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Studies that deliberately exclude older adults from their samples render older adults' sexuality invisible. shutterstock

Invisible sexuality: older adults missing in sexual health research

The Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR), the latest findings of which were released recently, has much to commend it. Like its counterpart, the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes…
I’ll have a clean cage with a side of fertility issues. Mouse image via

Common disinfectants impair mouse fertility

Mice possess a notable talent: they are excellent at making more mice. Their ability to reproduce at a breakneck pace is one reason they are often used as experimental research subjects. Thus, when Dr…
Looking for proof? No such thing in most research. Flickr/Paul Mazumdar

Where’s the proof in science? There is none

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Those people looking for proof to come from any research in science will be sadly disappointed…
US Army scientists analyse unknown samples to determine whether they are hazardous. That’s typical of research trying to understand the unknowns and expand on our knowledge. Flickr/US Army RDECOM

Why research beats anecdote in our search for knowledge

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? We begin today by looking at the origins of research. It is comforting to feel like…
Lecturers: you can learn a lot from Freddie Mercury. Steve Mann

Research cabaret: come hear the music play

Can you imagine attending a lecture on, say, string theory and finding that the lecturer was actually explaining this complex scientific concept using his own words – sung to the tune of Queen’s Bohemian…
Will post-graduate students be able to afford to conduct research? Shutterstock

Raising the cost of a PhD

The announcement in last week’s Federal budget that fees will apply to postgraduate research for the first time has so far flown under the radar. But the effects will be significant. Coupled with the effect…
We collect climate data. We collect health data. What if we combined the two? Kevin

Data mashups can help answer the world’s biggest questions

As the world wakes up to the power of data, we need to start working out how to join up all this information. We need to turn it into meaningful findings that will help us to make changes to the way we…
Look into the future … what do you see for CSIRO, should its funding be reduced? griraffes/Flickr

Scrimp now, pay later: CSIRO cuts could stifle long-term research

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, is said to be preparing for cuts of up to 20% of government funding – that’s around A$150…
Modern science is no longer a solo effort. Flickr/ only_point_five

The challenge of the modern scientist is to avoid career suicide

Close your eyes and picture a scientist. What do you see? Perhaps an Albert Einstein, staring intently at a blackboard covered in incomprehensible equations, or of Alexander Fleming, hunched over the laboratory…
‘Avoid cat’, or ‘torment cat’? anti_christa

What to expect from Dyson’s new robotics lab

James Dyson’s decision to fund a robotics laboratory at Imperial College London may not lead to the super advanced robot friends of our dreams, but what he has planned could make robotic domestic appliances…
How many R&D teams does it take to fix a lightbulb? ed_needs_a_bicycle

Business drops the baton in higher ed innovation

There is a tired old mantra that periodically echoes along the corridors of Whitehall. It goes something like: “The UK is great at science but poor at turning it into innovation”. Yet since the Conservative…
Jerry Adams to receive top award for cancer research. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Cancer researcher to get top honour in awards

One of Australia’s leading experts on cancer therapy at a molecular level is to receive a top research honour by the Australian…
Octopuses are the only non-vertebrates granted ‘animal’ status in the area of animal research ethics. Is this an arbitrary distinction? Saspotato

When is an animal not an ‘animal’? Research ethics draws the line

Many people are surprised to find that insects, jellyfish and sea urchins are animals. Animals are generally thought of as medium-sized four-legged creatures with two sets of eyes and ears — those with…
There’s no one recipe for creating ‘innovation hubs’ but Australia can look to some of the success stories for answers. Technology image from

Could Australia ever have its own Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley is a bit like the ancient city of Babylon. A confluence of the right geography, right timing, and the right mix in the melting pot allowed them both to thrive. Even the mythological status…
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…
While they’re very pretty to look at, museum collections are also valuable to science. Curious Expeditions

Right at the museum: collections give clues on climate change

We know museums attract visitors who come to view and wonder at their vast array of displays, but they are also used by expert researchers – locally and abroad – who make use of the ever-growing collections…

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