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Bushfires, bots and arson claims: Australia flung in the global disinformation spotlight

In the first week of 2020, hashtag #ArsonEmergency became the focal point of a new online narrative surrounding the bushfire crisis.

The message: the cause is arson, not climate change.

Police and bushfire services (and some journalists) have contradicted this claim.


Originally published in The Conversation.

6 things to ask yourself before you share a bushfire map on social media

NASA’s Worldview software gives you a satellite view of Earth right now, and can help track the spread of fires.


Originally published in The Conversation.

As fires rage, we must use social media for long-term change, not just short-term fundraising

Comedian Celeste Barber's fundraising efforts have gained monumental support.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Winning at social media is probably simpler than you think

The world is starting to see the gradual decline of Facebook, with 15 million US users dropping off between 2017 and last year.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Batteries made with sulfur could be cheaper, greener and hold more energy

Lithium-ion batteries have changed the world. Without the ability to store meaningful amounts of energy in a rechargeable, portable format we would have no smartphones or other personal electronic devices. The pioneers of the technology were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for chemistry.

But as society moves away from fossil fuels, we will need more radical new technologies for storing energy to support renewable electricity generation, electric vehicles and other needs.


Originally published in The Conversation.

The story of a wave: from wind-blown ripples to breaking on the beach

By the time a wave reaches shore, it may have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres. Ian Mitchinson / Shutterstock

It’s a cliché, but Aussies love the beach.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Bushfires have reshaped life on Earth before. They could do it again

The catastrophic bushfires raging across much of Australia have not only taken a huge human and economic toll, but also delivered heavy blows to biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Already, scientists are warning of catastrophic extinctions of animals and plants.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Broadcast turns 100: from the Hindenburg disaster to the Hottest 100, here's how radio shaped the world

The famous Hindenburg tragedy was heard around the world via recorded radio journalism. Wiki Commons, CC BY

Eighty-one yea


Originally published in The Conversation.

Look up! Your guide to some of the best meteor showers for 2020

A composite image of one night watching the Orionids meteor shower. Flickr/Jeff Sullivan, CC BY-NC-ND

Where 2019 was a disappointing y


Originally published in The Conversation.

History repeats itself. That's bad news for the 2020s

When there are too many elites in a society, competition for power makes existing problems worse. Francisco Goya / Wikimedia

What will happen in the 2020s?


Originally published in The Conversation.