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LIVESTREAM We Still Need To Talk About Climate Change

19 August 2020
6.30pm – 7.30pm AEST
This event has ended
Protesters behind barricade


This livestream will be available on the UNSW Centre for Ideas websiteFacebook and YouTube.

A link to watch the livestream will be sent on the event day to registered attendees.

Can't tune in to the livestream? Register to receive the on demand recording.


In January we watched helplessly as Australia burned. Over 18 million hectares were destroyed, and more than a billion animals were killed. It was clear to those on both sides of politics that Australia needed immediate climate action. Flash forward and the all-encompassing nature of COVID-19 has made it almost impossible to talk about anything else, but the imperatives of climate change have not gone away. So how do we restart the conversation on climate? 

In Australia, despite the work of our world-leading scientists, climate change is a vexed political topic, rather than a question of science and policy. As we grapple with the new normal of bushfires and water shortages, on top of pandemic recovery, how can we take the politics out of these important issues? How can we bring communities together to think about change? Join climate scientist and author of The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery, marine ecologist Adriana Vergés, social researcher, author of How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference, Rebecca Huntley and marine biologist and Dean of Science at UNSW Sydney, Emma Johnston to find out how we might turn these pressing climate conversations into climate solutions. 

Presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and supported by UNSW Science. This event is part of the UNSW x National Science Week program – head here to see the full program. This event is part of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Thriving in the Anthropocene. 

Want to read Rebecca Huntley's or Tim Flannery's books? You can purchase them from the UNSW Bookshop by calling 02 9385 6622 or emailing




This livestream will be available on the UNSW Centre for Ideas websiteFacebook and YouTube.

A link to watch the livestream will be sent on the event day to registered attendees.


The Jack Beale Public Lecture Series was established in 1999 by the Honourable Dr Jack Beale AO, a passionate advocate of environmental management and the first Minister for the Environment in Australia (NSW Parliament). The Jack Beale Lecture provides the opportunity for a prominent individual to examine Australia’s environmental responsibilities, opportunities and performance within a global context. Past speakers have included Professor Paul Ehrlich, Dr Rajendra Pachauri and Dr David Suzuki.


For event enquiries or to discuss your access requirements, please call the Centre for Ideas on 0407 296 429 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 0407 296 429. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 0407 296 429. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 0407 296 429.

Tim Flannery Headshot

Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery is the 2007 Australian of the Year. In 2013 he founded and became Chief Councillor of the Australian Climate Council, Australia’s largest and most successful crowdfunded organisation. He is currently Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Climate Change at the Australian Museum. 

Flannery has taught at Harvard University, and has advised governments both in Australia and Canada. In 2007 he established and co-chaired the Copenhagen Climate Council, and in 2011 was appointed Australia’s first Climate Commissioner. His 32 books include The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, which has been translated into over 20 languages. He has made numerous documentaries and regularly writes for The New York Review of Books.

Adriana Vergés Headshot

Adriana Vergés

Adriana Vergés is a marine ecologist and conservationist in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW Sydney. Adriana’s research focuses on the ecological impacts of climate change and the conservation of the world’s algal forests and seagrass meadows, and much of her research takes place underwater. Adriana is passionate about communicating science to the wider public, especially through films, art and new media.

Rebecca Huntley Headshot

Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia's most experienced social researchers and former Director of The Mind and Mood Report, the longest running measure of the nation's attitudes and trends. She holds degrees in law and film studies and a PhD in gender studies, and is a mum to three young children. It was realising she is part of the problem older generation that caused her change of heart and to dedicate herself to researching our attitudes to climate change. She is a member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Corps, carries out social research for NGOs such as The Wilderness Society and WWF, and writes and presents for the ABC. Her latest book, How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference explains why the key to progress on climate change is in the psychology of human attitudes and our ability to change. 

Emma Johnston Headshot

Emma Johnston

Professor Emma Johnston AO FTSE FRSN is Dean of Science and Professor of Marine Ecology and Ecotoxicology at UNSW Sydney. She studies the impacts of human activities in marine ecosystems and how we can build ecological resilience. Her research is conducted in diverse field environments, from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef and on to temperate Australian estuaries. She is an elected fellow of the Australian Technological Society and in 2018 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). Professor Johnston is a national advocate for the science and technology sector and is a Director on the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. She consults with industry through the development and implementation of new biomonitoring and ecological engineering techniques and frequently contributes expert opinion to state, federal and international government agencies.