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How to deal with your Typical Climate Change Denier who turns up to the summer barbecue. Flickr/Andrew Kenworthy

12 ways to deal with a climate change denier – the BBQ guide

The end of the year is nigh and it’s a time for Christmas and New Year parties and gatherings. In the southern hemisphere that means barbecues and beaches. In the northern hemisphere it’s mulled wine and…
A woman views the floral memorial outside the fenced off Lindt Chocolate cafe in Martin Place in Sydney. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Could the Sydney siege have been predicted and prevented?

It’s the question everyone is asking – could the Sydney siege have been predicted and therefore prevented based on the past behaviour of gunman Man Haron Monis. Monis' troubled history was well known to…
The science of astronomy has existed for thousands of years and forms a vital part of Indigenous Australian culture. Ben Ashmole/flickr

Speaking with: Duane Hamacher on Indigenous astronomy

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people have between 40,000 and 60,000 years of pre-colonial history that includes stories of constellations they observed in the night sky and traditions that align…
There’s a balance between service providers' responsiveness and responsibility when it comes to online abuse. Stefan/Flickr

Facebook and Google have a moral duty to stop online abuse

It’s the stuff of nightmares: your intimate images are leaked and posted online by somebody you thought you could trust. But in Australia, victims often have no real legal remedy for this kind of abuse…
Artist’s impression of New Horizons as it swings past the dwarf planet Pluto, in July 2015. NASA

Rise and shine! New Horizons awakes ahead of a date with Pluto

While the Mars Rovers and the Rosetta spacecraft will continue to make headlines in 2015, the stage is set for the solar system’s next great mission – the Pluto-bound New Horizons. Discovered in 1930…
Something to ponder – how to teach critical thinking. Brittany Randolph/Flickr

How to teach all students to think critically

All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them some numerical thinking skills. The new course would be…
Ian Burkhart moves his paralysed hand using the thought-controlled Neurobridge brain implant. Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Nanotechnology to outer space: ten top tech innovations of 2014

Don’t be mesmerised by cool apps and flashy new gizmos – the top technology inventions of the year are ones that will have a lasting effect. Most are advances in fields that are already changing us. Some…
Got him: nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was bowled by Mohammed Sharmi last week. AAP/David Mariuz

Maths test: why using a cricket nightwatchman is off the mark

Imagine you are captain of the national cricket team. With 20 minutes left in day one of a test match, your top-order batsman is dismissed. Do you employ a nightwatchman? That is, do you send in a tail-end…
A reconstruction of the path and damage caused by the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February 15, 2013. Flickr/Sandia Labs

Impacts, extinctions and climate in the search for life elsewhere

Every so often our Earth encounters a large chunk of space debris which reminds us that our solar system still contains plenty of debris that could potentially have an impact on life on Earth. While the…
By the time you’ve read this caption, electrons in the synchrotron storage ring will have travelled a distance equivalent to 41 times around the Earth. manfred majer/Flickr

An electron’s near-light-speed tour of the Australian Synchrotron

There’s a place in Melbourne where particles routinely whiz around at 99.99998% the speed of light – the Australian Synchrotron. By accelerating charged particles to release extremely intense light known…
Mass spectrometry will identify those explosive molecules. Marcia Cirillo/Flickr

The science of airport bomb detection: mass spectrometry

You’ve probably had your hand luggage swabbed after walking through the metal detector at the airport. Whatever molecules were picked up by the swab have been separated using gas chromatography. So how…
Image captured December 2013 of several Geminids meteors seen from the Observatorio del Teide (IAC) in Tenerife. Flickr/StarryEarth

The Geminids meteor shower should be one of the best this year

The best meteor shower of the year should put on an impressive display this weekend – weather permitting – with the annual Geminids poised to light up the sky with bright, long meteors visible as frequently…
RV Investigator at sea – It will be formally commissioned in Hobart today. CSIRO

Explainer: the RV Investigator’s role in marine science

We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our deepest oceans, and only 12% of the ocean floor within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone has so far been mapped. The reason for this is…
It could happen to anyone – there’s no stereotype in the victims of online romance scams. Suus Wansink/Flickr

Love hurts: the costly reality of online romance fraud

Online dating and romance scams continue to lure in Australians with figures this week showing people have lost more than A$23 million this year alone, with average individual losses at A$21,000 – three…
Most sport is played by non-professionals in Australia such as this college challenge. Flickr/SPORTSPICS

Better data reporting will prevent sports injuries and deaths

Australia is a sporting nation and the tragic death of batsman Phil Hughes is still very much in the hearts and minds of fans and players alike. Deaths in sport are rare but history does tell us that they…
Service providers will be given more responsibility when it comes to stopping illegal downloads … but will it be a deterrent? m01229/Flickr

Forced negotiations and industry codes won’t stop illegal downloads

Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced yesterday that they expect internet service providers (ISPs) to work with copyright owners to help police infringement…
Cyber bullying is on the rise and can strike anytime. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Action on cyberbullying: token gesture or the way forward?

The reaction to the federal government’s plans to clamp down on cyberbullying has ranged from hostility from some libertarians to scepticism about yet another government attempt to make the internet safer…
You have gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to thank for keeping you safe from explosives in air travel. Dustin Ground/Flickr

The science of airport bomb detection: chromatography

As the holidays draw near, many of us will hop on a plane to visit friends and family – or just get away from it all. Some will be subjected to a swab at the airport to test clothes and baggage for explosives…
In the coming years, many planets that could host life will be discovered. But which will we target in the search for life elsewhere? IAU/L Calçada

Giant impacts, planet formation and the search for life elsewhere

In the search for life beyond our solar system, we need to consider the system in which a planet moves, including the other planets and assorted debris that accompany it on its journey through the cosmos…
Postdocs do the lion’s share of research, so maybe it’s time we started listening to them. ∞ katherynemily./Flickr

Voices of a generation: young scientists must be seen and heard

Postdoctoral scientists – postdocs – are the engines of biomedical research. As early career researchers, they conduct the most experiments and are responsible for sculpting how we treat disease in decades…
We should help protect those who protect us from abuse online. Shutterstock/hitmanphoto

‘Haters gonna hate’ is no consolation for online moderators

When trolls strike in website comment sections and across social media, we tend to look to curtail the perpetrators and help their targets. But what of the moderators – the often nameless and invisible…
The smoke from burning emu bush was used by Indigenous healers for a number of different rituals. Tony Rodd/Flickr

Indigenous medicine – a fusion of ritual and remedy

Indigenous Australian practices, honed over thousands of years, weave science with storytelling. In this Indigenous science series, we look at different aspects of First Australians' traditional life and…