Big Ideas for Festival of Ideas

August 11 / 66

Several segments of the 2011 Festival of Ideas will be broadcast on ABC1’s Big Ideas in coming weeks.

The first program, which aired yesterday, featured prominent festival speakers including Dr Matthew Ridley, UK Science writer and 'rational optimist' and Sir David Cannadine, a historian from Princeton University.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (University Affairs) Professor Warren Bebbington said making the University a platform for the discussion of issues of major public importance was a big part of its engagement agenda. 

“Universities are traditionally neutral ground on which even the most emotive issues can be rationally debated. Our Festival of Ideas is one of the ways we do this, which is why this year’s theme focussed on genetics and identity,” he said.

“About 8,000 people attended the festival, and about a further 6,000 in 15 countries followed it via our online streaming.

“Via television, we can share our deliberations with a much wider audience, so we are delighted the ABC has decided to pick up so much of the event for Big Ideas.”

Following the screenings, presentations will be uploaded to the Big Ideas website at:

All sessions can also be viewed on the Festival website:


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