The role of government in protecting the health of communities is an issue that arouses strong feelings and gives rise to vigorous debates. An interdisciplinary conference titled: Who’s afraid of the nanny state? Freedom, regulation, and the nation’s health focused on just this issue in April 2014. The conference was co-hosted by Sydney Law School and the Charles Perkins Centre and held. The summary of the sessions and videos of presentations from speakers from Australia, Scotland, the USA, and NZ provide insight into a wide range of relevant themes ranging from marketing to political philosophy, and from law and public policy to politics.