• The trouble with lichen

    Alan Stevenson     |      June 11, 2022

    Nature is full of fascinating symbiotic relationships between different forms of life in the same organism, not least within our own bodies, but we are still just scratching the surface of the complexity of life within and around us.

  • Curiouser and curiouser!

    Alan Stevenson     |      June 8, 2022

    Modern science tends to ignore outsiders but reductionist science is not the only way of knowing things and more attention should be paid to ancient knowledge, new ideas and ‘thinking outside the box’.

  • The myths that unite and divide us

    Alan Stevenson     |      May 26, 2022

    Humans are social animals, and the myths, symbols and ideologies we create and share help groups define themselves and maintain internal cohesion. However these myths can impede progress and create animosity between groups as well.

  • On the brink of the singularity

    Alan Stevenson     |      May 25, 2022

    The increasing sophistication of hardware and software to augment our capabilities is beginning to blur the boundaries between man and machine, raising a host of physical possibilities and ethical questions.

  • Locust and chips

    Alan Stevenson     |      May 9, 2022

    Recent reports suggest that a shift from domesticated animals to insects as a source for animal protein could significantly reduce carbon emissions from agriculture, but whether anyone in the Western world wants to make that switch is another matter.

  • Freedom and responsibility

    Alan Stevenson     |      May 8, 2022

    Free will – our capacity to independently choose between different action – is crucial to our understanding of moral responsibility and criminal culpability, but new insights in neuroscience may undermine our faith in our own decision making.

  • Sixth sense

    Alan Stevenson     |      April 18, 2022

    Neither Labor or the Coalition are keen to discuss the parlous state of Australia’s environment and existential threat of climate change in the current election campaign, but the issue remains of the utmost importance for the future of this country and the world.

  • Viva la revolución

    Alan Stevenson     |      April 5, 2022

    Our leaders are focused on the next few years, of staying in office, appeasing the electorate instead of making the world a better place for all.

  • Indigenous science cooperation

    Alan Stevenson     |      January 19, 2022

    Many scientists rely on Indigenous people to guide their work – by helping them to find wildlife, navigate rugged terrain or understand changing weather trends – but we must also acknowledge the troubling attitudes that have long plagued research projects in Indigenous communities.

  • Human nature

    Alan Stevenson     |      January 14, 2022

    Patent law should encourage innovation by protecting inventors but is all too often abused by large corporations at the expense of the common good.

  • The evolution of communication

    Alan Stevenson     |      January 2, 2022

    Scientific progress has allowed mankind to adopt ever more sophisticated modes of communication, and this process is set to continue, perhaps allowing us to contact lifeforms beyond our own world.

  • Rulers of the Earth

    Alan Stevenson     |      December 14, 2021

    What is it about Homo Sapiens that allowed us to overcome rival hominids and all other creatures to dominate planet Earth?