Long read: reflections of a volcanologist as a science organisation faces charges in the wake of the 2019 Whakaari eruption

Originally published on theconversation.com Author provided This week, a case review hearing sought to set a trial date – now likely in 2023 – for 13 organisations and individuals facing charges in the wake of the Whakaari White Island eruption of December 9 2019. The volcano erupted while 47 people were on the island, leaving […]

As Melbourne cautiously opens up today, what lies ahead?

Originally published on theconversation.com This morning, Melburnians are waking up to the end of the city’s sixth lockdown. Since March 2020, Melbourne has spent more time in lockdown than any other city in the world. It’s been a long and arduous journey for its five million people, as well as other parts of Victoria at […]

Grattan on Friday: Can Barnaby Joyce sell his supporters the net zero he’s previously trashed?

Originally published on theconversation.com Barnaby Joyce will probably never again have so much power as he does at this moment, in his trading with Scott Morrison over support for the net zero by 2050 target. Yet it’s a negotiation forced on him, for an objective he doesn’t believe in and which he fears could cost […]

Sign our petition and hold Facebook to account

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock We need to talk about Facebook. Today Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower who claims the social media giant is knowingly harming the mental health of teenagers, took part in an online event to brief a group of Australian MPs led by Queensland MP Julian Simmonds. The discussion comes after documents […]

How the hyper-violent Squid Game has crept into digital content targeting young children

Originally published on theconversation.com Noh Juhan | Netflix The dystopian South Korean horror series Squid Game has become Netflix’s most watched TV series, but it is quickly becoming as controversial as it is popular. The latest controversy to arise around Squid Game, which is rated MA15+ in Australia, relates to the interest it has sparked […]

Australia’s oldest dinosaur was a peaceful vegetarian, not a fierce predator

Originally published on theconversation.com Anthony Romilio, Author provided Ipswich, about 40 kilometres west of Brisbane, seems an unlikely place to find dinosaur fossils. Yet the area has produced the oldest evidence of dinosaurs in Australia. A fresh look at these fossils now reveals they aren’t what they first seemed, and it’s prompting us to reconsider […]

Fixing Australia’s shocking record of Indigenous heritage destruction: Juukan inquiry offers a way forward

Originally published on theconversation.com On May 24 last year, mining giant Rio Tinto legally destroyed ancient and sacred Aboriginal rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia to expand an iron ore mine. Public backlash prompted a parliamentary inquiry. After almost 18 months of submissions and hearings, the joint standing committee released its final report […]

COVID tests have made pathology companies big profits, but rapid tests are set to shake up the market

Originally published on theconversation.com Shutterstock Throughout the pandemic, Australians with a sniffle or other cold and flu symptoms have been encouraged to get a PCR test – a swab of their throat and the back of their nose, taken by a nurse or doctor. This is then sent to a pathology laboratory for analysis. So […]

New Zealand’s mass vaccination event lifts uptake but highlights dangerous inequities as the country prepares to open up

Originally published on theconversation.com Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford visit a pop-up vaccination clinic on ‘Super Saturday’. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images New Zealand’s mass vaccination event last Saturday, when more than 130,000 people turned up to get their first or second dose, surpassed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s expectations. Super Saturday and a televised “vaxathon” were […]

Why do some people delay getting vaccinated or pretend COVID doesn’t exist? Paradoxically, denial of death

Originally published on theconversation.com Vaccines save lives, and have been doing so since the development of the smallpox vaccine more than 200 years ago. However, for vaccines to keep entire communities safe they need to be taken up by very large proportions of the population. Only then can the vaccinated offer protection to the unvaccinated, […]