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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A clear-headed analysis of the budget must delve beyond the buzzwords and political rhetoric. AAP

Making sense of a bootstrap budget

Each year the budget is like an annual health check on a patient with many complexities. In a black coat, not a white one, the august Treasurer reports the nation’s temperature, provides much-needed tonics…
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…
The increased provisions for welfare spending are partially symbolic, but also lay the foundations for a more progressive tax and welfare system. AAP

Class warfare in the budget? That’s a bit rich

The Treasurer Wayne Swan has described the 2012 Budget yesterday as “a Labor budget to its bootstraps”, and commentators have variously seen it as “a big taxing, big spending budget, including a big increase…
Could charcoal be our climate saviour? Oli R/Flickr

The charcoal challenges: fire and climate dynamics

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is co-ordinating a new venture to tackle short-lived global warming agents such as black carbon. Should we be paying more attention to black carbon? Yes…
More effective aid has been the focus this year. AAP/Australian Defence Force Petty Officer Damian Pawlenko

Government postpones aid target, but ramps up aid effectiveness

The government has postponed its foreign aid target by a year as part of its 2012 Federal Budget, but has announced a raft of new measures to monitor the effectiveness of Australia’s aid programs. The…
The Battler’s budget: Will Wayne Swan’s budget help win back an electorate? AAP

Federal budget 2012: expert reaction

Labor has made a $5 billion pitch to true-believers with a $1.5 billion surplus, cash hand-outs and tax breaks for low- and middle-income earners in the federal budget. And the opinion-makers are on the…
AusAID’s future funding is in play tonight. Australian Civil-Military Centre

A guide to aid funding in the 2012 budget

The 2012-13 budget has been the subject of an unusually intensive amount of media and sectoral speculation and debate in the past few weeks. This piece sets out what we should look for in tonight’s budget…
Do we need new vocabulary for measuring the “engagement”, “use”, “relevance” and “appropriateness” of research? spettacolopuro

The ‘impact’ of research carries weight (but ripples matter more)

What has been the impact of the invention of the telescope? What has been the impact of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, or the splitting of the atom? Yes, that’s right: the idea of measuring the…
Publishing long-term interest rate projections can allow the Reserve Bank to operate with greater transparency. AAP

A route to greater transparency and independence for the RBA

Today, all eyes will be on the Reserve Bank amid speculation that the cash rate will be eased by at least 25 basis points. The RBA has often faced pressure from politicians and business leaders to reduce…

Aqua nullius: the upper Murrumbidgee River

The proposed Murray-Darling Basin Plan has been one of the most controversial pieces of public policy in Australia’s recent history. There has been the predictable divide between irrigators calling for…
Lovelock’s recent statements on climate change don’t seem to take account of the latest data. Jonathan Cobb

James Lovelock’s climate change U-turn

Recent statements by James Lovelock, the distinguished physicist, are not easy to reconcile with his statements, writings and books over the years, including The Vanishing Face of Gaia; The Revenge of…
Analysing Anzac speech, slang and reading material gives us a better understanding of their experience. EPA/Tolga Bozoglu

From ‘Aussies’ to ‘Whizz-bangs’: the language of Anzac

Many place the Anzac legend at the heart of the Australian national identity. But some have rightly challenged this idea, opening up debate about why the Anzac story is so central to our national mythology…
The government argues that plain packaging is “directed to informing, redressing and reducing harm to the public health.” AAPIMAGE/Tracey Nearmy

Big Tobacco’s box fetish: plain packaging at the high court

Tobacco, says the World Health Organisation (WHO), is “the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended by the manufacturer.” Supporting the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco…
For the majority of Newstart Allowance recipients, payments barely cover the cost of rent - let alone other living expenses. AAP

Paltry Newstart Allowance is fast becoming a poverty trap

Despite ongoing uncertainty about global economic conditions, prosperity in Australia remains both very high and relatively widespread. But there is one group in Australia who has not shared in our rising…
Flickr/Discover Science & Engineering

Primary school science education – is there a winning formula?

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, released a worrying report earlier this year. Unhealthy Science? University Natural and Physical Sciences 2002 - 2009/10 revealed the number of students studying…

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