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Episode 5

Imagined futures: antimicrobial resistance

Imagine a future where your access to antibiotics is determined by a court. Or where your antibiotic resistant infection is treated by a bacteria-eating virus. In this episode, we’re looking back at our pre-antibiotic past and speculating on a post-antibiotic future, including a look at everything from innovative scientific discoveries to architectural possibilities to political solutions.

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Episode 5: Imagined futures

In this episode


We heard from British playright Al Smith. He wrote the BBC radio play Dangerous Visions: Culture, which is a dystopian vision of a world where antibiotics have stopped working.

Associate Professor Mark Davis at Monash University is the lead investigator for ’Building the Australian response to the superbugs crisis’,‘The sociology of antibiotics and the antimicrobial resistance crisis’ and chief investigator on ‘Navigating an uncertain antimicrobial future: a sociological study’.

Producer Silvi Vann-Wall and her husband Matt O’Reilly play the cooperative board game Pandemic in this episode!

Dr Emma Peel is a postdoctoral research associate in the Australasian Wildlife Genomics Group, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney. She shares her research on Marsupial and monotreme cathelicidins display antimicrobial activity, including against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Read more about double lung transplant recipient Jordan Trieger’s experimental superbugs treatment.

Dr Timothy Wells is a Senior Research Fellow in HMR at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute Faculty of Medicine. His research focuses on the interactions between the host immune system and Gram negative bacteria during chronic lung infection.

This episode was produced by Sarah Mashman and Dr Britta Jorgensen. Executive producer is Professor Mia Lindgren. Hosted by Dr Britta Jorgensen. Original music by Associate Professor Dan Golding. Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions. Mixing by Melissa May. Cover art and website design by the Swinburne Design Bureau.