science

Australia's Chief Scientist Explains Why We Need To Prioritise Science Research

Professor Ian Chubb holds the office of Chief Scientist for Australia. In the following article, Chubb responds to the Science and Research Priorities recently announced by the Federal Government. According to Chubb, our nation needs to get its research priorities right — and it’s up to the science community to make the case for more investment.


The Misconceptions About Mental Illness We Need To Unlearn

Mental illness isn’t like a sinus infection. You can’t just wait it out or take a pill to make everything go away. Our brains are complex and enigmatic, and mental illness is no different. This leads to a lot of misconceptions that make recovery much harder. Here are a few facts you should know, whether you’re a sufferer or not.


Why 10,000 Steps Isn't The Magic Number For Fitness Trackers

The rise of wearable fitness technology is something of a paradox. The surge in popularity of devices that monitor the amount of exercise you do suggest more people than ever are interested in maintaining regular fitness regimes. Just witness the success of the company behind fitness tracking bracelet Fitbit, which investors have just deemed worth $US4.1bn after it floated on the stock market. Yet this comes at a time when physical inactivity has reached levels of global pandemic proportion.


Why Your Doctor Might Not Be The Best Nutritional Resource

Your doctor is one of the most important influences on your health, and rightfully so. While you should trust their advice on certain matters, it’s also important to understand the boundaries of their training, and when you should seek outside help.


Why Maths Matters Most To Developers

While computers are poor at creativity, they are adept at crunching through vast numbers of solutions to modern problems where there are numerous complex variables at play. Take the question of finding the best delivery plan for a distribution company — where best to begin? How many vehicles? Which stretches of road need to be avoided at which times? If you want to get close to a sensible answer, you need to ask a computer.


Therapy Can Cure Insomnia (And May Last Longer Than Medication)

Sleeping pill medication is the quickest fix for insomnia. But a form of talk therapy works just as well, and is likely to be a long-term rather than a short-term fix.


Why You Shouldn't Trust Your Brain To Remember Something's Colour

Whether you’re picking up paint or trying to match some clothing items, here’s the reason why you’re better off not trusting your memory and taking a photo instead.


How Do Generic Medicines Compare With The Big Brands?

The word “generic” is derived from the Latin “genus” which means “kind” or “class”. For medicines, it was originally used to describe the active chemical ingredient of a drug, in lieu of the scientific name, which is often difficult to remember and pronounce.


Boost Your Productivity By Taking Short Breaks To Look At Nature

You probably know that it’s important to take regular breaks from your work, but what you do during them is equally important. A recent study suggests spending less than a minute looking at images of nature can help when you’re mentally fatigued.


Six Myths About Digestion That Just Won't Die

Most of us have a vague idea of how digestion works: we eat food, break it down (that’s the scientific term, right?) and, somehow, profit. But without a better understanding of what goes on in there, we’re liable to believe a few bizarre myths that have become commonplace.