Morrison government orders Pfizer ‘boosters’, while hoping new ATAGI advice will warm people to AstraZeneca

Originally published on While still struggling with a current shortage of Pfizer, the Morrison government announced it has secured 85 million doses of that vaccine for future “booster” shots. This will be made up of 60 million doses in 2022, and 25 million doses in 2023. Delivery will start in the first quarter of […]

Not declaring the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ only postpones the inevitable

Originally published on Shutterstock After much anticipation, the World Heritage Committee on Friday decided against listing the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”. The decision ignored the recommendation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre — a recommendation based on analyses by Australian scientific experts of […]

Very genki, slightly kitsch, occasionally compelling: the Olympic opening ceremony put humanity in centre frame

Originally published on The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images The rising of the Japanese flag and the singing of the national anthem is the first moment of stillness. Devoid of external commentary, before a sea of empty stadium seats, it is a stark reminder of the pandemic. More than any of the previous symbols […]

Radicalism mixed with openness: how Desmond Tutu used his gifts to help end Apartheid

Originally published on AAP/EPA/Nic Bothma This piece is part of a new series in collaboration with the ABC’s Saturday Extra program. Each week, the show will have a “who am I” quiz for listeners about influential figures who helped shape the 20th century, and we will publish profiles for each one. You can read […]

Pfizer doses to be spaced out in NSW crisis, but state fails to get change in vaccination program

Originally published on AAP/Mick Tsikas Pfizer doses in NSW will be spaced out to enable more first jabs to be administered quickly, as the Berejiklian government on Friday declared the Sydney COVID crisis a “national emergency”. But the plea by the state for Pfizer doses to be diverted to Sydney as part of a […]

VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on the PM’s apology and Brisbane 2032

Originally published on University of Canberra Professorial Fellow Michelle Grattan and University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Paddy Nixon discuss the week in politics. This week Michelle and Paddy discuss the proposed changes to the vaccine rollout announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday, which would allow regional pharmacies to apply to […]

You may have heard the ‘moon wobble’ will intensify coastal floods. Well, here’s what that means for Australia

Originally published on Shutterstock Extreme floods this month have been crippling cities worldwide. This week in China’s Henan province, a year’s worth of rain fell in just three days. Last week, catastrophic floods swept across western Germany and parts of Belgium. And at home, rain fell in Perth for 17 days straight, making it […]

Forget the medals, the real game of the Olympics is soft power — and the opening ceremony is key

Originally published on The Olympic Games are often hailed as a neutral celebration of athletic achievement. “The Olympic Games are not about politics,” wrote the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, in the Guardian last year. In reality, the games have long been a platform for soft power: the use of culture and values […]

Eradicating smallpox: the global vaccination push that brought the world ‘arm-to-arm’

Originally published on Edward Jenner vaccinating his son, held by Mrs Jenner; a maid rolls up her sleeve, a man stands outside holding a cow. Coloured engraving by C. Manigaud after E Hamman. The Wellcome Collection. As the roll-out of COVID vaccines proceeds, it’s worth looking back on the challenges and successes of the […]

To watch or not to watch? The Tokyo Games raises difficult questions for fans

Originally published on Sue Ogrocki/AP/AAP When the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially begin on Friday night, they will do so with the host city under a state of emergency due to COVID-19. For the first time in history, all Olympic events will take place in empty venues, with recordings of stadium noise from previous […]