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The statement by the NHMRC is based on a summary of research on homeopathy’s effectiveness for treating health conditions. Guillaume Brialon/Flickr

Health experts find no evidence homeopathy works, again

Two years in the making, a statement released by the National Health and Medicine Research Council has found no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.
Biological differences mean that women and men often have different health outcomes. Freddycat1/Flickr

Equal but not the same: a male bias reigns in medical research

Despite significant gains in gender equity over the last few decades, a bias still reigns in one area of medicine. The lack of female representation in both preclinical studies and clinical trials has…
The idea of research reducing health-care costs may seem counter intuitive because it often leads to the development of expensive drugs, technologies, and treatments. EPA/ANGELIKA WARMUTH

With the right kind of research, we can reduce health-care costs

Quality health care can be expensive and medical research has traditionally been thought to play a role in making it so. But research can also help cut the cost of medical care. The notion of research…
The Coalition government seems to take a very keen interest in medical science, but what about the other fields? AAP/Dan Peled

Science funding is a national investment – not an expense

As a relatively small and young country, by population if not by landmass, Australia has played a noticeable role on the world stage when it comes to science. Contributions to new technologies, from Wi-Fi…
The budget calls for the creation of a medical research future fund from estimated savings in health expenditure. AAP/Lukas Coch

Better ways to spend the medical research future fund

One of the few real surprises in the budget was the creation of medical research future fund, to be partly funded by the introduction of a $7 GP co-payment. This injection of money provides an opportunity…
Homeopathic medicines are not drugs and homeopathy involves much more than the use of a particular therapy. Oonagh Taeger/Flickr

Does the weight of evidence signal the end of homeopathy?

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently completed a review of the evidence for homeopathy’s effectiveness and, after analysing systematic reviews of clinical trials, concluded…
The medical establishment needs to acknowledge that people can worry themselves sick about wind turbines. Terence Doust/Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm reviews are pointless if they leave out anxiety illness

The Australian Medical Association has released a statement once again affirming that there is no evidence that wind farms harm human health. Geoffrey Dobb, chair of the AMA’s Public Health Committee…
What does the future hold for research funding under an Abbott government? AAP/David Crosling

Securing Australia’s future: science and research

SECURING AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE: As the Commission of Audit reviews government activity and spending, The Conversation’s experts take a closer look at key policy areas tied to this funding – what’s working…
Hours spent writing grant applications could be spent actually doing research with a grant-determining formula. Λ |_ ν-\ Γ Ø

The end of written grant applications: let’s use a formula

The winners and losers of the 2013 National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) Project Grants were announced in October. A record low success rate of just 16.9% (down from last year’s 20.5%) meant the…
Bad science is easy to spot; but can we tell which proposals are winners? an untrained eye

What is good science? And what gets public funding?

I’ve heard that we should stop talking about “pure” science and “applied” science; that we should only be talking about “good” science and “bad” science. Last year, CSIRO Chief Executive Megan Clark said…
Public confidence in medical research is vulnerable to attacks on its integrity. Andrew Huff

What Australia should do to ensure research integrity

Clinical trials of an experimental cancer drug being undertaken by the University of New South Wales were suspended this week, after questions about the accuracy of some preliminary results were made public…
Health-services research can help work out how best to share the health-funding pie. Wout/Flickr

Who gets a piece of the pie? Spending the health budget fairly

In the eighth part of our series Health Rationing, Philip Clarke and Nicholas Graves suggest ways to make the health-care system more efficient and affordable. Who would want be the health minister? If…
‘Light’ wines are potentially big business if they can be successfully marketed to the diet-conscious consumer. Steve Petric

‘Light’ wine: good for your waistline or just producers' bottom line?

Dieters can now have their wine and drink it, guilt-free and minus the hangover. That’s the promise of so-called “light” or low-alcohol, low-calorie wines. But these wines are not considerably lighter…
Reflexology is just one of the therapies subsidised by private health insurers that’s being reviewed. Chris/Flickr

Private health insurers' natural therapy rebates in the spotlight

Significant growth of natural therapy benefits subsidised by private health insurers, coupled with concerns about the poor evidence base for some of the services offered, has apparently resulted in the…
David Koch meets breastfeeding advocates who converged outside the studio where his show is recorded. AAP/Damian Shaw

Feeding frenzy: public breastfeeding is good for us all

The host of Sunrise breakfast television show, David Koch, aka Kochie, has stirred controversy by saying mothers should breastfeed “discreetly” and that while he agreed that breastfeeding should be done…
Taxpayer-funded research should be out there for everyone to access. muffin9101985/Flickr

What is open access and why should we care?

The issue of open access to research findings has been in the media for a number of reasons lately, some positive - the release of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) open access policy - and some…
A rat used for cancer research in the United States. Janet Stephens

The elusive ethics of animal ethics committees

More than six million animals are used in experiments in Australia each year. Many endure pain and distress, and most are killed after their use. The research community claims that our regulatory framework…
We need to research the health of the health system for the sake of sustainability. Greg Boege

McKeon review should consider the well-being of health system

The consultation paper by the panel of the McKeon Review is available and open for public comment now, so it’s worth examining whether this review (the latest of many into health and medical research…
Health services are ripe for evidence-based reform.

Six easy ways to improve health services

Each year $120 billion is spent on health services in Australia. But hardly any research is done to investigate whether this money is being used wisely. Only 2.8% of the funding for NHMRC project grants…

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