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  • Artificial Intelligence – a matter of trust

    Alan Finkel     |      May 21, 2018

    What would it take for you to put the same level of trust in ‘artificial intelligence’ as you would extend to a human? The Chief Scientist calls for a ‘Turing Certificate’ to reassure the public in an era of transformative technological change.

  • Wanted: a trustworthy keeper of the truth

    Shaun Carney     |      May 21, 2018

    In this era of ‘fake news’, social media memes and declining budgets for traditional news sources, is there anyone left to act as a guardian of the truth in the reporting of contentious issues or current events?

  • Why you should go on a clinical trial

    Grant McArthur     |      May 21, 2018

    From 18th Century attempts to cure scurvy to modern-day efforts to beat cancer, clinical trials have long been a critical part of evidence based medical research. New data processes should further increase their scope to improve health provision for us all.

  • Why China’s ‘debt-book diplomacy’ in the Pacific shouldn’t ring alarm bells just yet

    Michael O'Keefe     |      May 20, 2018

    Talk of Chinese “debt trap” diplomacy is nothing new, but a recent report by Harvard University researchers has resurrected long-held fears that China’s debt diplomacy poses a threat to Australian interests in the Pacific.

  • Career, culture and character: New Zealand’s three women Prime Ministers

    Elizabeth McLeay     |      May 20, 2018

    When Jacinda Ardern became New Zealand’s Prime Minister in 2017, not only was she the youngest PM in 150 years, but she was also the country’s third female leader. When it comes to women in politics in general, there seems to be a lot that we could learn from our neighbours.

  • Sacred activism: a movement for global healing

    Martin Winiecki     |      May 20, 2018

    Our natural sense of interdependence has been replaced by an addictive focus on personal short-term profit. Could a new spirit of ‘sacred activism’ help restore our balance with the planet, each other and ourselves?

  • Hypnosis offers help for chronic back pain suffers

    Open Forum     |      May 19, 2018

    Chronic low-back pain is the leading cause of disability in Australia and drugs can be ineffective and cause problems of their own. New research suggests that hypnosis, combined with pain education, can help sufferers find relief.

  • LGBTI rights in Africa

    Tinashe Jakwa     |      May 19, 2018

    When it comes to LGBTI rights in Africa, arguing against Western interventionism is a front for advocating the acceptance of discriminatory legislation. However the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held no hope for a return to African societies’ traditional acceptance of diverse sexualities and gender identities.

  • Can the National Resilience Taskforce help protect Australia?

    Paul Barnes     |      May 19, 2018

    Australia faces a range of natural and man-made threats to its vital infrastructure. How should the government’s resilience taskforce tackle the challenges which lie ahead?

  • Logging burns conceal industrial pollution in the name of ‘community safety’

    Chris Taylor     |      May 18, 2018

    Rather than ‘hazard reduction burns’, a large proportion of the smoke which has fouled Melbourne this autumn was produced by the intensive burning of debris left behind after clearfell logging. This is essentially industrial pollution.

  • The legacy of a great scientific hoax

    Rohan Long     |      May 18, 2018

    May 18 marks International Museum Day to raise awareness on the importance of museums to social development. The University of Melbourne’s anatomy museum features fossil models from an entirely fictional early human, for example, a forgery that derailed the study of our evolution for decades.

  • ‘Solar gardens’ could empower all Australians

    Open Forum     |      May 18, 2018

    The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced funding for a feasibility study that could allow the third of Australians who rent, live in apartments or live in low income housing to access the benefits of rooftop solar energy.