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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Time (of the month) stands still for no woman, but how does it affect elite performance? Hannibal/EPA

Blood, sweat and tears: the menstrual cycle and the Olympics

For some female athletes, “counting the days” to their Olympic event may have a double meaning. These Olympians may be worried about “what time of the month” it is going to be when they are expected to…
New Zealand wants to largely be tobacco free by 2025; Finland has set 2040 as its target date. Iago A R

Should we set a date for a tobacco-free Australia?

It’s been 100 years since the first medical textbook identified a link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer. So how strange is it that in 2012 we can walk into Coles and Woolworths and buy cigarettes…
An English court has ordered that a young anorexic woman be force fed. DoD /Wikimedia Commons

Force-feeding anorexic patient curbs freedom of choice

Force-feeding or starving to death? Emotive terms for an appalling choice. But this choice – whether to restrain and force-feed a young woman against her will or let her die of starvation – was recently…
There’s no evidence to show chocolate causes acne but milk may play a role. anjuli ayer

Monday’s medical myth: chocolate causes acne

Outbreaks of pimples, blackheads and cysts are a cause of enormous anxiety and embarrassment among teens and young adults. If you’re part of the 20% of Australians who have experienced severe acne, you’ve…
Overwhelmed: to live wisely in a world where complexity seems to be running rampant, we must first grasp what complexity is. Flickr/Elif Ayiter/Alpha Auer/..../

Challenge 9: Decision making amidst increasing complexity

In part nine of our multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Cliff Hooker argues that to get any better at decision-making, we must first face up to our limitations. Global challenge 9: How can the…
Whither the weather: the Bureau of Meteorology’s dynamic climate modelling is not the only forecasting method. AAP/Paul Miller

Predicting El Nino: a tale of two authorities

Over the last two summers, Eastern Australia has experienced two of the hardest hitting La Niña events since 1974. Widespread floods resulted across great swaths of the country. As expected, the La Niña…
Asking for only the primary carer’s views assumes that fathers have no major impact on their children’s health. Grant Potter

Mother knows best? Fathers missing in research about kids

If we want to survey families to discover how the children are going, we usually have to ask an adult. It seems common sense to ask the “primary carer”, usually the mother, who knows the child the best…
Back, sperm, back: a human egg on the tip of a pin. Flickr/wellcome images

Squaring up to difficult truths: how to reduce the population

Elephants in the room, part two For all our schemes and mantras about making our lives environmentally “sustainable”, humanity’s assault on the planet not only continues but expands. What are the deep…
David Herbert Lawrence dived deep into the psychology of the Australian landscape in Kangaroo. Flickr/Duncan~

Writing the Australian bush: DH Lawrence’s wildflowers

Welcome to the first essay in our series on how the Australian landscape has been described in literature. We start with an internationally recognised D. H. Lawrence scholar, Christopher Pollnitz, writing…
When cooked food falls below 60°C, it’s in the temperature danger zone. riebschlager

Monday’s medical myth: leave leftovers to cool before refrigerating

Food poisoning doesn’t just come from dodgy kebabs, under-cooked chicken and restaurants with poor hygiene practices – it can also occur in the home. And anyone who has suffered a bout of food poisoning…
Journals can make it easier for reporters to do a good job by providing balanced information and accurate media releases designed to inform. NS Newsflash/Flickr

‘Bad’ medical reporting – a history of shooting the messenger?

Journalists are having an increasingly hard time producing high-quality health stories. Medical journal articles feature in many health stories but new research shows their press releases may contribute…
According to some, computer intelligence is on course to match human intelligence by 2045. Sybren A. Stüvel

Person or computer: could you pass the Turing Test?

As mentioned already on this site and others, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of famed British mathematician Alan Turing. The outline of his remarkable life and sad ending has by now…
Children of fathers who show signs of depression in the year after birth have more than three times the rate of behavioural problems by the time they reach school. Mark Menzies

Helping mentally ill fathers for the sake of their children

The idea that mental illness can harm family relationships is not new. But it’s usually the mother’s parenting that has been the centre of attention. So an article I co-wrote in today’s issue of the Medical…
Finland has much to offer Australia and other nations when it comes to mathematics education. StreetFly JZ

Yes, there’s a numeracy crisis – so what’s the solution?

There’s been plenty of commentary recently on the “numeracy crisis” threatening the economies of many developed nations, including Australia. A 2009 report by the National Academies in the US was not the…
Citing machismo as an all-around barrier to men being healthy doesn’t help address the problem. Ingrid Lemaire

Macho, macho man… who wants to be a macho man?

The attempt to rein in offensive “shock jock” style radio commentary received mixed reaction in the media, but the notion of banning words that might demean a particular group opens up an enticing possibility…

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