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UNSOMNIA at Open Day

7 September 2019
10:00am - 1:00pm
Mathews Theatre B
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Short talks for restless minds.

Tackling the issues that keep us up at night, imagining the inconceivable and envisioning the future, UNSW researchers have just 10 minutes each to explain what life we will be living in the future.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of UNSW Sydney, researchers were asked to take stock of what society used to be, fast forward to today’s world and look ahead another 70 years.

Free entry to all sessions.

MEDICINE | 10.10am – 10.40am

Childhood cancer – thriving not just surviving | Jordana McLoone

In 70 years ALL children diagnosed with cancer will survive. But while their lives will be saved, how can we make sure we limit the side effects of treatment? How can we make sure they thrive, not just survive?

In the age of AI, doctors are better at being human | Adrienne Torda

We each have personalised genome analysis at birth, and now robot doctors perform our operations. So, do we even need human doctors? Or will they need to b even MORE human?

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MATHS & ENGINEERING | 10.50am – 11.20am

Sewage science to save our cities | Stuart Khan

If we're going to survive the next 70 years, the human race needs new sources of sustainable energy and clean water. Could sewage be the answer?

Everyone is a mathematician | Vera Roshchina

Imagine a future where everyone gets to truly experience maths. One where we can lift formulae off the page and turn them into patterns and shapes that we can see, feel, touch and interact with. One day, could we all be mathematicians?

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ARTS | 11.30am – 12.00pm

Technology, truth and testimony | Michael Richardson

Picture a world where war is fought only by machines, and technology is the only witness of injustice and atrocity.  Could drones become the last moral guardians, the eyes of truth that hold people and countries to account?

Futuristic hieroglyphics | Rebecca Green

As we spend more time in digital and virtual worlds, our need for written or typed text could disappear. In 70 years could we all be communicating in a new language of hieroglyphics, symbols and pictures?

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LAW & SOCIAL POLICY | 12.10pm – 12.40pm

Rebuilding data privacy from the ground up | Katharine Kemp

Big data has fundamentally altered our laws, freedom and democracy. Is there anywhere in the real and virtual worlds where we aren’t being watched, and anything we can do keep our private lives private?

Lab-grown steak to save pygmy possums | Siobhan O’Sullivan

Humans and farm animals have taken over the planet and pushed other species to the brink of extinction. Could lab-grown meat help build the diverse and thriving planet of our future?

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This event is part of the UNSW Sydney Open Day – an opportunity to explore both the Kensington and Paddington Campuses, attend mini-lectures, and speak to current students and your future teachers.

More information ➔


Mathews Theatre B is located inside the Mathews Theatre at UNSW Sydney's Kensington campus, F23 on this map (PDF). The closest accessible parking is the Botany Street Parking Station (H25 on the map).


UNSW can provide Auslan interpreting services for selected talks upon request.


To discuss your access requirements and to book selected access services, please call the events team on 02 9385 1000 or email

UNSW is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9385 1000. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9385 1000. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9385 1000.

Jordana McLoone

Jordana McLoone

Dr Jordana McLoone is a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Women’s and Children’s Health. Her research focuses on investigating the needs of children with cancer, particularly after treatment completion, to ensure they not only survive but thrive. 

Adrienne Torda

Adrienne Torda

Associate Professor Adrienne Torda is Associate Dean of Education and Innovation in the Faculty of Medicine. She is an award-winning educator, innovator and practicing clinician. As such, she is immersed in both the rapidly changing worlds of clinical medicine and tertiary education.

Stuart Khan

Stuart Khan

Stuart Khan is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research is focused on opportunities to improve the ways we use water in our cities and seeks solutions for more sustainable management of the urban water cycle.

Vera Roshchina

Vera Roshchina

Dr Vera Roshchina is a mathematician working in the field of optimisation and geometry. Before joining the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Vera studied and worked in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Russia and Portugal.

Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson

Dr Michael Richardson researches the impacts of drone technologies on war, culture and witnessing. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of the Arts and Media, currently holds an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award and is the author of Gestures of Testimony (Bloomsbury 2016).

Rebecca Green

Rebecca Green

Dr Rebecca Green is a graphic designer, illustrator and academic at UNSW Art & Design. Her recent research has found that the ways designers use visual language to communicate messages can dramatically alter how humans receive and understand them.

Katharine Kemp

Katharine Kemp

Dr Katharine Kemp is a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law, and an expert in data privacy and misuse of market power laws. Her research focuses on the ways personal data is collected and used to the detriment of consumers.

Siobhan O'Sullivan

Siobhan O'Sullivan

Dr Siobhan O'Sullivan is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy in the School of Social Sciences. She has published extensively in the field of animal welfare law, policy and ethics. Siobhan hosts a weekly Animal Studies podcast called 'Knowing Animals'.