Home — Analysis and Comment

The risk of a woman dying from a road accident is approximately 25 times that of death from a pill-related clot. epSos .de/Flickr

Don’t panic about the pill – it’s safer than driving to work

Newer contraceptive pills pose a higher risk of serious blood clots, says a study published in the BMJ today. The finding isn't new, but it may be cause for a different kind of concern.
A new Grattan Institute report suggests solar panels in Australia might be more trouble than they are worth. Duncan Rowalinson/Flickr

Given the value of emissions cuts, solar subsidies are worth it

The Grattan Institute has reported that the costs of solar panels have outweighed the benefits by almost A$10 billion in Australia. But the real benefits of cutting greenhouse emissions are much larger.
Critics have been preoccupied with the gender politics of Fury Road. Enter the Doof Warrior … © Warner Bros. Pictures and © Roadshow Films

The Doof Warrior rocks the gender divide in Mad Max: Fury Road

The Doof Warrior in Mad Max: Fury Road is a red-jumpsuited, masked guitarist, bungee-strapped to the front of the Doof Wagon, a massive, mobile speaker stack, replete with on-board drummers. What's not to love?
Gary Foley has been driven by a lifelong project of sharpening his own intellect, realising the political force behind ideas and sharing them with others. Gary Foley

Tony Birch on Gary Foley: ‘a direct and fiercely intellectual man’

Tonight Gary Foley will be awarded the Red Ochre Award for his lifetime contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts. He is a more complicated figure than the one we are sometimes presented with.
Direct links between universities and industry funders pose significant risks – but can they be managed? Shannon Kringen/Flickr

Viewpoints: should universities accept funding from industry?

The University of Sydney's announcement of a role funded by the Blackmores Institute raises perennial questions about whether industry-funded research can be truly independent.
With Modi at its heart, discussion about India’s development remains overly simplistic. Gopal Shetty/Newzulu/AAP

India’s development debate must move beyond Modi

One year on from his swearing in, Modi's "more governance, less government" mantra is coming unstuck, and simplistic public debates are not helping.
Even with bipartisan support, a referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition is no certainty to succeed. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

What the record reveals of the chances of Indigenous recognition

A defeat for Indigenous constitutional recognition would be disastrous and demoralising. But history tells us that even worthy proposals with bipartisan support are not assured of success.
Are the best parts of unis – students collaborating and sharing ideas – going to be lost in a mass university system? Kennedy Library/Flickr

The mass university is good for equity, but must it also be bad for learning?

When universities began expanding, they became more inclusive. While this is a good thing, scholars often look at their large class sizes and lament that half of the students won't set foot in the lecture theatres or libraries thanks to technology.
PayPal is far more dominant in online payments in the US than Australia where traditional players have defended the market. Geoff Livingston/Flickr

Fintech might be hot right now, but banks are still winning

Venture capital money is starting to flow into Australian fintech, but success will largely be based on whether new players can innovate in areas where bank's aren't.
While plans to close ‘unsustainable remote communities’ have triggered recent protests, at the heart of the issue is the nature of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. AAP/Richard Iskov

Who decides? A question at the heart of meaningful reconciliation

Decisions being made from on high about the fate of remote Indigenous communities are symptomatic of a continuing imbalance in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Take that extra hour off work. Just don’t spend it burning coal or petrol. Rawpixel/Shutterstock.com

Want to help the environment? First fix your work-life balance

Being time-poor makes it harder to be green, says a study which shows that people who work long hours are more likely to fall short on taking real action to address their environmental concerns.
Stella Young, the late disability activist in whose name TEDx Sydney launched #stellaschallenge. AAP Image/Supplied

Doing justice to disability: the upside of TEDx’s Stella bungle

TEDx Sydney launched a campaign to initiate conversations around disability in the name of the late campaigner Stella Young. The project was ill-conceived but it points to the need for listening closely to people with disabilities.
Increasing emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector will make Canada’s post-2020 pledge very difficult to achieve. kris krüg/Flickr

Canada’s climate target is a smokescreen and full of loopholes

This month Canada revealed its post-2020 climate target as 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. But current policies make it unlikely Canada will achieve the target within the country.