Written by: Chris Johnston, Journalist, writer for Lens.
Jomo Kigotho is 24 now and back once again in Melbourne, hidden away in the lab most days, making molecules. The young scientist was born in Australia, but spent much of his childhood in Africa at a place that’s still not conclusively on Google Maps, underneath Mount Kenya.
The place — “it’s not a town”, he says, “it doesn’t have a name” — was on a migratory path for elephants coming down out of higher country to the forested national parks and plains below. The Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is nearly five hours…
Written by: Chris Watkin, Associate Professor in European languages.
In recent months, COVID policy has undergone a quiet revolution. From the beginning of the outbreak until June or July, Australia was the land of containment — bring cases down to zero through hygiene, lockdowns and border controls.
Not any more. With lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria now seemingly powerless to halt the spread of the Delta variant, we’ve entered the era of vaccination.
Those in favour of mass vaccination frequently argue that, although it’s not legally enforced, it’s part of our “social contract” to get vaccinated. …
Featuring: Helen Skouteris, Developmental Psychologist and Leading Public Health and Implementation Science Researcher.
A random remark to a group of school mums eventually led to Elaine Miller donning a vulva suit in the Scottish parliament.
Miller told the politicians she knew how to “make their willies stronger for longer”. More of that later.
“As long as you can make it funny, you can get away with any social taboo; it doesn’t matter how dire.”
Her journey to the vulva suit began several years before while chatting with the school mums about turning 40. The conversation turned to their “bucket list”…
There have been a few standout images from the 2021 Olympic Games so far, and they tell an important story about the way gendered stereotypes and social norms are being challenged, and are shifting.
Early on, we saw the German gymnasts make international headlines when they took a stand against sexualisation, and chose to compete in tights or unitards rather than the usual high-cut leotards.
They matter because around the world, people — including children — are seeing these images.
Written by: Thomas Andrillon, Researcher in psychology.
Our minds are fleeting. William James, the father of modern psychology, describes them as birds, alternating between flying and perching.
A direct consequence is our difficulty to focus on a given task, especially when we’re not particularly motivated. Instead, we often catch ourselves thinking about unrelated things — things of the past or future, things to do or forgotten — instances that are studied under the concept of “mind wandering”.
Written by: Fiona Gregory, Lecturer in Literary Studies
Over the past week, media attention worldwide has been focused on singer Britney Spears’ attempts to free herself from the conservatorship that limits her financial, professional and personal autonomy.
The idea that an internationally successful pop superstar “isn’t even allowed to choose the colour of her kitchen cabinets”, let alone maintain control over her medical and reproductive decisions, has proven deeply unsettling.
There’s been justifiable outrage over the past week at Spears’ treatment, and yet the singer has lived with the conservatorship since 2008, and the #FreeBritney campaign has been striving to…
Written by: Dr Steven Roberts
CONTENT WARNING: Includes descriptions of physical violence, graphic violence; violence against women and children.
The speakers at March’s Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence fifth anniversary explained the necessity for men to join women in talking about and condemning men’s violence. Prevention, it was made clear, necessitates allyship.
As men we also know it’s more than just a few “bad apples”. Violence is enacted by a significant number of “normal” men.
Alongside the now-regular calls to action for non-violent men to denounce men’s violence or to call out the behaviour of others and to be…
Written by: Andrew Moshirnia
Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 was a dark day, yet oddly familiar. A gunman murdered eight people in metropolitan Atlanta in the US, six of whom were Asian women. That same day, 1245 Americans died of COVID-19.
I’ve written about the need for special intervention to combat targeted social media misinformation stoking racial hatred in an era of random acts of terror.
The backdrop of the global pandemic, and yet another terror-inducing mass murder, amplifies the need for aggressive fact-checking, content moderation, and a preparedness to fact-check the fact-checkers. …
Featuring: Professor Trevor Lithgow, Microbiologist
Since COVID-19, the simple act of hand-washing has been elevated beyond the mundane into a public health headline and potentially life-saving act.
Superbugs resistant to medicines are predicted to kill 10 million people a year by 2050.
People wash their hands now. Soaps and sanitisers are in demand, and also ubiquitous — in handbags, backpacks, at pub and shop doors.
This is undeniably a good thing. But for Monash University researcher Professor Trevor Lithgow, who works on superbugs that are resistant to medicines and predicted to kill 10 million people a year by 2050, it’s…
Since 2014, Monash researchers have tried to understand the mysterious molecular processes that occur during the first few days of human life.
Late last year came the breakthrough. The University’s Polo Laboratory team unexpectedly produced a medical game-changer when it created what it calls an iBlastoid — the most accurate three-dimensional model of a blastocyst, or the cellular structure that becomes an early human embryo.
It’s made from skin cells and isn’t an embryo itself, so it can’t be used to make humans — to date…