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AAP/Ed Jones

Australia’s twin track diplomacy

It has become commonplace to observe that Australian policymakers face a major challenge trying to reconcile the strategic and economic aspects of foreign policy. But while we might have become used to…
Exhibitions such as HERE NOW at the Lawrence Wilson Gallery show how local art museums can engage with the arts community in which they are based. Lawrence Wilson Gallery

Staking a claim: a rationale for local art museums

In a crowded and competitive market, how does an art museum located far from major centres of population – say, in Perth – make its mark? One obvious answer is to focus on what is distinctive about your…

Do women gain a child and lose a tooth?

‘Gain a child, lose a tooth’ is a phrase that’s bugged me for a while. The basic premise here is that, along with back-ache, reflux and stretch-marks, tooth loss is a very natural consequence of pregnancy…
Projects funded by the Australia Council sustain a much larger network of arts organisations, including university arts museums. Ted Snell/Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery

Australia Council changes will also affect university museums

The transformation of arts funding in Australia won't just affect grant recipients, it will disrupt the ecology of the arts – as the potential impact on university art museums demonstrates.
If their deaths fighting for Islamic State in Iraq are confirmed, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar would be far from the first foreign fighters to be killed in the history of combat. Facebook

Foreign fighters aren’t a new problem, so heed history’s lessons

Foreign fighters have always posed a dual challenge: how to stop them going and what to do if they return. History offers lessons on managing these problems, including that it's hard to stop them leaving.
AAP/Fabrizio Belluschi

Is the Pope Catholic?

Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I’ve always found it a bit difficult to take men who go to work wearing silk dresses, lots of jewellery, and improbably large hats terribly seriously. Plenty of people…
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has thrown his support behind coal mining, arguing coal is ‘good for humanity’. Dan Peled/AAP

The facts on Australian coal production

Despite the divestment movement gaining ground, the share prices of our major coal miners suggest there's still strong investor support.
US domestic carriers won’t face emissions curbs until the rest of the world’s airlines do too. Lasse Fuss/Wikimedia Commons

Without a global deal, US curbs on airline emissions are hot air

Greenhouse emissions from the aviation industry are still largely unregulated. The prospect of regulations for US flights sounds like progress, but it won't happen without an elusive international consensus.
EPA/Julien Warnand

German lessons

Impressionistic, subjective snapshots of complex societies are best avoided. And yet when you actually get the chance to live somewhere – even briefly – like most forms of temptation it is difficult to…
AAP/Dean Lewins

Being a good international citizen

With the possible exception of North Korea, there aren’t too many countries that don’t like to think of themselves as “good international citizens”. For states such as Australia, it’s ostensibly one of…
EPA/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Is China playing a long game in the South China Sea?

China’s construction of new islands in the South China Sea has attracted a great deal of entirely predictable criticism and controversy. Surely no-one connected with this decision can be surprised at this…
Universities will need to make some significant adjustments to meet the government’s targets in boosting the commercialisation of research. shutterstock

Boosting commercialisation of research poses a big challenge for universities

The government has proposed changes to how Australia's publicly funded research agencies are supported and how their performance is managed to boost the commercialisation of research.

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