Lecture tour 2024

Austria to Australia without flying (A2Awf)

Richard Parncutt


Academic content

At each location (see itinerary below), I can give one or more of the following talks:
The duration of each talk is flexible, but usually one hour followed by half an hour for questions. All talks are free and (to my knowledge) open to the public (subject to security checks in some locations).

To fly or not to fly?

For the average person who sometimes flies, avoiding flying massively reduces their personal carbon footprint. My aim is to travel without flying -- usually by bus or train, both of which emit much less CO2 per passenger kilometer than flying. In addition, avoiding flying generally means traveling smaller distances, which means emitting even less. Tip: Cancel your international holiday and explore your home country instead. There are jewels waiting to be discovered!

My aim is
not to be perfect, but to significantly reduce flying, which is something every flyer can do. I could avoid flying all the way from Austria to Australia with one exception: Tbilisi (Georgia) to Aktau (Kazakhstan): A member of Flight-Free Travellers Network let me know how to get from Indonesia to Darwin without flying. There is an occasional freight ship from Dili (Timor Leste) to Darwin (e.g., Bollore). The trip takes 2-3 days. As an Austrian I do not need a visa for Timor Leste.
Counterarguments and rebuttals

Some will object that aviation is getting more sustainable, therefore we need not be too concerned. In fact, the industry is expanding faster than aircraft are becoming more efficient. Besides, aviation requires enormous amounts of fuel, and 100% "sustainable aviation fuel" for all flights would use up a devastating amount of natural resources. With current technology, electric flight is only possible for relatively small aircraft traveling relatively short distances. Of course, research on sustainable flight is important and should be generously financed. But don't expect big progress anytime soon. Meanwhile don't believe anything the airlines tell you about this. The greenwashing is intense.

Others will object that it is more important to stop the biggest carbon polluters than to reduce one's personal carbon footprint. That is true. But if global catastrophe is to be avoided, at least in part, eventually everyone with an above-average carbon footprint (that is, most people in richer countries) will have to seriously reduce their personal emissions. So let's get started! Besides, in the existential political struggle against the biggest polluters (who meanwhile belong to the most evil actors in all of human history), reducing one's own footprint is a good way to gain influence and credibility.


Traveling as an Austrian citizen, I will not need to apply for any visa in advance. This year, nationals of several countries including Austria need no visa for China. The same applies to Timor-Leste. In some countries (Laos, Indonesia), I will get a visa on the border. My route has been chosen to avoid Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Myanmar, and I'm also skipping Azerbaijan.


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Psychoacoustic foundations of major-minor tonality
Wednesday 15 May, 4 pm
Academy of Music,
University of Zagreb, Trg Republike Hrvatske 12, Room 339
Organized by Prof. Sanja Kiš Žuvela

Psychoacoustic foundations of major-minor tonality
Friday 17 May, 12:30 pm
Faculty of Music, University of Arts in Belgrade, Kralja Milana 50 
Organized by Prof. Blanka Bogunovic

Modeling future climate mortality
Friday 17 May, 6 pm
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT), University of Belgrade, Kraljice Natalije 45, 4th floor 
Organized by Dr. Zoran Erić

Modeling future climate mortality
Wednesday 22 May, 3 pm (end: 4pm)
Department of Philosophy, Üsküdar University
Güney Kampüs, E Blok (Mahir İz Cd. No:23), Room: Sokrates Salonu
Organized by Prof. Çiğdem Yazıcı

Psychoacoustic foundations of major-minor tonality
Thursday 23 May, 3 pm (talk 60 min + 30 for Q&A)
Center for Advanced Studies in Music,
Technical University of Istanbul (Maçka Campus) (İTÜ MİAM)
Organized by Dr. Jerfi Aji

The fetus/infant and the origins of music, religion, art, language, and consciousness
Monday 27 May, 13:30-14:30
Department of Musicology, Dokuz Eylül University
Organized by Prof. Ali Cenk Gedik
Live stream

Psychoacoustic foundations of major-minor tonality
Wednesday 29 May, 12:30-1:30
Department of Communication and Design, Bilkent University
Organized by Ufuk Önen

Psychoacoustic foundations of major-minor tonality
Thursday 6 June, 5 pm
Komitas Museum-Institute, 28 Arshakunyats Ave
Organized by Dr. Tatevik Shakhkulyan  

Modeling future climate mortality
Friday 7 June, 6 pm
Centre for Advanced Studies, Ilia State University
3 Giorgi Tsereteli St, S building, 8th floor, Room S800 
Organized by Prof. Tamar Tsopurashvili   

Psychoacoustic foundations of major-minor tonality
Friday 21 June, 10 am
Zhurgenov Kazakh National Academy of Arts
127 Panfilov street, Almaty city, 050000
Organized by Dr. Zakiya Sapenova

Ürümqi, Kunming, Venetiane, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur
I visited these cities without giving a talk 


Modeling future climate mortality
Friday 5 July, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
School of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University
10 Canning Rise, Singapore 179873
Meeting Room 4-1/4-2, Level 4
Organized by Matthew Hammerton, TAN Sor Hoon, and Cindy Kwoh

The global multi-hub academic conference

Monday 8 July, 11 am - 12 noon
James Cook University
149 Sims Drive, Singapore 387380, auditorium C2-15
Organized by Prof. Denise Dillon and Belinda Lee

Psychoacoustic foundations of major-minor tonality
Thursday 11 July, 9 am (until 10:30)
Conservatory of Music, Universitas Pelita Harapan, Grace Hall, UPH Building B, Lippo Village
Organized by Delicia Mandy Nugroho, M.Mus.

The fetus/infant and the origins of music, religion, art, language, and consciousness
Monday 15 July, 10 am
Cultural Park (Taman Budaya)
Organized by Vishnu Satyagraha, local government in Yogyakarta

Wednesday 17 July

Friday 19 July

(Ferry from Denpasar to Kupang 3 days, bus from Kupang/Atambua to Dili 1 day)

Thursday 25 July

(Ferry or freight ship from Dili to Darwin: 2-3 days, every 10 days or once a month. Carriers include Bollore/SDV and ANL/Perkins/Tollgroup. Has anyone done this? Please send suggestions!)

Richard Parncutt (born 1957) studied at the University of Melbourne and
the University of New England (Armidale, NSW), graduating with a Bachelor of Science with honours in physics, a Bachelor of Music, and an interdisciplinary PhD in psychology, music and physics. His interdisciplinary research, which spans humanities and sciences, addresses the perception and cognition of musical structure, the origins of behavioral modernity (music, religion, art, language), and the human cost of global warming. A father of two children, he was professor of systematic musicology at the University of Graz, Austria from 1998 to 2023.

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