Not again … how to protect your mental health in the face of uncertainty and another COVID variant

Originally published on theconversation.com Unsplash/Niklas Hamann, CC BY Reports about the latest COVID variant of concern, Omicron, have exploded all over the news. No sooner had we learned its name, it had arrived in Australia. Waves of familiar dread are washing ashore for many, just when there was fresh hope we would soon put all […]

Parliamentary inquiry to put behaviour of ‘big tech’ under scrutiny

Originally published on theconversation.com The Morrison government is setting up a parliamentary inquiry to put big tech companies “under the microscope” over dangers posed to people’s wellbeing by toxic material on their sites. In its latest strike against big tech, Scott Morrison said the move built on the weekend announcement that the government would legislate […]

Word from The Hill: Politicians condemn bad behaviour, and then behave badly

Originally published on theconversation.com As well as Michelle Grattan’s usual interviews with experts and politicians about the news of the day, Politics with Michelle Grattan now includes “Word from The Hill”, where all things political will be discussed with members of The Conversation’s politics team. This week they discuss the just-released Jenkins Report on workplace […]

What’s the secret to making sure AI doesn’t steal your job? Work with it, not against it

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock Whether it’s athletes on a sporting field or celebrities in the jungle, nothing holds our attention like the drama of vying for a single prize. And when it comes to the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI), some of the most captivating moments have also been delivered in nailbiting finishes. In […]

Luxon takes the controls – can the former Air NZ CEO make National straighten up and fly right?

Originally published on theconversation.com Hands up if you know anything about Christopher Luxon other than he was once CEO of Air New Zealand, he’s been hailed as the new John Key, and he’s the MP for Botany. Anyone? Luxon takes on the role of leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition – the sixth since Jacinda Ardern […]

It looks like Omicron causes milder illness – is this how COVID becomes endemic?

Originally published on theconversation.com AP Photo/Denis Farrell These are very early days in terms of our understanding the Omicron variant. What is known is that it has a large number of mutations, particularly in the spike protein and it appears to be rapidly spreading in specific parts of the world. Very early indications from Africa […]

Scanlon survey shows community fears about COVID can spike quickly, as governments face Omicron

Originally published on theconversation.com Australians’ concern about the pandemic ebbs and flows dramatically as waves come and go, according to research that also shows that COVID has not shaken the nation’s social cohesion. The Scanlon Foundation Research Institute’s 2021 Mapping Social Cohesion Report found that in July last year, 63% of respondents believed the pandemic […]

Border opening for skilled workers, students delayed a fortnight

Originally published on theconversation.com John Mackintosh/Shutterstock The Morrison government has delayed its plan to open the international border on Wednesday to skilled workers and students, as it awaits more information about the Omicron variant of COVID. Cabinet’s national security committee on Monday night paused the reopening – that also included humanitarian, worker holiday makers, and […]

As it selects a new leader, National needs to remember one thing – confidence doesn’t always equal competence

Originally published on theconversation.com National Party interim leader Dr Shane Reti, flanked by colleagues, prepares to announce Judith Collins has been removed as party leader. GettyImages Many will know the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. It’s a caution the National Party caucus would […]

Here’s to the ladies who lunch: one of Sondheim’s greatest achievements was writing complex women

Originally published on theconversation.com Getty Images The most eclectic of music theatre composers was not only a gifted wordsmith and lyricist, but also had a truly original compositional voice. Stephen Sondheim, who died at home on the weekend at 91, had a singular ability to craft narrative in short, poignant moments, with constantly evolving, twisting […]