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An Australian study found certain elite athletes were more at risk of taking drugs than others. Lee Morley/Flickr

Sports stars do take drugs – but not as much as the rest of us

Our study found that 8% of the 1,684 elite Australian athletes we surveyed said they had used at least one of six illicit drugs – including ecstasy, cocaine and cocaine – over the previous year.
Is mass data retention the way to go or should authorities be forced to come back with a warrant to find what they want? Flickr/Rosalyn Davis

What ‘safeguards’ are in Australia’s data retention plans?

As the Australian government pushes on with its data retention bill there are still questions about what safeguards and protections are in place, and a look at similar moves that have failed overseas.
The “average” Australian according to statistics is a 37 year-old woman with two kids, a mortgage and three bedroom house. But how “typical” are her consumer choices? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Vain, deluded, indecisive, biased: this is the “average” consumer

Who is the “typical” or “average” consumer? Is there such a thing? What do they look like? How do they make decisions? Am I an average (or perhaps a below average) consumer? It’s something that comes up…
In That Sugar Film, Australian actor Damon Gameau eats food containing the equivalent of 40 teaspoons of sugar every day for 60 days. Madman Films

That Sugar Film shines a light on the hidden sweetness of food

In the tradition of the classic food-binging film Super Size Me, comes a public self-experiment showing eating too much sugar and highly-processed foods is not so good for us. But is it any good?
Victoria’s new Labor government has set up an Australian-first royal commission into family violence. AAP/Julian Smith

Explainer: Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence

It is difficult to capture just how important a royal commission with this focus is. For too long, family violence has taken, threatened and pervaded the lives of so many in the Victorian community.
New technologies are allowing us to understand far more about what we see when we watch a screen. Arthur Cruz

Gogglebox and beyond: lifting the lid on eye tracking research

What are we really looking at when we watch a screen? There's more to it than Gogglebox. Advances in eye-tracking technology are transforming how we understand film and TV spectatorship.
More than 20 years after the death of Dr Seuss, readers will have the opportunity to read a new book by the much-loved author. Steve James

It’s not obtuse to deduce there’s a new Dr Seuss on the loose

Adult and child fans of Dr Seuss are set for a treat in July with the publication of a lost manuscript, What Pet Should I Get? Why is it that the works of the American author have such broad appeal?
If you’re not born with creativity, do you have to struggle to acquire it? Robin Taylor/Flickr

Teaching creativity: born that way or waiting for the muse?

Recently one of my Masters students, a filmmaker from the Czech Republic, told me his friends back at home were completely baffled that he was in Australia studying creative writing. You were either creative…
News of Tanveer Ahmed’s dismissal from The Australian has put plagiarism back in the headlines. Bart

Feeding the beast: why plagiarism rips off readers too

By now you’ve likely heard about psychiatrist and columnist Tanveer Ahmed’s recent opinion piece in The Australian in which he effectively blamed radical feminism for domestic violence. Others have explained…
Taste acts as the gatekeeper of ingestion. Photo and Share CC/Flickr

Tasty treat: how we showed fat to be the sixth taste

Humans are thought to be able to taste five qualities but technological advances combined with sophisticated research means we can now test for more subtle tastes we haven’t known about. In a paper we…
With the launch of The Flying Dutchman, opera is sailing the seven seas – in 3D. Victorian Opera/Deakin.Motion.Lab

Sailing the high seas in 3D: The Flying Dutchman goes hi-tech

3D goggles might be commonplace at the cinema, but few associate the opera with digital technology, or would ever expect to wear 3D goggles in a theatre. A new production of The Flying Dutchman, created…
A drawing by a six-year-old child detained at the Christmas Island detention centre. AAP/AHRC

Report calls for royal commission into children in immigration detention: experts respond

The federal government has tabled the long-awaited Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) report into children held in immigration detention. The report, which recommends a royal commission be held…
Harper Lee, pictured circa 1962, has announced a return to the literary world. Wikimedia Commons

To Kill a Mockingbird, My Brilliant Career and long-lost ‘sequels’

By now there can be few people who don’t know Harper Lee’s supposedly long-lost manuscript, Go Set a Watchman, will be published in July. It will be the first book published by Lee since To Kill a Mockingbird…
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, seen here with the Anglo Australian Telescope at Sidings Springs, is known to have a deep interest in science. So what should expect now the word science is added to his ministerial title? AAP/Alan Porritt

Shaping 2015: The challenge for Australia’s new science minister

“What’s in a name?” was essentially the Australian government’s response when concerns were first expressed about dropping “Science” from the ministerial portfolio titles back in 2013. That same response…
Australians don’t like the death penalty – we just don’t want the discomfort of having to care about the people it’s applied to. EPA/Made Nagi

The Bali Nine, and how not to argue for the death penalty

Barring some sort of last-minute miracle, two relatively young Australian men, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, are going to be killed by the Indonesian state. They will not be the first to die this way…
Australian journalist Peter Greste has finally been freed after 400 days in an Egyptian prison. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Peter Greste released: good news from the Middle East

The release of Peter Greste from an Egyptian prison is surprising only in that it happened without too much telegraphing of the exact date. A deportation-style resolution of the case had been on the cards…

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