Discovery Pod

A podcast series talking to leading experts about solutions to society’s most pressing challenges. 

For more information visit The Discovery Pod brought to you by the University of Adelaide with host Andy Lowe

Series 1

Learn more from top researchers on topics such as COVID-19, Artificial Intelligence, Music and Technology Renewable Energies, Cyber Security, Food and Water Security, Nutrition and more.

Episode 10 – Genetically modified foods

Unnatural, Harmful and Unsafe? – Does genetic modification have a role to play in our food futures.

We’ve been changing our food to suit our needs for generations, but controversy has surrounded genetically modified foods since they were first introduced in the late 20th century. Why has there been such a strong backlash to GM? Are they really that bad or can they help us improve food production in the face of a changing climate and shifting nutritional demands? And how do we help people make informed food choices?

Join us this episode to discuss genetically modified foods with Matt Tucker (Deputy Director of Waite Research Institute, Associate Professor, and leading plant scientist).


Episode 9: Cyber security

Cybercrime and Digital Warfare – how do we get tech savvy to secure our lives online?

Technology around us continues to evolve and now more than ever, the way we behave online can have drastic consequences. So who can we trust online and how do we prevent our information falling into the wrong hands in this new digital world? Can we be doing more to prevent cybercrime and for those of us with kids, how do we protect them in their online lives?

Join us this episode to discuss Cyber Security with Yuval Yarom (Senior Lecturer and expert in creating trustworthy computer systems), Russell Brewer (Senior Lecturer in criminology and investigator with the Digital Youth Laboratory).


Woman standing in music installation with headphones

Episode 8: Music and technology

The Power of Music. How technology is helping us immerse, interact, and discover music’s benefit.

Music is a universal language, evoking our emotions and strengthening our connections to the past. So what is it about music that makes us feel things? And how is music changing since the introduction of modern technology? 

Join us this episode to discuss Music with Luke Harrald (composer, performer and producer of interactive computer music), and Steve Cook (specialist in immersive sound spaces and audio engineering). 


Murray river aerial shot. Image credit to iStock.

Episode 7: Food and water security

Access to food and water is set to become the next conflict horizon. So how do we secure the future of food and water for all?

Join us this episode to discuss Food and Water security with Martin Cole (Head of School of Agriculture, Food and Wine), Mike Young (Research Chair in Water and Environmental Policy), and Georgina Drew (Senior Lecturer with the School of Social Sciences).


Wind turbines with a cloudy sky

Episode 6: Renewable energy

Cracking the code – finding new ways to power our nation and drive the manufacturing economy.

Australia is mineral rich and our weather patterns lend themselves to renewable energy production. And yet, our mineral extraction and exports contribute significantly to our carbon emissions as a nation. So how do we decarbonise heavy industry and find better renewable solutions?

Join us this episode to discuss Renewable Energies with Gus Nathan (leading researcher in energy technology and decarbonisation of heavy industry) and Yan Jiao (Senior Lecturer and investigator of new catalyst materials for better energy storage and production).


Baby feet held by hands of two adults

Episode 5: Pregnancy and parental health

The gift of life – how do we build healthy habits today to give the children of tomorrow the best start in life.

For the first time in modern history, children in developed countries may not live as long as their parents, due to diet-associated health problems like heart disease, stroke, and cancer. It’s a shocking prediction, and one which could be avoided, as we continue to discover more about pregnancy and parental health. So where we are going wrong and what we can do about it? 

Join us this episode to discuss Pregnancy and Parental Health with Jodie Dodd (obstetrician and internationally recognised expert on mother’s and children’s health) and Alison Care (Heart Foundation Future Fellow, investigating pregnancy complications and health outcomes in children). 


Industry Engagement Priorities

Episode 4: Artificial intelligence

The rise of the machines – what does it mean for us today? And how will it change the way we live tomorrow?

We hear the terms artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things thrown around a lot, but what do they actually mean? We have a mini computer in our pockets, smart homes and offices, and the rise of the digital era. This technology is already taking over our lives – will it take our jobs and our futures?  

Join us this episode to discuss Artificial Intelligence with Johan Verjans (leading cardiologist and Deputy Director of the Australia Institute for Machine Learning).


Fruit and vegetables in paper bags

Episode 3: Nutrition

Forget fad diets – what should we be eating, and does this need to change as we journey through life?

With an obesity epidemic across lifestages and a rise in non-communicable disease such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer increasingly being linked to poor diet – how do we eat well across our life span? Should we be varying what we eat as we get older?

Join us this episode to discuss Nutrition with Paula Moynihan(Professor and internationally renowned researcher of nutrition and oral health), Jess Greiger (investigator of nutrition’s role in pregnancy and birth outcomes), Lenka Malek (Research Fellow exploring nutrition, food choice and human behaviour in relation to food) and Leonie Heilbronn (Associate Professor and researcher of calorie restriction, intermittent fasting’s role in reducing chronic disease).


Dry desert scene with tree

Episode 2: Climate change

Climate change is here to stay. From devastating drought and bushfires, to floods and rising sea temperatures and levels – Australia is all too familiar with the extreme impacts of climate change. So what should we be doing today to live for tomorrow?

Join us this episode to discuss Climate Change with Douglas Bardsley (Associate Professor and expert in climate change adaptation), Melissa Nursey-Bray (Head of Social Sciences and specialist in urban adaptation and Indigenous resource management) and Adriana Milazzo (Senior Lecturer and investigator of the relationship between heatwaves and infectious disease).


Coronavirus cell

Episode 1: COVID-19

Pandemic panic – is there a light at the end of the tunnel or will we find a new normal?

It’s the elephant in the room, but COVID-19 is something we will be living with for the foreseeable future. Suddenly, we were thrust into a new way to living – home schooling, working from home, and social distancing. So why has this particular pandemic been so widespread and devastating across the globe? And how has this move to virtual connection impacted our lives and our children?

Join us this episode to discuss COVID-19 with Faye McCallum (Professor and expert in teacher and student wellbeing in the face of uncertainty) and Michael Beard (Associate Professor and specialist in viral pathogens). 


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