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Closing the High Seas Opens Fishing Opportunities

By Reg Watson

Closing international waters to fishing would have little or no effect on global catches but make fishing potentially fairer, safer, better-managed and less polluting.

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Science Is Not Just Whitefella Business

By Rowena Ball

Australia’s indigenous culture has a rich scientific heritage, yet indigenous people are under-represented in science-related careers today. Some simple steps can change this.

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How to Get Girls into Physics

By Frances Saunders

Research from the UK has identified several impediments that discourage girls from studying physics, with new interventions now being trialled.

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Can Science and Religion Be Friends?

By Peter Harrison

Some scientists would prefer religion to become extinct but it defiantly prospers – peaceful co-existence is the enduring paradigm.

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It’s Time to Prepare for Peak Phosphorus

By Graeme Batten and Lindsay Campbell

A looming global shortage of an important fertiliser necessitates the development of phosphorus-efficient crops, recycling of phosphorus from sewage and even separating it from urine.

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Is “Mentally Ill” the New Normal?

By Gloria Wright

Drug treatments for behaviours that were previously not considered mental health conditions raise several unintended consequences.

If we are to believe federal Health Minister Peter Dutton, 46% of us will develop a mental illness in our lifetimes – a staggering increase. Almost half of us will qualify to log in to Dutton’s new online support forum SANE.

As the near majority of us can expect to have our individual identities relabelled as treatable disorders, the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual offers an ever-widening selection of “conditions” from which to choose – “illnesses” that previous generations may have seen as human dilemmas rather than mental disorders.

Science in a Fluoro Jacket

By Ross Smith

Contrary to common perception, most working scientists are not “researchers” and don’t work for public institutions.

I am a scientist. I am very proud of that fact and worked hard as a student to become one. In the process I spent far longer at university than my parents expected. After 9 years, including a year as a research assistant, I was awarded a PhD, was able call myself “Doctor” and my parents were proud.

Burying CO2 Is Cool

By Olivia Kember

Carbon capture and storage is a necessary component of any realistic effort to control global warming.

Using technologies to capture carbon dioxide produced by power stations and industries and pump it back underground features prominently in scenarios for achieving the global goal of avoiding warming above 2°C – yet it remains deeply contentious.

Shaping Climate Attitudes

By Taciano Milfont

People are more likely to support climate change mitigation when they are first confronted with the local adaptations that will be required.

Mitigation and adaptation are the main strategies to tackle climate change. Mitigation refers to actions to reduce the magnitude of long-term climate change, while adaptation refers to actions to respond and adjust to climate change impacts.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has long emphasised the interrelationship between mitigation and adaptation to counter the effects of human action on the climate, yet discussions around climate change adaptation have been slow compared to discussions on the mitigation of emissions.

Science Diplomacy, Italian Style

By Oscar Moze

Scientists should be working with diplomats in matters of foreign policy to resolve present-day global problems.

It is illusory to think that the resolution of complex global problems such as climate change, food and energy security should be exclusively the responsibility of diplomacy.

Rather, science and diplomacy should be seen as natural allies and instruments for dialogue and change. Scientists should be working in tandem with diplomats in matters of foreign policy where existing scientific knowledge and the outcomes of ongoing research can contribute directly to international understanding and resolution of present-day global problems.