While we cannot directly observe them, every galaxy has its own halo of dark matter, on which familiar, visible matter hangs. Our solar system orbits the centre of our galaxy, while Earth orbits the Sun. As we do this, our motion through the Milky Way’s halo of dark matter creates the Headwind Effect. Dr Grace Lawrence asked whether this Headwind exhibits “gusts” of higher intensity.
It’s not uncommon to have “four seasons in one day” in Melbourne. Our variable weather patterns are driven by conditions moving from west to east and, to some extent, from the Southern Ocean to Australia. These variables control cloud formation and, just like following a cake recipe, change in flavour and form depending on the ingredients you put in.
A lot must go right for us to have water for people and the environment here in Victoria. It’s got to be the right amount, of the right quality, at the right time and place. It’s something that many of us take for granted. The systems and institutions that get that water to us—the infrastructure, governance, maintenance practices, and demand management—are largely invisible to us.
Scientific research is a largely publicly funded endeavour, yet often made less accessible by jargon, academic journal paywalls, and other forms of gatekeeping. Good communication of science is imperative for evidence-based policy and a well-informed general public. Why not take it on through comedy? Both science and comedy require a willingness to adapt and tinker with ideas until things work.
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.