Guest Work

Friday essay: a rare bird — how Europeans got the black swan so wrong

Guest Author Jun 11, 2021

David Haworth, Monash University   The black swan is an Australian icon. The official emblem of Western Australia, depicted in the state flag and coat-of-arms, it decorates several public buildings. The bird is also the namesake for Perth’s Swan River, where the British established the Swan River Colony in 1829. The swan’s likeness has featured on stamps, sporting team … Read More

Rugby, concussions and duty of care: why the game is facing scrutiny

Guest Author Jun 04, 2021

Seema Patel, Nottingham Trent University   There’s growing concern about concussion-related injuries in contact sports like rugby and American football. Several high-profile collisions between participants and a growing body of research about their impact have drawn attention to the adequacy of the safety protocols in place to protect players. Since 2020, the debate has taken a … Read More

It’s time to teach the whole story about ovulation and its place in the menstrual cycle

Guest Author May 26, 2021

Felicity Roux, Curtin University   Health education frequently fails to teach the menstrual cycle in its full entirety, focusing mostly on the bleeding part of the story and glossing over the ovulation chapter. In other words, many girls* often only get half the story about how their bodies work. That’s a shame because knowledge of your own reproductive function is … Read More

Choosing the care you’ll receive at the end of your life doesn’t always go to plan. Here are some tips to make sure it does

Guest Author May 21, 2021

Charles Corke, Deakin University   Advances in medical technology have dramatically altered the process of dying. It’s now possible to prolong life, with the frightening reality that this may simply extend our dying process. Advance care planning is designed to empower us to retain some control over the last stages of our life by communicating our wishes about what we … Read More

Slaves to speed, we’d all benefit from ‘slow cities’

Guest Author May 21, 2021

Paul Tranter, UNSW and Rodney Tolley, Staffordshire University   Slowing transport in cities provides immense benefits for the health of people, economies and the planet, so why are we still obsessed with speed? As Mahatma Gandhi observed: There is more to life than increasing its speed. This speaks to our own physical and mental well-being, as well as to … Read More

Life in the deep freeze – the revolution that changed our view of glaciers forever

Guest Author May 18, 2021

Jemma Wadham, University of Bristol   I’ve been fascinated by glaciers since I was 14, when geography textbooks taught me about strange rivers of ice that crept down yawning valleys like giant serpents stalking their next meal. That kernel of wonder has carried me through a career of more than 25 years. I’ve travelled to the world’s peaks and its … Read More

Taking one for the team: 6 ways our cells can die and help fight infectious disease

Guest Author May 10, 2021

Georgia Atkin-Smith, La Trobe University and Ivan Poon, La Trobe University We have all heard of COVID-19, the flu and bacterial infections. But what is actually happening to our cells when we contract these diseases? Many of our body’s cells don’t live to tell the tale. But cell death isn’t necessarily a bad thing — in fact, the death of … Read More

Farewell the utopian city. To cope with climate change we must learn from how nature adapts

Guest Author May 07, 2021

Mohammed Makki, University of Technology Sydney   “Among all species, it is perhaps only humans who create habitats that are not fit to live in.” – Stephen Marshall It’s a damning statement but one that can be reasonably argued to be true. We don’t have the best track record in creating lasting and sustainable habitats, especially if one … Read More