flat white

Healthy reef defies dubious science

‘Peer-reviewed’ is not interchangeable with ‘established fact’ or ‘beyond question’. It used to be an acknowledgement that others in the…

10 Aug 2022

Pandemic 'science' in sports is a bit wonky

Cricket is played by a small number of people spread out in a vast paddock. This, however, did not stop…

10 Aug 2022

Healthy Great Barrier Reef, healthy environmental scandal

The release of the Australian Institute of Marine Science’s Annual Summary Report on Coral Reef Condition for 2021/22 has exposed a major…

10 Aug 2022

Infectious disease dominates our roost

Infectious disease has been a deep-seated and inescapable feature of Australian life since the early days of settlement. Over the…

10 Aug 2022

Free Speech vs. Drag Queens

After almost three years and substantial legal fees, my fight for free speech goes to court. It’s also your fight…

9 Aug 2022

What would the Voice say?

The Gruen Transfer, the ABC’s comedy show about advertising, has a segment in which host Wil Anderson asks, ‘What would Putin/Palmer/Trump do?’…

9 Aug 2022

Lidia Thorpe for President?!

When we consider which eminent citizen amongst us we might place our trust in if Australia were ever to become…

9 Aug 2022

Nuclear: the age of immortal energy

‘Carbon dioxide poses a dilemma for the radical environmentalists. Since nuclear reactors emit almost no carbon dioxide, how can one…

9 Aug 2022

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Slavoj Zizek: the philosopher who annoys all the right people

Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian graphomaniac who infuriates some of the world’s most annoying people, and might for this reason…

10 Aug 2022

Truss turns on the media

To Darlington, for another of the endless Tory leadership hustings. Last night’s clash covered much of the same old ground…

10 Aug 2022

China's Taiwan tantrum is already backfiring

Chinese social media is full of anger and frustration – because the military didn’t shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane. As…

10 Aug 2022

Could Russia stoke conflict between Serbia and Kosovo?

The prime minister of Kosovo has been talking about a possible war in the country, with Russia as the instigator. In…

10 Aug 2022

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Government is not the divine source of ‘truth’

‘Unless you hear it from us, it is not the truth,’ declared New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in a…

26 Jul 2022

No more mask mandates, please

New Zealand epidemiologist Michael Baker has just called for the government to reintroduce widespread mask mandates as Covid cases rise in an…

15 Jul 2022

Adding race to politics is not a good idea

It seems it is not only Indigenous Australians, but also some resident Kiwis, that may be given an extra voice…

13 Jul 2022

Can you feel the empathy?

This week the newly minted Teal Member for Kooyong Monique Ryan gushed on social media about meeting New Zealand Prime…

9 Jul 2022

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Climate tropes

Last week, I wrote about the importance of language as a means of influencing people’s thinking and, indeed, decision-making. When…

6 Aug 2022

Pandora’s submarines

The Turnbull government’s decision to buy a fleet of diesel submarines from France instead of Japan was unsettling. Conversely, France’s…

6 Aug 2022

Defending Taiwan

The observation deck of the world’s second tallest building, Taipei 101, offers uninterrupted views of Taiwan’s capital city. Built in…

6 Aug 2022

Rise of the race shifters

One of the striking findings of Australia’s 2021 census, is the growth in the indigenous population. In the five years…

6 Aug 2022

Gender behind bars

As a psychiatrist who visits jails, I’m concerned about biological men being placed in women-only facilities. We’ve been through heated…

6 Aug 2022

Love Labor’s Voice

When a country’s social policymaking is determined through the courts, the common picture often sold to the public is that…

6 Aug 2022

Business/Robbery, etc.

We’ll all be rooned…It’s not just Hanrahan in Catholic priest Patrick Hartigan’s iconic century-old poetry collection Around the Boree Log…

6 Aug 2022

Undoing Australia

Back in 2017, the University of Sydney launched a campaign to ‘unlearn’ education. In 2022, the University of Melbourne upped…

6 Aug 2022

Primeval Voice

So, Archie Roach is dead at 66. It’s hard to read of the artistic triumphs and the personal catastrophes without…

6 Aug 2022

Neighbours no more

It’s cheering to hear such good reports of the performance of Mahler’s second symphony by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under…

30 Jul 2022

Call of the wild

It’s fascinating to hear that Warwick Thornton––who took the world by storm some years ago with that knockout indigenous film…

23 Jul 2022

Genesis of a Dreamcoat

Just the other day came the announcement that a new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat was to…

16 Jul 2022

Aussie Life

I read in the Australian last week that the Queensland parliament is considering criminalising stealthing. And no, that’s not a…

6 Aug 2022

Language

A Speccie reader has alerted me to the use of an odd word ‘alum’ to refer to the graduates of…

6 Aug 2022

Everything’s burned to a crisp – and the horses are suffering

Everything is well and truly burned to a crisp, and we are piling through hundreds of pounds of hay a…

6 Aug 2022

Don’t bring me sunshine: a week in the Surrey hills

I’m staying for a week in an 1850s house in the Surrey hills that looks-wise might have been built for…

6 Aug 2022

What exactly do we mean by the mind?

Given the ingenuity of machine-makers, said Descartes in the 17th century, machines might well be constructed that exactly resemble humans.…

6 Aug 2022

The amazing grace of Bruce Lee’s fight scenes

Early on in Enter the Dragon our hero, the acrobatic Kung Fu fighter Bruce Lee, tells a young pupil to…

6 Aug 2022

A post-racial world: The Last White Man, by Mohsin Hamid, reviewed

Mohsin Hamid’s fifth novel opens with a Kafkaesque twist: Anders, a white man, wakes to find that he has turned…

6 Aug 2022

Has Cuba’s revolution finally fizzled out?

In 1968, the US anthropologist Oscar Lewis arrived in Cuba with a tape recorder and a mission to capture the…

6 Aug 2022

Close to extinction: Venomous Lumpsucker, by Ned Beauman, reviewed

Ned Beauman’s novels are like strange attractors for words with the letter ‘Z’. They zip, zing, fizz, dazzle and sizzle.…

6 Aug 2022

Russian escapism: Telluria, by Vladimir Sorokin, reviewed

Vladimir Sorokin, old enough to have been banned in the Soviet Union, flourished in the post-Gorbachev spring, and he fled…

6 Aug 2022

A gay journey of self-discovery

Seán Hewitt, born in 1990, realised that he was gay at a very early age. ‘A kind, large woman’ who…

6 Aug 2022

Solving the mystery of mass almost ruined Peter Higgs’s life

In 1993 William Waldegrave, the science minister, was looking into a project being planned on the continent. Cern, the European…

6 Aug 2022