Category Archives: Science – General

General Public health and other interesting cross-topic subjects.

Moderate-to-strong El Nino for Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald | May 12, 2015 | Jamie Duncan

Australia is expected to suffer a moderate-to-strong El Nino in the second half of 2015, potentially exacerbating prolonged drought in the eastern states.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday officially declared the existence of an El Nino, the precursor to many of Australia’s worst droughts.

El Nino is characterised by a warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean and can cause below average rainfall in Australia in winter and spring, particularly in the east.  Continue reading…

E-health to be rebranded under overhaul

The Sydney Morning Herald | May 12, 2015

The federal government will launch opt-out trials for a revamped e-health system next year, hoping to boost the number of people who hold an electronic record.

Labor’s under-used e-health system faces an overhaul and rebranding with the federal government splashing almost $500 million over four years in Tuesday’s budget.

The coalition has long been critical of the previous government’s scheme, which has only been taken up by about one in 10 Australians.  Continue reading…


Australians take more drugs than Britons on average, but less likely to have drinking problems, Adelaide University study finds

ABC News | May 12, 2015

More Australians are taking illicit drugs than are Britons on average, but people in Britain are still smoking tobacco and abusing alcohol in higher numbers, a University of Adelaide report has found.  Continue reading…

We need to stop punishing scientists for talking to the public

The Conversation Bill Laurance 12 May 2015

As scientists, my colleagues and I are often told we need to engage the general public and decision makers, to use our expertise to inform public discourse and debates and to reach a far wider audience than just our professional colleagues.  I very much believe in the importance of doing this.

However the Australian Research Council gauges scientific research activity by universities via their Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) ratings.

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Who should have a say in what medical research is funded?

The Conversation David Hunter 8 May 2015

In the acceptance speech for her Gold Logie (for the most popular Australian television personality), Carrie Bickmore, who is a presenter on Network 10’s The Project, sought to raise awareness of the apparent under-funding of brain cancer research.

While I can’t fault Bickmore for trying to get attention for the disease that prematurely killed her husband, her move does raise questions about how research should be funded.

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Science must be relevant to society if it’s to earn its keep

The Conversation Peat Leith, Holger Meinke 8 May 2015

The usual arguments for science funding have been trotted out in recent months as academics rally around the wreckage of Australia’s research system. Meanwhile a quiet revolution is underway in science and technology policy. And Australia needs to join in.

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Disease-naming advice issued by WHO

BBC News 9 May 2015

New human diseases should be given socially acceptable names which do not offend people, cultures or countries, says the World Health Organization.  It has produced advice for scientists and the media on choosing names.

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Download “WHO best practices for naming of new human infectious diseases”