Name: Nogrady, Bianca
Occupation: Writer, journalist
Q: What makes an idea “dangerous”?
A good dangerous idea challenges long-held beliefs, traditions, and assumptions and turns them on their head to build a better world. A bad dangerous idea is some hair-brained scheme conceived in a pub around midnight that lands you on the Darwin Awards shortlist.
Q: Which technological or scientific advancement excites you most?
For me, one of the most tantalising mysteries today is how the human brain works. There is some fascinating research being done in the field of neuroscience, trying to understand what exactly is going on in that pink squishy mass; how it makes us who we are, how it makes us do what we do and feel what we feel.
Q: Which social or political movement scares you most?
Bigotry, whatever ‘-ism’ it hides its ugly face behind.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish society better understood?
How to resolve our differences without resorting to violence.
Q: Will the defining catastrophe of the next decade be natural or man-made?
A natural disaster of humankind’s making. We don’t really know how bad it’s going to get but instead of trying to turn the Titanic around, we’re cavorting on the deck in the light of burning lifeboats.
Q: What question have you been dying to ask someone (and who)?
“Sir David Attenborough, would you like to join us for dinner?”
Q: What question have you been dying for someone to ask you?
“Please be my cake tester” – Adriano Zumbo.
Q: If you could outsource one part of your life, what would it be?
Weeding. We are the not-so-proud hosts for just about every blacklisted weed species in the Blue Mountains.
Q: What’s your favourite book and why?
Contact, by Carl Sagan. I love the eccentric, determined, intelligent, flawed, science-nerd Eleanor Arroway, and the scope of Sagan’s ultimate vision, as revealed at the end of the book, still delivers a sucker punch every time I read it.
Q: Favourite Youtube clip? (For fun)
The Count Censored. You’ll never think of Sesame Street’s Count the same way again… assuming you think of him at all.
Bianca Nogrady is the author of ‘The End,’ and chairs solo talk ‘Death Gone Wrong‘ at Festival of Dangerous Ideas. FODI is selling fast so get your tickets now!