LATEST ARTICLES

Sparks fly over cigarette nicotine limit

Sparks fly over cigarette nicotine limit

Combustible tobacco could be relegated to the ashtray of history one day if health authorities in the US manage to push through unprecedented and highly controversial rules limiting nicotine in standard cigarettes. The US Food and Drug Administration appears committed to the idea of introducing a rule to set a maximum nicotine level for cigarettes, …read more

Falun Gong, Griffith Uni’s Fraser at odds over organs

Falun Gong, Griffith Uni’s Fraser at odds over organs

A spiritual leader’s criticism of a Griffith University academic in a parliamentary hearing was one of the few public skirmishes in a hard-fought battle behind the scenes, now set to culminate in an official misconduct hearing at the university next month.

Doing whatever it takes to rehabilitate the Great Barrier Reef

Doing whatever it takes to rehabilitate the Great Barrier Reef

How about saving the Great Barrier Reef with a one-molecule-thick layer of natural calcium carbonate that floats on the sea surface and reduces the damaging heat of the sun on corals? Maybe the answer is cloud-brightening — spraying microscopic droplets of seawater into the atmosphere to form clouds and provide more shade for the heat-battered …read more

Human Errors: Panorama of Glitches, Incurable Romantic, Oysters Bored?

Human Errors: Panorama of Glitches, Incurable Romantic, Oysters Bored?

Amateur anatomists, or perhaps anyone interested in all the odd dead ends of the human body, will like Nathan Lents’s Human Errors. Human anatomy, as the American biologist points out, is a clumsy jumble of adaptations, ­including some useful life-saving features such as the opposable thumb — without which we would be unable to hold a …read more

James Cook VC Sandra Harding comfortable on inhabited ground

James Cook VC Sandra Harding comfortable on inhabited ground

On Sandra Harding’s first day as vice-chancellor of James Cook University in far north Queensland she saw what looked like a tombstone of Eddie Mabo. The famous Torres Strait Islander was behind the Australian High Court decision in 1992 that overturned 200 years of “terra nullius” — the notion that Australia was uninhabited when it …read more

Who drew Marree Man?

Who drew Marree Man?

Somebody familiar with the tiny red-dirt town of Marree is good at keeping a giant secret. Marree, population 150, sits at the junction of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks in the remote upper north of South Australia, east of one of Australia’s great mysteries: the “Marree Man”, a 4.2km-long reproduction of a giant Aboriginal figure …read more

Dos and don’ts: how to hire a university boss

Dos and don’ts: how to hire a university boss

“When you start recruiting, don’t stuff it up” was the pithy message from departing Queensland University of Technology vice-chancellor Peter Coaldrake to the institution’s chancellor, the venerable philanthropist and pastoralist Tim Fairfax.

It’s smoking, but not as we’ve known it

It’s smoking, but not as we’ve known it

The crowded medical products aisle of the Woolworths supermarket in Sydney’s working-class suburb of Eastlakes offers a selection of nicotine products to passing consumers. Crammed on the shelf above the heartburn products is a range of quit smoking aids: nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges, nicotine patches and nicotine mouth spray.

Bowmans seize their moment to travel the world

Bowmans seize their moment to travel the world

In November, Central Queensland University vice-chancellor Scott Bowman signed a contract for another five-year term at the helm of the sprawling regional institution, but over Christmas he and his wife, Anita Bowman, changed their minds.

Sheil keen to break down gender barriers as QUT vice-chancellor

Sheil keen to break down gender barriers as QUT vice-chancellor

Margaret Sheil’s reputation as a gender warrior preceded her at the Queensland University of Technology. Only a few months after she began in the top job, women academics have already contacted her with an eye to moving to QUT. “I’ve been approached now by women from other places,” she says. “They’ve been saying, ‘we know …read more