and Environmental Communication Pedagogy and Practice (2017), explore the centrality of the ecological in our lives and our learning. She is an Associate Professor of Environment & Society in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture at UNSW Sydney, and convenor of the Master of Environmental Management program.
Dr Adam Bayes is a psychiatrist who works as a clinician-scientist with a focus on mood disorders (depression and bipolar conditions). His research interests include diagnosis, classification and novel treatments for severe depression including ketamine and psychedelics. Bayes holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Hons), Bachelor of Advanced Science, Master of Psychiatry, and a PhD. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, is a senior research fellow and VMO psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute and the Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health, at UNSW Sydney.
Dr Lucas Lixinski is a Professor in the Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW Sydney. His work analyzes how the law shapes identity via cultural heritage protections. His latest book, Legalized Identities, argues that cultural heritage law helps us redefine our societies in the aftermath of a war or dictatorship in deeper ways than we usually acknowledge. The book also argues that racist monuments to the past should not remain unchanged.
Ann Mossop is the Director of the Centre for Ideas at UNSW Sydney, a new program designed to contribute to public conversations about important ideas and issues. Previously, as Head of Talks and Ideas at the Sydney Opera House from 2010-2017, she established the Opera House’s extensive talks and ideas program and lead key projects like the Festival of Dangerous Ideas and All about Women. Throughout her career she has been involved with important initiatives to bring the work of writers and thinkers to broader audiences, from the pioneering series Writers in the Park to the re-establishment of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.