Displaying 1 - 20 of 40 articles

The idea of ‘family balancing’ is based on the belief that children come in two genders that have essentially different traits. Jason Pratt/Flickr

Choosing children’s sex is an exercise in sexism

The risk of harm in sex selection stems from the fact that parents don't desire any child, they want a child of a particular sex, who is to remain within the limits of binary gender roles.
Should parents be allowed to select the sex of their child through IVF when there’s no compelling medical reason to do so? Marcus Hansson/Fkickr

Why we should consider whether it’s time to allow sex selection in IVF: NHMRC

The National Health and Medical Research Council call for public submissions on whether sex selection should be allowed without a medical reason recognises changing social attitudes.
Gagging clauses in contracts permit purchasers of research to modify, substantially delay, or prohibit the reporting of findings. stallio/Flickr

Governments shouldn’t be able to censor research results they don’t like

Government departments often commission research to help them understand and respond to policy issues. But they impose contract conditions that threaten to undermine the integrity of the work.
The NHMRC code on animal use requires researchers to minimise harm, pain and distress but doesn’t provide guidance on how to do it. International Fund for Animal Welfare Animal Rescue Blog/Flickr

Australia failing to protect non-human primates in research

Draft guildelines for the use of non-human primates in research will dilute what protections these animals have, despite numerous reasons to stop the practice entirely.
Restraining the growth in costs and providing better treatments and cures needs a healthy national medical research effort. Dave Hunt/AAP

Six challenges facing Australia’s medical research sector

It’s been a great privilege to have been the head of NHMRC for going on a decade. That’s four governments, six health ministers, a funding increase from A$437 million in 2006 to A$859 million today.
The statement by the NHMRC is based on a summary of research on homeopathy’s effectiveness for treating health conditions. Guillaume Brialon/Flickr

Health experts find no evidence homeopathy works, again

Two years in the making, a statement released by the National Health and Medicine Research Council has found no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.
Biological differences mean that women and men often have different health outcomes. Freddycat1/Flickr

Equal but not the same: a male bias reigns in medical research

Despite significant gains in gender equity over the last few decades, a bias still reigns in one area of medicine. The lack of female representation in both preclinical studies and clinical trials has…
The idea of research reducing health-care costs may seem counter intuitive because it often leads to the development of expensive drugs, technologies, and treatments. EPA/ANGELIKA WARMUTH

With the right kind of research, we can reduce health-care costs

Quality health care can be expensive and medical research has traditionally been thought to play a role in making it so. But research can also help cut the cost of medical care. The notion of research…
The Coalition government seems to take a very keen interest in medical science, but what about the other fields? AAP/Dan Peled

Science funding is a national investment – not an expense

As a relatively small and young country, by population if not by landmass, Australia has played a noticeable role on the world stage when it comes to science. Contributions to new technologies, from Wi-Fi…
The budget calls for the creation of a medical research future fund from estimated savings in health expenditure. AAP/Lukas Coch

Better ways to spend the medical research future fund

One of the few real surprises in the budget was the creation of medical research future fund, to be partly funded by the introduction of a $7 GP co-payment. This injection of money provides an opportunity…
Homeopathic medicines are not drugs and homeopathy involves much more than the use of a particular therapy. Oonagh Taeger/Flickr

Does the weight of evidence signal the end of homeopathy?

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently completed a review of the evidence for homeopathy’s effectiveness and, after analysing systematic reviews of clinical trials, concluded…
The medical establishment needs to acknowledge that people can worry themselves sick about wind turbines. Terence Doust/Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm reviews are pointless if they leave out anxiety illness

The Australian Medical Association has released a statement once again affirming that there is no evidence that wind farms harm human health. Geoffrey Dobb, chair of the AMA’s Public Health Committee…
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…
Hours spent writing grant applications could be spent actually doing research with a grant-determining formula. Λ |_ ν-\ Γ Ø

The end of written grant applications: let’s use a formula

The winners and losers of the 2013 National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) Project Grants were announced in October. A record low success rate of just 16.9% (down from last year’s 20.5%) meant the…
Bad science is easy to spot; but can we tell which proposals are winners? an untrained eye

What is good science? And what gets public funding?

I’ve heard that we should stop talking about “pure” science and “applied” science; that we should only be talking about “good” science and “bad” science. Last year, CSIRO Chief Executive Megan Clark said…
Public confidence in medical research is vulnerable to attacks on its integrity. Andrew Huff

What Australia should do to ensure research integrity

Clinical trials of an experimental cancer drug being undertaken by the University of New South Wales were suspended this week, after questions about the accuracy of some preliminary results were made public…

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