Science + Technology — Analysis and Comment

Research by James Cook University was rapidly translated into policy that is helping to preserve Queensland’s regions against the effects of climate change. Nathan Siemers/Flickr

Science can influence policy and benefit the public – here’s how

It's rare for research to have an immediate impact on policy, but lessons learnt from a successful venture in Queensland can show how it can be done.
Scientists knew the mystery signals were close by the Parkes radio telescope: but what was the source? Flickr/Amanda Slater

How we found the source of the mystery signals at The Dish

Astronomers used to probing the universe always knew that strange signals detected by the Parkes radio telescope were coming from somewhere closer to home. But finding the source was the tricky bit.
A Type Ia supernova designated SN 2014J in the galaxy M82, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA, ESA, A. Goobar (Stockholm University), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Short, sharp shocks let slip the stories of supernovae

When we look up at the night sky, it’s easy to feel as though the stars we see have always been, and always will be, there. But just like ourselves, stars are born and die. And when they die, they sometimes…
Academic publishers are attempting to build a walled garden around their content, blocking it off from public eyes. the.Firebottle/Flickr

Publisher pushback puts open access in peril

A new policy by publisher Elsevier is threatening to wind back the gains made by the open access movement.
The mathematical modelling of traffic networks can throw up conflicting results. Flickr/Wendell

The maths of congestion: springs, strings and traffic jams

The planning for any new road should include plenty of mathematical modelling. But getting the right numbers can be a challenge and there's the odd paradox to deal with as well.
It’s hard for a human to keep an eye all the players' performance in any game, such as this typical AFL match at the MCG in Melbourne. So let the machines do all the work. Flickr/Sascha Wenninger

Games by numbers: machine learning is changing sport

When it comes to keeping an eye on all the action in sport a coach can only see so much. But machine learning can crunch all the data and look for improvements.
New thinking the way to job creation for people in the 21st century. Flickr/Tim Robinson

We need new jobs as the machines do more of our work

The more we automate jobs, the more we need to find new jobs for people, especially if the government wants us to stay in the workforce longer. That's going to take some clever thinking.
The call for a male author on a paper was met with outrage from within the scientific community and the general public. Keoni Cabral/Flickr

Sexism in science: one step back, two steps forward

Sexism still exists in science, but a recent scandal shows that progress is being made.
Facilities funded under NCRIS, such as the Murchison Widefield Array, will continue to be supported under this budget. Natasha Hurley-Walker/Wikimedia

Budget brief: how does science and research funding fare?

The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and Future Fellowships schemes have won a reprieve in this year's budget.