CAVE in the media

Jeanette Kennett on ABC's All in The MindOur members often present their work to the public through the popular media. Collected here are the news articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts that are either written by or feature our members. There's a wide range of articles, from Conversation pieces to posts in the Brains blog to articles in the New York Times. There are also radio and podcast interviews where our members talk about their research or give their expert opinions on certain topics.

As an added feature, there are videos: some long ones, of the annual CAVE public lecture, and some short ones, including interviews and popular talks by our members at events such as TEDx.

These will give you a great introduction to the ideas and problems that this centre is interested in. We hope that you enjoy them!

Latest story:

New article: Anke Snoek on willpower and addiction. Read more.

New podcast: Neil Levy on the possibility of a morality pill. Hear more.

For stories from previous years, please visit our media archive.



Willpower not as important in substance abuse recovery, study, by Cesar Gamboa

Addiction Now, March 27, 2017
CAVE members Jeanette Kennett, Neil Levy, and Anke Snoek

Some people believe willpower is what’s needed most when overcoming drug addiction, but a new study provides evidence that the use of recovery strategies may be more critical than, and independent of, willpower during substance abuse recovery.

The researchers reported observations on how individuals — specifically those addicted to either alcohol or opioids — perceived their self-control and how it developed over time and provided a theoretical framework that may help better understand the application of strategies when facilitating recovery. Read more.

Faster access to new drugs doesn't always mean better treatment, by Narcyz Ghinea and Wendy Lipworth

The Conversation, March 15, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Wendy Lipworth

US President Donald Trump recently chose an adviser to a large pharmaceutical company to lead the country’s drug regulation agency.

Scott Gottlieb – who reportedly sits on the boards of several small drug companies and is an adviser to GlaxoSmithKline – is expected to introduce greater flexibility to the evidence standards used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate the benefit and risks of new medicines. Read more.

Gender disappointment: 'Another little boy... I almost cried', by Kylie Matthews

Kidspot, March 9, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

When you found out the sex of your baby, how did it make you feel? For some women the disappointment they experience on discovering their child isn’t their preferred gender can be devastating. So what’s behind their desire for one particular gender over another? And how can they achieve it? Kylie Matthews investigates. Read more.

Testosterone Rex: Why everything you know about hormones is probably wrong, by David Smith

New Statesman, March 3, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

Imagine saying to someone you don’t like: “You’re fired”. Would the testosterone course round your body? Interestingly, in women the former is true, with their secretion increasing if they wield authority – something typically reserved for men. This is one of many examples demonstrating how the relationship between biological sex and testosterone isn’t clear cut, and much of it may be owed to gender roles, given by the psychologist Cordelia Fine in her new book, Testosterone Rex. Read more.

Testosterone Rex: It's time to stop blaming sexism on hormones, by Catherine Fox

ABC News, March 2, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

The notion that the hormone testosterone gives men a natural advantage in risk taking, from bungee jumping to working in trading rooms, is so pervasive it may come as a shock to learn it's backed by very little recent scientific evidence. Read more.

Why Testosterone Rex is extinct, by Cordelia Fine

The Guardian, February 26, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

When a baby is born, their sex is usually the first thing we want to know about them. The last thing you’re ever likely to forget about a person is whether they are male or female. We often think of biological sex as a fundamental force in human development that creates not just two kinds of reproductive system, but two kinds of people. Read more.

Not From Venus, Not From Mars: What We Believe About Gender and Why It's Often Wrong, by Annie Murphy Paul

The New York Times, February 23, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

If you hear a metallic rasp as you open the cover of Cordelia Fine’s new book, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the sound of the author sharpening her knives, the better to carve up the carcass of what she calls “Testosterone Rex”: the big, scaly body of assumptions, preconceptions, conjectures and distortions regarding “what men are like” and “what women are like.” Fine takes on this king of all biases with admirable vigor, and it’s a pleasure — albeit a strenuous one — to follow the action as she dismembers the beast. Read more.

Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine - men, women and myths, by Antonia Macar

Financial Times, February 18, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

I’m not sure whether there was ever a time when I believed that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. If there was, thankfully I don’t remember it. But after reading Cordelia Fine’s previous book, Delusions of Gender (2011), which I found totally convincing, even life-changing, and now her new one, I have become more acutely aware of just how hard it is to resist the insidious, mesmeric pull of the received story that she dubs “Testosterone Rex”. Read more.

China says it has stopped harvesting organs, but evidence belies its claim, by Wendy Rogers

The Conversation, February 15, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

The Chinese government has claimed the country no longer harvests organs from prisoners. But recent revelations about two leading Chinese researchers indicate this may not be true.

In 2005, China publicly stated what many already believed: that its transplant system was built on harvesting organs from criminals sentenced to death (“executed prisoners”). According to declarations by officials, this practice has been banned since January 2015, with organs now sourced from volunteer citizen donors. Read more.

Do religious beliefs respond to evidence? by Neil Levy

Imperfect Cognitions Blog, February 14, 2017
CAVE member, Neil Levy

There are two central strands to Neil Van Leeuwen’s post (hereafter NVL). One is the claim that there is a class of representational state (in the post he focuses on religious belief, but in his paper in Cognition he suggests that ideological beliefs belong to this class too) which fail to be evidentially vulnerable in the same way as more mundane beliefs. The second strand is the one developed in his paper in Philosophical Explorations, arguing that we best understand the limited signs of evidence responsiveness exhibited by these beliefs in terms of a kind of imaginative play. People who respond to evidence with regard to their religious beliefs typically do so because the apparent evidence is assigned a role within a circumscribed Evidence Game. Read more.

Sex selection via IVF in Australia: Sarah's journey to have a baby girl, by Kylie Matthews, February 13, 2017
CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

ALL Sarah ever wanted was to have a baby girl to call her own.

Already mum to two young boys and unwilling to risk naturally conceiving a third, in 2011 Sarah and her family chose to travel from Australia to the United States for IVF to take advantage of highly accurate sex selection technology to achieve her dream.

After the birth of her first born child, a son, Sarah tells that she and her husband tried everything to naturally conceive a girl, but nothing worked. Read more.

Medical journal to retract paper after concerns organs came from executed prisoners, by Melissa Davey

The Guardian, February 9, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

A prestigious medical journal will retract a scientific paper from Chinese surgeons about liver transplantation after serious concerns were raised that the organs used in the study had come from executed prisoners of conscience.

The study was published last year in Liver International. It examined the outcomes of 564 liver transplantations performed consecutively at Zhejiang University’s First Affiliated hospital between April 2010 and October 2014. Read more.

Concerns over source of livers for transplant, by Cosmos Magazine

Cosmos Blog, February 9, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Grisly news out of China, where a medical journal assessing the outcomes of liver transplants has been forced to retract a paper on concerns that organs came from executed prisoners.

The study was published last year in the prestigious journal Liver International. It looked at 564 liver transplantations performed at Zhejiang University’s First Affiliated hospital between April 2010 and October 2014.

The authors of the study wrote that “all organs were procured from donors after cardiac death and no allografts [organs and tissue] obtained from executed prisoners were used”. Read more.

A Chinese medical study is being retracted for relying on organs harvested from executed prisoners, by Ephrat Livni

The Quartz, February 9, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Last year, a prestigious medical journal published research from Chinese surgeons involving 564 transplanted livers. Now, Liver International is retracting the study amid accusations that the livers were extracted from executed prisoners of conscience—people killed for their beliefs.

If the accusations are true, these Chinese researchers aren’t alone in using incarcerated humans for medical experiments. There’s a long and gruesome history of unethical medical organ harvesting. For example, in the early 19th century, a serial killer who made a living harvesting parts for doctors in England was sentenced to death and dissected for bits like his victims; even his skin was used to bind a book. Read more.

Vatican row as China invited to organ transplant meet, by AFP

Daily Mail Australia, February 8, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Ethics experts and human rights lawyers slammed the Vatican for inviting a top Chinese health official to an organ trafficking summit despite concerns the Asian giant still uses tissue from executed prisoners.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences invited Huang Jiefu, the man in charge of overhauling China's transplant system, to the two-day conference in the tiny city state.

Wendy Rogers, a medical ethics expert at Macquarie University in Australia and the chair of an advisory committee on tackling organ theft in China, slammed Huang's presence as "shocking". Read more.

Debate Flares Over China’s Inclusion at Vatican Organ Trafficking Meeting, by Didi Kirsten Tatlow

The New York Times, February 7, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

BEIJING — A politely worded but testy debate has flared over a Vatican conference on human organ trafficking, with a group of ethicists warning that China will use the participation of its most senior transplant official to convince the world that it has overhauled its organ procurement system.

In a letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome, where the two-day Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism began on Tuesday, 11 ethicists wrote: “Our concern is with the harvesting and trafficking of organs from executed prisoners in China.” Read more.

Engaging with China on organ transplantation, by Wendy A Rogers, Matthew P Robertson, and Jacob Lavee

BMJ, February 7, 2017
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Withdraw professional engagement pending transparency about procurement and accountability for past abuses.

In 2005, one of China’s most prominent liver transplant surgeons travelled to the far western province of Xinjiang. There he performed a highly complex autologous liver transplantation. The patient’s liver was explanted, the cancer excised, and the liver retransplanted.

As a backup to this innovative, risky procedure, the surgeon ordered two extra livers by phoning hospitals in Chongqing and Guangzhou. These were delivered the next morning. Such events are unimaginable in systems where organs are freely donated, scarce, and allocated according to need. In China in 2005, most organs for transplants came from executed prisoners. Read more.

    Top Chinese Transplant Surgeon has study retracted, by Larry Ong

    Epoch Times, February 7, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    A medical journal has retracted a disputed study on liver transplantation co-authored by a Chinese doctor implicated in forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, a move that acknowledges concerns over the Chinese regime’s murky transplantation system and may spur other journal editors to enforce stricter ethical guidelines, according to researchers.

    The disputed study, published in the journal Liver International in October 2016, analyzed 564 liver transplants at Zhejiang University’s First Affiliated Hospital from April 2010 to October 2014. Co-author Dr. Zheng Shusen and 16 other academics claimed in the paper that no organs were taken from executed prisoners. Read more.

    Vatican defends inviting Chinese ex-minister to organ trafficking talks, by Stephanie Kirchgaessner

    The Guardian, February 6, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    Vatican officials have defended their decision to invite a Chinese former deputy health minister to a conference on organ trafficking despite concerns that China still relies on the organs of executed prisoners in its transplant programme.

    Medical ethics experts and human rights activists have decried the move by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to invite Huang Jiefu to a two-day conference starting on Tuesday that aims to expose organ trafficking and seeks to find “moral and appropriate solutions” to the issue. Read more.

    Chinese Transplant Doctor Accused of Ordering Executions Speaks at Vatican, by Larry Ong

    Epoch Times, February 6, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences has run into controversy for inviting a speaker linked to forced organ harvesting in China to present the regime’s narrative at the Vatican’s Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism on Feb. 7 and 8.

    The summit was held in hopes of addressing the problems of organ trafficking and transplant tourism, but researchers of forced organ harvesting claimed it could end up giving the worst perpetrator of forced organ harvesting a propaganda victory. Read more.

    Study retraction reignites concerns over China's possible use of prisoner organs, by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

    ScienceMag, February 6, 2017
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    A journal has decided to retract a 2016 study because of concerns that its data on the safety of liver transplantation involved organs sourced from executed prisoners in China. The action, taken despite a denial by the study’s authors that such organs were used, comes after clinical ethicist Wendy Rogers of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues authored a letter to the editor of Liver International on 30 January, calling for the paper’s retraction in the “absence of credible evidence of ethical sourcing of organs.” Read more.

    Exploding myths of gender, by Stuart Derbyshire

    Spiked Review, January 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Cordelia Fine’s excellent new book takes apart the idea that male and female behaviours are determined by evolution.

    I teach a course at the National University of Singapore on evolutionary psychology. I am critical of the field, but I did accept a central tenet of evolutionary psychology, which is that the greater biological investment of women into reproduction impacts the psychology and behaviour of men and women. The logic is compelling. In order to reproduce, women are obliged to become pregnant and give birth. Pregnancy is demanding. Often pregnant women suffer increased blood pressure as their bodies are forced to deliver more blood and nutrition to the fetus, and many suffer morning sickness. All pregnancies involve weight gain, stretching, difficulty moving and discomfort, which renders the woman less able to protect and feed herself. Then, at the end of pregnancy, there is the painful, exhausting and dangerous birth. Assuming the woman survives pregnancy and childbirth, there is breastfeeding, which can extend the period of discomfort and exhaustion for several more years. Read more.

    Testosterone Rex review: Cordelia Fine takes issue with the making of men, by Simon Caterson

    The Age, January 28, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Shortly before Christmas in 2014, then prime minister Tony Abbott responded to a campaign led by Greens senator Larissa Waters protesting against segregated store aisles of gendered toys with the retort that "boys will be boys and girls will be girls".

    According to Cordelia Fine, Abbott was not just being reactionary and insensitive. He was also plain wrong in terms of the current scientific understanding of the endlessly fluid association between sex and gender. Read more.

    The Science of Gender: No, Men Aren't From Mars and Women Aren't from Venus, by Barbara J. King

    NPR, January 26, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Testosterone Rex is extinct.

    That's the central conclusion of a fascinating new book by University of Melbourne psychologist Cordelia Fine. Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society hit the bookstores Tuesday.

    "Testosterone Rex" is a nickname for the view that women and men are essentially different, owing very largely to biology. The hormone testosterone is, in this view, a biological agent that makes men more liable to seek a variety of sexual partners, more prone to risk-taking, and so on. Read more.

    Breaking Away From the Gender Binary: A Q&A with 'Testosterone Rex' author Cordelia Fine, by Katie Klabusich

    Rewire, January 24, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Many people in our society have long argued that men and women have inherent traits thanks to our very natures. While some point to patriarchal interpretations of religion to prop up centuries-old myths, others have relied on faulty science to support their misguided assumptions about innate tendencies regarding power, sexual inclinations, and life goals.

    Out today, University of Melbourne professor Cordelia Fine‘s Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society does the public service of deconstructing the biological and societal tenets on which the continued inequality of the sexes is largely founded. Read more.

    How Testosterone Rex gave the differences between sexes a bad press, by Cordelia Fine

    The Sydney Morning Herald, January 21, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    One memorable evening, I mentioned over the family dinner that it was time to get our newly acquired dog de-sexed. At this point I should explain that my older son has a strange, unchild-like interest in taxidermy. Thus, ever since this boisterous, loving canine entered the household, my son has been campaigning for the dog, after it dies, to live on not just in our hearts, but in a tasteful, formaldehyde-preserved pose in the living-room. Read more.

    Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine review - the question of men's and women's brains, by Sarah Ditum

    The Guardian, January 18, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Cordelia Fine is an optimistic writer. In her two earlier books of popular neuroscience (A Mind of Its Own and Delusions of Gender), the psychologist established a reputation for exemplary clarity on complex topics, pleasing wit, feminist principle – and beneath it all, the animating faith that people can be improved through knowledge. Testosterone Rex starts with a quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists that establishes the Fine approach perfectly: “But in addition to being angry, I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of humans to make and remake themselves for the better.” Read more.

    Liberal or Conservative? Most of our beliefs shift around, by Neil Levy

    The Conversation, January 17, 2017
    CAVE member, Neil Levy

    One common reaction to the election of Donald Trump (and perhaps to a lesser extent, the Brexit vote) among liberals like me is an expression of dismay that some of our fellow citizens are more racist and more sexist than we had dreamed. It seems many were prepared, if not to support openly racist comments and sexist actions, then at least to overlook them. It looks as though battles we thought we had won, having to do with a recognition of a basic kind of equality, need to be fought all over again. Many have concluded that they were never won at all; people were just waiting for a favourable climate to express the racism and sexism they held hidden. Read more.

    What can we learn from the Implicit Association Test? A Brains blog roundtable, by John Shwenkler

    The Brains Blog, January 17, 2017
    CAVE member, Neil Levy

    Recently there has been a lot of discussion of the value of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) as a measure of implicit bias — discussion generated largely by a new paper by Calvin Lai, Patrick Forscher and their colleagues that presents the results of a meta-analysis of studies conducted using the IAT, plus a provocative article in New York magazine by Jesse Singal that discusses that paper and the methodological controversy it’s a part of. The title of Singal’s article? “Psychology’s Favorite Tool for Measuring Racism Isn’t Up to the Job: Almost two decades after its introduction, the implicit association test has failed to deliver on its lofty promises”. (Please bear in mind that headlines are usually written by someone other than the author.) Read more.

    Book Excerpt from Testosterone Rex, by Cordelia Fine

    The Scientist, January 1, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Sometimes these days I’m introduced to people as an academic who wrote a book about how the brains of women and men aren’t that different. Disappointingly, the wide range of reactions to this brief biography has yet to include You must be Cordelia Fine! Would you sign this copy of your book that I carry around with me? Instead, people often shoot me a startled look, and then ask whether I’d also deny that there are other basic physiological differences between the sexes. Whenever this happens, I’m always tempted to fix my interrogator in the grip of a steely gaze and pronounce briskly, “Certainly! Testes are merely a social construction,” then see how the conversation flows from there. Read more.



    Is it ethical to swallow a morality pill? by Anne Marie Tremonti

    The Current, CBC Radio, March 28, 2017
    CAVE member Neil Levy

    Imagine a pill that could make you a more "moral" person. Would you take it?

    Today, leading scientists are debating the ethics of just that — a pill that improves morality.

    In recent years, research has shown drugs widely prescribed to treat conditions like anxiety or depression have been found to amplify characteristics such as empathy, self-control and increased trust; even an improvement in attitudes towards people of other races. Hear more.

    Screen and intervene - neuroscience and risk, by Tom Switzer

    ABC RN Sunday Extra, March 12, 2017
    CAVE seminar speaker, Nikolas Rose

    Early intervention is a catch cry of modern life. If only we could get in early enough and deal with something before it becomes a problem, then we might avoid a much worse situation later. But it’s when you combine our desire to prevent bad things happening with developments in brain science and genetics that we get into to some tricky areas. So what are the pros and cons of human susceptibility towards violence or aggression in the age of neuroscience? Hear more.

    Neurotechnologies of Justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom, by Nikolas Rose

    Australian Neurolaw Database Soundcloud, March 7, 2017
    CAVE seminar speaker, Nikolas Rose

    In this talk I will explore the actual and potential impacts of developments in neuroscience and neurotechnology in the criminal justice system beyond the courtroom. There has beenmuch discussion about the role of genetics and brain scanning in criminal trials and their impact on the legal fiction of free will, although evidencethat genetic or brain based defences succeed in exculpation is equivocal. In this talk, I will focus elsewhere, and explore the impact of claims to be able to ‘read the brain’ in neural lie detection and beyond, the potential uses of novel neurotechnologies for risk assessment, preemptive intervention, and their role in ‘law enforcement’ and ‘crowd control’, and some questions arising from machine learning and artificial intelligence. The challenges posed by the ‘dual use’ potential of some advances in neuroscience, where technologies intended for civilian purposes also have military and security uses, are particularly significant at a time when the boundaries between the criminal justice and the wider security system are increasingly blurred. Hear more.

    Little Atoms Podcast 453: Cordelia Fine and Nichi Hodgson, by Little Atoms

    Little Atoms Podcast, February 14, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Cordelia Fine is a Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of much-acclaimed A Mind of Its Own (Icon, 2006) and Delusions of Gender (Icon, 2010), described as ‘a truly startling book’ by the Independent, ‘fun, droll yet deeply serious’ by New Scientist and an ‘important book … as enjoyable as it is timely and interesting’ by the West Australian. Her latest book is Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds.

    This show also features a short interview with Nichi Hodgson on her book The Curious History of Dating. Hear more.

    The Gendered Mind, by Lynne Malcolm

    ABC RN All in The Mind, February 12, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Do men and women have fundamentally different minds? We’ve all heard stories about men being risk-takers and good at map reading, in contrast to women, who work best in the social and nurturing realm—but is that true, and how much of it is actually to do with biology and hormones? We re-examine the science to see if testosterone really is king when it comes to our gender formation. Hear more.

    Debate: Professor Gab Kovacs and Dr Tereza Hendl, by Jeremy Fernandez

    ABC Lateline, February 7, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Tereza Hendl

    Jeremy Fernandez hosts our Late Debate on the ethics of gender selection and whether it should be allowed in Australia. See more (or read transcript).

    Sexism, sport, and testosterone, by John Standish

    ABC Radio Melbourne, February 6, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Katrina Sedgwick is Jon Faine's co-host. She is the Director and CEO of ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), and was previously Head of Arts for ABC TV and online.

    Their first guest is academic psychologist and writer Cordelia Fine. She is a Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne and the author of Delusions of Gender and A Mind of Its Own. Her latest book is Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds (Icon Books). Hear more.

    Cordelia Fine and Testosterone - is it time we stop giving this hormone so much credit for how a man behaves? by Sarah Macdonald

    ABC RN Nightlife, February 3, 2017
    CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

    Much of our scientific understanding of gender was based for a long time on one scientist's study of fruit flies - a study that was later revisited, with many questions raised as to its accuracy. The study found males took more risks, were more promiscuous and that females were cautious about which flies they mated with. From everyday language to medical and scientific understanding, most of us see testosterone (and estrogen) and the defining characteristics of male and female. Sarah Macdonald sits down with author of "Testosterone Rex" Cordelia Fine, Professor of History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. Hear more.


    Pioneering Minds: Wendy Rogers and Medical Ethics, by Macquarie Newsroom

    Pioneering Minds Podcast Series, December 14, 2016
    CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

    This week on the Pioneering Minds Podcast we speak to Professor Wendy Rogers from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, talking contemporary medical ethics, surgical innovation and the issues of over-diagnosis and organ matching. Listen and subscribe:


    Tens of thousands of organ transplants still performed by Chinese government: report, by Fran Kelly

    ABC RN Breakfast, November 23, 2016
    CAVE Public Lecturer, David Matas

    Ten years ago a controversial Canadian report brought the world's attention for the first time to a horrific allegation—that the Chinese government was secretly harvesting organs from political prisoners, including many followers of the spiritual practice known as Falun Gong. Hear more.

    Nicole Vincent on Neurointerventions and Human Happiness, by John Danaher

    Algocracy and the Transhumanist Project, November 21, 2016
    CAVE affiliate member Nicole Vincent

    In this episode I talk to Nicole Vincent. Nicole is an international philosopher extraordinaire. She has appointments at Georgia State University, TU Delft (Netherlands) and Macquarie University (Sydney). Nicole’s work focuses on the philosophy of responsibility, cognitive enhancement and neuroethics. We talk about two main topics: (i) can neuroscience make us happier? and (ii) how should we think about radically changing ourselves through technology? Hear more.

    Australia's True Colours - What is Racism? by Ellie Cooper

    Probono Australia, October 11, 2016
    CAVE members Albert Atkin and Neil Levy

    Australia’s racism has roots in its history of colonisation and migration, and, until recent years, racist policies and practices were embedded within Australian laws and institutions, and the debate has become tied up with national identity.

    In the first episode in a three-part series, Australia’s True Colours, Not for Podcast investigates what racism is and where it comes from to ultimately find out, is Australia racist? Hear more.

    Judging Remorse, by Rachel Carbonell

    Law Report, ABC Radio National, September 27, 2016
    CAVE member, Kate Rossmanith

    How do judges and magistrates tell if someone is genuinely remorseful?

    Is remorse legally defined?

    An interdisciplinary research initiative with academics from legal philosophy, forensic psychology and cultural studies is investigating how remorse is evaluated in the courts. Hear more.

    Pioneering Minds: Why our brains make us who (and what) we are: Prof. Greg Downey, by Macquarie Newsroom

    Pioneering Minds Podcast Series, August 11, 2016
    CAVE member, Greg Downey

    Are we all the same, deep down, or do our specific circumstances create fundamental differences between us?

    This is the question neuroanthropologist Professor Greg Downey seeks to answer, and he discusses it at length in this week’s Pioneering Minds podcast.

    Professor Downey also discusses how culture informs us, the vital importance of research, and the fact that without our amazing brains, we would just be “fairly untalented, hairless apes.” Yep.

    You can listen now on iTunes or Soundcloud.

    From Macquarie Newsroom.

    The pleasure-pain paradox, by Joe Gelonesi

    The Philosopher's Zone, ABC Radio National, June 5, 2016
    CAVE Visitors, Michael Brady, David Bain, and Jennifer Corns

    Pain is a puzzle; and so is pleasure. For instance, how do you deal with the phenomenon of a pain that doesn’t hurt, or the pleasures for some of masochism? Yes, there are evolutionary and neuroscientific explanations, but somehow they don’t seem to tell the full story. Enter the philosophers, for whom the pleasure-pain paradox needs to be solved. Hear more.

    Neuroscience and Criminal Punishment, by Jennie Lenman

    Breakfast on Radio Adelaide, 101.5FM Radio Adelaide Digital, May 27, 2016
    CAVE member, Jeanette Kennett

    Researchers say that neuroscience could change the way the way Australian law punishes criminals. Should this happen and how are judges currently dealing with advances in neurological explanations for behaviour? Professor Jeanette Kennett holds a joint appointment between the Department of Philosophy and the Centre for Cognitive Science at Macquarie University and she joined us to discuss. Hear more.

    The discovery of insect consciousness, by Michael Mackenzie

    Afternoons, ABC Radio National, April 22, 2016
    CAVE member, Colin Klein

    Have you ever got up close and personal with an ant and really taken a look at what it's doing?

    Did it make you wonder whether that ant was thinking and reflecting about its experience as it moved that crumb across the picnic blanket?

    Well a new theoretical paper proposes that insects such as ants and bees do think and actually demonstrate a kind of consciousness.

    It suggests that by studying the brains and behaviour of these creatures we can learn more about the evolution of our own human thought processes. Hear more.

    Neurolaw, by Lynne Malcolm

    All in the Mind, ABC Radio National, April 10, 2016
    CAVE member, Jeanette Kennett

    Can problems in your brain make you commit a crime? And if so, how much responsibility is yours? These are the complex questions being raised by the emerging field of neurolaw. Brain imaging and other neuroscientific evidence is now being brought forward in legal cases—and sometimes mitigating a sentence. This week on All in the Mind, neurolaw experts from the United States and Australia tease out some of the thorny issues. Hear more.

    Pioneering Minds: Jeanette Kennett and Neuroethics, by Macquarie Newsroom

    Pioneering Minds Podcast Series, February 24, 2016
    CAVE member, Jeanette Kennett

    This week’s guest, Professor Jeanette Kennett from the Department of Philosophy, is a pioneer of neurolaw – a new interdisciplinary field that investigates the relationship between neuroscience and law. In her interview with Ben Mckelvey she discusses the implications of this on moral agency, criminality and culpability, the establishment of the neurolaw database, and how she was drawn to questions of justice. Listen to this episode and subscribe to the series through iTunes or SoundCloud.

    From the Macquarie Newsroom.

    Colin Klein, What the Body Commands: An Imperative Theory of Pain, by Carrie Figdor

    New Books in Philosophy, January 15, 2016
    CAVE member, Colin Klein

    Nothing seems so obviously true as the claim that pains feel bad, that pain and suffering go together. Almost as obviously, it seems that the function of pain is to inform us of tissue damage. In What the Body Commands: The Imperative Theory of Pain (The MIT Press, 2015), Colin Klein denies both apparently obvious claims. On his view, pain is a "protective imperative" whose content is to protect the body or body part: for example, "Don't put weight on that left ankle!". Klein, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University, discusses the problem of pain asymbolia, in which people report feeling pain but are not the least bit motivated to do anything about it; considers how to explain masochistic pleasure, where we deliberately act in ways that do not protect the body; and addresses the question: why do pains (typically, but contingently) hurt? Hear more.


    About our members

    Our Director, Catriona Mackenzie. She was interviewed in 2013 when she won the Jim Piper Award for Excellence in Research Leadership. In this video, she talks about what she does.

    One of our executive members, Wendy Rogers. She won the Macquarie University Research Excellence Award in the category Resilient Societies in 2015, for her work on surgical innovation.

    Some of our members in the Philosophy Department in 2015, talking of the research they do thanks to the grants that they have.

    CAVE member John Sutton and his colleagues wrote a paper in 2014 on collaborative memory, entitled "Couples as socially distributed cognitive systems: remembering in every day social and material contexts." (Memory Studies, Vol. 7, Issue 3, pp. 285 - 297) This paper inspired Hashem Al-Ghaili to create this video.

    CAVE Public Lectures

    Every year, CAVE has a public lecture, which is open and free to everyone. These are the recordings from our previous lectures:

    2016: David Matas (B'nai Brith Canada), "Policy and Law in Australia to Prevent Complicity in Foreign Transplant Abuse."

    2015: Gillian Triggs (President of the Australian Human Rights Commission), "The Business of Human Rights."

    • 2014: Julian Savulescu (Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics), "Enhancing responsibility." (not recorded)
    • 2013: Bernadette McSherry (Melbourne), "Legal Capacity, Mental Capacity and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with  Disabilities." (not recorded)

    2012: Julian Burnside, AO QC, "Defining Our National Character: Our Treatment of Asylum Seekers."

    2011: Thomas Pogge (Yale), "Human rights as constraints on global institutional arrangements."

    Other talks

    Some of our members participate in events like TEDx and the Three Minute Thesis Competition. Here are the talks.

    2015: Sacha Molitorisz at the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT), "Morality bytes: Threats to privacy and truth, agency and autonomy in a new media world."

    2015: Nicole Vincent at TEDxEmory, "Cognitive enhancements for prisoners with disabilities."

    2014: Tereza Hendl at TEDxMacquarie, "Challenging Gender Selection."

    2014: Nicole Vincent at TEDxSydney, "Enhancing Responsibility."

    2010: Cordelia Fine at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, "Delusions of Gender."

    For stories from previous years, please see our media archive.

    Return to CAVE main page.

    Page last updated: 30 Mar 2017

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