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Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan for Thursday 14 May 2020

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1:15 The ‘Nature v Nurture’ debate: A 'scientific zombie'?

Today we're tackling the 'nature versus nuture' debate, which seems to have been lingering since the dawn of time. Two scientists want this so-called "scientific zombie" to die so we can stop having fruitless debates and move on. They've just published their research in a journal called BioScience. We speak to Professor Hamish Spencer from Otago University's Department of Zoology. 

A museum display of a Neanderthal tribe.

A museum display of a Neanderthal tribe. Photo:

1:25 Bus-spotting: Catching the bus post-lockdown 

As we emerge from lockdown, many New Zealanders will be wondering how the bus system will function on Monday. Will there be enough room on the bus with physical distancing? What about the school run? And will we get to work late on our first day back in the office? We speak to Dave Armstrong, who's a columnist for the Dominion Post and bus-spotter from way back. 

Wellington Go Bus bus.

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

1:35 Digital cards offer conversation starters 

Ever been stuck for something to say or wondered how to encourage a family member or friend to open up about what's worrying them? Business partners Jane Willersdorf and Megan Borrie have developed what's called 'The Human Card' during lockdown. They say the digital cards can act as conversation starters in a time of worry, uncertainty and disconnection. We talk to Jane Willersdorf about the simple power of a question.

Friends and colleagues Jane Willersdorf and Megan Borrie.

Friends and colleagues Jane Willersdorf and Megan Borrie. Photo: Eva Bradley Photography

1:45 Great album: Pop Life

Pop Life vinyl is a 12" which was released for Record Store Day last year. On the vinyl is 'Pop Life' and 'Hello' - both remixed by Prince's long-time collaborator Sheila E. 

Pop Life

Pop Life Photo: Album Cover

2:00 Live coverage of the 2020 Budget

Political journalist Corin Dann, co-host of Morning Report on RNZ will present a 2020 Budget special with expert commentary from RNZ's Political Editor Jane Patterson and RNZ's Business Editor, Gyles Beckford. 

Grant Robertson holding Budget 2020 ahead of its release.

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

3:12 How will life post Covid 19 be for New Zealanders?

Steve Wynn-Harris - rural commentator and farmer wonders "What comes after for New Zealand as life begins to return to a "new normal" post Covid 19.

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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

​3:20 1919: What happens in the aftermath of a traumatic national event? 

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic had a devastating impact on NZ but what happened the year after?  The pandemic came in the same year as World War I ended. By analysing 1919 in NZ perhaps we can learn what might happen in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Historian Grant Morris from Victoria University looks back to see from this past experience what we might expect as we move forward.

Peace Celebration in Auckland (1919):

Peace Celebration in Auckland (1919): Photo: Public Domain

3.30 New Zealand Music Month Fresh Music Videos Daily on RNZ

We're celebrating NZ Music Month with Fresh Music Daily by sharing a new song and video from an up-and-coming Kiwi artist every day throughout May. Today we're featuring Neil MacLeod and his song Trems.

3:35 Stories from Our Changing World. Little bit of sea-level rise = lots more coastal flooding

Scientists warn that a small amount of sea-level rise could have big consequences for some low-lying parts of New Zealand. NIWA's Scott Stephens and Rob Bell talk about sea-level, coastal flooding and working with coastal communities to develop adaptation strategies for now and for the future.


3:45 The Panel with Heather Roy and Shane Te Pou