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Curtin University lecture series to ignite debate

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Curtin University is preparing to launch a series of monthly public lectures designed to encourage public debate around a number of contentious issues that often have polarising viewpoints.

Nuclear energy, military history and the politics of asylum seekers are some of the topics featured in the eight-part public lecture series ‘Provocations and Contentions’ hosted by Curtin’s Australia-Asia-Pacific-Institute (AAPI).

The series kicks off on Thursday 8 March with a presentation by international relations expert Dr Chris Hubbard and physicist Dr Nigel Marks, titled ‘Nuclear Energy: Power or Poison?’

Dr Hubbard said that is important for countries contemplating a low-carbon future to understand the nature of nuclear energy and its place within energy policy planning.

“Nuclear energy mirrors mankind in its potential for both beneficial and malign effects on people, our societies and our natural environment,” Dr Hubbard said.

A highlight of the series will be a presentation in June by Dr Peter Stanley, Head of the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia.

Dr Stanley’s presentation, ‘The Myth of the Japanese Invasion’, is particularly timely given recent memorial services commemorating the 70th anniversary of the attacks on Broome and Darwin that took place during World War II.

AAPI director, Professor Graham Seal said it was important to have forums where these contentious issues could be discussed and debated.

“We need community discussion on some of these issues so we can move the public discourse forward,” Professor Seal said.

“We are aiming for all of these presentations to be cross-disciplinary, innovative and thought provoking.”

The lunchtime lectures will be held monthly from March to October in the Humanities Boardroom at Curtin University.

For more information please visit the AAPI website.

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