08:10 Donald McNeil: US facing a dystopian Covid future

Donald McNeil

Donald McNeil Photo: supplied

In early March fellow journalists were bemused by Donald McNeil's glove wearing and surface-sanitising ways.

The New York Times' health and science reporter saw the pandemic coming and took personal action early.

He's now looking towards to the next big challenge for the US - how the country will navigate its way out of the lockdown.

His reporting's building up a picture of a dark and somewhat dystopian future, with economic opportunities for the immune leading to people deliberately exposing themselves to the virus.

NEW YORK, USA - APRIL 12: An amazon delivery person, with a face mask, crosses a street on Park Avenue, remaining nearly empty due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in New York City, United States, on April 12, 2020. Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency

Photo: 2020 Anadolu Agency

08:35 Anil Seth: exploring the complexities of consciousness

MRI Image Of Head Showing Brain

Photo: 123RF

How does our brain dictate the way we see the world? And how can we hack this process in the quest to design better, smarter technology?

Anil Seth has devoted his career to studying questions like these.

He is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex, the co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness.

He's doing a live online event The Neuroscience of Consciousness, on Sunday 17 May at 9pm NZ time.

Anil Seth

Anil Seth Photo: Supplied / Andy Hall

09:05 Chesa Boudin - progressive DA and 'de-carceration' advocate

San Francisco's recently elected district attorney Chesa Boudin has a unique perspective on the legal system: his 75-year-old father David Gilbert (a former member of the radical left wing group the Weather Underground) is in prison serving a life sentence for murder.

Boudin is a lawyer, writer, and lecturer specializing in the U.S. criminal justice system and Latin American policy.

His mission is to reform the American criminal justice system and reduce incarceration rates. His policies include challenging California's controversial 'three strikes' law.

He's also concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on prisoners.

Chesa Boudin

Chesa Boudin Photo: supplied

09:30 John Grant: US singer's Iceland life

American singer-songwriter John Grant, once of the alternative rock band the Czars, has now forged a flourishing solo career.

His 2010 debut Queen of Denmark was named best album of the year by Mojo.

This has been followed by Pale Green Ghosts (2013), John Grant and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra: Live in Concert (2014), Grey Tickles, Black Pressure (2015), and his last album Love Is Magic (2018).

Now based in Iceland, the coronavirus has just forced him to reschedule a UK, Ireland and Europe tour that was set to run from August to December.

John Grant

John Grant Photo: supplied / Shawn Brackbill

10:05 Maria Ressa: Filipino journalist vs Rodrigo Duterte

Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte's decision was a consequence of US legislative and executive actions, a spokesperson said.

Photo: AFP

No caption

Photo: Supplied

Filipino journalist Maria Ressa's work exposing government corruption and the misdeeds of the powerful has put her  on a collision course with the 'strongman' government of President Rodrigo Duterte.

She spent nearly 20 years working as CNN's lead investigative reporter in Southeast Asia before setting up the 'social news' network Rappler in her homeland.

Now, in what critics describe as a politically motivated prosecution, she's being accused of cyber libel and tax evasion.  The prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is among her admirers, and is defending her at her trial.

11:05 Vanessa Beavis: How NZ hospitals prepared for Covid-19

Dr Vanessa Beavis

Dr Vanessa Beavis Photo: supplied

Dr Vanessa Beavis was on the frontline of the planning and preparation that took place in New Zealand hospitals as they readied themselves for Covid-19 patients.

She's a consultant at Auckland hospital and the new president of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA).

From training hundreds of medical personnel to put on and take off PPE, to preparing operating theatres for procedures that could not be put off, she was ready to face a overwhelming wave of patients.

Now the initial threat has been avoided, how does she feel? And how is the spectre of Covid-19 impacting our health system?

11:35 Julie Leask: how to talk to anti-vaxxers

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Photo: Supplied

Conspiracy theories are nothing new, and it's not surprising many have sprung up around Covid-19. 

Julie Leask is a professor in the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sydney. She has spent decades studying how people approach vaccination, why those who oppose it do, and how to communicate with anti-vaxxers.

She discusses how to speak to someone who seems to be touting a conspiracy theory, and what pushes people towards believing those theories in the first place.

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Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone


Music played in this show

Song: The Model
Artist: Kraftwerk
Played at 08:30

Song: Sensitive New Age Guy
Artist: John Grant
Played at 09:05

Song: Quicksand
Artist: David Bowie
Played at 10:05