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Open for Discussion

By The University of Sydney

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Join lecturer in public policy, Dr Chris Neff from the University of Sydney as he turns his sceptical eye and curious mind to the world of research. Each episode an academic will join Chris in his office to explore the latest research on topics that affect us all. From housing prices to diet guidelines and everything in between, Chris will question what the evidence says, debunking myths and assumptions along the way. Open for discussion is a podcast series produced by the University of Sydney. As Australia’s first university we’ve been challenging traditions for more than 160 years. Visit our website for more information or to browse additional resources:

Customer Reviews

A great new find

I really enjoyed the "Home Ownership: facts and fiction" episode of the new "Open for Discussion" podcast series from the University of Sydney. Apart from dealing with a topical issue, I really liked the way that Nicole Gurran and Chris Neff debunked popular misconceptions around this contentious policy issue and actually came to useful conclusions about where policy-makers should focus their attention. Chris Neff is a really engaging and entertaining host. I'm looking forward to hearing him unpack more of the contemporary issues that are being tackled at the uni.


I listened to the Sleep podcast and found it be an excellent overview of some of the big issues in the topical area of sleep problems and current research. It covered the effects of morning versus evening light and blue-light exposure on sleep quality, catch-up or recovery sleep, the claims made for melatonin (a hormone produced in the pineal gland to signal sleep) by the 'sleep industry'and the need for large scale studies, the media focus on a 'sleep crisis'(despite studies showing sleep duration largely unchanged in last 20 yrs), and future directions for sleep research. The web link has a full transcipt and other good resources online. The host is very personable and this is a great debut for what promises to be a very engaging and interesting series. Keep up the good work!


The Elite Athletes vs Couch Potato episode was timely and an interestng perspective on the place of sport in our national culture. Dr Georgakis trained as an Olympian himself and believes sport has a valuable role to play in developing fitness, enhancing academic performance, and imparting important social and individual values but has been hijacked by commercialisation and 'bread and curcuses'spectacle. The interview looks at the positive and negative impact of the Olympics and elite athleticism on participation in sport. The host (a lawn bowls afficionado) brings humour and good questions to bear on the topic. ABC's Barracuda is one of the case studies in the web resources!

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