Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Up Front

“We Have Always Been at War with Science”

By Guy Nolch

An Orwellian dystopia is upon us when scientists are muzzled and their expertise disappears into a memory hole.

When I was a student I was fascinated by the dystopian future imagined by George Orwell in 1984. The thought of an extensive network of cameras, microphones and two-way telescreens to monitor each citizen seemed far-fetched in the 1980s, let alone the concept of government departments dedicated to rewriting historical records, but in 2017 we now seem to have caught up with Orwell’s imagination.

Unrest in the Ranks – and Rankings

By Guy Nolch

Working scientists are becoming disenchanted in the workplace at a time when scientific literacy of students is slipping.

Last September this column discussed a report that science graduates were having difficulty finding employment related to their studies. The Grattan Institute’s bleak conclusion was that “employment directly related to science expertise is unlikely to increase substantially in the near future”. One would hope, then, that those who had managed to storm the gates of employment in science would find their careers rewarding.

Evidence Is “Not Like It Used to Be”

By Guy Nolch

Donald Trump’s hair is a metaphor for how people misuse evidence to fit their worldview.

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The Real Cost of Predatory Journals

By Guy Nolch

Predatory journals not only scam genuine scientists, they provide plausible citations that promote pseudoscience.

This magazine relies in great part on the enthusiasm of scientists to write about their work, putting aside their professional and personal obligations for many hours to write in a style that is far removed from the academic language with which they’re familiar.

Too Many Science Graduates

By Guy Nolch

A new report finds that the increasing number of science graduates are having difficulty finding relevant employment.

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The Age of Genomics

By Ainsley Newson

This edition of Australasian Science focuses on the ethical, legal and social issues associated with advances in genomic science.

Faster and more accurate sequencing of human genomes; smaller and smarter wearable technologies; an increasingly connected world; direct access to health testing; improvements in data storage. These are just some recent innovations now influencing Australian health care and society, and this issue of Australasian Science focuses on their associated social, ethical and legal issues.

Jobs, Growth and... Science

By Guy Nolch

Early next month Australians will head to the election polls, and for once scientific issues have bubbled to the surface.

Both the Coalition and Labor have had their hands on the nation’s steering wheel recently enough to give a feel for how much each values science, but in the 25 years I’ve been covering science policy that value could have been likened to a Mother’s Day gift that’s been rewrapped and regifted on Father’s Day. That may well prove the case again, but for now CSIRO has been a bellwether.

Obesity Is Winning the Hunger Games

By Guy Nolch

Can a sugar tax save us if obesity has already permanently suppressed the satiety signals that tell us to stop eating?

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Defence Act Casts a Long Shadow

By Guy Nolch

The battle now shifts from public good to commercial research, as new Defence powers threaten a broad range of “dual-use” technologies.

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