Guest Work

Why you shouldn’t make a habit of doing a ‘just in case’ wee — and don’t tell your kids to either

Guest Author Sep 21, 2021

Jennifer King, University of Sydney   We’ve all done a quick “just in case” wee before heading out or because we’re passing the bathroom. If you’re a parent, you might have also told the kids to “do a wee now so we don’t have to find a toilet later.” Doing a “just in case” wee isn’t a problem if it’s … Read More

Counselling almost always happens in a room — what if more people had the option of going outside?

Guest Author Sep 10, 2021

Will W Dobud, Charles Sturt University   If you peered through the keyhole of any psychotherapy session, chances are they would all look very similar. There may be nearly 1,000 types of therapies — such as cognitive behavioural and family therapy — but you will typically find a client and practitioner in a room, sitting opposite each … Read More

E-cigarettes: misconceptions about their dangers may be preventing people from quitting smoking

Guest Author Sep 07, 2021

Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, University of Oxford When electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) first emerged, they became a popular way for people to quit smoking. But in 2019, a mysterious lung condition emerged that primarily affected young people, particularly those who vaped. This left many questioning the safety of e-cigarettes. The condition was named e-cigarettes or vaping use-associated lung injury – or Evali for … Read More

How patients talk about cancer with family, friends and doctors

Guest Author Aug 19, 2021

Wayne A. Beach, San Diego State University   Cancer is no longer spoken of only in a whisper. Today, the disease – although still dreaded, still terrifying – is routinely and openly discussed in all media. Yet in more intimate settings – as when patients privately discuss a cancer diagnosis or treatment with doctors, partners, family and friends – … Read More

Nine things you don’t know about seahorses

Guest Author Aug 19, 2021

Mark Tupper, University of Portsmouth   Seahorses have long been a popular attraction in public aquariums, but they remain mysterious. They are a fish with a difference in that they swim in an upright, vertical position. They have flexible necks and long, tubular snouts that point downward, giving them the appearance of a horse’s head. Their lower bodies form a … Read More

Air pollution exposure is shifting from outdoor to indoor – here’s why

Guest Author Aug 03, 2021

Nicola Carslaw, University of York and David Carslaw, University of York   You may have seen the before-and-after-lockdown photos of major cities that appear to show dramatic changes in air quality. In one, the India Gate war memorial in New Delhi is barely visible amid the smog. Then, during lockdown, it’s clearly visible in its red Bharatpur stone grandness. Read More

Militaries plunder science fiction for technology ideas, but turn a blind eye to the genre’s social commentary

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Will Slocombe, University of Liverpool   Military planning is a complicated endeavour, calling upon experts in logistics and infrastructure to predict resource availability and technological advancements. Long-range military planning, deciding what to invest in now to prepare armed forces for the world in thirty years’ time, is even more difficult. One of the most interesting tools for thinking about future … Read More

Gender-specific health programs address important issues, but risk creating new biases

Guest Author Jul 27, 2021

Matthew Jenkins and Victoria Chinn, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   Gone are the days when health programmes were designed to simply punish or reward people to encourage behaviour change. We now know lasting behaviour change is more complex and nuanced, and this has prompted a proliferation of programmes that attend to factors like motivation, confidence, social … Read More

Plant-based burgers: should some be considered ‘junk food’?

Guest Author Jul 09, 2021

Richard Hoffman, University of Hertfordshire   Plant-based diets have surged in popularity during the past few years. As a result, there’s been a boom in demand for plant-based alternatives to favourite foods – including meats, such as sausages and burgers. The plant-based meat alternatives industry is projected to see massive growth over the next few years. But there is … Read More

Why do cauliflowers look so odd? We’ve cracked the maths behind their ‘fractal’ shape

Guest Author Jul 09, 2021

Etienne Farcot, University of Nottingham   Have you ever stared at a cauliflower before preparing it and got lost in its stunningly beautiful pattern? Probably not, if you are in your right mind, but I reassure you it’s worth a try. What you’ll find is that what at first sight looks like an amorphous blob has a striking regularity. If … Read More