Don’t Roll the Dice with Science Communication

We need to ensure the public are well equipped to make their own decisions based on an understanding of risk. We use education to encourage people to eat 3-4 servings of vegetables per day rather than enforcing it, while safety is ensured with legislated mandates like wearing seatbelts or banning indoor smoking. Yet vaccine mandates have been disputed, though you might die much faster from being infected by someone than passively breathing in their smoke at a restaurant.

The First Astronomers

Associate Professor Duane Hamacher is at the intersection of Indigenous Knowledge and modern science. He came to Australia to complete a Masters in astrophysics and a PhD in Indigenous studies. At astrophysics conferences, he sometimes struggled to convince peers that Indigenous Knowledge was anything more than folklore. But Indigenous science is dynamic, adapting to changes in the land, seas and skies, built on careful observation over 65,000+ years.

Neurodiversity – A Beautiful Rainbow

The term neurodiversity refers to the essentially infinite variability in our neuro-cognitive abilities and needs. It celebrates differences as beautiful rather deficits. Within this inherent diversity, neurodivergent people interact with and interpret the world in unique ways from what neurotypical people might expect. By viewing neurodiversity as a normal variation between every single one of us, we can reduce stigma around learning and thinking differences.

Improving Drug Discovery

The human body is composed of trillions of cells. Each individual cell communicates with others and performs certain tasks within the collective to keep our bodies working. Their ability to send and receive signals is vital, and when communication is disrupted, disease ensues. Many therapeutic drugs, for a multitude of diseases, target specific cell receptors – proteins on the cell surface that receive messages. Restore the communication, and you can restore normal function.

Surviving the Journey: Protecting Astronauts from Space Radiation

NASA’s Artemis program is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the South Pole of the Moon as soon as 2024. With the return of humans to space, we must think about how our astronauts will be protected from the constant bombardment of cosmic and solar radiation, without the protection of Earth’s magnetic field. Experimental physicist Dr Gail Iles delved into the current methods in use and under development.