Where does Australia rank in research? And the Mythbusters are coming to Australia…

Australia has taken the podium alongside Japan and China as one of the top three science performers in a dynamic Asia-Pacific region. The Nature Publishing Index is a snapshot of the region’s scientific research in the past year based on publication output in Nature and the 17 Nature research journals.

And from chart topping to myth busting – the Mythbusters are coming to Australia during National Science Week.

Read on for more…

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No jargon, no lab coats at FameLab Australia. Plus prizes for scientists.

Young scientists are performing around the country. No jargon, no lab coats… and they’ve only got 3 minutes. Come and support your researchers at FameLab Australia.

We need new ways to advocate for science and for science in policy – FameLab is one small step in that direction. While our science leaders talk big picture, I think we need to see more young scientists engaging locally: talking to journalists, politicians and the wider community about their discoveries.

Read on for more about FameLab, BioMedVic and prizes for research.

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More exciting than the law, more glamorous than accounting…

asta logo - smallAustralia’s Future: 28 creative careers for adventurous young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb this morning launched Australia’s Future, a free magazine featuring 28 people and the very different journeys they’ve taken from their studies in science and maths, in the Mural Hall at Parliament House, Canberra.

Dr Liz New, a chemist at the University of Sydney, reckons she’s got the best job anyone could have.

“We have this idea that scientists are the ones who perform best in school or have a focused personality,” says Liz. “For me, the scientific personality is simply anyone who is curious enough to ask questions.”

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Ageing answers no longer a hard cell

The holy grail of healthy old age may lie in the riddle of cells that stop Centenary Logocancer and hasten age at the same time.

Professor Judith Campisi, the head of research labs at San Francisco’s Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will present this research at the Inflammation in Disease and Ageing conference at Manly, organised by the Centenary Institute.

She has found that senescent cells, which stop cancer in its tracks, also promote the inflammation that drives many age-related problems and chronic diseases.

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Can’t see the zebra for the trees; stopping side effects of ageing; brain prize for PM; and Victoria, the heart of medical research

This afternoon at 5pm Biomedical Research Victoria launches. Melbourne is home to more than 40 per cent of Australia’s medical research. BioMedVic represents them.

Can’t see the zebra for the trees? Deforestation hurts the environment – but afforestation can be bad too, and it’s affecting Africa’s iconic animals (or ‘charismatic megafauna’ as the ecologists like to call them).

Why do we get sick as we age? Can we stop the ‘side-effects’ of ageing? Is the Holy Grail of cancer treatment on the horizon? An international meeting at Manly is tackling inflammation and ageing.

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Prize time; stories needed; charge up your communicators

It’s down to work in 2014 with the challenges of communicating science in an arguably more hostile environment.

Prizes are a powerful platform to create role models and reach our investors – the Australian public. Please consider who you can put forward for prizes new and old which open for nomination in the coming weeks.

In particular we’re looking for 60 early career researchers for FameLab Australia, a new initiative combining our Fresh Science program with the British Council’s global program.

Strong stories can drive public and political opinion. Our Stories of Australian Science collection will highlight the best of 2013. And we’re offering audits, mentoring and training services to help your scientists make the best of their moment in the media spotlight. More on those below.

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Cuts, more cuts and confusion: Australian science in 2014?

I fear that that cuts and community confusion about science and evidence will be major challenges for science in 2014.  How can we encourage policy makers to use science properly in their deliberations on everything from climate change to public health and conservation? How can we support continuing funding for science?

I think we’ll need to work harder than ever to tell voters compelling stories of the impact of science on their lives.

Here are some ways I think you can do that.

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