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The University of Newcastle was established as an autonomous institution in the 1960s. Its reputation is shaped by internationally recognised strength in research and an enduring commitment to quality teaching and learning, environmental sustainability, and equity and diversity.

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The real life of Gina Rinehart is dramatic enough – so why did the writers of House of Hancock need to embellish it? AAP Image/Tony McDonough

The Hancock truths are strange enough – did we need fiction?

Last weekend Channel 9’s two-part television drama, House of Hancock, was screened. It wasn’t quite the version that the producers had expected to air. After legal action was initiated against Channel…
The Image as Burden: this painting gives the Marlene Dumas retrospective currently on display at the Tate Modern its name. Marlene Dumas, The Image as Burden (1993). Private collection, Belgium. © Marlene Dumas. Photo: Peter Cox. Tate Modern

‘You start with the image’: Marlene Dumas at the Tate Modern

Marlene Dumas, South African-born Amsterdam-based artist, is perhaps one of the most significant practising contemporary painters. And, according to the curators of The Image as Burden at the Tate Modern…
Citations, bibliometrics, “publish or perish”: why must we constantly assess research? Shutterstock

Explainer: how and why is research assessed?

Governments and taxpayers deserve to know that their money is being spent on something worthwhile to society. Individuals and groups who are making the greatest contribution to science and to the community…
Avoiding peanuts is currently the only way to prevent allergic reactions. sharyn morrow/Flickr

Peanut allergy treatment is on the horizon – but don’t drop the EpiPen yet

Rates of food allergies have increased over recent decades and are at an all-time high. While we don’t know the full extent of the allergy epidemic, the rate of hospitalisation for food allergies has quadrupled…
Cutting your kilojoule intake by 2,000kJ a day will help you lose 5kg – a clothes size – in three months. Lindsay Széchényi/Flickr

Health Check: ten ways to save 2,000 kilojoules and drop a clothes size

Want to drop a dress or pants size? Then losing five kilograms, or about 5% of your body weight will help that zipper start to close with ease. In case you need another reason, keeping a small amount of…
American artist Sarah Sze’s latest exhibition demonstrates once more her acute spatial sensibility. (Model Series, 2015.) Victoria Miro Galleries

Review: Activating space, a little – Sarah Sze in London

The latest exhibition by New York artist Sarah Sze, across two sites of the Victoria Miro Gallery, is her first solo show in London after representing the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale. But…
The Coalition government is on the wrong track of reform for delivering better health. Alan English/Flickr

Why the government would have us pay more for poorer health

The Coalition government has been claiming that Australia’s public health system is unsustainable since the 2014 budget. But its plans for the health system actually reflect the underlying belief that…
Artist Ben Quilty at last night’s I Stand For Mercy vigil for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Why is Ben Quilty supporting two convicted drug smugglers?

The prospect of the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has polarised Australians. While some argue the young men should suffer the consequeneces of importing heroin, others take a different…
The real value of Lomax’s work is only now becoming clear. Wikimedia Commons

Sounding the Global Jukebox: we owe Alan Lomax a debt of thanks

If Alan Lomax were still alive, he would turn 100 Saturday. His name might not be as familiar as some other giants of folk music in the 20th century (such as Pete Seeger). But if you listen to folk or…
If governments choose to prioritise commercial interests, they place health scientists in the invidious position of helping inflict damage on public health. AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

Should scientists work with industry on alcohol policy?

It’s undeniable that there’s an irreconcilable conflict of interest in the alcohol industry being involved in developing health policy. And by participating in meetings involving industry representatives…
Many hands have helped author The Conversation’s first collaborative writing experiment.

An experiment in collaborative writing: day ten

We’re starting 2015 with an experiment in collaborative creative writing. What happens when you ask ten academics to write a story together? Taking our cue from the Exquisite Cadaver game played by Surrealist…
A mother’s healthy and varied diet during pregnancy might give her child a head start to healthy eating. Bettina Neuefeind/Flickr

Passing on taste: how your mum’s diet affects what you eat

Our parents teach us what is to eat. But this process begins well before the fight to get toddlers to eat their veggies. Not only do our parents give us the genes that define our taste receptors, research…
During post-war British rationing, Australians ensured the tradition of Christmas puddings survived. Victor Bayon

How Christmas pudding evolved with Australia

In a current TV advertisement for supermarket chain Aldi, a young traveller returns to his northern hemisphere village and shares his newfound knowledge of the Aussie Christmas. The villagers begrudgingly…
Consuming bath milk is particularly risky because it may contain the deadly STEC E.Coli bug. Olga Prokopova/Shutterstock

Bath milk crisis must prompt better cosmetic safety regulation

The death this week of a Victorian toddler after allegedly drinking “bath milk” is a reminder of how dangerous some natural cosmetics can be. The product – Mountain View Organic Dairy’s Organic Bath Milk…
Chinese president Xi Jinping and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. EPA/Harish Tyagi

Fair’s fair: time for China and India to step up at climate talks

At the UN Climate Negotiations underway in Lima, Peru, foreign minister Julie Bishop has called on China and India to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In her address to the conference on Wednesday…
Home schooling is on the rise, but why? Shutterstock

Evidence of home schooling success erased from inquiry report

Home education has had a massive rise in popularity in Australia in recent years, with increases of 100% in six years in Victoria, 50% in two years in the ACT, 50% in eight years in South Australia, and…

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