Australian National University

ANU was established, in 1946, to advance the cause of learning and research for the nation. It is consistently ranked among the world’s best universities and many ANU graduates go on to become leaders in government, industry, research and academia.

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Felicity Burke/The Conversation

Trees are made of human breath

Urban trees are literally made with the help of human breath – they turn the carbon dioxide we breathe out into the building blocks of plant growth. So your local trees have a piece of you inside them.
Justine Varga, Photogenic Drawing, 2017, installation view, Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks. Photo: Nick Kreisler Courtesy of the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide

Tarrawarra Biennial underwhelms rather than energises

The 2018 Tarrawarra Biennial explores the act of creation itself, dissolving boundaries between mind/body, physical/spiritual, and form/content. But the experience in the gallery is sometimes something of an anti-climax.
Blue-sky thinking? It’s hard to assess the evidence base for the predicted outcomes of the National Energy Guarantee. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Could the NEG bring down power prices? It’s hard to be confident that it will

The final design of the National Energy Guarantee promises that the policy will drive down power prices. But there is precious little evidence for this assertion.
Rampasasa people are from Waemulu village, Flores – near Liang Bua where ‘the Hobbit’ fossils were discovered. Dean Falk, Florida State University

We know why short-statured people of Flores became small – but for the extinct ‘Hobbit’ it’s not so clear

Modern day people of short stature became physically small due to the effects of living on a small island or forested environment. But we're not sure why "the Hobbit" of Flores was so small.
Automation has replaced workers in mining and industry, including the steelworks at Port Kembla, but most Australians are more worried about jobs going overseas. Dean Lewins/AAP

Australians worry more about losing jobs overseas than to robots

Most Australian workers are fairly relaxed about their own job security, but they do worry about the risks of poor management and outsourcing to cheaper labour.
Cutting immigration to Australia will impact the country’s demographic composition, with consequences for the working age population and income tax base. Andrew Seaman/Unsplash

Migration helps balance our ageing population – we don’t need a moratorium

Politicians across the spectrum have at some point targeted immigration as a contributor to out-of-control population growth. But would reducing, or banning, immigration take pressure off cities?
Southern bull kelp can drift huge distances before washing ashore. Ceridwen Fraser

How an alien seaweed invasion spawned an Antarctic mystery

A chance discovery of some kelp that floated for 20,000km before washing up on an Antarctic beach has opened up a new chapter in our understanding of the currents that swirl around the Southern Ocean.
The HECS system is a hybrid policy approach that ensures Australian universities remain accessible while funding remains sustainable. Dean Lewins/AAP

Market v government? In fact, hybrid policy is the best fit for the 21st century

From the 20th-century process of policy trial and error, the nations that married the strengths of markets and government came out ahead.

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