Home — Analysis and Comment

One needs to understand the differences in their Islamic movements to make sense of events over recent decades in Egypt and Iran. EPA/Mohamed Messara

Ignorance and hostility fuel ‘imagined solidarity’ with Islamists

People sometimes overlook their profound differences if social forces unite them in a common, often ill-defined desire. Hostility to Muslims is creating an imagined solidarity that Islamists can exploit.
Outgoing Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said he would ‘wear the creditors’ loathing with pride’. Alexandros Vlachos/EPA/AAP

Varoufakis exit is not the game changer the EU needs

Ongoing negotiations between Greece and the troika are likely to prove futile - what's needed is a complete rethink of EU's dualistic system.
Escape From Woomera is renowned as one of the forebears of “serious games” – what chance would it stand under new government funding guidelines? By Escape from Woomera development team, via Wikimedia Commons

No country for new videogames: Brandis and Abbott are playing with our creative future

This exclusion of games from artistic funding in this year’s budget follows the cancellation of the Interactive Media Fund in last year’s budget. Where to now for the Australian videogame industry?
As control over water returns to the state, the Indonesian government should carefully develop policies to manage and monitor water services. nikkytok/www.shutterstock.com

What next after Jakarta ends water privatisation?

The de-privatisation of water services in Jakarta creates new challenges for the government to ensure universal access to water.
Every culture derives a different meaning from our common wonder at the mysteries of the universe. AAP Image/Supplied by Natasha Hurley Walker (Murchison Widefield Array telescope in Western Australia)

Indigenous culture and astrophysics: a path to reconciliation

The night sky is part of the shared heritage of all people on Earth. A project to bring Indigenous Australians and astrophysics together reveals our common wonder at the mysteries of the universe.
To get to zero emissions, we’ll have to reform our energy sector away from fossil fuels. ccdoh1/Flickr

Australia can stop greenhouse gas emissions by 2050: here’s how

To avoid dangerous climate change there is a finite amount of greenhouse gas emissions, in particular CO<sub>2</sub>, that we can add to the atmosphere - our global carbon budget. If we use our budget wisely, we have until about 2050 to transition to zero net emissions. But how do we get there?
Big can be beautiful for Australia’s retail giants. Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Supermarket monsters can be agents of change

Some say the only way to smash the Coles/Woolworths duopoly is more regulation and a consumer backlash, but this assumes all power is used for evil.
Children in particular experience a multitude of viral illnesses during their early years. MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr

Health Check: when are we most likely to catch viral diseases?

Viruses cause all kinds of infections from relatively mild cases of the flu to deadly outbreaks of Ebola. Clearly, not all viruses are equal and one of these differences is when you can infect others.
The O'Farrell government had a law limiting political donations struck down by the High Court. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Follow the money: the difficult path to political donation reform

It is unfortunate that it is only scandals and the perception of corruption or criminal involvement that prompt moves to reform Australia’s political finance regime.
However hard we pursue happiness, when the party’s over we must still confront the grimmer aspects of life. Shutterstock/YanLev

Is a cult of happiness leading us to lose sight of life?

We can pursue our own happiness to the exclusion of the real world, but how meaningful can that be? Far better to engage with life and both the happiness and sadness it brings along the way.
At its best, opera can, indeed, be a powerful form of allegorical theatre. EPA/Gian Ehrenzeller (Image from Verdi's I due Foscari)

Opera, sexual violence, and the art of telling terrible tales

A gang-rape scene in a new London staging of Rossini's Guillaume Tell was greeted with audience booing, and has sparked ongoing controversy. Are opera directors at risk of miscomprehending the medium?
Cory Bernardi is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, saying children do best when they are raised by both a mother and a father. AAP/Alan Porritt

FactCheck: is having a mum and a dad the very best thing for a child?

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, has said that "the very best thing" for the development of a child is to have a mum and a dad. What does the research say?
The Northern Territory’s Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Act is disproportionately applied to Aboriginal people. Terry Trewin/AAP

How mandatory treatment for public drunkenness is failing Aboriginal people

In the Northern Territory, public drunkenness can force someone into an alcohol treatment centre for three months. The policy has no basis in evidence and discriminates against Aboriginal people.