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Many Australians who live alone are elderly. soylentgreen23

Australian census: one in ten live alone, but that doesn’t mean they’re lonely

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of its 2011 census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the…
More than 21 million people were counted in the 2011 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics

Portrait of a population: what the Australian Census found

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of its 2011 census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the numbers…
Peter Gurruwiwi of the Galpu nation getting ready to meet Dr Jill Charker from the Australian Bureau of Statisics during census collection in 2011. AAP/David Sproule

Australian Census: Indigenous Australia improves, but closing the gap is a long way off

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the first batch of its 2011 census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the numbers…
Cold Light places its heroine in 1950s Canberra. Michael Dawes

Bringing Edith home: Frank Moorhouse’s Cold Light

MILES FRANKLIN REVIEW: The winner of the 2012 Miles Franklin Award will be announced this week. In preparation, The Conversation brings you academic reviews of the five novels shortlisted for Australia’s…
The Prime Minister is selling the Schoolkids Bonus as extra help for families, but is it good policy? AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

Assessing the Schoolkids Bonus: Good policy or just a ‘cash splash’?

The 2012 federal budget has been described as “a big taxing, big spending budget” with a big focus on welfare. The first spending measure to be legislated and to come into effect is the new Schoolkids…
Leaders of the member states of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) from 2010. Gobierno de Chile/Wikimedia Commons

A mercurial treaty: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the United States

According to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Ron Kirk, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is “an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S. priorities and values…
Don’t we want to be interesting, relevant, useful, independent and well-informed? Gary Hayes

Bush, beach, beer and bayonet - or a grown-up Australia in Asia?

WHAT IS AUSTRALIA FOR? Australia is no longer small, remote or isolated. It’s time to ask What Is Australia For?, and to acknowledge the wealth of resources we have beyond mining. Over the next two weeks…
Elinor Ostrom, the only woman to have won a Nobel prize for economics, was most famous for challenging the idea of the “tragedy of the commons”: that in the absence of government intervention, people will overuse shared resources. acschweigert

The grand philosopher of the Commons: in memory of Elinor Ostrom

The grand philosopher of the Commons, Elinor Ostrom, passed away on the 12th June 2012. She was a brilliant, creative polymath; a theoretician of fine precision and great intellectual power; a deviser…
We can’t really measure vitamin D levels well, so adding it to food may be premature. Perfecto Insecto/Flickr

To D or not to D: adding vitamin D to food is no panacea

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones – low levels result in deformed limbs in children (rickets) and weakness and bone pain in adults. So there’s no question that we should all strive to maintain normal…
The Menzies government was voted in with the help of the John Henry Austral ads. National Library of Australia

Liberal Party ads from the 1940s speak today’s political language

After languishing in an archive box at Melbourne University for more than 20 years, an astonishing piece of Australian political history has recently been dusted off and digitised. The university has unearthed…
Our relationship with four-legged friends has brought many benefits. JDEN

Canine and able: how dogs made us human

What role have dogs played in human evolution? Woof … now there’s a question. Anthropologist Pat Shipman, in a recent issue of American Scientist, suggests dogs gave our human ancestors an advantage over…
After 70 years, Mein Kampf is to be re-printed. Michael Dawes

Is Mein Kampf still too dangerous?

Almost 70 years ago, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in the bunker of the Reich Chancellery, marking the downfall of one of the most murderous regimes the world has ever seen. Decades later, there is still…
The UK Supreme Court has ruled in favour of extraditing Julian Assange. EPA/Kerim Okten

Assange extradition: what next for Wikileaks founder?

Julian Assange’s legal battle has taken a new direction overnight, with the UK Supreme Court ruling in favour of his extradition to Sweden following the issue of a European arrest warrant in November 2010…

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