Research

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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.
Scientists have struggled to work together to provide solutions for societal challenges such as energy and climate change. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Collaboration plan for South African scientists fails to take off

There is a long road to travel before South Africa's scientists live up to the grand expectations to encourage solutions to the country's problems and boost the economy.
Universities will need to make some significant adjustments to meet the government’s targets in boosting the commercialisation of research. shutterstock

Boosting commercialisation of research poses a big challenge for universities

The government has proposed changes to how Australia's publicly funded research agencies are supported and how their performance is managed to boost the commercialisation of research.
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 www.shutterstock.com

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…

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