Australian National University

ANU was established, in 1946, to advance the cause of learning and research for the nation. It is consistently ranked among the world’s best universities and many ANU graduates go on to become leaders in government, industry, research and academia.


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It’s usually in the shadow of regional power China, but Australians would do well to remember the benefits of a strong relationship with Taiwan. Bonnetmaker

Small but mighty: why Taiwan matters to Australia

It is clear that Taiwan shares much in common with Australia. It is an island in the Pacific with a population of 23 million people, a population of indigenous people with a long history, and is a country…
Unless you’re up to date with the healthy food guidelines, don’t preach to fat people about what they should eat. Stocky Bodies (Isaac Brown)

Doctor, don’t make assumptions about your fat patients

A couple of weeks back I awoke with a swollen and painful knee. I’ve had problem knees since high school and figured that this was just another chapter in the saga. Some days later I was fed up – my knee…
Gunns enjoyed fabulous profits, but the seeds of its collapse were planted from the outset. AAP

The untold story of the role of government in the rise and fall of Gunns

The spotlight is shining on the collapsed Gunns, its former chairman John Gay, and the Tasmanian Government’s machinations to secure a pulpmill at all costs. But the pivotal role of successive Commonwealth…
Broadcaster Alan Jones has been embroiled in a controversy over remarks he made on Julia Gillard’s late father. AAP/Warren Clarke

Gillard takes a calculated risk in leaving Alan Jones adrift

The interesting part about this weekend’s kerfuffle over Alan Jones’ comments about the late John Gillard is not what Jones said. After all, we’ve known about his combative - some would say offensive…
Open health is one side of “open data” policies being pursued by countries all over the world. Kate Ter Haar

Open health: what is it and why should you care?

“Open health” captures a broad set of information technologies that will change the way we approach health and health care. It encompasses “ehealth” (the storage and provision of personal medical information…
There are as many compelling reasons for the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates as there are to leave them unchanged. AAP

RBA should hold steady on interest rates — but when should it cut?

Predicting the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision for October appears to be particularly tough for economic commentators. A decline in iron ore prices, compounded with a stubbornly high dollar, has…
Academics freedom and university reputations are being tested online. Academic image from

Academics behaving badly? Universities and online reputations

Trying to control your reputation online is a bit like trying to clean up wee in a toddler pool. You are much more likely to get your hands dirty than achieve any kind of meaningful damage control. Many…
There’s little proof that the transition to retirement has a significant impact on mental health. petruzzophoto

Retirement: a trigger for distress or welcome relief from the rat race?

Welcome to Shades of Grey, a series from The Conversation that examines the challenges posed by Australia’s ageing workforce. Today, Australian National University’s Sarah Olesen and Peter Butterworth…
Non-communicable diseases are the silent assassins in global health. Risk exposure begins in early childhood, and accumulates across the lifespan. michaelwhays

One year on, what has the UN meeting on non-communicable diseases achieved?

What causes two out of every three deaths in the world, has been described by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation as “a slow motion disaster” and by the Secretary-General of the UN a…
The climate system is highly sensitive to radiative forcing, so it’s no wonder we’re seeing more extreme weather events. Isn’t it time to take notice? AAP

The atmosphere’s shift of state and the origin of extreme weather events

The linear nature of global warming trends projected by the IPCC since 1990 and as late as 2007 (see Figure 1) has given the public and policy makers an impression there is plenty of time for economies…
By attaching a small transponder to bees, researchers were able to track movements and feeding patterns. Andrew Martin

Fast food: how bees navigate to nectar, without the bumbling

How do insects, given their poor visual resolution and small brains, cope with the huge challenge of finding food at more than one location and returning home immediately afterwards, day after day? Mathieu…
Political responses to obesity have been more about creating a spectacle of “doing something” than solving the problem. Bruce A Stockwell

Why we’re losing the battle of the bulge: the politics of obesity prevention

There’s no doubt that obesity has received considerable political attention over the past decade. But data recently released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows Australians are losing…
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s conduct as a student politician is under scrutiny after the release of the new Quarterly Essay. AAP/Lukas Coch

Much ado Abbott nothing: Marr’s Quarterly Essay misses the mark

There is a limit to what any writer can do in 20,000 words, so not too much should be expected of the essays in the Quarterly Essay series. Nevertheless, a number of them have been influential, including…
Burdened by expectation: Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House aboard Marine One last weekend. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Obama or Romney? The choice of the 1%

On November 6, US voters will make a choice between two very different candidates with very different visions, policies and approaches. Well, that is the official version, at least. The reality is rather…
What does the Armstrong case tell us about anti-doping regulation in sport? Jasper Juinen/EPA

Punishing doping athletes isn’t a long-term solution

There has been much discussion in recent weeks about Lance Armstrong, his legacy, and charges levelled by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that the Texan cyclist spearheaded a systematic doping…
Understanding Venus’ atmosphere helps us understand Earth’s past, present, and a potential future. Keith Mosley

What Venus has taught us about protecting the ozone layer

SAVING THE OZONE: Part six in our series exploring the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – dubbed “the world’s most successful environmental agreement” – looks at the atmosphere…
It’s time for the Future Fund to end its deadly addiction to tobacco investment. Robert Huffstutter

No future? End the Future Fund’s affair with Big Tobacco

Australia has shown outstanding leadership on tobacco control - but it could do more. The next step is surely for the Future Fund to quit its addiction to tobacco investments. The Gillard government’s…

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