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Rethinking Evil

Good versus evil: the dark side of the human mind.

There’s something about evil that we find deeply fascinating.

True crime stories of sadists and serial killers fill our TV screens and podcast feeds. We are fascinated by monstrous acts and the people who commit them.

But do we need to rethink evil and the other labels that we apply to people who do wrong if we want to reduce risk and harm?

The science behind human behaviour paints a much more complex picture of why people commit inexcusable acts.

In Making Evil: The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side, Julia Shaw uses case studies from academia, examples from popular culture, and anecdotes from everyday life to break down concepts like the neuroscience of evil, the psychology of bloodlust and workplace misbehavior.

With Natasha Mitchell as host, she will be is joined by philosopher Luke Russell, author of Evil: A Philosophical Investigation and psychopathy expert Georgie Fleming to explore everything from the philosophy of evil to evil actions and what we can do about them.

Rather than looking at the world in black and white, science and philosophy can help inform a conversation on evil, and to understand that it is part of humanity whether we like it or not.

This event is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and supported by Bendigo Writers Festival and Byron Writers Festival.


This talk is part of the program of events UNSW Sydney is presenting for the Sydney Science Festival and National Science Week.

UNSW x Sydney Science Festival includes talks, tours and events that will reveal the science that blows your mind – from an unexpected method to measure dark matter to the feminist history of the internet.



Monday 12 August 2019 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm


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