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Angela Merkel's career shows why we need more scientists in politics

For 16 years, German chancellor Angela Merkel has guided her country through wave after wave of uncertainty, from the 2008 global financial crisis to Brexit, the imperative to drop fossil fuels, and of course the COVID pandemic.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Australia is no stranger to earthquakes, yet our planning polices have not adapted

Southeastern Australia was yesterday rocked by a magnitude-5.8 earthquake with its epicentre near Mansfield in Victoria’s northeast.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Can animals sense when an earthquake is about to happen?

He Gong/Unsplash, CC BY-SA

Within minutes of Melbourne being rattled by yesterday’s The Conversation.

We may never be able to predict earthquakes – but we can already know enough to be prepared

Yesterday’s earthquake in eastern Victoria shook the ground for hundreds of kilometres around and damaged buildings as far away as Melbourne – and took many people by surprise.

While Australia doesn’t compare with seismic hotspots like New Zealand and Japan, relatively small quakes are expected, with Geoscience Australia’s quake tracker listing more than a dozen in the past week alone.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Calling the latest gene technologies 'natural' is a semantic distraction — they must still be regulated

Ivan Yudin\TASS via Getty Images

Legislators around the world are being asked to reconsider how to regulate the latest developments in gene technology, genome editing and gene silencing.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Earthquakes don’t kill people; buildings do. And those lovely decorative bits are the first to fall

James Ross/AAP

News of Melbourne’s earthquake today made my left leg hurt. That’s the leg I nearly lost.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Melbourne earthquake: what exactly happened, and what's the best way to stay safe from aftershocks?

James Ross/AAP

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake has struck about 115 kilometres east of Melbourne in Victoria, causing The Conversation.

The earthquake that rattled Melbourne was among Australia's biggest in half a century, but rock records reveal far mightier ones

An earthquake that struck near Melbourne today is one of the largest in Australia since instrumental seismic records began. However, the geological record of ground-breaking fault ruptures tells us much larger earthquakes have occurred across the continent. Some of these earthquakes would have been witnessed by Australia’s Indigenous peoples.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Being bombarded with delivery and post office text scams? Here's why — and what can be done


For most people, the ping of an incoming SMS will induce some level of excitement — or mild intrigue at least. But with SMS scams on the rise, many may now be meeting this same sound with trepidation.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Personality traits may drive our ideas about fairness and sharing


Disputes over fairness can create conflict. Families squabble over inheritances, societies polarise around the question of how to distribute wealth fairly, and nations become mired in territorial quarrels.

Originally published in The Conversation.