The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide SA 5000 [View map]

Being Human

The Psychology Of Firefighting

Firefighters are amazing. As the rest of us turn to run from a blazing building, they’re the ones running towards it, putting themselves in danger in order to save people, animals and property from damage. It is therefore not surprising that firefighters have been the subject of several lines of ... Continue Reading »

Fallible Science

A core value of science is objectivity: being able to exclude human emotion, bias and influence as an observer to reveal the true nature of the phenomenon under investigation. But I’ve long felt that we’re kidding ourselves if we think that science and scientists are really able to approach anything ... Continue Reading »

Living with Motor Neuron Disease

The ‘ice bucket challenge’ has gone viral over the past few months and is now the most watched thing on YouTube, ever. Its popularity has been credited to a simple premise and celebrity involvement helping it to raise millions of dollars. Search Motor Neuron Disease (for Australia) or Amyotrophic Lateral ... Continue Reading »

A Sonnet to Science

Some would argue that science and poetry are two conflicting practices. Science is method, peer review, experimental protocol, words that do not normally come to mind when reading a poem. But science can be a fertile ground for poetry. Both science education and poetry use similar techniques to educate or inspire ... Continue Reading »

Top 10 Best-selling science books of 2013

Books like those listed below often open up new avenues into the sciences, allowing readers a glimpse of a different world or even changing the perspective of one (personally I no longer look at mathematics as the stodgy, boring subject I once thought it was). But where to begin? The editors ... Continue Reading »

Who’s The Hobbit?

Sometimes we forget that scientists are only human. Given their head, most scientists would assume almost superhuman qualities of rationality, impartiality and objectivity. But these qualities are frequently tested when an hypothesis is shown to be wrong. Most scientists are not prepared to give it up their cherished ideas even ... Continue Reading »

Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon – Book Review

I invite you then, to travel in imagination through the aeons that lie between your age and mine. I ask you to watch history of change, grief, hope, and unforeseen catastrophe, as has nowhere else occurred, within the girdle of the Milky Way. (Stapledon, xviii) Last and First Men is not ... Continue Reading »

Simple Science Is Not Risk Free

People often tell me that they find science difficult or complicated and that this complexity scares them away from engaging with science. I, in turn, have difficulties understanding this view because, to me, science is about simplicity and clarity, it even has in-built mechanisms to keep things simple. Anyone who ... Continue Reading »

Biological Membranes – Surface, Undulation and Interface

As part of the 2014 SALA Festival of South Australian Living Artists, the RiAus FutureSpace Gallery is proud to present Under the Surface. Using different artistic forms and media, Malcolm Koch joins Christopher and Therese Williams in an exploration of what lies beneath the surface of the world ... Continue Reading »

Studying Science Overseas

As a first year undergraduate student I remember listening to my lecturers introduce themselves. As they described their careers, almost all of them included postdoctoral work overseas. I had worked overseas before coming to university, as a remedial massage therapist on cruise ships, and I love to travel for holidays, ... Continue Reading »

What causes breast cancer? Ancient theories to modern facts

Breasts have been long cherished across cultures for their nourishment of babies, their sensual appeal and their feminine symbolism. The destruction that cancer wreaks on breasts therefore attacks the very notion of womanhood. For most of history, ‘cancer’ often simply referred to breast cancer; even in the ancient world, tumours ... Continue Reading »

Discoveries in the world of stem cells

Stem cells offer some of the most exciting – and the most controversial – potential medical treatments around today. Research is proceeding at a cracking pace and notching up revolutionary finds all over the shop, with scientists learning how to grow them faster and use them in a wider variety ... Continue Reading »

A different perspective

I am now the proud owner of seven chickens. It’s been a long time coming, I’ve always wanted to have some chooks, but the opportunity only presented itself late last year when I moved to my new home in the Adelaide Hills. I didn’t expect them to be such wonderful entertainment. ... Continue Reading »

Stem Cells 101

Stem cells. The words sound so futuristic, bringing to mind science fiction movies involving clones, but stem cells are a commonly-used research tool and have been for quite some time! In fact, there are some incredibly exciting things happening with stem cells right now, even as you read this blog, ... Continue Reading »

Who’s afraid of GMOs?

Don’t you hate it when another of your favourite foods or other indulgences turns out to be bad for you? I was doubly taken aback when this article came across my desk recently suggesting that I should stop drinking some of my favourite beers. Not that I hold ... Continue Reading »

Concussion Management in Sport

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is particularly common on the sporting field. Concussion is due to the jarring or shaking force on the brain that results when the head or neck collides with a blunt object or surface. Head injury in high-profile professional sport receives ... Continue Reading »

The Anatomy of a Concussion

In 2010, Melbourne Football Club player Daniel Bell retired at age 25, and the following year sought compensation from the club on medical grounds. He was suffering from ongoing concentration and memory problems, which his doctor attributed to repeated concussions sustained throughout his football career. Public interest in this and ... Continue Reading »

Practice Makes Perfect: Until Overuse Injuries Strike

When an athlete or dancer is practicing a move, they are placing their bodies through a series of repetitions that will allow them to build the necessary skills, strength and stamina required for the result in mind. However, as individuals with different conditions and natural abilities, we all need to ... Continue Reading »

2014 Science Inspiration: Professor Tanya Monro

On Wednesday 17 September 2014 Professor Tanya Monro delivered the 2014 Science Inspiration Tanya Monro is a ‘bright spark’ in Australian science, driving exciting research into photonics - the science of light. As a young teenager, Tanya thought her future would be in music, before being turned onto physics by a ... Continue Reading »

Living with The Doctor

We have asked the cast of The Science of Doctor Who to write about some of their favourite bits of science and pop culture in the iconic series to help prepare audiences for the amazing live show. Tickets are still on sale in all remaining cities for The Science of ... Continue Reading »

The Safety of Contact Sports around the World

Contact sports are loosely defined as sports in which players inevitably come in contact with each other, or equipment, on the field. There are a wide variety of sports that fall under this banner, and they are played from an early age right through to a professional level. The types ... Continue Reading »

My Brief History – Book Review

I enjoy reading autobiographies, this one absolutely included. Naturally, one of the facets of an autobiography that people find alluring is the nosy peek into someone's life. Whilst Hawking does talk about his private life in the sense that he explains it factually, I wouldn't say that he throws juicy ... Continue Reading »

Looking to the future

I've aired my suspicions of futurists before. Most of them seem to be bedazzled by the possibilities of the gadgets and widgets of tomorrow. But I seriously wonder if there will be a future where the tech-heads can indulge their future fantasies. A few articles and reports have ... Continue Reading »

Five of Adelaide’s Greatest Scientists

The timeline for these five talented and creative individuals’ achievements encompasses the 20th century and bears witness to Australia maturing beyond its colonial ties and developing a national identity in all fields of human endeavour including science. These scientists, who all called Adelaide home at some time in their lives, ... Continue Reading »

The birds and the bees are just the beginning…

Biologist and TV host Dr Carin Bondar (Canada) explored evolutionary science and the often weird world of animal reproduction with a huge online audience at RiAus. Along with talking about the science of animal reproduction, Carin spoke about how she became a TV presenter, YouTube and social media star. Dr Carin ... Continue Reading »

Aliens on my planet

In preparation for our upcoming tour of The Science of Doctor Who we have asked the cast to write about some of their favourite bits of science and pop culture in Doctor Who. Tickets are currently on sale for The Science of Doctor Who! Click here to find ... Continue Reading »

A Tale of Two Doctors

The first shows of our national tour of The Science of Doctor Who are about to start! Tickets are on sale for shows right across the country so click here to find a venue near you. Last year two very important doctors celebrated 50 orbits of the Sun, me ... Continue Reading »

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

The star of Yann Martel’s novel ‘The Life of Pi’ knew all too well the importance of water purification. As he bobbed along the ocean with only a fully-grown tiger for company in his stranded lifeboat, Piscine Molitor Patel, or Pi, was ironically dehydrated. He was floating on the substance ... Continue Reading »

Bodies on the Line

Concussions, spinal injuries and internal bleeding. During football season, serious sports injuries make front page news on a regular basis as players continually put their bodies on the line. Whether you love rugby, Aussie rules or soccer, there is widespread concern about the injuries sustained in contact sports. How serious are ... Continue Reading »

PDplus: Organ and tissue donation, the gift of life

Organ and tissue donation saves lives. One donor can transform the lives of up to 10 people and significantly improve the lives of many more, and in Australia there are around 1500 people on organ transplant waiting lists at any one time. This free teacher professional learning event on organ and ... Continue Reading »

How well do you know Antarctica?

RiAus Director Paul Willis went down in Antarctica earlier this year and he took a bunch of photos based on suggestions collected from social media. You can see all the submissions and the photos Dr Willis took at The Great Antarctic Photo Quest Antarctica is the largest cold desert ... Continue Reading »

Transparent Labs – Open House Adelaide

For opening and tour times see http://openhouseadelaide.com.au/ Over the course of a weekend buildings around Adelaide will be opening their doors to give you a glimpse behind the scenes. This is a rare opportunity to set foot in a variety of South Australia’s leading labs. Artlab Australia State Herbarium Fab Lab SA Pathology SA ... Continue Reading »

Insight Radical – A Guided Exhibition Tour

This exclusive opportunity to be guided around Insight Radical pieces by Renee Beale, manager of the public education program for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry & Biotechnology, is not to be missed. Spaces limited. This exhibition is the culmination of a unique project started in ... Continue Reading »

Get Radical!

What do fading paint, heart disease, food spoilage, cancer have in common? Free radicals- very reactive molecules that despite their role in heart attack, stroke and ageing are also essential for our survival. They are one of the great paradoxes of life – what sustains us is also what decays us ... Continue Reading »

Skeptics of the detox

Find out more about the science behind the detox in the upcoming event Debunking the Detox on 25 March at 6:30pm ACST. If you can't make it in to The Science Exchange then make sure you watch the free livestream. Sign up for a ... Continue Reading »

That time Russia banned genetics

“EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it! Genetics is officially banned!” yelled a small Russian boy as he stood at the corner of a street trying to make a little more pocket money. Okay, I don’t know if that is exactly how it was announced, but yes, you read it correctly. ... Continue Reading »

Todd’s Adelaide

Sir Charles Todd's impact on colonial science and technology was remarkable. Using an app on your smart mobile device, discover how his work relates to our lives today through an interactive location-based adventure played on the streets of Adelaide. We begin with a talk, followed by a walk and close ... Continue Reading »

A transhuman future?

When looking to the future, my focus has been on getting the ecological questions right. As a palaeontologist, I view the future as I view the past: over long time spans. And I read the narrative of the past as lessons for the present upon which our future will be ... Continue Reading »

Science and Eastern religions

Modern science and its disciplines arose in the West, following on from the ancient Greek tradition of natural philosophy. The new scientific method was embraced by many cultures, including those with very different belief systems such as China and India. But prior to Western influence, how good was the science ... Continue Reading »

Mindful of Mindfulness

The science of Mindfulness will be discussed in an upcoming event at RiAus - Mindfulness: Finding Calm In The Chaos on 7 February at 6pm ACDT. If you can't make it in to The Science Exchange then make sure you watch the free livestream. Sign up ... Continue Reading »

Stumbling on Happiness – Book review

Looking for a book club? This review will be part of the discussion when the RiAus Science Book Club meets at 6pm ACDT on 22 January at The Science Exchange. We'd love to see you there. I’ve lost count of how many times orange-tinged television presenters with limited facial ... Continue Reading »

STEM Careers Pack Launch

RiAus STEM Careers Packs Launch and workshop YOU ARE INVITED to attend this free professional learning event. RiAus, Australia's national science hub, in partnership with DECD has developed four new STEM Career Pack resources for upper primary, middle school teachers and careers counsellors. The packs include video interviews and classroom activities ... Continue Reading »

PDplus online PL session for teachers

PDplus online session for teachers: The origin of faeces, what excrement tells us about evolution, ecology and a sustainable society http://youtu.be/3AL3TXF3vDQ Is poo a problem? Or are we just looking at it the wrong way? With more than 7 billion people living on Earth today, the annual output of human poo is close ... Continue Reading »

Science predictions for 2014

In addition to Paul's predictions for 2014, make sure you check out our science predictions for 2014 special episode of A Week In Science Predicting the future is a tricky business. The various supernatural techniques have all been thoroughly debunked. Despite this, every year begins with psychics making predictions ... Continue Reading »

Faking a Tan

Alice had kindly let us re-post her great blog here at RiAus. You can find the original at Alice's blog with more links and all the references at - Kleinstien Summer has arrived, and the usual orange-streaked ankles and doughnut-smelling limbs are already out in full force. To celebrate ... Continue Reading »

Remembering to exercise

Exercise has long been associated with health benefits over and above those related to physical fitness, such as improved mood, cognition and memory. Having recently taken up running after a long bout of laziness, and given my interest in neuroscience, I thought I’d share with you some new ... Continue Reading »

Making policy with science

Earlier this year I wrote about science and politics, framing my comments in terms of the then up-coming election and looking for both a fair deal for science and a respect for scientific information in the formulation of policy. There have been other provocative articles written about the role ... Continue Reading »

Book Club – Toxin Toxout

Synthetic chemicals surround us – in our toothpaste, on our frying pans, in our cars, in house dust. Authors Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith show that there’s mounting scientific evidence linking some of these chemicals to serious human diseases. So how do we keep safe? Does the multibillion-dollar detox industry have the ... Continue Reading »

Book Club – Stumbling on Happiness

Winning lotto. Summer. Green at every traffic light. What makes you happy? The drive for happiness is one of the most instinctive and fundamental human impulses but do we actually have the first idea of how to achieve it, maintain it, or even, for that matter, what it is? In ... Continue Reading »

Login

Register for free RiAus Education resources

Sending