Remote working has led to managers spying more on staff – here are three ways to curb it
By Evronia Azer
With so many more people working from home during the pandemic, employers have stepped up the extent to which they are monitoring them online. Not so many years ago, employees were having to adjust to having their work...
Making space for Buddha in the boardroom
By Dr Linda Kantor Et Al
It seems farfetched to imagine that an ancient meditation technique, practised by Buddhists over 2,000 years ago, could have a place in the 21st-century corporate boardroom.
Yet, despite criticisms that it is just...
Kids with a desk and a quiet place to study do better in school, data shows
By David Rutkowski Et Al
Ask what students need to learn at home, and the answer often involves access to Wi-Fi or a digital device. For example, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 sets aside US$7.1 billion to support access to high-speed...
Unblocking the passage from India
By Michelle Grattan
It became clear this week repatriation flights for Australians stranded in India would have to resume ASAP after May 15, whatever the COVID situation in that country.
By going too far in its effort to stop individuals...
The government has pledged over $800m to fight natural disasters. It could be revolutionary — if done right
By Paul Barnes
To help Australia adapt to climate change and manage the disasters that come with it, the federal government this week pledged A$600 million towards establishing the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, and $210...
Why Facebook created its own ‘supreme court’ for judging content – 6 questions answered
By Siri Terjesen
Facebooks quasi-independent Oversight Board on May 5, 2021, upheld the companys suspension of former President Donald Trump from the platform and Instagram. The decision came four months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg...
Scottish election: how Brexit and independence referendums split voters into four tribes
By Fraser McMillan Et Al
The previous Scottish parliament election, in 2016, came less than two years after the countrys historic referendum on independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. That contest a Pyrrhic victory for the pro-union...
Survey shows some bosses are using the pandemic as an excuse to push workers
By Stephanie Ross Et Al
A middle-aged woman in the public sector says she and her colleagues have been underappreciated, overworked and mentally stressed out as they faced pandemic-related challenges and stresses, without any pay increase.
How scientists make plant-based foods taste and look more like meat
By Mariana Lamas
In 2019, Burger King Sweden released a plant-based burger, the Rebel Whopper, and the reaction was underwhelming. So, the company challenged its customers to taste the difference.
Burger King Sweden created menu item...
IQ tests: are humans getting smarter?
By Roger Staff Et Al
From the algorithms that make our social media accounts function to the sleep-tracking technology in our smartwatches, the world has never seemed so technologically advanced and developed. Which is why it would be easy to...
UK-India trade deal: why the timing is crucial for both nations
By Sangeeta Khorana
The UK and India have announced a new enhanced deal on trade at a virtual summit. The deal aims to double trade between the two countries by 2030 and declares their joint commitment to start working towards a comprehensive...
Taste alone won't persuade Americans to swap out beef for plant-based burgers
By Anna Mattila
The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.
The big idea
Consumers are more likely to choose a plant-based meat substitute when the restaurants advertising highlights the social benefits of...
Do people become more religious in times of crisis?
By Danielle Tumminio Hansen
Organized religion has been on the decline for decades in the United States. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers found that online searches for the word prayer soared to their highest level ever in over 90...
Four ways to make sure your passwords are safe and easy to remember
By Steven Furnell
For more than 15 years, there have been various predictions from tech leaders about the death of passwords. Bill Gates predicted it back in 2004 and Microsoft have predicted it for 2021. There have been numerous similar...
Male voices dominate the news. Here's how journalists and female experts can turn this around
By Kathryn Shine
Last week, the ABC announced it had achieved a milestone it had been trying to reach for more than two years. For the first time, in the previous month of March, it had equal numbers of women and men appearing in its news...
New Chia cryptocurrency promises to be greener than Bitcoin, but may drive up hard drive prices
By Mohiuddin Ahmed
It has been a big year for cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is worth six times what it was 12 months ago, and the joke currency Dogecoin has seen a hundredfold increase in price. A boom in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs tradable...
Gut feel or rational analysis? Both may be vital in finding winning ideas for new markets
By Thomas Gillier Et Al
Expansion into new markets is often essential for companies to grow, and there can be a constant quest for ideas with market-creating potential. But what if the very processes designed to help find those breakthrough ideas...
India: election loss in West Bengal may be start of a backlash against Modi's handling of COVID crisis
By Saba Hussain
In what is widely being interpreted as a popular verdict on Narendra Modis handling of the COVID crisis in India, voters in West Bengal have returned the incumbent chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, and her regional...
The world’s data explained: how much we're producing and where it's all stored
By Melvin M. Vopson
Ancient humans stored information in cave paintings, the oldest we know of are over 40,000 years old. As humans evolved, the emergence of languages and the invention of writing led to detailed information being stored in...
The Bank of Canada must seize the pandemic moment and do more for Canadians
By Peter Dietsch Et Al
The Bank of Canada, like central banks around the world, is currently facing enormous upheaval and uncertainty due to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic.
Will its leadership seize the moment as an opportunity to innovate...
Sure, video games want to get you hooked on spending. But there's no evidence they can manipulate you
By Ben Egliston Et Al
The ABCs latest Four Corners report is an investigation into how videogames are deliberately designed to get people hooked.
It describes the use of gambling-like loot boxes in games, the hotly debated notion of...
The budget is a window into the treasurer's soul. Here's what to look for Tuesday night
By Peter Martin1
What in America they call the State of the Union, in Australia we call the federal budget.
As surprising as it may seem, Australian budgets arent really about money theyre about values.
As a case in point, a key...
Laws governing police use of DNA are changing: are the proposals fair for all New Zealanders?
By Carrie Leonetti
By helping identify perpetrators and the remains of victims, forensic DNA analysis holds enormous power to solve crimes. It also has enormous implications for privacy and fairness. But with science and society changing at...
I'm over 50 and can now get my COVID vaccine. Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe? Does it work? What else do I need to know?
By Meru Sheel Et Al
From today, Australians aged 50 or older are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine from special respiratory clinics or mass vaccination hubs in some states. Appointments with selected GPs are available from May...
The 1.5℃ global warming limit is not impossible – but without political action it soon will be
By Bill Hare Et Al
Limiting global warming to 1.5℃ this century is a central goal of the Paris Agreement. In recent months, climate experts and others, including in Australia, have suggested the target is now impossible.
Whether Earth can...
Pandemic puppies: Canine crisis or happy household?
By Beth Daly
At first, it was toilet paper and hand sanitizer. People stuck at home with time to bake bought up all the flour. Next came the terrifying shortages of hospital ventilators and ICU beds, and eventually vaccines.
From making wine to managing mine waste, clay is important for many industries
By Jason Ng Et Al
The discovery and use of clays dates back to 30,000 years ago, making clays one of the oldest materials used in society. Clays are naturally occurring materials that were first used to make pottery and are now used...
Restricting digital media is a gamble for African leaders
By Jeffrey Conroy-Krutz
COVID-19 pushed much of the world into the digital realm for everything from schooling and work to religious worship and dating. At the same time, many governments were turning data connections off. Full or partial...
South Africa's romcom revolution and how it reimagines Joburg
By Pier Paolo Frassinelli
Netflix went live in South Africa on 6 January 2016. The arrival of the subscription-based content streaming service was a game changer for the countrys film and television industry, as it had been for other...
As press freedom continues to struggle in Kenya, alternatives keep hope alive
By Wambui Wamunyu
As we mark World Press Freedom Day 2021, let us remember that 2020 was terrible for the press in many parts of the world.
Two ranking measures the World Press Freedom Index 2021 and African Media Barometer publications...
Liberals likely to retain majority in Tasmania; Biden's ratings after 100 days
By Adrian Beaumont
With 79% counted in Saturdays Tasmanian election, the ABC is calling 12 of the 25 Tasmanian lower house seats for the Liberals, eight for Labor, two Greens and three undecided. Vote shares were 48.7%...
COVID in India: the deep-rooted issues behind the current crisis
By Vageesh Jain
India finds itself in the throes of a humanitarian disaster. Until March 2021, case numbers were low in most parts of the country, leading many to think that the worst was over. Much like in Brazil though, jingoism,...
Remote working: why some people are less productive at home than others – new research
By Stephen Bevan
Has working at home during lockdown made people more productive or not? This has been the subject of some lively debate recently.
Many companies do not routinely measure productivity. A large number will have...
The trucking industry has begun to turn electric — but passenger vehicles will take a little longer
By Gail Broadbent
Australias trucking industry is making moves to go electric. The latest development a system for using swappable batteries instead of time-consuming recharge stations for long-haul trucks between Sydney and Brisbane ...
The First Australians grew to a population of millions, much more than previous estimates
By Corey J. A. Bradshaw Et Al
We know it is more than 60,000 years since the first people entered the continent of Sahul the giant landmass that connected New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania when sea levels were lower than today.
But where the...
3 economic facts point to a big-spending federal budget
By Richard Holden
Its difficult to make predictions, the saying goes, especially about the future. The many predictions federal budgets make about the economy over the coming four years must therefore be taken with a large grain of...
Not two different worlds: QAnon and the offline dangers of online speech
By Chandell Gosse Et Al
The new docuseries, Q: Into the Storm, is an investigation into the QAnon conspiracy theory and the shadowy online subcultures and spaces that fuel it. An important narrative throughout the series is the negative...
82% of Americans want paid maternity leave – making it as popular as chocolate
By Chris Knoester Et Al
The United States is the only wealthy nation that doesnt guarantee paid leave to mothers after they give birth or adopt a child. The vast majority of Americans would like to see that change.
According to a YouGov poll...
India's crisis deepens, but vaccine sharing is yet to materialise
By Rob Reddick
Indias deadly second wave is continuing to worsen, with daily new cases consistently exceeding 300,000 and deaths now having surpassed 3,000 a day. Hospitals are running out of intensive care beds and many are critically...
Post Office scandal reveals a hidden world of outsourced IT the government trusts but does not understand
By Helen Margetts
The convictions of 39 Post Office workers were quashed on April 23 after the UKs court of appeal heard that the crimes for which theyd been accused were in fact caused by the organisations Horizon IT system.
To demonstrate their commitment, teleworkers are making themselves more available than ever
By Marie-Colombe Afota Et Al
All around the world, the Covid-19 crisis and the repeated lockdowns have fuelled a massive increase working from home. In such circumstances, two urgent questions arise: First, can remote work become a permanent reality?...
Boris Johnson's Downing Street refurbishment: might a law have been broken?
By Sam Power
The Electoral Commission has announced that Boris Johnson, the, erm, prime minister of the United Kingdom, is under investigation. Well, to be precise, the Commission will investigate whether any transactions relating to...
From bioweapons to super soldiers: how the UK is joining the genomic technology arms race
By Yusef Paolo Rabiah
The UK government recently announced an 800 million, taxpayer-funded Advanced Research and Invention Agency (Aria). The brainchild of the British prime ministers former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings and modelled on the...
Inside the world of tiny phytoplankton – microscopic algae that provide most of our oxygen
By Abigail McQuatters-Gollop
Phytoplankton are microscopic algae living throughout the oceans surface waters. They cant swim and are at the mercy of the currents and tides. Despite their small size, phytoplankton enable life in the oceans and...
One incredible ocean crossing may have made human evolution possible
By Nicholas R. Longrich
Humans evolved in Africa, along with chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys. But primates themselves appear to have evolved elsewhere likely in Asia before colonising Africa. At the time, around 50 million years ago, Africa...
Why renewable energy won’t end energy poverty in Zimbabwe
By Ellen Fungisai Chipango
Zimbabwe is one of the African countries that hopes renewable energy technologies will help to address their energy problems. About 42% of Zimbabwes households are connected to the electricity grid.
The country has huge...
Robots are coming and the fallout will largely harm marginalized communities
By Constantine Gidaris
COVID-19 has brought about numerous, devastating changes to peoples lives globally. With the number of cases rising across Canada and globally, we are also witnessing the development and use of robots to perform jobs in...
India COVID crisis: four reasons it will derail the world economy
By Uma S Kambhampati
The second wave of the pandemic has struck India with a devastating impact. With over 300,000 new cases and 3,000 deaths across the country each day at present, the total number of deaths has just passed the 200,000 mark ...
State lawsuits over stimulus tax rule face uphill battle
By Jonathan Entin
States were told by the federal government that they cant use pandemic relief funds passed by Congress in March to lower taxes. In response, 16 states have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of that...
Exclusive. Top economists back budget push for an unemployment rate beginning with '4'
By Peter Martin1
Australias top economists have overwhelmingly backed a decision by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to reset the budget strategy so that it prioritises achieving an unemployment rate of between 4% and 5% over reducing...