In this episode, as a solo presentation, the host of our podcasts, Emeritus Professor Richard Bawden, reflects on the Mission of the mini-series and discusses some of the key challenges that have been highlighted over the past two years and 40 plus episodes of the initiative. The basic purpose of the endeavour, he argues, has been to contribute to critical public discussions about how the most pressing and complex issues of our times might be more responsibly, effectively and collectively addressed from the perspective of the continuing quest for the development of states of sustainable and inclusive well-being in an ever-changing, volatile, uncertain and complex world.
A key issue that arises in this context relates to where we can seek the trustworthy evidence that we need to support what we need to know. How do we inform ourselves at a time in human history when in addition to the extraordinary amount of information available to us through so many different channels of media, we are also prey to so much confusing jargon, to disinformation, misinformation, fake news and alternative facts, to denialism, and plain lies and deceit?
Richard is an adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast with a long and varied history of life as an academic, mostly elsewhere, starting ‘way-back-when’ as an agricultural scientist in England. Subsequently he has followed an often tortuous and turbulent path, literally across five continents, pursuing questions about how we come to know what we know, and why that is important to the way that we live our lives – or better put, how we ought to live our lives as responsible citizens of what is clearly emerging to be an all-too-vulnerable planet.