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Because greed isn’t always good. gaynoir

Bank bonuses just encourage greedy or dishonest staff

The explosive issue of banker bonuses refuses to go away – and not just because of the Bank of England’s controversial new “clawback” measures, which will defer bonuses for three to five years. President…
Low to moderate consumption of alcohol increases your risk of cancer but reduces your risk of heart disease. giannisl/Flickr

How much alcohol is OK? Balancing risks and benefits

For many of us, alcohol is an enjoyable backdrop to life: wine with dinner, beers with friends, a glass of bubbly to celebrate a special occasion, or nip of something heavier to unwind after a long day…
Let there be light on new innovation. Flickr/ Anders Illum

Bright ideas come when people dare to take risks

It’s been a while since Fred Astaire played a CSIRO scientist in the 1959 movie of Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach. Still one premise of the film holds true: you can’t always predict where your research…
One tough mudder. The 621st Contingency Response Wing

Tough Mudder: a modern-day cheese rolling competition

Tough Mudder is an endurance foot race over 12 miles that belongs to a class of obstacle courses known as MOB, or mud, obstacles and beer, that have seen an explosion in popularity since 2010. They include…
Official advice is important, but if it doesn’t match up with local knowledge it’s often ignored. AAP Image/Damian Shaw

Why don’t they do as they’re told? Taking fire risks on the fringe

It’s alarmingly familiar. Scenes of bushland burning on the fringes of an Australian city. The roofs of threatened homes just visible through the forest canopy and the smoke. Fire-fighters beyond exhaustion…
Concentrating on texting when UR driving isn’t GR8. Flickr

The perils of multitasking

The dangers of texting while driving recently received renewed attention thanks to a public service documentary produced by German film director Werner Herzog. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…
To assess the risk of a schizophrenic attack, we try to work out the risk of a rare event in a bunch of people with a mixed bag of symptoms. Flickr/daniellehelm

Are you really at risk of attack by someone with schizophrenia?

A violent attack by someone who is mentally ill quickly grabs the headlines. And it’s usually implied that mental illnesses are a preventable cause of violent crime. Tackle that and we can all sleep safer…
Overprotective policies constrain kids and teach them to value risk assessment over opportunity. Sim Dawdler/Flickr

Kids need to take risks: Mum and Dad will just have to deal with it

We take an “efficiency” approach to childhood and child-rearing in Australia. We want kids to grow up and become productive economic citizens without them deviating from identified pathways, and society…
Learning more about the contribution of multiple risk factors to major depressive disorder will help predict risk. Iris Shreve Garrott

Predicting the risk of depressive disorder – promises and pitfalls

The possibility of harnessing genetic science to head off major depressive disorder, the world’s leading cause of disability, is getting closer. But molecular intervention for this common multifactorial…

Spring Break: a stereotype gone wild?

Students' behaviour on spring break may not be that different from weekend activity on campus. An analysis of studies on…
Judge Marco Billi reads the sentence of the seven defendants in the trial ‘Major Risks’ in L'Aquila, Italy, 22 October 2012. Six scientists and a government official were sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter by an Italian court on for failing to give adequate warning of an earthquake that killed more than 300 people in L'Aquila in 2009. EPA/CLAUDIO LATTANZIO

Researchers alarmed by jail sentence for Italian scientists

Researchers worldwide have condemned an Italian court’s judgement that six scientists and a government official are guilty…

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