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Is Australia’s standing among OECD countries of national value, or apples and oranges? japi14

Australian R&D measures up globally … but what does that really mean?

How well does Australia’s science, research and innovation system perform compared to other developed nations? The Office of Australia’s Chief Scientist has just released a report addressing this question…
There must be a better way. Wild Singapore

The end of field ecology?

The image of the bearded, grubby ecologist, out-dated spectacles askew and sporting an eccentric grin of geeky, scientific relish, is one that is shared by many, including novice ecologists themselves…
Congratulations class of 2011, you’ve been given the opportunity to have real-life professors – future classes might not. Flickr/Pauls Creative Cakes

Lost professors: we won’t need academics in 60 years

The University of Melbourne was founded in 1885 with five professors teaching 15 students. In 1952, at the start of the post-war tertiary boom, there were around 3,000 Australian academics teaching 30,000…

Worms could hold the key to immortality

Some worms display an apparently limitless ability to regenerate aged or damaged tissue. Unlike human cells which show signs…
If Australia wants to be a leading force in the knowledge economy, strategic investment in university research and infrastructure will be essential. Novartis AG

A smart strategy to drive Australia’s knowledge economy

At a time when unprecedented levels of investment are being made in university infrastructure in nations such as China and India, it is worth reflecting on how Australia has built its notable areas of…
Universities are centres of research… but what kind of research? flickr/pcgn

A question universities need to answer: why do we research?

Fundamentally, there are two big motives for research. On the on hand there is intellectual ambition: the desire to know and understand the word, to appreciate the best that has been said and thought on…
Cutting-edge technology at the Synchrotron ensures Australian scientists can compete with their international counterparts. AAP/Victorian Government

Funding secures the future of Australian Synchrotron

A $95-million rescue package for the world-class Australian Synchrotron research centre will ensure local scientists can…
In the UK, innovation and research has been at the forefront of the government’s economic policy agenda. bisgovuk

Innovation or stagnation? Lessons Australia could learn from the UK

After decades in the wilderness, industry policy is back centrally on the economic agenda in the UK. What is striking is how the policy is being driven by strong evidence on what works from years of accumulated…
Items that are commonplace in many laboratories could fall under a list of banned materials, researchers warn. Sha3teely.com

Bill to stop misuse of dangerous technology could hit uni research

A bill designed to stop the transfer of sensitive materials and information would also impede crucial academic research…
Australian universities must raise their game to compete in the global education market. Flickr/Reality-check

Sink or swim? Australian universities in the next decade

The world is in a state of transition. The Indian and Chinese economies continue to grow at around 9 and 10 per cent respectively each year, while the North Atlantic economies - the 20th century epicentre…
Working to improve the performance of the resources sector is a challenging, yet important research focus. AFP/Christian Sprogoe/Rio Tinto

Research funding does not have to equal industry bias

There is common assumption that those of us who undertake applied research with the commercial world must be biased. This month the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), which…
Bushfires are a greater risk in areas of human habitation than in alpine regions. AAP

Alpine grazing: let’s research fires where they pose most threat

Last summer, the Victorian government allowed cattle to graze in the Alpine National Park. They claimed it was part of a scientific trial to assess grazing as a tool to reduce fire risk. Now it seems there…

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