An interview with Professor Jim McLennan on bushfires and risk

Cosmos Magazine


Cosmos is a quarterly science magazine. We aim to inspire curiosity in ‘The Science of Everything’ and make the world of science accessible to everyone.

By Cosmos

How prepared do you need to be for a bushfire – and is it possible to prepare communities?

In the third season of ‘Debunks’, the new podcast series from the Cosmos newsroom team and Nine Podcasts, science journalist Imma Perfetto worked right through all the science on bushfires, from ignition to the future of fire.

One of her interview subjects – Professor Jim McLennan, an adjunct at La Trobe University – covered our understanding of risk, how difficult it really is to defend a home from fire, and the mental capacity that people need to survive extreme situations.

A former psychologist, McLennan has been involved in bushfire safety for decades. He researched community perceptions of risk following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, and also works in bushfire safety education.

Cosmos is releasing the full interview as a bonus episode.

Debunks is a science podcast that asks questions that you actually want answered. Each week a journalist in the Cosmos newsroom expertly guides listeners through the science topics of the day, from EVs and bushfires to Ozempic. Plus we unpack all the misinformation that comes with it.

Subscribe to Debunks on your favourite podcast service:

Subscribe to our podcastsSubscribe to our podcasts

Please login to favourite this article.