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.

About the Presenter: Amy Mullins is a broadcaster, board member, historian, and speaker. Amy presents and produces the content of Uncommon Sense on Melbourne's Triple R FM. She is also a Member of the Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality (Victorian Government), and was the Executive Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia for over four years.

Interview requests for Uncommon Sense to: dylanb[at]rrr.org.au If your request is for Uncommon Sense, please indicate this in your email.

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 subscribe to the feature interviews podcast on iTunes and Apple podcasts here.

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Contact Amy: uncommonsenserrr [at] gmail [dot] com

*The below interviews are all available to listen to on Soundcloud using the LISTEN links and to download/subscribe to via your podcast app.


  • LISTEN: Tim Flannery, palaeontologist, scientist and author, Europe: A Natural History (February 12)
  • LISTEN: Marilyn Waring, political economist and former New Zealand MP, on the limits of GDP and counting women's unpaid work (February 19)
  • LISTEN: Leta Hong Fincher, journalist and scholar, on China's "leftover women" and her book, Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China (March 12)
  • LISTEN: Christopher R. Browning, renowned Holocaust historian, on his landmark book Ordinary Men, and how civilian members of the Order Police joined with the Einsatzgruppen to commit mass murder in Eastern Europe (March 12)
  • LISTEN: Australia's first music thanatologist Peter Roberts and filmmaker Farshid Akhlagi, on their documentary From Music Into Silence and Peter's life-calling to play the harp for the sick and dying (April 30)
  • LISTEN: Philosopher Peter Singer on utilitarianism and his landmark book, Animal Liberation (May 7)
  • LISTEN: Philosopher and journalist Eleanor Gordon-Smith on her book, Stop Being Reasonable, and what really changes people's minds and perceptions (May 28)
  • LISTEN: Bill McKibben, author, climate activist and co-founder of 350.org, on his book, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? (June 4)
  • LISTEN: Antony Dapiran, Hong Kong-based lawyer and author, on the protests in Hong Kong and his book, City of Protest: A Recent History of Dissent in Hong Kong (June 18)
  • LISTEN: Owen Jones, Guardian UK columnist, activist and author, on the bungling of Brexit, Tory populism and the future of progressive politics (August 6)
  • LISTEN: John Burns, Emeritus Professor of politics at the University of Hong Kong, on what's really behind the escalating Hong Kong protests and the view from mainland China (August 13)
  • LISTEN: A.C. Grayling, British philosopher, on the history of (ancient) philosophy, and stopping Brexit (August 13)
  • LISTEN: Jess Hill, investigative journalist, on her book, See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse, and the radical rethink we need to stop domestic abuse (August 27)
  • LISTEN: Deborah E. Lipstadt, the historian who famously defeated a Holocaust denier in the UK's High Court, on her new book, Antisemitism: Here and Now (September 3)
  • LISTEN: Dr Matt McCarthy, New York Infectious-Disease physician and researcher, discusses his book, Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic (September 10)
  • LISTEN: Bob Brown, Conservationist and former Leader of the Australian Greens, on climate denial in Australia, becoming a climate activist, and the most urgent conservation issues we face (September 17)
  • LISTEN: Gabrielle Jackson from the Guardian Australia, discusses her book, Pain and Prejudice, and how the medical system gaslights women (September 17)


  • 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, Senior Writer and Deputy Director of Messaging for US President Barack Obama, 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: Mark McKenna, historian and author of the Quarterly Essay, Moment of Truth: History and Australia's Future (March 27)
  • LISTEN: Daniel Halliday, political philosopher at The University of Melbourne on The Inheritance of Wealth: Justice, Equality and the Right to Bequeath (April 10)
  • LISTEN: Stuart Kells and Ian D. Gow on their book, The Big Four: The Curious Past and Perilous Future of the Global Accounting Monopoly (April 24)
  • LISTEN: Brendan Wintle, Director of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub on Australia’s major impending bird and mammal extinctions and what we must do about it (May 1)
  • LISTEN: Johann Hari, Writer, on his book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions (May 8)
  • LISTEN: Nic Maclellan, Pacific journalist and author of Grappling With The Bomb: Britain’s Pacific H-Bomb Tests (May 15)
  • 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: Academic Andrew Macgregor and ACMI programmer Roberta Ciabarra on French nouvelle vague auteur Jean-Luc Godard (June 5)
  • LISTEN: Don Watson, former speechwriter to Paul Keating, on neoliberalism, the Banking Royal Commission and the language of corporate greed (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: Karen Jones, philosopher in ethics at the University of Melbourne on the philosophy of trust (August 14)
  • LISTEN: Barry Jones, public intellectual and former Minister for Science in the Hawke government, spoke about what’s wrong with our political parties and system, plus his and Malcolm Fraser's big idea to solve it (August 28)
  • 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: Don Rothwell, Professor of International Law at the ANU, on the international moratorium on commercial whaling and Japan's plans to restart commercial whaling (September 11)
  • LISTEN: Alex Edney-Browne, on the impact of drone warfare on civilian populations and drone operators (September 18)
  • LISTEN: Johann Hari, on his best-selling book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs (September 25)
  • LISTEN: Anne Manne, philosopher and feminist, on replacing the 'universal breadwinner' model with a 'universal caregiver' model (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: Ed Hill, conservationist and campaigner on the destructive impact of native forest logging in Victoria (November 13)
  • LISTEN: Kerry O'Brien, journalist and ABC 7.30 Report legend, on his new political memoir (November 20)
  • LISTEN: Stuart Kells, author and professional bibliophile, on The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders (November 27)
  • LISTEN: Parisian author Agnès Poirier on her book, Left Bank: Art, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50 (December 4)
  • LISTEN: Patrick Mullins, historian and author of Tiberius With A Telephone: The Life and Stories of William McMahon (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 that represents the planet, on his new book Client Earth (October 17)