University of Newcastle

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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Trans fats increase the shelf life of bakery goods and fast foods. skepticalview/Flickr

Health Check: the low-down on trans fats

When you buy commercially baked goods such as pies, pastries, cakes and biscuits, there's a good likelihood they'll contain one of the nastier types of fatty acids: trans fats.
Indonesia’s unofficial ‘pause’ on the death penalty has come too late for Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Moratorium or not, Indonesia could be abandoning the death penalty

Whether Indonesia’s unofficial 'moratorium' on the death penalty is genuine or temporary, this is an advocacy moment for Australia to seize.
Amnesty International alleges breaches of law on transnational organised crime and human rights grounds in relation to Australia’s anti-people smuggling activities. AAP/Scott Fisher

Amnesty accuses Australia of violating international law – but any prosecutions are unlikely

Amnesty International believes its evidence shows that Australia organised or directed the crew of an asylum seeker boat to commit the crime of people smuggling into Indonesia.
A national regulator is proposed to oversee cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Australia. Dank Depot/Flickr

From farm to pharmacy: regulating medicinal cannabis in Australia

The Commonwealth plans to legalise local production of cannabis for medical and research purposes; as do Victoria and NSW. But what laws need to change for all of this to work?
Allergies are becoming more frequent in the western world. Al Fed/Flickr

What are allergies and why are we getting more of them?

Allergies are reactions caused by the immune system as it responds to environmental substances that are usually harmless. But we don't yet have a cure or the ability to prevent them from developing.
This common lionfish (Pterois volitans) was sighted more than 200km further south than expected down the NSW coast by 14-year-old scuba diver Georgia Poyner. It’s one of almost 40 verified observations she has submitted to Redmap. Redmap/Georgia Poyner

How you can help scientists track how marine life reacts to climate change

We know the warming seas are forcing some marine life to new waters, but we don't know much about how fast and how far they are moving. But now you can help scientists find the answers with Redmap.
Julie Bishop was a particularly strong advocate in urging Indonesia to spare the lives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. AAP/Mick Tsikas

What more can Australia do to end the death penalty worldwide?

Beyond general expressions of “opposition” to capital punishment, Australia did not emphasise specific human rights principles in its lobbying of Indonesia to spare Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Circus posters. flickr

Circus and politics: a very Australian mix

Contemporary circus and circus-infused physical theatre are amongst Australia’s most innovative and in-demand cultural exports. It's a performance craft with a proud history behind it.
Keep Abortion Legal Protest against Focus on the Family s Stand for the Family event Source Wikimedia commons Photograph by Tony Webster.

The people we don’t want to stand with: Free speech - again - and the troubling case of Troy Newman

In previous Cogito posts, I have defended freedom of speech, interpreted in a broad, non-legalistic sense. For example, I have defended Peter Singer’s liberty to express his controversial views on issues…
China knows the smart money is on renewables, and not just because of climate change. Reuters/Carlos Barria

Want to see the business case for green energy? Just look at China

China is pouring money into clean energy - not just to tackle climate change but because these are economically fruitful industries. And as China develops them, the technologies will get cheaper for everyone.

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