The 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). 


Food Futurists

A podcast to really sink your teeth into! Ensuring we have access to healthy and tasty food for the future means lots of people are working hard across food industry supply chains on a global scale. Agtech, food origins, alternative proteins, native foods, food waste, personal food choices, and more are up for discussion. Prof Andy Lowe examines the solutions being put in place today to put tomorrow’s meal on your table.

Food Futurists – Season 2

EvokeAG is the Asia Pacific region’s largest agrifood tech event and is an excellent place to gather, share and be inspired about food, farm, and future. Prof Andy Lowe’s interviews at evokeAG 2020 open you up to the boundless possibilities of a healthy and sustainable food future. Listen to conversations with the likes of Hungry Jacks CEO Jack Cowin, filmmaker Damon Gameau of the renowned films 2040 and That Sugar Film, and Microsoft Azure Chief Scientist Ranveer Chandra.

These Season 2 interviews were recorded at evokeAG 2020 in Melbourne, brought to you by AgriFutures Australia.  This podcast is produced in association with AgriFutures Australia, and in partnership with the University of AdelaideRamona Dalton Communications and Basem3nt Enterprises.


Episode 12, Series 2 – A taste across the Agrifood Tech space

Host Prof Andy Lowe speaks with Food Futurists producer Ramona Dalton picking out some of the bits that make season 2 interviews so fascinating and promising for the entire food industry supply chain and consumers globally. Highlights include season 2 interviews with the likes of film maker Damon Gameau, Hungry Jack’s CEO Jack Cowin, and Microsoft Azure Chief Scientist Ranveer Chandra.

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 11, Series 2 – Why telling the story of a better tomorrow makes sense

It’s easy to get bogged down by what’s not working in the world’s approach to environmental sustainability, agriculture and food production. Film maker Damon Gameau (2040) chooses to look at the solutions and people making waves in today’s industries that promise to radically change the world as we know it, making life better for people and planet.

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 10, Series 2 – Whats really driving change in the food industry

Tony Hunter is an expert forecaster of possible long-term futures of the food industry. Personlised wellness, eating for medicine, feeding the planet – it’s all up for discussion.  

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 9, Series 2 – Bringing AI to agriculture for world’s poorest farmers: replacing guesswork with data driven insights

Ranveer Chandra, Chief Scientist Microsoft Azure and FarmBeats researcher, is looking towards a not-too-distant future where some of the world’s poorest farmers can access low cost data-capture technology using something as ubiquitous as a mobile phone. And how about those old TV aerials? Turns out they’re really handy too.  

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 8, Series 2 – Bananas for change

With 40% of what growers produce not making it to the shops, Krista Watkins Managing Director of Natural Evolution has dedicated herself to finding new uses for unsaleable produce.  Our farmers are growing 100%, let’s use 100%!  Krista knows how. 

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 7, Series 2 – Is carbon neutral meat the holy grail of the livestock industry

“It’s not just meat=bad and plants=good”.  Meat producers have a massive potential of being part of the environmental solution.  Andy speaks with James Madden MD of family business Flinders +Co, the first meat company in the world to fully off-set all carbon emissions from their business and every kilogram of meat they sell.  

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 6, Series 2 – Next level innovation in global Agrifood Tech

Ethy Levy CEO Bridge Hub talks to Andy Lowe about how Israeli-Australian connections are taking the global Agrifood Tech Industry to the next level of innovating, thanks to a special focus on researchers and early-stage start-ups.

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 5, Series 2 – Policy around food products is no piece of cake

Policy and regulations around new plant-based food products, health claims of functional foods, and how millennials purchasing choices aren’t necessary what they seem. This and more with Matt Kovac Executive Director Food Industry Asia in this jam-packed bite-sized episode!

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 4, Series 2 – Going crackers – where the food we actually eat meets the real needs of future food production

Mike Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Alpha Food Labs, wants to make it easy for people and businesses to support biodiversity in food production.  Also, find out why this big-picture thinker refuses to answer questions about the next big future food trend.

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 3, Series 2 – Is plant based meat part of the solution? – Hungry Jacks CEO thinks so

Hungry Jacks CEO Jack Cowin speaks with Andy Lowe about why the meat industry is not going to go away, and how plant-based meats can help feed the world’s growing population. 

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 2, Series 2 – This is what it takes to change a generation of farmers for the better

Callan Daley evokeAG 2019’s Future Young Leader, and Field Technician at MEQ Probe, is walking the talk of a new generation of Australian farmers..   He talks with Andy Lowe about consumer demand, supply chains, agtech, marketing, engineering, lasers, and the huge correlation between inter-muscular fat and the eating quality of meat. 

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 1, Series 2 – Connecting with success in the Agrifood tech industry

EvokeAG was created for the purpose of connecting people, organisations and businesses in the agricultural industry. Kay Hull AM, former Member of Parliament in Australia, makes no mistake that she expects delegates at this AgriFutures event to listen, learn, connect, network, and open their minds to further opportunities in the agricultural sector. And whatever you do, don’t be afraid of failure; celebrate failure and move forward! 

Listen here on Anchor.FM Spotfiy

Food Futurists – Season 1

Find out more about season 1 and Andy’s conversations with the likes of Howard Yana-Shapiro of Mars Inc., Marco Gualtieri of Seeds&Chips, Kylie Porter of Global Compact Network Australia, and more. 

All interviews were recorded at Global Table Seeds&Chips in Melbourne 3-6 September 2019. Podcast produced In partnership with the University of AdelaideRamona Dalton Communications and Basem3nt Enterprises.

Episode 10, Series 1 – The minds and innovation behind a renowned global food summit

In this last episode of series 1, Prof Andy Lowe is interviewed by Food Futurists producer Roman Dalton. We get to the heart of the brilliant minds and innovation behind Global Table Seeds&Chips Melbouren 2019. The phenomenal leaders and speakers, thought proving podcast guests, providing solutions today to put tomorrow’s meal on your table. 

Listen on Spotify

Episode 9, Series 1 – Nutrition of protein alternatives

Talking with Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO of EAT, about the nutritional issues surrounding alternative protein choices.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 8, Series 1 – Hosting Global Table in Melbourne

Talking with the CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Paul Guerra, about hosting Global Table at Melbourne Showgrounds and its journey from Seeds&Chips in Milan.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 7, Series 1 – Carbon neutral meat

Talking with Paul Wood, Director of Dairy Australia, about protein options that recognise the importance of sustainably and ethically produced Australian beef and its potential in global markets.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 6, Series 1 – Alternative proteins

Talking with Thomas King, CEO of Food Frontier, about alternative protein options, the future global market for plant-based protein products and food sustainability.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify 

Episode 5, Series 1 – Food insecurity and waste

Talking with the CEO of SecondBite, Jim Mullan, about tackling food insecurity and waste through food rescue programs in Australia

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 4, Series 1 – United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Talking with the Executive Director of Global Compact Network Australia, Kylie Porter, about the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and their support and uptake here in Australia.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 3, Series 1 – Agtech opportunities

Talking with Matthew Pryor, Partner of AgThentic, about AgTech opportunities and investment and Australia’s place in this massive global market.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 2Series 1 – Orphan crops

Talking with the Chief Agricultural Officer of Mars Incorporated, Howard-Yana Shapiro, about orphan crops – the next wave of food plants to come out of Africa augmented for nutrition to help tackle hunger and malnutrition.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

Episode 1, Series 1 – The future of food

Talking to the Founder and Chairman of Seeds&Chips Marco Gualtieri about the unique and energising format of Seeds&Chips and its journey from Milan to Global Table Melbourne Australia.

Listen on Anchor.FM Spotify

%d bloggers like this: