LATEST ARTICLES

Buoyed by hope in the midst of crisis

Buoyed by hope in the midst of crisis

Dr Xiaoling Liu, the newly appointed chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology, is well-placed to advise on the coronavirus crisis engulfing Australian universities. Born Chinese, she worked as a metallurgist and executive for Rio Tinto for many years before retiring from her executive position and later joining company boards.

‘Only girl standing’ has no time for quotas

'Only girl standing' has no time for quotas

A professor of chemistry at the age of 32, Brigid Heywood knows how hard it can be to forge a career in the male-dominated world of science. Even so, the forthright new vice-chancellor of the University of New England doesn’t think quotas for women academics are the answer.

Australia looks to new rules in media struggle

Australia looks to new rules in media struggle

Fears of eroding press freedom have gripped Australian media, most recently hammered home by a respected senior journalist warning of an “unacceptable step down the road to authoritarianism”. Industry luminary Kerry O’Brien said in his speech at the prestigious Walkley awards event that Australia’s government, led by prime minister Scott Morrison, had resisted appeals for freedom …read more

Education minister reverses research veto

Education minister reverses research veto

The federal government has backtracked and funded four of the 11 Australian Research Council grant applications that were secretly vetoed by Simon Birmingham as education minister in 2017 and last year.

Felicity Baker, musicologist

Felicity Baker, musicologist

Professor Felicity Baker has seen music carve through the thick fog of an elderly person’s dementia and bring them back to reality, to a world where they can again recognise their children and, in the best cases, even communicate with them.

Adam Slipinski, entomologist

Adam Slipinski, entomologist

Professor Adam Slipinski is passionate about beetles. Now immersed in the massive task of identifying and classifying thousands of Australian species for the definitive CSIRO catalogue on these insects, he says a proper understanding of beetles is crucial. Although they can be serious pests, he says, beetles also provide essential environmental services – they are pollinators, …read more

Julie Arblaster, climate scientist

Julie Arblaster, climate scientist

When she was a kid in the Mallee in Victoria, Dr Julie Arblaster spent a lot of time outside, swimming in the Murray and roaming in the bush. Weather has always been an important part of her life, and these days it has become central to her profession.

Catching the bug

Catching the bug

A serious attack involves fever, sweating, vomiting, muscle spasms, driving thirst, thumping pain behind the eyes and in the joints. Weeks pass, tossing and turning in hellish delirium. And right now, a deadly wave of dengue fever is sweeping across Asia, killing hundreds and leaving tens of thousands sick, over­whelming health services and creating panic …read more

Words on a page or words on a screen?

Words on a page or words on a screen?

The contrast was stark. There was a small part of my husband’s library of beloved books, packed into four waist-high cardboard packing cases. Heavy. Unwieldy. Smelling a bit of mould and silverfish. A dead bore when moving, particularly between countries.

Ports operators send ‘more hands on deck’ call to governments over staff

Ports operators send 'more hands on deck' call to governments over staff

Australian shipping has an emerging crisis. Ninety-eight per cent of tangible Australian imports and exports arrive and depart by sea, yet the nation’s marine workforce is both ageing and dwindling in numbers to an alarming extent, experts say.