Guest Work

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

Why we remember more by reading – especially print – than from audio or video

Guest Author May 04, 2021

Naomi S. Baron, American University   During the pandemic, many college professors abandoned assignments from printed textbooks and turned instead to digital texts or multimedia coursework. As a professor of linguistics, I have been studying how electronic communication compares to traditional print when it comes to learning. Is comprehension the same whether a person reads a text onscreen … Read More

The rise of pop-psychology: can it make your life better, or is it all snake-oil?

Guest Author May 04, 2021

Nick Haslam, The University of Melbourne   More than 50 years ago, George Miller, president of the American Psychological Association, urged his colleagues “to give psychology away”. No, cynical reader, he was not instructing his followers to abandon the field. Rather he hoped raising the general public’s awareness of psychology would help to solve society’s problems. In the half century … Read More

Side-Stepping Safeguards, Data Journalists Are Doing Science Now

Guest Author May 01, 2021

By Irineo Cabreros News stories are increasingly told through data. Witness the Covid-19 time series that decorate the homepages of every major news outlet; the red and blue heat maps of polling predictions that dominate the runup to elections; the splashy, interactive plots that dance across the screen. As a statistician who handles data for a living, I … Read More

Inside the world of tiny phytoplankton – microscopic algae that provide most of our oxygen

Guest Author Apr 30, 2021

Abigail McQuatters-Gollop, University of Plymouth Phytoplankton are microscopic algae living throughout the ocean’s surface waters. They can’t swim and are at the mercy of the currents and tides. Despite their small size, phytoplankton enable life in the oceans – and throughout the planet – to exist. There are two types of plankton – zooplankton, which are animals, and phytoplankton, which … Read More

Meet 5 of Australia’s tiniest mammals, who tread a tightrope between life and death every night

Guest Author Apr 29, 2021

Andrew Baker, Queensland University of Technology Australia has a rich diversity of mammals, with around 320 native, land-based species, 87% of which are found here and nowhere else. Many of these mammals are secretive, only active at night, and small, weighing less than one kilogram. Mammals are “endotherms”, which means they must generate their own heat and maintain the … Read More

Treated like dirt: urban soil is often overlooked as a resource

Guest Author Apr 27, 2021

Roisin O’Riordan, Lancaster University When you think about soil, you probably think of rolling fields of countryside. But what about urban soil? With city dwellers expected to account for 68% of the world’s population by 2050, this oft forgotten resource is increasingly important. City-based agriculture is on the rise. But urban soil is more often associated with contamination … Read More