• Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – Stop press! The fourth estate – service or farce?

    Mark Nicol     |      January 4, 2021

    The invention of the printing press heralded a revolution in human communications, but the nation’s newspapers are being left behind in the age of the Internet, and Open Forum columnist Mark Nicol is less than impressed with their current standard of ownership and content.

  • 10 podcasts for summer

    Siobhan McHugh     |      January 1, 2021

    Podcasts have continued to proliferate this year, and offer an astonishing variety of content for every taste and interest. Here are 10 shows to sample or binge on the beach, at home – or in lockdown.

  • Hit the road, Jack

    Jessica Gildersleeve     |      December 31, 2020

    American beat novelist Jack Kerouac typed out his seminal work ‘On The Road’ in just 10 days on a single roll of paper, but after a year of travel bans and lockdowns, there are plenty of other epic road trips we can take with our fingertips this year.

  • Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – Music for the festive season

    Mark Nicol     |      December 22, 2020

    Open Forum regular Mark Nicol offers a selection of music “to soothe the savage soul” over the festive season.

  • Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – The idea of democracy

    Mark Nicol     |      December 10, 2020

    Western liberal democracy has its deep but tangled roots in a host of religious as well as secular traditions, and its apparent decline can only be arrested by a reappreciation of rationality and individual merit.

  • Voyeurism and media sport violence

    David Rowe     |      December 4, 2020

    The fiery crash suffered and survived by French Formula 1 driver Roman Grosjean has reignited the debate about the immediate and more insidious long-term dangers sports stars face for our entertainment.

  • Rescuing Australia’s lost literary treasures

    Rebecca Giblin     |      November 30, 2020

    A new project is digitising some of Australia’s most culturally-important lost books, getting them into libraries and answering some important questions.

  • Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – A vision of hope: The church of native divinity

    Mark Nicol     |      November 5, 2020

    The disciplined practise of rational science has given modern man technological domination of the planet, but it may take a new reverence for life itself for our species to ensure a sustainable future.

  • The history of the Hawkesbury

    Rachel Gray     |      October 11, 2020

    UNSW Sydney’s Grace Karskens reveals the complex and controversial history of the Hawkesbury River in her latest book People of the River.

  • Louise Glück wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

    Nikolai Duffy     |      October 10, 2020

    The wonderful American poet Louise Glück has won this years Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel committee heralded her work ‘for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal’. 

  • Arnhem Land Maliwawa rock art opens window to past

    Open Forum     |      October 2, 2020

    Stunning Arnhem Land rock art images including three rare depictions of bilbies and a dugong have been described by researchers in a new paper in Australian Archaeology.

  • Counterpoint by Mark Nicol – Music and silence

    Mark Nicol     |      September 30, 2020

    Mark Nicol explores the rich history, unrivaled creativity and uncertain future of western music.