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Professor Ian Chubb: ‘We are a nation in 'transition’, we hear. But to what; and how?'

There are no free rides to the future: Australia’s Chief Scientist

This is a transcript of the 2014 Jack Beale Lecture on the Global Environment, hosted at the University of New South Wales. Tonight I want to talk about the future. I know that it’s not a novel thing to…
What’s the use of this? Lab Science Career

Are we focusing too much on examining practical science?

Science evokes images of Bunsen burners, coloured liquids, vapours rising from flasks, white coats and safety goggles. But are we making too much of the rigid assessment of the practical parts of science…
We prefer experimenting on our food, rather than cooking it. Neil Munns/PA Archive

Girls are kept out of science jobs by unhelpful stereotypes

The number of girls taking A-level physics has remained stagnant for the past 20 years or more, and the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineers in the EU. Progress on gender equality in science…
GIFs can help show the effects of climate change. Patrick Kelley

How GIFs are changing the way we talk science

The use of “GIFs” has exploded in recent years. They are used for news, views and entertainment but are most commonly seen as a light-hearted medium. Now scientists are beginning to see how GIFs can be…
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…
Kids need to know that curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Julien Behal/PA

We cannot afford to get science education wrong

Science gives young people the tools to understand the world around us and the ability to engage with contemporary and future issues, such as medical advances and climate change. That is why science should…
Students learning the skills to ‘do’ science could be under threat. Science image from

Learning or doing? Science degrees need reform and students can help

Science is as much about knowing, as it is about having the skills to learn. But with time in the lab shrinking as universities try to tighten their budgets, students may be getting the opportunity to…
Young people are harbouring misconceptions about climate change. But what can be done about it? Thinking image

What do young people really know about climate change?

The next generation will be the ones to feel the increasing effects of climate change. But how much do they really know about it? After all, it’s one thing to say: yes, I believe in climate change. But…
The right people are not in the room in reform talks. WahTee

A-level reforms need real input from science experts

The government is undertaking an ambitious programme to reform qualifications in schools, with significant changes being made to GCSEs and A-levels over the next few years. This, in theory, is a positive…
Studies suggest around 30% of people are “generally unengaged” with science. Suarez Leandro

Engaging the unengaged in science? Try a little harder

Like many Australians, you may have recoiled in horror or laughed heartily when the results of the Australian Academy of Science’s science literacy survey surfaced last month. You may have had a similar…
There’s a public appetite for more science … so how should it be sated? London Permaculture

And in science news … can we have more science news?

Why is science not delivered as part of our routine news bulletins in the same way as, say, business and sport? Enter a group from the University of Queensland, who yesterday posted an open letter to radio…
Understanding how the world works as a system is vital. Rigmarole

Does science literacy matter? Yes, and here’s why

When the email notice for The Weekend Conversation landed on Saturday, I was intrigued and slightly startled by the opening teaser from the site’s Science + Technology editor, Paul Dalgarno. He got one…

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