Articles on STEM

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In defence of maths

Far from being a waste of time, making maths education compulsory to 18 could help provide a clearer path to economic prosperity.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten announces a new schools funding policy, which reaffirms Labor’s commitment to the Gonski reforms. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Bill Shorten promises Labor would implement the full Gonski

Bill Shorten is pushing schools funding to the centre of this year’s election battle by committing to fully funding the Gonski blueprint.
Australia’s chief scientist Professor Ian Chubb, at the National Press Club in Canberra, in 2013. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Australia’s outgoing Chief Scientist says we’re good but we can be better

After almost five years, Ian Chubb today ends his role Australia's Chief Scientist. He's seen some challenging times with changing leadership and ministers but he believes Australia is in a better place.
Of course, science, technology, engineering and mathematics research are important, but social sciences research creates huge benefits to society in multiple ways. Leo Grübler/Flickr

Focus on STEM risks sidelining social science innovation

Research in the humanities, arts and social sciences is often driven by philosophies of social justice and public benefit, which don't always sit comfortably with commercialisation.
John Howland and Dr Mark Bilandzic, winners of the Digital Media mashup award in the Libraryhack 2011 at The Edge, State Library of Queensland. Libraryhack

Australia needs an innovation ‘skunkworks’

Innovation precincts are great, but what Australia really needs is a creative space that brings thinkers and doers together to help spark start-ups.
Science is key to creating a more innovative nation. www.shutterstock.com

Five ways science can lead the innovation debate

Through creating entrepreneurs and boosting global collaboration, science has the potential to drive economic growth and innovation – if only the government would properly fund it.
Time for children to start learning how to build robots? www.shutterstock.com

Five reasons to teach robotics in schools

Technology is critical for innovation, yet schools struggle to get students interested in this area. Could teaching robotics change this?
How much do hiring decisions in academia factor in the gender of the applicant? Files image via www.shutterstock.com.

Women preferred for STEM professorships – as long as they’re equal to or better than male candidates

Previous research found a preference in academia for hiring stellar female candidates over stellar male candidates for STEM jobs. A new study investigated what happens if applicants aren't as evenly matched.
Being made to feel you don’t belong in your chosen field is stressful. Woman image via www.shutterstock.com.

What fewer women in STEM means for their mental health

Being underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math means women can be made to feel they don't belong, with long-term mental health consequences.
Africa needs women scientists and researchers like the Ivory Coast’s Dr Celine Nobah, pictured here at work. What can be done to develop female researchers? Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

Clever spending and policies can bring more women to science

Policies at universities and in research institutions can be changed in small and significant ways to boost the space for gender equity within the sciences.
University of Cape Town scientists work in the Drug Discovery and Development Centre. More needs to be done to keep Africa’s scientists on home ground. Epa/Nic Bothma

Closing the research gap between Africa and the rest of the world

If the continent is to grasp the science and technology revolution, then governments should take the lead in both policy formulation and implementation.

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