Eavesdrop on Experts

University of Melbourne

Overhear researchers talk about what they do and why they do it. Hear them obsess, confess and profess - changing the world one experiment, one paper and one interview at a time. Listen in as seasoned eavesdropper Chris Hatzis follows reporters Dr Andi Horvath and Steve Grimwade on their meetings with magnificent minds. Made possible by the University of Melbourne.

Sir Peter Cook is well known for his ‘big and naughty’ architecture.
The Emeritus Professor at University College London, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Frankfurt Staedelschule, Sir Peter co-founded the avant-garde architectural group Archigram and worked on constructions like the radical Art Museum in Graz, Austria.
Sir Peter says that buildings and structures must be designed for people.
“...it’s also a question of timing, positioning, spacing, iconography, to what extent something is special. Now, that almost comes back to architecture. If you just give a very bland piece of architecture, then you’re putting an enormous amount of onus on the inhabitant to do something special which they may not be up to. The result is boredom into boredom.”
Episode recorded: January 31, 2019.
Interviewer: Louise Bennet.
Producer and editor: Chris Hatzis.
Co-production: Silvi Vann-Wall & Dr Andi Horvath.
Banner image: Banner: Roof of Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria/Shutterstock.

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While progress has been made, men still hold 60 per cent of senior positions within the Australian Medical Research Institute’s 49-member organisations, according to 2018 data.
For International Women’s Day, six female leaders in medical research come together to discuss the professional challenges they’ve overcome, to help encourage more women in science to build successful, enduring careers.
Professor Fabienne Mackay, head of the School of Biomedical Sciences, joins Professor Kathryn North AC, Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute with Laureate Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO and others to dispel some myths about women working at the cutting-edge of medical research.
“Role models will not ask aspiring young women what would help them, but rather what stops them,” says Professor Mackay.
“At a point in your life something will drive your passion, it will come early or later depending on the person, but once you have that passion nothing should stop you.”
Recorded: March 7, 2019.
Reporters: Dr Andi Horvath and Buffy Gorrilla.
Producers: Dr Andi Horvath, Buffy Gorrilla and Arch Cuthbertson.
Audio engineer: Arch Cuthbertson.
Banner: Getty Images.

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Professor Eva Nogales started her career in a time where barely any women were seen in science departments. In college, she skipped biology to focus on physics, relying on her high-school knowledge of the former to shape her career as a biophysicist.
Now, she’s using her understanding of the microtubules in our cells for improving disease management, including slowing the uncontrollable growth of cancer.
This niche understanding of our cell behaviour at the molecular level is already improving the lives of humans everywhere, and the technique used by Professor Nogales called “cryo-EM” is taking the world of structural biology by storm.
She recently visited the University of Melbourne to receive the 2019 Grimwade Medal, and to deliver the oration titled: Visualising the molecular dance at the heart of human gene expression.
Episode recorded: February 14, 2019.
Interviewer: Steve Grimwade.
Producer and editor: Chris Hatzis.
Co-production: Silvi Vann-Wall and Dr Andi Horvath.
Banner: Berkeley Lab.

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Workplace bullying. Chances are we’ve all seen or experienced it at least once in our lives. From the extreme of sexual or physical assault, to the subtler eye-rolls that exist in the ‘grey area’ of bullying.
Dr Victor Sojo, a lecturer and Research Fellow at the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne, says all these negative behaviours can lead to a toxic work environment and, as a result, impact on productivity.
“At the most basic level within organisations, people need to make rules clear about what behaviour is acceptable and what behaviour is not acceptable,” he says.
And the #MeToo movement is increasingly defining what’s not acceptable. Dr Sojo says that’s giving people who have been feeling marginalised, disrespected and abused the opportunity to speak up.
“We need more women in positions of power so that they could actually have a voice about how we are going to manage the situation. This is very important, because right now, I’m a guy talking about this.”
Episode recorded: December 21, 2018.
Interviewer: Louise Bennet.
Producer and editor: Chris Hatzis.
Co-production: Silvi Vann-Wall and Dr Andi Horvath.
Banner: Shutterstock.

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When we talk about bushfires in Australia, we talk about the devastation. But Professor Cristina Montiel Molina from the Complutense University of Madrid says we need to re-think that.
“We don’t consider fire a natural element in our lives, but it’s a part of landscape,” says Professor Molina. “We don’t really know how to live with fire.”
In fact, Professor Molina says that mega fires we’ve experienced in Europe, Australia, Chile and California in recent years are our own fault - as result of poor decisions around spatial planning, land management and fire policies. And, in order to manage the risk posed by fire, we have to change our attitude.
Episode recorded: December 19, 2018.
Interviewer: Steve Grimwade.
Producer and editor: Chris Hatzis.
Co-production: Silvi Vann-Wall and Dr Andi Horvath.
Banner image: Shutterstock.

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