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Blow that whistle: seven reasons you should respect the ref in the NRL Grand Final

This weekend’s rugby league Grand Final sees the Sydney Roosters face the Melbourne Storm in front of a stadium crowd of thousands – and even more on television. All eyes will be on the referee to make sure the play is fair.

Like elite athletes, the reputation of these full-time professional refs is often summarised by their performance in high-pressure, high-stakes events – watched by people they can never impress.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Unexpected find from a neutron star forces a rethink on radio jets

An artist’s impression of the strong magnetic field neutron star in Swift J0243.6+6124 launching a jet. ICRAR/University of Amsterdam, Author provided

Just a little to the left of the leftmost part of the “W” in the constellation The Conversation.

One reason people install smart home tech is to show off to their friends

Men are more often the instigators for bringing smart home technology into the home and managing their operation.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Study of 1.6 million grades shows little gender difference in maths and science at school

Boys and girls perform about the same in STEM at school so why the gender gap later in life? Shutterstock/LightField Studios

There is a stubborn stereotype that maths and science are masculine.


Originally published in The Conversation.

New colour change wristbands help you balance too much sun vs not enough – no matter your skin tone

Different skin tones need different amounts of UV light to activate vitamin D in the skin.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Automated vehicles may encourage a new breed of distracted drivers

Driving conditions that don’t require frequent use of vehicle controls, but do require constant vigilance for hazards, can reduce driver alertness Shutterstock

Few p


Originally published in The Conversation.

It's better light, not worse behaviour, that explains crimes on a full moon

When people know it's a full moon, they tend to use it to explain all sorts of human behaviour. Todd Diemer/Unsplash, CC BY

It’s a full Moon on September 25.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Stay alive, and if something moves, shoot it: one year of phenomenal success for Fortnite

Call that a weapon? Playing Fortnite, a web-based multiplayer survival game. Shutterstock/Lenscap Photography

The online videogame Fortnite Battle Royale was launched just a year ago in September 2017.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Is it time for Australia to be more open about research involving animals?

Most people never have the chance to see how animals live in laboratories. from www.shutterstock.com

The use of animals in scientific research is a complex ethical issue, and t


Originally published in The Conversation.

What makes you a man or a woman? Geneticist Jenny Graves explains

It's just a tiny part of the Y chromosome that kickstarts the development of testes.


Originally published in The Conversation.