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Uncommon Sense
4 December 2018

Uncommon Sense – 4 December 2018

Parisian author and journalist Agnès Poirier on Left Bank: Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50. Patrick Mullins on Tiberius With A Telephone: The Life and Stories of William McMahon. Plus Ben…

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Uncommon Sense
27 November 2018

Uncommon Sense – 27 November 2018

Author Stuart Kells on his book, The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders. Addiction psychiatrist Dr Shalini Arunogiri on the increasing misuse of prescription drugs. Plus Ben Eltham on the Victorian state election results…

Uncommon Sense
20 November 2018

Uncommon Sense – 20 November 2018

Award-winning journalist and ABC legend Kerry O'Brien joined Amy in the studio to discuss his new memoir. Meg Labrum, from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), on Heath Ledger: A

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Uncommon Sense
13 November 2018

Uncommon Sense – 13 November 2018

Emma Shortis on the US mid-term election results, US foreign policy and recent international diplomacy issues. Ed Hill from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) in East Gippsland on the old growth native forest…

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Uncommon Sense
6 November 2018

Uncommon Sense – 6 November 2018

Feminist and writer Anne Summers on her adventurous life; Curator of the University of Melbourne's Herbarium Dr Jo Birch on their newly digitised collection of plant specimens; and Ben Eltham on federal politics.

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Uncommon Sense
30 October 2018

Uncommon Sense – 30 October 2018

University of Würzburg Professor Emeritus Jürgen Tautz on The Honey Factory: Inside the Ingenious World of Bees; Australian Academy of the Humanities President Joy Damousi on the federal government’s vetoing of 11 ARC…

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Uncommon Sense
23 October 2018

Uncommon Sense – 23 October 2018

Ben Eltham fills in for Amy on Uncommon Sense

Uncommon Sense
16 October 2018

Uncommon Sense – 16 October 2018

Toby Halligan fills in on Uncommon Sense, 16 October 2018

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Uncommon Sense
9 October 2018

Uncommon Sense – 9 October 2018

Emma Shortis on US politics, Barry McGovern and Tom Creed on Samuel Beckett's Watt, and Eloise Ross on trailblazing Hollywood director Ida Lupino

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Uncommon Sense
2 October 2018

Uncommon Sense – 2 October 2018

Gabrielle Chan on her book Rusted Off: Why Country Australia is Fed Up. Greg Champion sings songs from his book of lyrics, The Thing About Football: Songs of Greg Champion. Ed Newbigin…

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About this program

A weekly conversation about politics and current events, international affairs, history, art, books, and the natural world, to illuminate the issues faced by society and explore them in new ways.

Intro theme: Jamie Isaac – Cnt U See (from his debut album, Couch Baby)

Weekly Uncommon Sense PODCAST available here. Listen back to any episode in full above via the tiles.

Individual interviews are uploaded to Soundcloud here. And on iTunes and Apple podcasts here.

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  • LISTEN: Jennifer Brea, US filmmaker of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary Unrest, which chronicles Brea's experience living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), plus a panel discussion with ME patient advocate Anna Kerr, Bio21 Researcher Dr Chris Armstrong and CEO of Emerge, Dr Heidi Nicholl (March 13)
  • LISTEN: Jim Robbins, New York Times Science Writer and author of The Wonder of Birds (March 13)
  • LISTEN: Pat Cunnane, Barack Obama's Senior Writer and Deputy Director of Messaging, on his new book, West Winging It: An Un-Presidential Memoir (March 20)
  • LISTEN: Gillian Triggs, Emeritus Professor and former President of the Australian Human Rights Commission on The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in a Post-Truth Era (March 20)
  • LISTEN: Daniel Halliday, political philosopher at The University of Melbourne on his book, The Inheritance of Wealth: Justice, Equality and the Right to Bequeath (April 10)
  • LISTEN: Johann Hari, Writer, on his book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions (May 8)
  • LISTEN: Hugh Mackay, Social researcher and author of Australia Reimagined: Towards A More Compassionate, Less Anxious Society (May 29)
  • LISTEN: Bri Lee, Author of Eggshell Skull: A memoir about standing up, speaking out and fighting back (May 29)
  • LISTEN: Daniel Chamovitz, Plant biologist and author of What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide To The Senses (June 5)
  • LISTEN: David Christian, Historian and author of Origin Story: A Big History of Everything (June 19)
  • LISTEN: Kate Rossmanith, Author of Small Wrongs – examining the nature of remorse (June 26)
  • LISTEN: Fiona Patten MLC, Politician, Leader of Reason Party, and author of Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll (September 11)
  • LISTEN: Julian Burnside QC, on the threats to multiculturalism in Australia (September 11)
  • LISTEN: Johann Hari, on his best-selling book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs (September 25)
  • LISTEN: Greg Champion from the Coodabeen Champions, sings from his published collection of songs, The Thing About Football (October 2)
  • LISTEN: Jürgen Tautz on his book co-authored with Diedrich Steen, The Honey Factory: Inside the Ingenious World of Bees (October 30)
  • LISTEN: Anne Summers, feminist and writer, on her new memoir, Unfettered and Alive (November 6)
  • LISTEN: Kerry O'Brien, journalist and ABC 7.30 Report legend, on his new political memoir (November 20)
  • LISTEN: Parisian author Agnès Poirier on her book, Left Bank: Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50 (December 4)


  • LISTEN: Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate (Jan 17)
  • LISTEN: Lesley Harding, curator of Making Modernism: O'Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith at the Heide Museum of Modern Art (Jan 24)
  • LISTEN: Lars Kraume, film director of The People vs Fritz Bauer - the true story behind the hunt for Adolf Eichmann (Jan 31)
  • LISTEN: Fiona Wright, Stella Prize Shortlistee on her Lifted Brow essay There's No Dirt In My Food, our societal obsession with "clean eating" and living with an eating disorder (Jan 31)
  • LISTEN: Hugh Mackay AO, social researcher, on the importance of community to our health and humanity (Feb 7)
  • LISTEN: Barry Dickins, author and playwright, on his book Last Words: The Hanging of Ronald Ryan: Unanswered Questions 50 Years On (Feb 7)
  • LISTEN: Professor Cordelia Fine on her book Testosterone Rex: Unmaking The Myths of Our Gendered Minds (Feb 14) *Winner of the 2017 Royal Society Science Book Prize
  • LISTEN: John Pilger on his documentary The Coming War On China (Feb 14)
  • LISTEN: Bob Inglis, former US Republican Congressman, on his conversion to climate action and advocacy for a carbon tax (Feb 21)
  • LISTEN: Carus Thompson, Freo singer-songwriter on his poignant new album Island, his social and political commentary, and played a few songs for us in the studio (Feb 28)
  • LISTEN: Philosopher A.C. Grayling on the origins and future of humanism, the age of genius, and war (April 18)
  • LISTEN: UK conservationist Dame Fiona Reynolds on her book, The Fight For Beauty (May 9)
  • LISTEN: Dr Maryse Helbert on Emmanuel Macron's presidential election win and what's next for Macron and France (May 9)
  • LISTEN: Renowned political journalist Laura Tingle on her book, In Search of Good Government (May 16)
  • LISTEN: Professor Robert Jensen from the University of Texas at Austin on his book, The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men (May 30)
  • LISTEN: Philosopher Clive Hamilton from Charles Sturt University on his book, Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene (July 11)
  • LISTEN: Professor John Keane from the University of Sydney on the new despotism of the 21st century (July 18)
  • LISTEN: Professor David Lindemayer AO on the critically endangered Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands, Victoria (August 1)
  • LISTEN: American science writer Jennifer Ackerman on her book, The Genius of Birds (August 29)
  • LISTEN: Dutch historian Rutger Bregman on his book, Utopia for Realists (September 5)
  • LISTEN: Associate Professor David Vine from American University, Washington D.C., on his book, Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World (September 12)
  • LISTEN: Author George Megalogenis on the history of Australian politics, the major parties and their shifting ideologies (October 10)
  • LISTEN: James Thornton, lawyer and Founding CEO of ClientEarth, a global not-for-profit law firm, on his new book Client Earth (October 17)