Tag Archives: research

Facebook data: why ethical reviews matter in academic research

Facebook data: why ethical reviews matter in academic research

When the Facebook data of 50m users was collected by Cambridge academic Aleksandr Kogan, his actions reportedly came to the attention of colleagues who regarded his subsequent use of the data as unethical. The university revealed that Kogan had unsuccessfully applied for ethics approval in 2015 to use data collected on behalf of GSR, a commercial enterprise he set […] … learn more→

Starting next year, Australian universities have to prove their research has real-world impact

Starting next year, Australian universities have to prove their research has real-world impact

Starting in 2018, Australian universities will be required to prove their research provides concrete benefits for taxpayers and the government, who fund it. Education Minister Simon Birmingham recently announced the Australian Research Council (ARC) will introduce an Engagement and Impact Assessment. It will run alongside the current Excellence in Research Australia ERA assessment exercise. This follows a pilot of the Engagement and […] … learn more→

Research does solve real-world problems: experts must work together to make it happen

Research does solve real-world problems: experts must work together to make it happen

Generating knowledge is one of the most exciting aspects of being human. The inventiveness required to apply this knowledge to solve practical problems is perhaps our most distinctive attribute. But right now we have before us some hairy challenges – whether that be figuring our how to save our coral reefs from warmer water, landing […] … learn more→

What will research look like in 2035?

What will research look like in 2035?

What will the world look like a generation from now? Will robots have transformed our working world? Will we move through cities in automated vehicles or even hyperloops? Will we choose to augment our bodies with highly functional prosthetics? Will low carbon energy generation be the norm or will climate change be changing the world around us? […] … learn more→

How I overcame rejection to turn my love of 'poi' into research

How I overcame rejection to turn my love of ‘poi’ into research

Ten years ago, while moping around circus practice with a torn rotator cuff, boredom and curiosity led me to try the most unimpressive prop under the big top: a sock filled with rice. It didn’t involve flipping and flying through the air. It didn’t involve extraordinary strength or speed. It didn’t appear to involve much […] … learn more→

When measuring research, we must remember that ‘engagement’ and ‘impact’ are not the same thing

When measuring research, we must remember that ‘engagement’ and ‘impact’ are not the same thing

In the Innovation Statement late last year, the federal government indicated a strong belief that more collaboration should occur between industry and university researchers. At the same time, government, education and industry groupings have made numerous recommendations for the “impact” of university research to be assessed alongside or in addition to the existing assessment of […] … learn more→

Researcher organise thyself

Recently I put together a promotion application. For those of you unfamiliar with the Australian system, this is similar to a tenure application in the U.S.A. You must compile everything you have done in your academic career, assess its impact and present it all as a legible ‘story’ of your contribution to your discipline and […] … learn more→

Don’t divide teaching and research

We excel, in the research university, at preparing our students to do world-class research — everywhere except the classrooms in which they teach. From the beginning we insist that Ph.D. applicants explain their research plans. When they arrive we put them through their paces in methodology classes, carefully taking apart their ideas of what they […] … learn more→

‘Quackademics’ under fire as critical voices targeted

The is a republish of this article With independent journalism increasingly under threat, will academics be the next set of critical voices to be targeted? A report calling for research and evidence to have a reduced role in public policy, issued yesterday by a right-wing think-tank, suggests this process is already under way. These criticisms […] … learn more→