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New study says the gender gap in science could take generations to fix

Without further interventions, the gender gap in the science workforce is likely to persist for generations, particularly in surgery, computer science, physics and maths. That’s based on research by me and two colleagues, published today in PLOS Biology, which mapped...

Class action against Facebook over facial recognition could pave the way for further lawsuits

Facebook’s privacy problems suffered a major setback in a US Federal Court this week. Judge James Donato of the Northern District federal court in San Francisco allowed a class action brought by Facebook users in Illinois to go ahead. The case was brought by Nimesh...

Migration is slowing Australia’s rate of ageing, but not necessarily in the regions

Migration is actually slowing the rate of ageing of Australia’s population. I modelled how much fertility, mortality, overseas migration and interstate migration, all contribute to the overall change in the average age of a population. Population ageing is measured by...

VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on the banking royal commission

[embedded content] Michelle Grattan speaks to University of Canberra’s Deep Saini about the week in Australian politics. They discuss the appalling findings from the banking royal commission that have led the government to admit just how necessary an inquiry was. They...

Federal government sets sights on August approval for National Energy Guarantee

Federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg says he is confident of securing state governments’ support for the National Energy Guarantee, with a final decision now timetabled for August. At a meeting today, state energy ministers agreed to progress towards a final...

Mind the gap – does age difference in relationships matter?

Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows. Studies have found partners with more than a ten-year gap in age experience social disapproval. But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age, but are open to...

Yes, Syria’s Assad regime is brutal. But the retaliatory air strikes are illegal and partisan

The mainstream media have broadly accepted the justifications from the United States, France and Britain of humanitarian motivation for the retaliatory strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime. Journalist Adam Johnson analysed US mainstream coverage and...

Australia bank inquiry ousts first executive amid fee scandal

Australia bank inquiry ousts first executive amid fee scandal 20 April 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption AMP is a leading financial services firm in Australia The head of Australia's largest wealth manager has resigned after the company admitted lying to...

Friday essay: the politics of the US family sitcom, and why Roseanne rocks

After a 20-year hiatus, the American TV series Roseanne has returned to television. Early indications suggest that the reboot will be an enormous success, with the first episodes delivering the highest ratings for an American television series since 2014. Roseanne’s...

To reduce inequality in Australian schools, make them less socially segregated

According to the OECD, 17% of Australian young people leave secondary school without achieving basic educational skill levels. They conclude that eliminating school underperformance would reap enough fiscal benefits to pay for the country’s entire school system....

Vital Signs: the calm before the storm in US-China trade

Vital Signs is a regular economic wrap from UNSW economics professor and Harvard PhD Richard Holden (@profholden). Vital Signs aims to contextualise weekly economic events and cut through the noise of the data affecting global economies. This week: the US...

Australian millennials’ incomes have grown more than baby boomers and millennials in other countries

Life has changed significantly for young Australians over the last 40 years. Millennials now delay marriage and childbirth, increase their years of study and have much greater rates of part-time work. As a result, millennials might be feeling a little hard done by,...

Losing wealth, health and life: how financial loss can have catastrophic effects

Public hearings for the Financial Services Royal Commission, which resumed this week, are bringing to light some questionable practices in the sector – from lending beyond people’s means, to giving the wrong financial advice and charging for advice that was never...

Grattan on Friday: Government’s misjudgement on banking royal commission comes back to bite it

If you are a politician, what do you do when your bad judgement – or worse – has been dramatically called out for all to see? That’s the question which has faced the government as appalling behaviour by the Commonwealth Bank, AMP and Westpac has been revealed this...

Shorten calls for suspension of sheep exports pending review’s results

Bipartisanship has broken on the live sheep export industry with Opposition leader Bill Shorten calling for a suspension until the review into the northern summer trade ordered by the government reports. Up to now, both government and opposition were anxious to stay...

A closer look at business cases raises questions about ‘priority’ national infrastructure projects

Infrastructure Australia’s latest infrastructure priority list has been criticised for being “too Sydney-centric” and for giving Melbourne’s East West Link, cancelled in 2014, “high priority” status. The cancelled Roe 8 project in Perth was removed from the list. So...

Part of what Australians think is good leadership, might just be Anglo traits

Some leadership attributes, like being trustworthy or encouraging, are viewed the same way in all cultures, but there are other characteristics that only spell leadership to people of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. This may present a problem for the 5.1% of Australian...

NASA’s planet-hunting spacecraft TESS is now on its mission to search for new worlds

The latest of NASA‘s incredible planet-hunting space telescopes was launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Known as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (or TESS to its friends), this exciting new mission promises to provide the next...

Heavy penalties are on the table for banks caught lying and taking fees for no service

Another week of hearings of the Financial Services Royal Commission has seen financial services company AMP admitting it mislead the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) on 20 occasions. The commission also saw evidence of both AMP and the...

Why you should talk to your children about Cambridge Analytica

Former Cambridge Analytica employee Christopher Wylie blew the whistle last month. He revealed the data analytics agency harvested Facebook data from more than 50 million individual profiles, matched these with electoral rolls, and then devised an algorithm that can...

Research Check: can baby wipes cause childhood food allergies?

Parents may have been understandably worried reading recent headlines announcing: Baby wipes linked to food allergies Study finds baby wipes are contributing to childhood food allergies Baby wet wipes ‘cause food allergy’, new study warns In Australia, up to one in...

Commonwealth Bank charged fees to dead clients, inquiry hears

Commonwealth Bank charged fees to dead clients, inquiry hears 19 April 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the nation's largest lender Australia's largest lender collected fees from customers it knew had died, a major...

Philippines’ Duterte says he ordered probe into Australian nun

Philippines' Duterte says he ordered probe into Australian nun 19 April 2018 Image copyright Reuters Image caption Sister Patricia Fox, 71, says her activism is not politically motivated Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has said he personally authorised an...

The recycling crisis in Australia: easy solutions to a hard problem

Ipswich residents have been told their recycling waste will now be dumped into landfill because it is too expensive for the local council to recycle. This is a result of Australia’s recycling industry crisis. China’s recent ban on imported solid waste means that most...

We cannot rely morally on ‘deterrence’ to justify our harsh refugee policies

When debate about refugees ascends from slogan swapping (“stop the boats”, “bring them here”) to specific reasoning, there seems only one argument worth considering for the ignominious detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and the refusal to ever...

NASA’s planet-hunting spacecraft TESS is now on its mission to search for new worlds

The latest of NASA‘s incredible planet-hunting space telescopes was launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Known as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (or TESS to its friends), this exciting new mission promises to provide the next...

NASA’s planet-hunting spacecraft TESS is now on its mission to search for new worlds

The latest of NASA‘s incredible planet-hunting space telescopes was launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Known as the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (or TESS to its friends), this exciting new mission promises to provide the next...

Why treehouses are all the rage in children’s books

Two of Australia’s most popular children’s storytellers live in a treehouse. It’s a Thirteen-Storey one, at least it started out that way. The storytellers are Terry Denton and Andy Griffiths, responsible for an array of children’s comedies, who live in a fantasy...

Part of what Australians think is good leadership, might just be Anglo traits

Some leadership attributes, like being trustworthy or encouraging, are viewed the same way in all cultures, but there are other characteristics that only spell leadership to people of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. This may present a problem for the 5.1% of Australian...

Part of what Australians think is good leadership, might just be Anglo traits

Some leadership attributes, like being trustworthy or encouraging, are viewed the same way in all cultures, but there are other characteristics that only spell leadership to people of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. This may present a problem for the 5.1% of Australian...

Part of what Australians think is good leadership, might just be Anglo traits

Some leadership attributes, like being trustworthy or encouraging, are viewed the same way in all cultures, but there are other characteristics that only spell leadership to people of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds. This may present a problem for the 5.1% of Australian...

Lowering the HELP repayment threshold is an easy target, but not the one we should aim for

Most recent estimates show the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt owing is nearly A$ 52 billion in 2017-18. It’s forecast to increase to A$ 75 billion by 2020-21 and up to 25% of those loans are unlikely to be paid. Legislation to lower the initial HELP...

Lowering the HELP repayment threshold is an easy target, but not the one we should aim for

Most recent estimates show the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt owing is nearly A$ 52 billion in 2017-18. It’s forecast to increase to A$ 75 billion by 2020-21 and up to 25% of those loans are unlikely to be paid. Legislation to lower the initial HELP...

Lowering the HELP repayment threshold is an easy target, but not the one we should aim for

Most recent estimates show the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt owing is nearly A$ 52 billion in 2017-18. It’s forecast to increase to A$ 75 billion by 2020-21 and up to 25% of those loans are unlikely to be paid. Legislation to lower the initial HELP...

Lowering the HELP repayment threshold is an easy target, but not the one we should aim for

Most recent estimates show the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt owing is nearly A$ 52 billion in 2017-18. It’s forecast to increase to A$ 75 billion by 2020-21 and up to 25% of those loans are unlikely to be paid. Legislation to lower the initial HELP...

Lowering the HELP repayment threshold is an easy target, but not the one we should aim for

Most recent estimates show the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt owing is nearly A$ 52 billion in 2017-18. It’s forecast to increase to A$ 75 billion by 2020-21 and up to 25% of those loans are unlikely to be paid. Legislation to lower the initial HELP...




Latest Australia News

Ban Middle East sheep trade, says Liberal MP Jason Wood

Pressure within government ranks for a ban on the live sheep trade to the Middle East has increased, with a second Liberal MP calling for the exports to end. Jason Wood, who holds the outer Melbourne seat of La Trobe, said on Wednesday that even if standards were...

Sharp claws helped ancient seals conquer the oceans

If you’ve ever seen seals frolicking in the water, you know they are agile swimmers, with perfectly adapted paddle-like limbs. But if you think those flippers are just for swimming, then think again. In a study published today in Royal Society Open Science, we took a...

The off-topic Conversation #159

Welcome to The Conversation’s off-topic space. We’ve set this up as the place where you can discuss anything that isn’t related to a specific article. Please feel free to use this space to get to know each other and talk about news elsewhere and whatever else strikes...

Sharp claws helped ancient seals conquer the oceans

If you’ve ever seen seals frolicking in the water, you know they are agile swimmers, with perfectly adapted paddle-like limbs. But if you think those flippers are just for swimming, then think again. In a study published today in Royal Society Open Science, we took a...

Australian surf event cancelled after shark attacks

Australian surf event cancelled after shark attacks 18 April 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The World Surf League ended the event four days early A major surfing tournament in Australia has been called off following two shark attacks in the area.The...

Sharp claws helped ancient seals conquer the oceans

If you’ve ever seen seals frolicking in the water, you know they are agile swimmers, with perfectly adapted paddle-like limbs. But if you think those flippers are just for swimming, then think again. In a study published today in Royal Society Open Science, we took a...

Sharp claws helped ancient seals conquer the oceans

If you’ve ever seen seals frolicking in the water, you know they are agile swimmers, with perfectly adapted paddle-like limbs. But if you think those flippers are just for swimming, then think again. In a study published today in Royal Society Open Science, we took a...

Curious Kids: Why do sea otters clap?

This is an article from Curious Kids, a series for children. The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they’d like an expert to answer. All questions are welcome – serious, weird or wacky! Why do sea otters clap? Is it fun? – Alex, age 5, Melbourne. Hi...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is no stranger to criticism. Media reports regularly support claims that profits and visitor experience are trumping the needs of host communities. Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves...

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