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In Conversation

Analysis and Comment (69)

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has found himself in a better than expected electoral position a year into his leadership. AAP/Lukas Coch

Grattan on Friday: In Conversation with Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten will have been a year in his job next month. After its trouncing at the election, Labor is in a much better position than many would have expected, leading on a two party basis in the polls…
A dead coral reef in the Caribbean. Coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to climate change and ocean acidification. superqq/Flickr

In Conversation with environment journalist Elizabeth Kolbert

Scientists are coming to the conclusion that we are on the brink of a mass extinction — the sixth known in the history of the Earth, and the latest since an asteroid killed off the dinosaurs 65 million…
Professor Yonath gained inspiration from an unlikely source … hibernating bears. EPA/Brais Lorenzo

‘I consider science a luxury’: In Conversation with Ada Yonath

Israeli crystallographer Ada Yonath shared the 2009 Nobel prize in Chemistry for her work the ribosome – a protein-building structure central to life found in all living cells. Professor Yonath determined…
A screening of Invoking Justice at Mahim Beach, Mumbai, India, 2013. BMW Guggenheim Lab/Flickr

Transcending testimony: an interview with filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj

Deepa Dhanraj is a filmmaker and feminist whose extensive filmography spans issues of gender, labour, education and women’s position in Indian society. In 1980, she founded the Bangalore-based filmmaking…
Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (centre) speaks at the opening ceremony of AIDS2014 on July 20 while conference co-chair Professor Sharon Lewin looks on. AAP Image/David Crosling

In Conversation with Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Watch the video of Professor Rob Moodie talking to Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi below. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi is the director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit, at the Institut Pasteur…
Antarctica is still a frontier - but it is rapidly changing. Eugene Kaspersky/Flickr

In Conversation: what does the future hold for Antarctica?

Antarctica is a continent less suited to human habitation than any other. Temperatures rise above freezing only briefly on the northern Antarctic peninsula. At the coast mean temperatures range between…
Tony Press, John Keane, and Chris Turney. Giovanni Navarria

In Conversation on Antarctic sovereignty: full discussion

Antarctica is a continent less suited to human habitation than any other. Temperatures rise above freezing only briefly on the northern Antarctic peninsula. At the coast mean temperatures range between…
Tasmania’s alkaloid poppy industry was an Australian innovation success story - until it moved overseas. Glenn Schultes/Flickr

In Conversation: Australia needs tax breaks for innovation

Australian innovation has stagnated in the past 50 years, and could be reinvigorated by focusing on key areas, according to Donald Hector, President of the Royal Society of New South Wales in an interview…
Tony Abbott has had a tumultuous first few months as prime minister. AAP/Alan Porritt

Grattan on Friday: In Conversation with Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott has been in office six months, and this week marks 20 years since he was elected to parliament. On Thursday he sat down with The Conversation in his Parliament House office to talk about settling…

In Conversation with Lord Krebs: full transcript

Rod Keenan: What do you see as the challenges of adapting to climate change in the UK? Lord Krebs: In the UK we’ve done what we call the Climate Change Risk Assessment, which is a formal analysis of all…
Josh Frydenberg is confident that there will be concrete outcomes from the G20 meeting. AAP/Dominic O'Brien

In Conversation: Josh Frydenberg full transcript

Michelle Grattan: Australia will host the G20 leaders meeting late this year. It will be the most important international conference we have ever had in this country. This week, the G20 finance ministers…
Simply standing in front of a class and telling children how we are used to doing things ‘just won’t work’, according to leading American education expert Linda Darling-Hammond. AAP/Dan Peled

In Conversation: Maxine McKew and Linda Darling-Hammond

Watch the video of Maxine McKew interviewing Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond below. Australian schoolkids are scoring higher than their US counterparts in maths, science and literacy, but a visiting…
The Saturday Paper will be the first new print paper in several decades, and editor Erik Jensen hopes to find a profitable niche in an industry that is quickly shedding circulation and staff. Phil Gyford

In Conversation with Erik Jensen: “We’re a niche product with mass market aspirations”

Businessman and publisher Morry Schwartz’s decision to appoint a 25-year-old, relatively unknown journalist to edit the first serious newspaper launched in Australia in more than four decades might be…
The Saturday Paper will be the first new print paper in several decades, and editor Erik Jensen hopes to find a profitable niche in an industry that is quickly shedding circulation and staff. Phil Gyford

In Conversation with Erik Jensen: full transcript

Bill Birnbauer: Is this a serious business proposition or is it an act of philanthropy to an ailing newspaper industry? Erik Jensen: It’s certainly there to aid an ailing newspaper industry but it’s not…
Dr Kiran Martin (centre) has been working with New Delhi’s slum dwellers for 25 years. Asha Health & Development Society Photo Archives

In Conversation with Asha founder Dr Kiran Martin

Watch the video of public health professor Rob Moodie interviewing Dr Kiran Martin below. Kiran Martin is the founder of Asha, a community health and development society that works with over 500,000 people…
Wall Street Journal editorial board member Mary Kissel is a guest at the Public Knowledge Forum in Sydney. AAP/Alan Porritt

In Conversation with Mary Kissel: full transcript

Andrea Carson: What are you intending to say at the Public Knowledge Forum at Sydney’s Opera House next week? Mary Kissel: I think there is a lot of concern about the decline, or the death, of good quality…
Technology will be a big part of a brighter future for India, says Nilekani. Joshua Wanyama

In Conversation with Nandan Nilekani

Nandan Nilekani is one of Indian’s foremost entrepreneurs. He was co-founder of information technology company, Infosys, and is now Chair of the Unique Identification Authority of India. The Authority…
British Labour MP has worked to expose and investigate activities by News Corporation figures ranging from phone hacking to bribing police. Chris Boland

In Conversation with Tom Watson MP: edited transcript

Jill Singer: You’ve come here fresh from being British Labour’s campaign coordinator, which you’re not doing now. We won’t get into all the argy-bargy about that. But I wonder, coming from that perspective…
Rupert Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry appears to contradict statements recorded by his journalists in mid-2013, says Labour MP Tom Watson. Toastwife

In Conversation with Tom Watson MP: “If I was Lord Leveson I’d be asking which Rupert Murdoch was telling me the truth”

Rupert Murdoch may have perjured himself before the Leveson Inquiry, according to claims made by British Labour MP Tom Watson. Watson, who has spent much of the last five years investigating activities…
The Democratic Labor Party may have had its heyday decades ago, but Senator John Madigan may soon hold the balance of power and have enormous influence over Australian life. AAP/Julian Smith

“I don’t want to see the ALP decimated” - In Conversation with Senator John Madigan

When the Democratic Labor Party’s John Madigan won the sixth Victorian Senate seat at the 2010 election, it appeared a tear in the time space continuum had somehow briefly transported politics back to…
DLP senator John Madigan believes we need to have a ‘public interest test’ when determining levels of foreign investment in Australia. AAP/Alan Porritt

Senator John Madigan In Conversation - full transcript

Geoffrey Robinson: John, you’re the first DLP [Democratic Labor Party] senator elected for a long time from Victoria. In your first speech you talked about being elected to parliament as surreal. Three…
Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz talks with one of our academic experts about the changing role of universities. Cambridge University

Leszek Borysiewicz and Lynn Meek In Conversation – full transcript

To listen to the conversation between Leszek Borysiewicz and Lynn Meek, please see the link below. An edited transcript is available here. Lynn Meek: Hello, I’m Professor Lynn Meek from the LH Martin Institute…
Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, VC of Cambridge University, discusses all things higher education in our latest In Conversation. Cambridge University

In Conversation: Cambridge VC urges unis to help third world

Cambridge University’s Vice Chancellor, Leszek Borysiewicz has been a pioneer in developing the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine. But now he’s turning his attention to a much more difficult task…
Former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks is one of the rare breed of politician to have left office on his own terms and retaining widespread public goodwill. AAP Image/Julian Smith

In Conversation: Steve Bracks and Stephanie Brookes

In politics, timing is everything and few have managed their exit from public office with the grace and dignity of former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks. So it is with a particularly bitter irony - another…
Former Victoria Premier Steve Bracks was one of Australia’s most successful and longest serving premiers. Alan Porritt/AAP

In Conversation: Steve Bracks full transcript

Stephanie Brookes: We’re here for The Conversation, I’m from the University of Melbourne Media and Communications program and I’m here in Conversation with former Victoria premier Steve Bracks. Thanks…
Adam Bandt celebrating his 2010 election success as the federal member for Melbourne. Julian Smith/AAP

In Conversation: Douglas Hilton and Adam Bandt MP

Adam Bandt is the first Australian Greens MP to win a seat in the House of Representatives at a federal election. And while the seat of Melbourne, which takes in the inner suburbs and CBD of the nation’s…
Adam Bandt is the first Australian Greens MP to win a seat in the House of Representatives at a federal election. Alan Porritt/AAP

Adam Bandt and Doug Hilton In Conversation - full transcript

Doug Hilton: I’m the director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and I have with me today Adam Bandt, the Greens' member for Melbourne. Why don’t you start by outlining your background…
Jared Diamond has worked extensively in New Guinea, the foundation for his latest book on traditional societies and what they can teach us. AAP/Lloyd Jones

In Conversation with Jared Diamond: “Traditional societies are not frozen models of the past”

American scientist and author Jared Diamond was recently in Australia promoting his 5th book The World Until Yesterday: What can we learn from traditional societies? Jared has worked extensively in New…
Federal member for Fremantle Melissa Parke has attracted a national profile with her left wing views in recent years. Office of Melissa Parke MP

In Conversation: Greens are not our enemy, says Labor’s Melissa Parke

Labor’s Melissa Parke probably won’t be too popular with rightwing powerbrokers like Paul Howes with her view that the Greens are a fellow progressive party rather than an insidious enemy to be confronted…
Melissa Parke visiting a local school with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. AAP/Rebecca Le May

In Conversation: Melissa Parke full transcript

Geoffrey Robinson: We’re here for The Conversation. Melissa, you’ve got an interesting career background working in the legal sector of the international human rights law. That’s perhaps very different…
An In Conversation between federal coalition MP Andrew Robb and the director of the Waler and Eliza Hall Institute, Doug Hilton. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

In Conversation Andrew Robb: full transcript

Doug Hilton: Welcome Andrew to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. This conversation between me, Doug Hilton, and Andrew Robb is part of The Conversation. So Andrew, it’s been really exciting in the last…
The research funding system needs to be changed to make it more efficient says coalition member Andrew Robb. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

In Conversation with Andrew Robb: research must ‘back our strengths’

It’s hard to argue with the importance of research, particularly medical research. It leads to breakthroughs and can change people’s lives for the better. But there are some crucial questions about how…
UK lawyer Charlotte Harris, who represented phone hacking victims, said the police should have acted to protect the public. Photo © Mishcon de Reya; Used with permission. All rights reserved.

UK phone hacking victims' lawyer Charlotte Harris In Conversation: full transcript

Rod Tiffen: Charlotte Harris, thanks for getting together with us. We’re doing this interview when Lord Leveson – the Leveson Inquiry’s been one of the most major inquiries ever held into media in the…
UK lawyer Charlotte Harris, whose clients included victims of the Murdoch phone hacking scandal, said the police should have done more to protect people. Photo © Mishcon de Reya; Used with permission. All rights reserved

UK phone hacking victims' lawyer Charlotte Harris: ‘The police were meant to be protecting us’

The ramifications of the UK phone hacking scandal, in which murder victims, journalists and politicians had their phones tapped, are still playing out. Last year the scandal sank the UK tabloid, The News…
Terry Moran has called for the strengthening of the Australian Public Service. Alan Porritt / AAP

Terry Moran: time for an inquiry into the public service

Terry Moran was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2008 to 2011. He is now President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a governor of the Committee…
Former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Terry Moran AC, has called for the strengthening of the Australian Public Service. Alan Porritt / AAP

Terry Moran in conversation: full transcript

Terry Moran was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2008 to 2011. He is now President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a governor of the Committee…
Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd in parliament shortly after the 2010 federal election. AAP/Alan Porritt

Maxine McKew In Conversation: full transcript

Dennis Altman I’m going to start by quoting you when you say, talking about your career as a journalist, particularly a radio and television journalist, that “there was plenty of robust exchanges but my…
For Brian Schmidt, and the rest of us, the universe is expanding. Enzo Amato

Brian Schmidt: in conversation

Professor Brian Schmidt was part of the team that won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae”. The consequences…
Former politician and economist John Hewson speaks to ANU’s Crawford School’s Bruce Chapman and Daniel Connell.

John Hewson: tax reform doesn’t just mean lowering taxes

Welcome to the latest in our In Conversation series, between former politician and economist Dr John Hewson, Australian National University (ANU) Crawford School Director of Policy Impact Professor Bruce…
Graeme Samuel and Stephen King: two of Australia’s most senior regulators sit down together for The Conversation.

Graeme Samuel: We’ve lost principled, analytical debate in this country

What happens when two of Australia’s best known former competition regulators sit down together and talk about the world? A wide-ranging discussion on the state of Australia’s political debate, xenophobia…
Mark Scott, managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. AAP/Alan Porritt

Mark Scott on the future of your ABC

Welcome to In Conversation, our series of discussions between leading academics and major public figures in Australian life. In this instalment, Mark Scott, managing director of the Australian Broadcasting…
Mick Malthouse and his wife celebrate after Collingwood won the 2010 AFL grand final. AAP/David Croslingv

In Conversation: Mick Malthouse

Michael “Mick” Malthouse is one of the most important figures in the history of Australian football. A premiership player for Richmond in 1980 he subsequently coached the then Footscray Bulldogs to a number…
Satyajit Das: “I think the democratic process and the politics of the world relies on a very fragile construct. One is trust. And trust relies on economic growth.” Supplied

Satyajit Das: Europe will have far-reaching consequences for everybody

Welcome to the latest in our In Conversation series, between risk analyst and author Satyajit Das and Kevin Davis, Research Director of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies. Satyajit Das is an internationally-known…
Senator Arthur Sinodinos makes his maiden speech earlier this year. AAP/Alan Porritt

In Conversation: Senator Arthur Sinodinos

Welcome to this In Conversation between Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos and Macquarie University politics expert Craig Mark. Sinodinos is a political paradox: he’s the newest member of the Australian…
Senator for South Australia Cory Bernardi has attracted controversy with some of his right wing views. www.corybernardi.com

In Conversation: Senator Cory Bernardi

Welcome to our In Conversation between Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi and Dr Timothy Lynch, lecturer in American politics at Melbourne University. Since being appointed to the Senate in 2006, the Senator…
Sir Rod Eddington: unless the rail networks are right, Australia’s cities won’t work properly. Supplied

Sir Rod Eddington: ‘The infrastructure challenges are real’

Welcome to In Conversation; an ongoing series in which leading academics interview prominent public figures. In today’s instalment, Dr Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University, sits…
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is ‘uneasy’ about Liberal leader Tony Abbott because he is unpredictable. AAP

Malcolm Fraser: ‘we have lost our way’

Welcome to our “In Conversation” between former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Melbourne University political scientist Professor Robyn Eckersley. First elected to Federal parliament in 1955, Fraser…
Rob Oakeshott MP tells Professor John Warhurst why he decided to free himself from party constraints. AAP

Oakeshott on the treason of party discipline

For the latest in our In Conversation series, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University, John Warhurst spoke with the Independent member for the NSW seat of Lyne, Rob…
Will Steffen (left) in conversation with academic Will Grant (right): “The misinformation campaign that’s been prominent in the media … really is having an impact.”

Will Steffen: phoney debate is over, now for the carbon policy

Welcome to “In Conversation”, our series of discussions between leading academics and major public figures in Australian life. Today, we’re In Conversation with the academic whose research informed the…