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According to a new report, academic research into gambling is heavily biased, and controlled by industry and government. AAP/Paul Jeffers

He who pays the piper calls the tune: gambling with research

Earlier this month, a team of British anthropologists from Goldsmiths College of the University of London published a report about the mundane, if very lucrative, world of Big Gambling and the cadre of…
Researchers are looking towards alternative sources of funding amidst increasing competition for research grants. shutterstock

By the masses: the emergence of crowdfunded research in Australia

This time of year sees many academics furiously submitting grant applications to the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Discovery Projects scheme. While prestigious, they are time-consuming and highly…
What does the future hold for research funding under an Abbott government? AAP/David Crosling

Securing Australia’s future: science and research

SECURING AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE: As the Commission of Audit reviews government activity and spending, The Conversation’s experts take a closer look at key policy areas tied to this funding – what’s working…
Fundamental, wide-ranging and curious research is the basis of a country’s development. Cuts to CSIRO won’t help. CarbonNYC/Flickr

Australia needs fundamental research to build a great country

Like many scientists, I was apprehensive in advance about the Abbott government’s approach to science policy. Would it be pragmatic but fact-based or would it be ideological and politically driven? Sadly…
Coalition MP Jamie Briggs doesn’t want the ARC funding ‘interesting thought bubbles’. AAP/Alan Porritt

A farewell to arts: on philosophy, ARC funding and ‘waste’

The Coalition - among others - have been recently taking aim at the worth of certain Australian Research Council (ARC)-funded projects. Verbal jousting around the value of philosophy as a humanities discipline…
What place for The Thinker will there be in an Australia under an Abbott government? Steven Fettig

Waste not, want not – the politics of why philosophy matters

And so now we officially know: philosophy is a waste. How can we be sure? Because Coalition spokesman for scrutiny of government waste Jamie Briggs has promised an Abbott government would get rid of “those…
There has been little debate around the proposed Defence Trade Controls Bill, which could criminalise common research activities. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Science and the slammer: the consequences of Australia’s new export control regime

At this moment, Australian Parliament is considering a Bill with far-reaching consequences for Australian research aimed at improving health, and fostering innovation in communications, mining, agriculture…
Allocating research grants based on past projects and potential profits is immoral – it skews research and damages the academic psyche. URBAN ARTefakte

Thinking for money: moral questions for Australian research

WHAT IS AUSTRALIA FOR? Australia is no longer small, remote or isolated. It’s time to ask What Is Australia For?, and to acknowledge the wealth of resources we have beyond mining. Over the next two weeks…
Do we need new vocabulary for measuring the “engagement”, “use”, “relevance” and “appropriateness” of research? spettacolopuro

The ‘impact’ of research carries weight (but ripples matter more)

What has been the impact of the invention of the telescope? What has been the impact of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, or the splitting of the atom? Yes, that’s right: the idea of measuring the…
Some proponents of open access publishing are naive, Margaret Sheil says. Macquarie University

Open access not as simple as it sounds: outgoing ARC boss

After almost five years at the helm of the Australian Research Council (ARC), Margaret Sheil will this week step down to…
Bureaucracy is stymieing academic engagement. StripeyAnne

Untangling red tape to turn academics into public intellectuals

The idea that universities should return to their “core business” of teaching and research has become a favourite mantra of vice chancellors. It is reinforced by increasing evaluations imposed by Canberra…
The university funding system discourages research on volunteers like these men who are risking their lives to help their community. Flickr/Rob Down Under

In universities obsessed with research here’s what falls between the cracks

In Australian universities at the moment research is everything. They obsess over the rankings in the new ERA system which measures research performance. For academics publishing in the top journals isn’t…
Anyone expecting undying gratitude from scientists should think again. MacGeekGrl/Flickr

Undervalued, underfunded, undermined … how science fared in the budget

The post-budget political rhetoric to me reinforces the underlying, ongoing, disdain that this, and indeed many previous, governments have for science-related matters in Australia. Minister Carr is reported…
Why is writing grant proposals the bane of scientists' lives? Fotolia

Putting the fun back into research funding

Getting research money, especially the no-strings-attached kind that government agencies give out, is difficult. Researchers spend months on each proposal with only a small chance of getting funded. Winning…
Are we a step closer to equality in Australian laboratories? Argonne National Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons

A breakthrough for women in science

Yesterday, April 11, should be remembered as the day the Australian science community agreed to change. Specifically, it agreed to change the way we work to enable women to fully participate, and to prevent…

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