ScienceNetwork WA invites you to join Australia in ‘The Conversation’.
“The Conversation is an independent source of analysis, commentary and news from the university and research sector viewed by 350,000 readers each month. Our team of professional editors work with more than 2,600 academic authors from 180 institutions.”
ScienceNetwork WA has the pleasure of presenting articles from The Conversation written by Western Australian authors.
It is hoped that these commentaries will enhance your appreciation of WA’s contribution to the national discussion. The commentaries will cover the fields of science and technology, environment and climate, and health and medicine.
The Conversation allows its articles to be republished under the Creative Commons licensing agreement. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/
Ensure open access to genetic data to protect innovation
By Anna George, Adjunct Professor at Murdoch University
Public investment in the Human Genome Project was expected to deliver a global public good that would help generate scientific breakthroughs.
But open access to our genetic blueprint is a precondition to achieving this and gene patenting – where companies have monopoly rights over genetic material – threatens to undermine it.
Allowing patents that capture categories of unique genomic DNA damages the principle of open access.
Explainer: what is the new coronavirus?
By Charles Watson, John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Health Science at Curtin University
Ten years ago the world was gripped by the threat of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which was caused by a coronavirus. The outbreak infected more than 8,000 people and around 800 died.
Over the past six months a new coronavirus has come to light, beginning with cases in the Middle East, but spreading to Europe.
There have been over 30 cases of infection so far, 24 in Saudi Arabia, where over half of those infected have died.
It's not in the knitting? Urban rail’s growing significance
By Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University
Tony Abbott has created a new phrase that wonderfully describes a political tradition or paradigm: “not in our knitting”.
“We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it’s important that we stick to our knitting,” the Federal Opposition Leader declared.
“And the Commonwealth’s knitting when it comes to funding infrastructure is roads.”
But is urban rail so easily dismissed as a national responsibility?
We are destroying the joint
By Carmen Lawrence, Director, Centre for the Study of Social Change at University of Western Australia
Without really knowing what he was saying, Alan Jones was right – we are “destroying the joint”.
Any dispassionate assessment of the state of “the joint”, both the corner we occupy and the planet as a whole, shows that we are making one hell of a mess of it.
Increasing consumption and a growing population are accelerating the depletion of our finite resources, including our precious soils.