• The science of the plot twist: How writers exploit our brains

    Vera Tobin     |      July 22, 2018

    Human cognitive tendencies help explain why plot twists can be so satisfying. But somewhat counterintuitively, they also explain why knowing about a plot twist ahead of time – the dreaded “spoiler” – doesn’t really spoil the experience at all.

  • Sticks and stones – beating the bullies by building resilience

    Michael E. Bernard     |      July 21, 2018

    Bullying is never acceptable, but encouraging a resilient mindset makes a big difference to how much damage bullying does – parents and teachers should help kids learn that they have the power to cope with difficulty, rather than paint them as helpless victims.

  • Why the ABC must stand firm against threats to its independence

    Denis Muller     |      July 15, 2018

    Editorial independence does not mean giving journalists licence to broadcast or publish whatever they want or to avoid accountability for their mistakes. It means encouraging journalists to tackle important stories regardless of what people in power might think.

  • The harsh realities of the global sport industry

    Niko Besnier     |      July 14, 2018

    The World Cup final will no doubt draw millions of enthusiastic viewers around the world, including young men in impoverished regions who dream of sporting success as the only way to escape poverty, however most of these dreams will end in disappointment.

  • Have we really given up on progress?

    Mark Beeson     |      July 13, 2018

    Although it joins a growing list of jeremiads about the possible end of Western civilisation as we know it, Edward Luce’s ‘The Retreat of Western Liberalism’ usefully puts the debate in context and argues that Trump is a symptom, not cause, of many of America’s and the world’s problems.

  • Sexism, women and Australian politics

    Avery Poole     |      July 11, 2018

    The sexist remark thrown at Senator Sarah Hanson-Young underscores the urgent need for more women in Australian parliament.

  • Gender equality in Australia under review by UN Committee

    Susan Hutchinson     |      July 8, 2018

    The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women recently reviewed Australia’s record on women’s rights. So, how did Australia fare? Susan Hutchinson and Hannah Gissane offer an overview of Australia’s record on health, domestic violence, economic security, and homelessness.  

  • Must love jokes: why we look for a partner who laughs (and makes us laugh)

    Mark Alfano     |      July 8, 2018

    Studies of courtship on Tinder and Facebook show that a sense of humour is the most valued quality in a potential mate. Whether we’re looking for love or lust, we look for someone with a good sense of humour.

  • Fake news and weaponised media

    Graeme Dobell     |      July 3, 2018

    Media shams and shonky shamans are nothing new; going digital merely speeds the effect and widens their reach.

  • The 3 stages of giving: Deference, arrogance and inquiry

    Jennifer Jones     |      June 28, 2018

    There is no single ‘right way’ to give, but thinking about philanthropy in a more complex way may help donors achieve more with their money.

  • Life imitating farce

    Max Thomas     |      June 26, 2018

    Violence and anti-social behaviour by young people are in the news, but the mass media itself must take its fair share of the blame for social discontent and disorder.

  • Remembering the protests that began Mardi Gras 40 years ago

    Andrew Trounson     |      June 24, 2018

    Forty years ago, on 24 June 1978, the first Sydney Mardi Gras took the form of a night time street protest-come party along Sydney’s iconic Oxford Street. Instead of the cheers, balloons and sequins which greet the march today, protesters were harried by the police.