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Dr Karl to lead lively discussions at Woodford

20 Dec 2016

Popular science commentator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is teaming up with researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast to deliver some lively discussions about life’s big questions at this year’s Woodford Folk Festival.

Dr Karl, who received an Honorary Doctorate from USC in February, will lead the ‘Dark Matters and Smashing Ideas’ series in the GREENhouse at Woodford from 28 December to 1 January.

These panel presentations will dig deep into some of our most pressing social issues, from climate change to health and sustainable agriculture, in a format that is designed to challenge, educate and inspire change.

Panellists will consider questions like: Are warming oceans bad for coastal populations but good for the planet? What do we do when antibiotics stop working? Is coffee production bad for society? And was Captain Kirk right about time travel?

The USC experts will share their research findings at the following four presentations:
 
Good Reef! – Wednesday 28 December, 11am – Coastal geographer Dr Javier Leon and sustainable tourism expert Dr Gayle Mayes will join Dr Karl to take an honest look at what is needed to save the Great Barrier Reef – and what is likely to happen if we don’t save it. They will consider how climate change will impact tourism, public policy, the economy and biodiversity.

Back from the Future: the End of Antibiotics – Friday 30 December, 11am – Dr Karl, microbiologist Dr David McMillan and nursing researcher Dr Julie Hanson will discuss the challenges of a post-antibiotic world. They will look at whether new antibiotics can be developed, what pharmaceutical companies are doing to combat antibiotic resistance, and what can be done to increase the community’s health literacy around infectious diseases.

Primed for Time Travel – Saturday 31 December, 11am – Dr Karl will be joined by engineer Dr Helen Fairweather and psychologist Dr Rachael Sharman to discuss the mechanics of time travel and the potential perils of thinking you can outsmart the past. They will ponder the age-old question of whether a trip back in time would change the course of human history.

Coffee and Cocaine – Sunday 1 January, 11am – Dr Karl, political scientist Bronwyn Stevens and community development expert Dr Lila Singh-Petersen will explore the future of agriculture through some of the world’s most heavily trafficked commodities: coffee and cocaine. They will explain the links between free trade, public policy and food security, and focus on how the West influences agricultural production in developing nations.

The Woodford Folk Festival will run from 27 December to 1 January. More details are at: woodfordfolkfestival.com

— Terry Walsh

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