science

The Tricks Used By Anti-Science Trolls

I often like to discuss science online and I’m also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably brings out the trolls.


Why The Science Of Salt And Health Can Be Unsavoury

This week, the New England Journal of Medicine published three papers about the effects of salt consumption on health. Their apparently contradictory findings have served to further fuel an unwarranted debate about the harms, or otherwise, of excessive dietary salt.


How The TrueNorth Chip Could Transform Computing

Computers and brains work in virtually opposite ways. Computers are laboriously programmed for specific tasks. Brains learn from experience and can perform a wide variety of complicated tasks that are currently impossible for a computer.


Private Schooling Doesn't Pay Off In The Long Term

Parents often invest huge sums in private education for their children. But as University of Canberra research fellow Jennifer Chesters explains, the evidence for benefits at university or later in life is lacking.


Why Virtual Reality Gaming Headsets Remain A Bad Idea

Anyone who subscribes to an online hi-tech gizmo newsfeed can’t have failed to notice a certain preoccupation in the past couple of years on the part of developers to bring viewers close to the action of TV, films and computer games through virtual reality. Every other day, it seems, we hear of yet another allegedly ground-breaking solution in the quest for “immersion”.


Supermoon 101: What You Need To Know

A beautiful full moon is set to rise this Sunday night, August 10. It will be spectacular and I encourage everyone to go outside and have a look. But the question is: will it be a supermoon?


How Video Games End Up Lodged In Our Brains

Back in the early 1990s, I used to play the video game Tetris on my Nintendo Game Boy. I was really good at it — if I do say so myself — and I used to play for hours every day. When I went to bed I would see falling blocks as I closed my eyes. I often experienced the same thing when waking up.


Running Just 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

A new large-scale study provides further support for the idea that even a little bit of intense exercise can benefit you.


How Budget Cuts Increased Australian Cyber-Security Risks

You’d struggle to argue that this year’s budget cuts to funding for CSIRO and universities are going to give Australia any kind of advantage in science. It seems that anti-science agenda could also have a direct impact on our ability to deal with online attacks.


How Big Data Can Help Fix Medical Research

A recent paper in the British Medical Journal suggests that evidence-based medicine is in crisis. Evidence-based medicine is based on the practice of employing treatments that have scientific research that backs up their effectiveness. It is usually set against medical practice that is based on anecdotal experience or simply doing things because that is the way they always have been done.