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Event Details

Jon Ronson in conversation with Marc Fennell

6 April 2020
1.00pm – 2.00pm AEST
Roundhouse, UNSW Sydney
This event has ended
Photo of Jon Ronson


In response to instructions by the Australian Federal Government due to COVID-19, UNSW Centre for Ideas will be cancelling all live events until further notice. This event has been cancelled and, at this stage, there are no plans to reschedule. All event registrants will be notified via email. 

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas for 3–5 April is also regrettably cancelled. For enquiries about the Festival, please email the presenter, The Ethics Centre.

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our community and we would like to do our part to reduce the risk of further spreading the virus.

If you are practising social distancing, we encourage you to take this time to listen to the many podcasts from past events. Click here for more information on UNSW Sydney’s response to COVID-19.



Hear from one of the world's most electrifying and inquisitive storytellers Jon Ronson in a 2020 Festival of Dangerous Ideas exclusive for the UNSW Sydney campus.

As a writer and journalist, Ronson brings his own quirky perspective to the stranger aspects of politics, science and contemporary life. His award-winning books include The Men Who Stare at GoatsThem: Adventures with Extremists, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, his take on the nature of public humiliation in the internet age.

Branching off from his work in radio and television, he has moved into podcasting with The Butterfly Effect, where he explores internet pornography and PornHub’s effect on the industry, and the Last Days of August, one of the New York Times best podcasts of 2019, about the death of porn star August Ames. Join us for a wide-ranging conversation about his work and how he has created a unique career as a storyteller of the 21st century.

Hear from Ronson in a wide-ranging conversation with broadcaster and journalist, Marc Fennell.

This event is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas as a part of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Trust. This event is also presented as a part of UNSW Sydney's principal partnership with the Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2020.




Wheelchair Accessible

The Roundhouse is located at UNSW Sydney's Kensington Campus, E6 on this map (PDF). You can be dropped off close to the Roundhouse north entrance (D5 on map). Vehicles need to arrive via High Street, Gate 2, follow the road to Third Avenue and turn onto 1st Ave West. The closest accessible parking is available in the Western Campus Car Park on Anzac Parade (G2 on map). 

Hearing Loop Available


The Centre for Ideas can provide Auslan interpreting services for selected talks upon request. 


For event enquires or to discuss your access requirements, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9385 9844 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9385 9844. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9385 9844. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9385 9844.

Photo of Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson’s nonfiction books include So You’ve Been Publicly ShamedThe Psychopath TestThem: Adventures With Extremists, Lost At Sea and The Men Who Stare At Goats. All have been international and/or New York Times best-sellers, translated into more than 30 languages, and his two TED talks have been watched 15 million times. Jon Ronson’s original screenplays include the critically acclaimed Netflix original Okja, which he co-wrote with Bong-Joon Ho. Okja was selected to compete for the Palm D’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and Frank won the Best Screenplay Award at the 2014 British Independent Film Awards. The Men Who Stare At Goats was adapted into a film starring George Clooney. In the US, Jon Ronson is a regular contributor to This American Life, The New York Times and GQ magazine, and regularly appears as a guest on radio and TV. In the UK he writes for The Guardian; his documentaries include Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes, The Secret Rulers of the World, and seven seasons of the multi-award-winning BBC Radio 4 programme Jon Ronson On… His most recent works are the Audible Original Series The Butterfly Effect and The Last Days of August.

Marc Fennell

Marc Fennell

Marc Fennell is an award-winning  journalist, broadcaster, and author. He has created stories for the BBC, SBS Viceland, the ABC and many more. He hosts daily news and current affairs show The Feed where he has interviewed everyone from Julian Assange to Jennifer Lawrence. His ability to explore stories on almost any topic has seen him cover everything from net neutrality, chilli eating competitions to sex in Japan.

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