Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938


ATSE column

When Gold Loses Its Glitter

By Denise Goldsworthy

The Gold Rush left behind thousands of mines that remain toxic to the environment. The mining sector needs to develop a national abandoned mine initiative to regain public trust.

Tens of thousands of forgotten mines puncture Australia, some even dating back to the Gold Rush. Some of these abandoned mines have become toxic to the environment, eroding the public’s trust in miners and regulators.

Unrehabilitated legacy mines number more than 50,000, including structures like shafts and tailing dams. While some are now protected as historically significant, others capture rainfall in pit voids and can leak acidic water into the ecosystem.

3D Printing of Bone

Credit: belekekin/Adobe

Credit: belekekin/Adobe

By Naomi Paxton

Hospitals are establishing 3D printing facilities that will make patient-specific bone tissue substitutes widely available.

Over the past decade, 3D printing has been making waves in many industries, from 3D printing mechanical parts for rockets and aircraft to large-scale 3D printing of low-cost housing and on-demand 3D printing of food and form-fitting fashion. The ability to extrude, deposit, bind or melt materials layer-by-layer into 3D structures offers a range of benefits over traditional subtractive manufacturing methods and injects personalisation and customisation into automated manufacturing.

The Rise of the Drones

By Jackie Craig

Drones were a military initiative but their widespread civilian adoption is outpacing efforts to regulate their use.

Last year I was starkly reminded of the rapid development, ease of accessibility and wide adoption of drone technology. I was rock climbing in the Italian Alps when a drone, operated by a hobbyist, appeared just above me, no doubt taking video footage of my efforts.

Driverless Cars Will Not Solve Traffic Congestion

By Graham Currie

Driverless cars are yet another lie we’ve been told about reducing congestion in our cities.

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Biomimetics Draws from Nature’s Genius

By Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Nature is inspiring simple solutions to complex engineering problems.

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Science Can Leverage Soft Power

By Kaye Basford

Australia is well-placed to use the expertise, networks and infrastructure of our science, technology and innovation sectors to leverage international influence.

American political scientist Joseph Nye coined the term “soft power” in the 1980s, a term that helps explain how China quietly became a dominant global force. Soft power refers to the ability for a country to cement its position as a global leader – without force or coercion.

But unlike “hard power”, which we think of in terms of military might, soft power cannot be singularly measured. Nye splits it into three categories: cultural, ideological and institutional. And this is where science diplomacy comes in.

Solving the Gender Equation

Credit: momius/Adobe

Credit: momius/Adobe

By Bruce Godfrey

The SAGE program aims to engender balance in STEM professions.

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Risky Bias in Artificial Intelligence

By Mary-Anne Williams

Machine learning is intrinsically biased, but what can be done about it?

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The Energy Trilemma

By Hugh Bradlow

Clear direction is needed to direct the transition to cheap, reliable and carbon-neutral energy technologies.

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Mineral Exploration Malaise Uncovered

By Robert Smith

The UNCOVER Initiative aims to revive Australia’s minerals exploration efforts.

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