In 2016, the Australian census was much more intrusive than in previous years. Although not put in place by legislation, we think this deserves a place in the Repeal Watch. The Science Party will destroy all personally-identifying information collected by the census.Read more
Cuts to the ABS, a failure to appoint a new head statistician in a timely manner and ministers playing musical chairs are partly to blame for the Census failure.Read more
Update: the ABC this afternoon is reporting this timeline as the official sequence of events. More information, e.g. about the precise volume of hits, would be better but it is good to see more transparency around the census.
Last night, the online Census went down, and most people were unable to fill out their forms. The ABS claims that it was DDoSed. That means that it received lots of requests from computers all at once that took the service offline.
A concerned user of the online link aggregator Reddit recently highlighted some issues with the way the Australian Bureau of Statistics intends to link your personal data across other government databases. In addition, an article posted today by former Deputy Privacy Commissioner of NSW, Anna Johnston, outlines her reasons for boycotting the 2016 census. This led us to question some of the methods the ABS may be intending to use and how they might be of concern and in the public interest.
By Andrea Leong and James Jansson
From 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will retain all names and addresses collected in the census. The ABS quietly announced these plans in November 2015 and made the change after a 3-week consultation process. The fact that this change was made so quickly and so quietly is concerning in itself. The announcement has since spiralled into a public relations nightmare.Read more
Dear scientists: Join a political party.
In the wake of the 2016 federal election we ask that you, as scientists, join a political party and at the very least join the political discussion. We're not asking you to join the Science Party in particular (although that would be great!), but any party. What we want more scientific discussion in parliament and the community. We need your voice!Read more
My name is Tom Gordon, I’m running in this federal election for the Science Party because there is a vacuum of representation for science and scientific thinking in parliament. Evidence-based policies, rather than ideology-based policies, will provide a higher-quality, peer-reviewed parliamentary debate.
Every day 150,000 people around the world die. The biggest killer is aging, killing around 100,000 people every day. Up to 90% of deaths in developed countries occur due to age and age-related diseases.
Broadly, the causes of aging are well characterised and understood. One of the pioneers in discovering one cause is an Australian, Elizabeth Blackburn who won a Nobel Prize for her discovery of telomerase. Telomerase replaces a short section of DNA that is lost every time that a cell divides. If it is absent, eventually cells reach their Hayflick limit and the cells stop dividing. Telomerase is necessary to prevent cancer, which is basically cells that divide without ever stopping. The slowing of the action of telomerase over time is one cause of aging.
Ordinary Tasmanians deserve extraordinary and smart politicians to fight for them. Scientists and engineers that are smart enough to understand and deal with the complex technological and social challenges that lie ahead, like finding real solutions to climate change without wrecking the economy and a faster, cheaper and more reliable Internet.
Hans Willink, candidate for the Senate in Tasmania.Read more