Want the latest from prominent Western Australian scientists and opinion leaders?

Check out these opinion pieces, covering local and international scientific issues and topics, aiming to facilitate discussion and debate about science in Western Australia.

By Thomas Wernberg, ARC Future Fellow in Marine Ecology at University of Western Australia and Dan Smale, Research Fellow in Marine Ecology at Marine Biological Association

Western Australia’s marine environment is unique. Two world heritage areas, the largest fringing coral reef in Australia, and more than a thousand kilometres of underwater forests, supporting incredible wildlife, important fisheries, and tourism.

By Tim Doherty PhD Candidate at Edith Cowan University.

Feral cats are estimated to eat tens of millions of native animals each night in Australia. But what kinds of wildlife are they eating? In research published today in the Journal of Biogeography, my colleagues and I show that cats kill hundreds of different kinds of animals, including at least 16 species considered globally threatened.

By Isaac Santos Professor, National Marine Science Centre at Southern Cross University; Carlos Duarte Adjunct professor at University of Western Australia; Damien Maher ARC DECRA Fellow, School of Environment, Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University; Peter Macreadie Senior lecturer & ARC DECRA Fellow at University of Technology, Sydney, and Scott G Johnston Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at Southern Cross University. 

The research excellence of academics is often measured by the quantity and quality of their scholarly publications. But how do we know that all authors listed on a publication have actually been involved in the research?

This week the WA Museum's Paul Doughty sheds light on the process involved in discovering species in Western Australia and how many people are required to get you to that final moment when you can yell Eureka!

Explainer: what is social anxiety?

Friday, 30 January 2015

By Peter McEvoy, Associate Professor of Clinical Pyschology at Curtin University

Most of us would admit to feeling shy from time to time, or anxious about public speaking: the larger the crowd the greater the terror. It’s also not unusual to feel awkward while making small talk with unfamiliar (or uninteresting) people. But a significant number of people find these situations utterly mortifying.

By Michael Rosenberg, Associate Professor, Health Promotion Evaluation Unit at University of Western Australia; Simon Hunter, Senior Lecturer at Strathclyde University, and Stephen Houghton, Director/Referral and Assessment Clinic, Centre for Child and Adolescent Related Disorders at University of Western Australia

It’s almost universally recommended that for optimal physical and mental health, children engage in 60 minutes of physical activity each day and limit the time they spend watching TV, playing computer games, and surfing the net on various devices.

By David Hodgkinson, Associate Professor, Law School at University of Western Australia and Rebecca Johnston, Adjunct Lecturer, Law School at University of Notre Dame Australia

From the 1950s until the 1990s, nuclear weapons were viewed as the greatest threat to human life on the planet. Jonathan Schell, whose book The Fate of the Earth (1998) perhaps best crystallised the danger and fear of such weapons for a popular audience, referred to life after a nuclear holocaust as a “republic of insects and grass”.

This week the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre's Dr Neil Stringfellow considers the scientific potential that can be unlocked via supercomputers and how scientists across various fields are using local facilities to explore the mysteries of the universe.

By Richard Norman, Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics at Curtin University

The government has backed down from its plan to cut Medicare rebates to doctors, which was to start on Monday, January 19, after several days of public pressure. For those not au fait with the world of health reform and policy, the issue may have seemed to pass by in something of a flash. And a close look shows the fight the proposed policy caused wasn’t, after all, worth it for the government.

To kick-off Perspectives for 2015 the WA Museum's Dr Ian MacLeod looks to WA shipwrecks, including the infamous Batavia wreck, to learn how ocean conditions have influenced the rate of corrosion of marine relics.

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