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Deakin University was established in 1974 and combines a university’s traditional focus on excellent teaching and research with a desire to seek new ways of developing and delivering courses.

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Take care! The precautionary principle can only go so far without data to rely on. Jeremy Buckingham

Environmental assessment of coal seam gas lacks scientific back-up

Yesterday, the Federal government issued new recommendations for methods to estimate emissions from conventional gas and from coal seam gas production. So what did we learn? The proposals seek to refine…
Demonstrations over the death of Margaret Thatcher have raised questions about the morality of celebrating death. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Burying Thatcher: why celebrating death is still wrong

A funeral ceremony will take place for former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. Outside, protesters will be turning their backs on the coffin as it passes through…
Selling the message: there’s a disconnect between what voters want, and what Labor wants out of education. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Why Labor has failed to sell Gonski

On Sunday the federal Labor government announced reforms to school funding, that aimed to finally put in place the recommendations of the Gonski review. The proposed reforms – worth A$14.5 billion – are…
Video recorded on cameraphones, such as this from a Melbourne train, is proof that people are willing to shame racism in public and no longer be the ‘silent majority’. Fairfax Media

Racism in public: why the majority will be silent no longer

In response to a number of highly publicised events where people from minority religious, ethnic or other cultural backgrounds have been approached on public transport and subjected to a tirade of racist…
Chasing Ice is trying to get us out of the climate change hole we’ve dug for ourselves. EPA/Baard Ness

Chasing Ice bewitches eyes but won’t change minds

Science seems to be failing to change the minds of those who are sceptical about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Chasing Ice - a film by Jeff Orlowski, playing in Australia currently - tries…
While the Coalition has criticised Australia’s public debt levels, it is the country’s private debt that is the big issue. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

The truth behind our ‘dangerous’ public debt levels

Liberal MP Andrew Robb has criticised the rise in public debt under the current Gillard government in a recent ABC radio interview. During the interview, Robb claimed growth in public debt was excessive…
British PM Margaret Thatcher meets with her Australian counterpart Malcolm Fraser in 1979 - what was her lasting effect on politics here? AAP/National Archives

Both left and right: Thatcher’s undeniable influence on Australian politics

Margaret Thatcher’s years as British prime minister from 1979 to 1990 coincided with an era of political upheaval in Australia. The exhaustion of Malcolm Fraser’s “Menziesian” liberalism was followed by…
Fairfax Media’s chief cexecutive Greg Hywood has said a break up of the company is not being planned - but the five new division corporate structure appears ready-made for a sell-off.

Fairfax restructure rearranges the deckchairs

The Fairfax Media group has undertaken yet another corporate restructuring in an attempt to shore up the company share price. However, it might just be a Titanic gesture that staves off the inevitable…
Novartis sought to charge A$26,000 a year for its anti-cancer drug, compared with A$2,000 per year for a generic copy. ChrisGoldNY

India’s Novartis patent ruling puts health before profits

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis this week lost a seven-year legal battle over a drug patent in India. It’s certainly a win for those in India who use the drug, and for patients in India more generally…
Are leadership battles in Australian politics a sign of party difference or unity? Or is it something altogether different? AAP/Lukas Coch

Weightless politics and the Australian tendency to leadercide

In a scene in the famous 90s sitcom Seinfeld, George describes to Jerry an idea for a show about nothing. After the events of the last days and weeks in federal and state politics, we can ask whether Australian…
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has come under concerted attack by many sections of the media over his proposed reforms. But what exactly are they? AAP/Lukas Coch

Explainer: Conroy’s proposed new media laws

For the past 12 months we’ve been warned on an almost daily basis that the sky is about to fall in on media freedoms in Australia, but what does the legislation before parliament this week actually propose…
The aftermath of a bombing in Kirkuk in March 2013. The Iraq War may be officially over, but the violence continues. EPA/Khalil Al'a Nei

War that never ended: ten years on, Iraq remains bloodied

In the 10th anniversary analysis of the invasion of Iraq a lot of the focus will be on what we paid. Lives, dollars, influence and squandered reputation will be totted up against the lack of WMDs and the…
Does your Twitter account have to die with you? Image via www.shutterstock.com

I tweet dead people: can the internet help you cheat your maker?

Can you believe it’s been a year already? I’m sure we all remember where we were when we heard the terrible news we’d lost Gregg Jevin. You know, Gregg Jevin? The Gregg Jevin? Don’t worry if the name doesn’t…
Does purchasing carbon credits from others really offset our impact on the environment? Ecopush/Flickr

Carbon offsets: saving emissions, but not saving the environment

Many Australian consumers and businesses are working on ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. For some, the carbon tax meets their needs: it’s designed to specifically motivate changes in behaviour…
Better protection for and public consultation on CSG’s effect on aquifers is good news. Kate Ausburn

Federal government’s control of coal seam gas a welcome relief

The Federal Government has moved to exert greater control over coal seam gas mining projects which are currently largely in the hands of the states. Under the proposed new rules if a coal seam gas project…
Stephen Conroy’s media reform package has led to cries of media censorship - but do even conservative spruikers really believe this? AAP

From ‘hate media’ to another fine mess: How media reform got derailed

Since the day in November 2011 that Justice Ray Finkelstein and University of Canberra Professor Matthew Ricketson held court in Melbourne, the mainstream media has been hostile to any suggestion of media…
Recent controversies in sport won’t keep the fans away. Julie Edgley/Flickr

Drugs in sport? Why our memory of scandal fades so readily

Despite the recent controversy arising from the ACC report into organised crime and drugs in sport, it is unlikely that substantial numbers of fans will stop supporting their sport. In fact, we are surprisingly…
A big news week in Victoria has been a litmus test for the launch of Fairfax’s new compact size, with The Age squaring off against rival Herald Sun.

The compact comes of ‘Age’ in Melbourne

Fairfax launched its new compact size in a week where Victorian politics dominated the national agenda, making it a very good time to consider just how Melbourne’s former broadsheet, The Age, fared with…
Copyright law could make the job of creating Massive Open Online Courses more difficult. Legal image from www.shutterstock.com

Legal learning: how do MOOCs and copyright work?

Another university has jumped on the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) bandwagon this month, with the Australian National University joining up with Harvard venture edX. In ANU’s case, it will enable Nobel…
hookah.

It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home

“Argo: the movie that shows how Hollywood solved the Iran Hostage Crisis”. So said the increasingly well-preserved Richard Wilkins the other morning as he gushed through the usual Oscars fluff on the Today…

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