Articles by The Conversation

We found 199 results.


To Defuse Political Violence across US, Conflict Mediators Apply Lessons from Gang Disputes and Foreign Elections
Joseph G. Bock, Marta Poblet and Per Aarvik | The Conversation – TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Feb 2021

3 Feb 2021 – After a violent American election season, activists are trying to keep the peace using technologies and techniques more often applied in unstable democracies. Civilian peacekeepers are trying to stop violence before it starts.

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Vaccines Alone Aren’t Enough to Eradicate a Virus – Lessons from History
Caitjan Gainty and Agnes Arnold-Forster | The Conversation – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 Jan 2021

14 Jan 2021- Too much hope is being pinned on the vaccine alone to get us out of the current pandemic. But ‘low-tech’ solutions are needed, too.

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The Fascinating Story of Placebos – And Why Doctors Should Use Them More Often
Will de Freitas | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 Jan 2021

6 Jan 2021 – Every time your doctor tells you that the drug you take has been proved to work, they mean that it has been proved to work better than a placebo.

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Lessons from around the World on Fighting COVID’s Second Wave
Jimmy Whitworth | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 23 Nov 2020

20 Nov 2020 – Here’s what the west can learn from South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and more.

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Gravitational Waves: Astronomers Spot a Black Hole so Massive They Weren’t Sure It Could Exist
Ilya Mandel | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 14 Sep 2020

2 Sep 2020 – One of the greatest things about being an astrophysicist is that you keep discovering things you didn’t think were possible. Now two Observatories have discovered their largest black hole yet. It’s important because scientists had in fact doubted whether black holes of this mass could even exist.

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US Punishes International Criminal Court for Investigating Potential War Crimes in Afghanistan
Susan M. Akram | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 7 Sep 2020

2 Sep 2020 – The Trump administration is taking aim at the International Criminal Court, a global tribunal that investigates and prosecutes war crimes, torture and genocide. Claiming the ICC’s investigation into war crimes by U.S. forces in Afghanistan poses a national security threat, Trump issued an executive order effectively criminalizing anyone who works at the ICC.

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In Defence of Conspiracy Theories (and Why the Term Is a Misnomer)
David Coady | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 31 Aug 2020

Yesterday’s conspiracy theories often become today’s incontrovertible facts. In the mid-1990s, journalist Gary Webb’s claims that CIA officials conspired with drug dealers to bring cocaine into the US were dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the claims were true. The net effect of terms such as “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracism” is to silence people who suspect conspiracies may be occurring. These terms serve to herd respectable opinion in ways that suit the interests of the powerful.

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There’s a Conspiracy Theory That the CIA Invented the Term ‘Conspiracy Theory’ – Here’s why
Michael Butter | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 31 Aug 2020

Conspiracy theories have a long history, but the actual term “conspiracy theory” emerged much more recently. It was only a few decades ago that the term took on the derogatory connotations it has today, where to call someone a conspiracy theorist functions as an insult.

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How the Shadow of Slavery Still Hangs Over Global Finance
Philip Roscoe | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 31 Aug 2020

21 Aug 2020 – Slave traders transformed human lives into profit-bearing opportunities – just like modern finance. The slave trade pioneered a new kind of finance, secured on the bodies of the powerless. Today, the arcane products of high finance, targeting the poor and troubled as profit opportunities for the already-rich, still bear that deep unfairness.

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Does Coronavirus Linger in the Body? What We Know about How Viruses in General Hang on in the Brain and Testicles
William Petri | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 17 Aug 2020

31 Jul 2020 – An unanswered question is the extent to which the virus can “hide out” in recovered individuals. If it does, could this explain some of the lingering symptoms of COVID-19 or pose a risk for transmission of infection to others even after recovery? I am a physician-scientist of infectious diseases at the University of Virginia, where I care for patients with infections and conduct research on COVID-19. Here I will briefly review what is known today about chronic or persistent COVID-19.

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Decolonising Peace Journalism – And Putting It to Work in East Africa
Fredrick Ogenga | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 13 Jul 2020

Conflict resolution is a recurrent theme in East Africa. This has prompted the need for innovative ways to create lasting consensus in the region as well as across the continent. One of these innovative ways is peace journalism. It can stimulate peaceful resolution of conflict by voicing different conflicting parties and issues in a balanced and objective manner.

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Coronavirus: How Brazil Became the Second Worst Affected Country in the World
Alfredo Saad Filho | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Servivce, 6 Jul 2020

29 Jun 2020 – Inequality, confused responses and a disbelieving leader have all contributed to a crisis that’s showing no signs of slowing down. The country is competing with the USA for the largest number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases (more than one million) and the highest number of fatalities (above 50,000).

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Alert but Not Alarmed: What to Make of New H1N1 Swine Flu with ‘Pandemic Potential’ Found in China
Ian M. Mackay | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Jul 2020

2 Jul 2020 – Researchers have found a new strain of flu virus with “pandemic potential” in China that can jump from pigs to humans, triggering a suite of worrying headlines. It’s excellent this virus has been found early, and raising the alarm quickly allows virologists to swing into action developing new specific tests for this particular flu virus.

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Can People Spread the Coronavirus If They Don’t Have Symptoms? 5 Questions Answered about Asymptomatic COVID-19
Monica Gandhi | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 29 Jun 2020

23 Jun 2020 – There is a lot of confusion and concern around asymptomatic spread of SARS-C0V-2. An infectious disease expert explains how many people are asymptomatic and how they can spread the virus.

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Breakthrough: Microbe Found to Block the Transmission of Malaria
Jeremy Herren | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 15 Jun 2020

7 Jun 2020 – Mosquitoes that had Microsporidia MB – a tiny parasitic fungus – never became infected with malaria.

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Venezuela Failed Raid: US Has a History of Using Mercenaries to Undermine Other Regimes
Andrew Thomson | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 25 May 2020

18 May 2020 – US denies backing failed raid to remove Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro – but it has a long history of sponsoring private armies elsewhere.

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COVID-19 Has Blown Away the Myth about ‘First’ and ‘Third’ World Competence
Steven Friedman | The Conversation – TRANSCEND Media Service, 18 May 2020

13 Maio 2020 – One of the planet’s – and Africa’s – deepest prejudices is being demolished by the way countries handle COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Found In Semen of Young Men with COVID-19
Peter Ellis, Mark Wass and Martin Michaelis | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 11 May 2020

7 May 2020 – The study involved 38 patients undergoing treatment for severe COVID-19 disease. Fifteen of the patients provided a semen sample during the acute phase of their illness and 23 shortly after recovering. In four of the 15 patients with acute disease and in two of the 23 recovering patients, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in the semen samples.

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Singapore’s Spike in Coronavirus Cases Shows the Road to Recovery Will Be a Bumpy Ride
Pushan Dutt | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 27 Apr 2020

23 Apr 2020 -Singapore was widely praised as one of the countries that reacted quickly and effectively to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. But subsequent spikes show how long and bumpy the road to recovery from coronavirus will be. Lockdowns will have to be lifted cautiously and new waves of infection are likely.

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Why China Is Emerging as a Leader in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture
Steffanie Scott and Zhenzhong Si | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 20 Apr 2020

10 Apr 2020 – This transformation provides lessons for the rest of world, for shifting away from chemical agriculture towards a healthier system for people and the planet.

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Coronavirus: Once You Have Antibodies, Are You Safe?
Connor Bamford | The Conversation - TRANSCEND Media Service, 6 Apr 2020

31 Mar 2020 – As more and more people get infected, survive and build up antibodies and T cells against SARS-CoV-2, we may eventually reach a threshold where we achieve “herd immunity”. This refers to the phenomenon where not everyone is immune, but because most people in the population are, the chances that those non-immune susceptible people catch a disease is very small.

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The Coronavirus Reader
The Conversation – TRANSCEND Media Service, 23 Mar 2020

17 Mar 2020 – Info and Insights on the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Tokyo Olympics: How Coronavirus Is Hitting Preparations
Kari Brossard Stoos and Heather Dichter - The Conversation, 16 Mar 2020

12 Mar 2020 – The World Health Organization’s decision to officially recognise the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic means organisers are facing difficult decisions on whether to go ahead with major sporting events. There were more than 124,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in 118 countries, and more than 4,600 documented deaths by March 12. This is a problem for sports events around the world – not least the Olympic Games, scheduled to start in Tokyo at the end of July.

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Mediterranean Diet Increases Gut Bacteria Linked to Healthy Ageing in Older Adults
Paul O'Toole – The Conversation, 16 Mar 2020

18 Feb 2020 – Our research found that following a Mediterranean diet was linked with less frailty, inflammation, and maintaining better cognitive function.

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Eating Meat: Links to Chronic Disease Might Be Related to Amino Acids–New Findings
Laura Brown and Kelly Rose – The Conversation, 9 Mar 2020

17 Feb 2020 – Eating plant-based proteins is linked with lower risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

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Two Satellites Just Avoided a Head-On Smash. How Close Did They Come to Disaster?
Gregory Cohen | The Conversation – TRANSCEND Media Service, 3 Feb 2020

30 Jan 2020 – Two defunct satellites passed within metres of one another, prompting renewed focus on the dangers of space debris. But with many satellites treated as military secrets, how do we track the hazards?

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With Costs Approaching $100 Billion, the Fires Are Australia’s Costliest Natural Disaster
Paul Read and Richard Denniss – The Conversation, 20 Jan 2020

17 Jan 2020 – It’s hard to estimate the eventual economic cost of Australia’s 2019-20 megafires, partly because they are still underway, and partly because it is hard to know the cost to attribute to deaths and the decimation of species and habitats, but it is easy to get an idea of its significance – the cost will be unprecedented.

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265 Stories of Haitian Children Abandoned by UN “Peacekeeping” Fathers: ‘They Put a few Coins in Your Hands to Drop a Baby in You.’
Sabine Lee and Susan Bartels – The Conversation, 23 Dec 2019

17 Dec 2019 – The voices of young victims in Haiti can now be heard for the first time thanks to a groundbreaking new research project.

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Why Aung San Suu Kyi Is in The Hague Defending Myanmar against Allegations of Genocide
Mauro Barelli – The Conversation, 16 Dec 2019

10 Dec 2019 – In what is likely to be a remarkable moment for international justice, Aung San Suu Kyi, the political leader of Myanmar and a Nobel peace prize winner, will be in The Hague this week to lead her country’s defence against allegations of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority.

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A Globalised Solar-Powered Future Is Wholly Unrealistic–and Our Economy Is the Reason Why
Alf Hornborg – The Conversation, 25 Nov 2019

Over the past two centuries, millions of dedicated people – revolutionaries, activists, politicians, and theorists – have been unable to curb the disastrous and increasingly globalised trajectory of economic polarisation and ecological degradation. This is perhaps because we are utterly trapped in flawed ways of thinking about technology and economy – as the current discourse on climate change shows.

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Bolivia in Crisis: How Evo Morales Was Forced Out
Angus McNelly – The Conversation, 18 Nov 2019

12 Nov 2019 – Evo Morales has left Bolivia on a plane for Mexico, a day after he resigned as president. Morales and his vice-president, Álvaro García Linera, stood down from office on November 10, following a ‘suggestion’ by the head of the military, Williams Kaliman.

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Myanmar Might Finally Be Held Accountable for Genocide, but the Court Case Must Recognise Sexual Violence
Susan Hutchinson – The Conversation, 21 Oct 2019

16 Oct 2019 – At the UN General Assembly last month, The Gambia announced it would take the Myanmar government to the International Court of Justice for the genocide of the Rohingya. The sheer volume of pregnant women in the refugee camps was an early indicator of the extent sexual violence was used against Rohingya women and girls.

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Antibiotic Resistance: Researchers Have Directly Proven that Bacteria Can Change Shape Inside Humans to Avoid Antibiotics
Katarzyna Mickiewicz – The Conversation, 7 Oct 2019

30 Sep 2019 – This breakthrough could be key in fighting antibiotic resistance.

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Not Convinced on the Need for Urgent Climate Action? Here’s What Happens to Our Planet between 1.5°C and 2°C of Global Warming
Rachel Warren and Sally Brown – The Conversation, 30 Sep 2019

24 Sep 2019 – Nations are signed up to limit global heating to well below 2°C, and to aim for 1.5°C. Limiting warming to the latter matters – the future of humanity and the living world is at stake. Climate breakdown is already harming livelihoods, cities and ecosystems. From heatwaves and droughts to cyclones and floods, devastating extreme weather events are more frequent, more intense and more unpredictable than they would be in the absence of global heating.

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An Increasing Number of Countries Are Banning E-Cigarettes – Here’s Why
Lorraine Martin and James Reihill – The Conversation, 30 Sep 2019

23 Sep 2019 – More than 20 countries have banned e-cigarettes.

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Plants Can Recover after Being Burned, so Why Might Some Species in the Amazon Face Local Wipe Out?
Kimberley Simpson – The Conversation, 9 Sep 2019

30 Aug 2019 – Not only can plants survive fire, they can use the experience of being burned to prepare themselves for future blazes.

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Bolivian Fires Are Threatening People and Wildlife–It’s Not Just Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest That’s Ablaze
Claire F.R. Wordley – The Conversation, 2 Sep 2019

23 Aug 2019 – Up to 800,000 hectares of the unique Chiquitano forest were burned to the ground in Bolivia between August 18 and August 23. That’s more forest than is usually destroyed across the country in two years. Experts say that it will take at least two centuries to repair the ecological damage done by the fires, while at least 500 species are said to be at risk from the flames.

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Amazon Fires: Jair Bolsonaro Faces Mounting Political Backlash in Brazil – Even from His Allies
Anthony Pereira – The Conversation, 2 Sep 2019

29 Aug 2019 – Emmanuel Macron’s gesture of support at the G7 meeting to fight fires in the Brazilian Amazon was well-intentioned but clumsy. By suggesting that the fate of the rainforest should be decided by the G7, the French president left himself open to criticism that he had a colonialist mentality. Jair Bolsonaro rejected the offer of assistance.

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Bees: How Important Are They and What Would Happen if They Went Extinct?
Philip Donkersley – The Conversation, 26 Aug 2019

Is there research into what is killing them?

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Citizens of Nowhere: One Million Rohingya Still without Rights, Status or Justice
Abdullah Yusuf - The Conversation, 26 Aug 2019

20 Aug 2019 – The current repatriation deal signed by Myanmar and Bangladesh fails to guarantee the safety and citizenship of the Rohingya people or address issues of justice for crimes perpetrated against them.

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Cuban Compassion: Training Doctors for a Pacific Island Nation Running Out of Time
Robert Huish and Sharon McLennan – The Conversation, 5 Aug 2019

11 Jul 2019 – Cuba is offering a compelling example of how we can take care of each other during the climate crisis with its work training doctors on Kiribati, a nation that is being devastated by climate change.

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Cigarette Butts Are the Forgotten Plastic Pollution – and They Could Be Killing Our Plants
Dannielle Green – The Conversation, 22 Jul 2019

19 Jul 2019 – Cigarette butts or filters are the most littered item on the planet. An estimated 5.6 trillion cigarettes are smoked each year, out of which two thirds are improperly disposed of. That’s [4.5 trillion butts] each year. Since the 1980s, cigarette butts have accounted for 30% to 40% of all litter found in coastal and urban litter clean-ups.

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Jair Bolsonaro Wants to Deforest the Amazon – What Powers Does the UN Have to Stop Him?
Ash Murphy – The Conversation, 22 Jul 2019

12 Jul 2019 – Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil is at its highest rate in a decade, according to new satellite data. This comes after President Jair Bolsonaro has loosened environmental regulations, cut enforcement budgets, and supported further development in the region.

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Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling – Researchers on How the World Should Respond
Sui Phang and Peter Bridgewater – The Conversation, 8 Jul 2019

1 Jul 2019 – Outrage and despair greeted Japan’s decision to relaunch commercial whaling in its waters, although the conservation status of many species may be unaffected. Still, Japan’s exit from the IWC is a worrying message to the international community at a time when collaboration on environmental issues is sorely needed.

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Why the United States Rejects International Criminal Justice: Looking Back at Nuremberg
Guillaume Mouralis – The Conversation, 8 Jul 2019

30 Jun 2019 – Faced with US neoconservatives’ blanket rejection of international criminal justice, supporters of the ICC invoke the precedent of the Nuremberg Trials and the active role taken by the USA in the creation of the International Military Tribunal, which tried the 21 most senior leaders of the Nazi regime. However, the call for a return to American leadership of international criminal justice is based on a problematic historical narrative that doesn’t stand up to closer examination.

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The Lowdown on Libra: What Consumers Need to Know about Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency
Ernest Foo – The Conversation, 1 Jul 2019

27 Jun 2019 – We go back to the basics and look at what Libra is, how it compares to other cryptocurrencies and whether you should be concerned about using it when it eventually arrives.

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How Pentecostalism Explains Jacob Zuma’s Defiance and Lack of Shame
Ilana van Wyk – The Conversation, 1 Jul 2019

25 Jun 2019 – Unlike the Puritan ethic, the neo-Pentecostal ethic is consumerist in its focus. It’s an ethic that demands of its subscribers that they consume conspicuously and without “shame” as “blessed” Christians. At the same time, they have to wage spiritual war on those who undermine their “good fortune”.

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US Military Is a Bigger Polluter than As Many As 140 Countries – Shrinking This War Machine Is a Must
Benjamin Neimark, Oliver Belcher and Patrick Bigger – The Conversation, 1 Jul 2019

24 Jun 2019 – Our study shows that action on climate change demands shuttering vast sections of the military machine. There are few activities on Earth as environmentally catastrophic as waging war. Significant reductions to the Pentagon’s budget and shrinking its capacity to wage war would cause a huge drop in demand from the biggest consumer of liquid fuels in the world.

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Amazon Wins ‘.amazon’ Domain Name, Aggravating South American Region and Undermining Digital Commons
Tara Van Ho – The Conversation, 24 Jun 2019

Who has the right to use an Amazon domain name? The people who live there or a company with the same name?

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Why Credit Rating Agencies Are Still Getting Away with Bad Behaviour
Misheck Mutize – The Conversation, 24 Jun 2019

Rating agencies continue to be found wanting, primarily because of their business model where the institution being rated pays. This brings about a conflict of interest which is not easy to resolve.

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As More Developing Countries Reject Plastic Waste Exports, Wealthy Nations Seek Solutions at Home
Kate O'Neill – The Conversation, 17 Jun 2019

5 Jun 2019 – A year after China stopped accepting most scrap material exports, other Asian countries are following Beijing’s lead, forcing wealthy nations to find domestic solutions for managing their wastes.

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Angkor Wat Archaeological Digs Yield New Clues to Its Civilization’s Decline
Alison Kyra Carter – The Conversation, 10 Jun 2019

3 Jun 2019 – Many tourists hold an outdated romanticized image of an abandoned temple emerging from the jungle. But research around Angkor Wat suggests its collapse might be better described as a transformation. Angkor Wat was never abandoned. What can be abandoned is the tired cliché of foreign explorers “discovering” lost cities in the jungle.

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Caster Semenya: The Legal and Ethical Issues That Should Concern Us All
Steve Cornelius – The Conversation, 3 Jun 2019

27 May 2019 – The International Association of Athletics Federations introduced regulations requiring South African 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya to lower her naturally high levels of testosterone. The way in which the IAAF has gone about dealing with her raises serious legal and ethical concerns. Some women are being singled out because they are different. If Semenya was a blonde bombshell or if she didn’t win, we wouldn’t be having this debate today. Effectively coercing a healthy athlete into taking hormone treatment is certainly a compulsory medical intervention.

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Homosexuality Remains Illegal in Kenya as Court Rejects LGBT Petition
Adriaan van Klinken – The Conversation, 3 Jun 2019

24 May 2019 – Kenya’s Penal Code, which criminalises same-sex activity, will remain intact following a High Court ruling which rejected a petition calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country.

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Corporations Are Funding Health and Nutrition Research – Here’s Why You Should Be Worried
Sarah Steele and Lejla Sarcevic – The Conversation, 13 May 2019

8 May 2019 – Some multinational food corporations may have learned a few tricks from big tobacco. In 2015, the New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola sponsored researchers whose studies played down the link between diet and obesity. Likewise, the Associated Press revealed how a food industry trade association funded and influenced studies which concluded that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not.

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Leonardo Da Vinci Revisited: How a 15th Century Artist Dissected the Human Machine
Susan Broomhall and Ivan Marusic – The Conversation, 15 Apr 2019

15 Apr 2019 – On the 500th anniversary of his death, scholars from different disciplines re-examine the work, legacy and myth of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo was fascinated by the human body. His disdain for painters who did not bother to learn anatomy was barely concealed in his criticisms of those who “draw their nude figures looking like wood, devoid of grace; so that you would think you were looking at a sack of walnuts rather than the human form”.

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Don’t Blame Sharia for Islamic Extremism – Blame Colonialism
Mark Fathi Massoud – The Conversation, 15 Apr 2019

8 Apr 2019 – There is no inherent tension between Islam and democratic values. Like any use of religion in politics, the application of Sharia as law depends on who is using it – and why.

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8 Things You May Not Know about Leonardo Da Vinci, on the 500th Anniversary of His Death
Richard Gunderman – The Conversation, 15 Apr 2019

10 Apr 2019 – Dead five centuries, Leonardo retains a rock star’s fame, well known around the world by just one name. Here, some facts about the man and his legacy.

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First Black Hole Photo Confirms Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
Kevin Pimbblet – The Conversation, 15 Apr 2019

10 Apr 2019 – Scientists turned Earth into one giant telescope to capture the uncapturable.

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(Français) Lynchages de Roms: les mécanismes du stéréotype
Tommaso Vitale – The Conversation, 8 Apr 2019

29 Mar 2019 – Comment comprendre les mécanismes psychologiques qui entretiennent et nourrissent la rumeur anti-Roms au point de déclencher de véritables assauts organisés à leur encontre?

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The Matrix 20 Years On: How a Sci-Fi Film Tackled Big Philosophical Questions
Richard Colledge – The Conversation, 1 Apr 2019

27 Mar 2019 – Cult film The Matrix was released 20 years ago this month. From the Vedic Scriptures to Plato to Descartes to Kant to Baudrillard, the film explored philosophical dilemmas humanity wrestles with permanently.

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(Français) Roms: pourquoi sont-ils aussi haïs?
Aidan McGarry – The Conversation, 1 Apr 2019

Dans certains États européens, les Roms occupent une position sociale aussi basse que les pédophiles et les trafiquants de drogue. Pourquoi subissent-ils exclusion et discrimination ?

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Ukraine: US Arms Sales Making Big Business Money while Ordinary People Pay the Price
Liana Semchuk – The Conversation, 1 Apr 2019

27 Mar 2019 – Selling lethal weapons to Ukraine is the equivalent of pouring kerosene onto a flame. At worst, more lethal aid could escalate the conflict further. At best, it will continue to keep alive a conflict that has already claimed more than 10,000 lives.

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Vaping Is an Urgent Threat to Public Health
Elliott M. Reichardt and Juliet R. Guichon – The Conversation, 25 Mar 2019

14 Mar 2019 – Youth are using e-cigarettes (also known as vaping devices) at a rapidly increasing rate — a practice that constitutes an urgent threat to public health. The evidence shows that vaping is creating a generation of nicotine-addicted youth, who start with e-cigarettes and move on to smoke tobacco products.

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Human Genome Project: New Alcohol Abuse Study Could Help Us Finally Unlock Secrets to Beating Genetic Diseases
Alasdair Mackenzie – The Conversation, 25 Mar 2019

14 Mar 2019 – Human Genome Project has not lived up to the hype on beating disease, but new alcohol abuse study could change that. It is almost 20 years since the first rough sequencing of the human genome in June 2000.

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Underwater Mudslides Are the Biggest Threat to Offshore Drilling, and Energy Companies Aren’t Ready for Them
Ian R. MacDonald – The Conversation, 18 Mar 2019

11 Mar 2019 – Like generals planning for the last war, oil company managers and government inspectors tend to believe that because they survived the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, they are ready for all contingencies. Today they are expanding drilling into deeper and deeper waters, and the Trump administration is opening more offshore areas to production.

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Alzheimer’s Is Linked to Gum Disease – But Bad Oral Health Is Not the Only Culprit
Sim K. Singhrao – The Conversation, 4 Feb 2019

30 Jan 2019 – We were the first to make the connection between P. gingivalis and fully diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. While evidence of a link is growing, it must be interpreted in context.

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(Français) Censure, menaces et stress post-traumatique: le journalisme environnemental sous haute tension
Eric Freedman – The Conversation, 14 Jan 2019

3 Jan 2019 – Couvrir les sujets environnementaux est l’un des exercices les plus périlleux du journalisme. Entre 2005 et 2016, 40 reporters y ont laissé la vie.

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Fact Check: How Many People Are Enslaved in the World Today?
Monti Datta – The Conversation, 14 Jan 2019

7 Jan 2018 – Estimates of modern slavery vary widely, whether they try to pin down numbers in the U.S., across the globe or just in certain industries.

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Nanomaterials Are Changing the World – But We Still Don’t Have Adequate Safety Tests for Them
Shareen Doak, Martina G. Vijver and Martin Clift – The Conversation, 14 Jan 2019

10 Jan 2019 – Nanotechnology and materials are the source of countless innovations, but we don’t accurately know how they are affecting humans and the environment.

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Seven Charts That Show the World Is Actually Becoming a Better Place
Julius Probst – The Conversation, 14 Jan 2019

4 Jan 2019 – A look at key data shows that the world is much better off today than ever before in history.

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Why Microbeads Are Such a Threat and Why They’re So Hard to Handle
Henk Bouwman – The Conversation, 7 Jan 2019

3 Jan 2019 – A plastic bag has an average usage time of 20 minutes, while it can take up to 1000 years to break down in the environment.

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Why Does the World Store Nuclear Waste and Not Just Shoot It into the Sun or Deep Space?
Alice Gorman – The Conversation, 31 Dec 2018

23 Dec 2018 – It would be nice to blast dangerous nuclear waste far away from Earth, or into the Sun where it won’t cause any harm. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

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Guide to the Classics: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Antonia Pont – The Conversation, 31 Dec 2018

27 Nov 2018 – Kahlil Gibran (original spelling at birth “Khalil”) is a strange phenomenon of 20th Century letters and publishing. After Shakespeare and the Chinese poet Laozi, Gibran’s work from 1923, The Prophet, has made him the third most-sold poet of all time.

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Genocide: 70 Years On, Three Reasons That the UN Convention Is Still Failing
Rachael Burns – The Conversation, 24 Dec 2018

18 Dec 2018 – Seventy years after the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide came into force, its effectiveness is disputed.

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Should We Engineer the Climate? A Social Scientist and Natural Scientist Discuss
Rob Bellamy and Matthew Watson – The Conversation, 24 Dec 2018

17 Dec 2018 – Nations may soon be desperate enough about global warming to consider deliberately engineering the world’s climate.

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Opening Pandora’s Box: Gene Editing and Its Consequences
John Bergeron – The Conversation, 17 Dec 2018

6 Dec 2018 – Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

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Those Designer Babies Everyone Is Freaking Out about – It’s Not Likely to Happen
A Cecile JW Janssens – The Conversation, 17 Dec 2018

10 Dec 2018 – Forecasts of designer babies followed the announcement of the gene-edited twins, just as they have for any reproductive technology since 1978. This signals the public must learn more about genetics.

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Carbon Emissions Reach 37 Billion Tonnes in 2018, a Record High: Report
Pep Canadell, Corinne Le Quéré, Glen Peters, Robbie Andrew and Rob Jackson – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

5 Dec 2018 – Strong energy demand is behind the rise in emissions growth, which is outpacing the speed at which decarbonisation of the energy system is taking place. These analyses are part of the new annual assessment of the Global Carbon Project, published today in three separate papers. The GCP brings together scientists who use climate and industrial data from around the world to develop the most comprehensive picture of the Earth’s sources and sinks of greenhouse gases.

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Researcher Claims CRISPR-edited Twins Are Born – How Will Science Respond?
Dimitri Perrin and Gaetan Burgio – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

27 Nov 2018 – Gene editing technology is revolutionising biology – and now twin human baby girls may be a living part of this story. Today several media outlets report that a team of scientists in China has used CRISPR to modify the DNA of healthy human embryos to genetically “vaccinate” against HIV infection. This is the first reported case of humans born with CRISPR-modifed DNA.

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COP24: What to Expect
Federica Genovese – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

3 Dec 2018 – Representatives of almost all the countries on the planet are gathering in Poland [3-14 Dec] to discuss the implementation plan for the 2015 Paris Agreement. There might be the opportunity to do so in Katowice, a Polish industrial hub and coal-mining city.

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Why We Are Not Ready for Genetically Designed Babies
Françoise Baylis, Graham Dellaire and Landon J Getz – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

27 Nov 2018 – Chinese researcher, Jainkui He claims to have created the world’s first genome-edited twins. Such action would pose unknown risks to the lives of these children and to humanity as a whole.

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COP24: How a Plastics Treaty Could Clean Up Our Oceans
Elizabeth Kirk – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

3 Dec 2018 – While the world gathers to negotiate on climate change, governments must recognise the public desire for action on plastic pollution and work together to solve it.

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COP24: Here’s What Must Be Agreed to Keep Warming at 1.5°C
Hugh Hunt – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

1. Reduce fossil carbon emissions.
2. Remove carbon from the atmosphere (NETs).
3. Halt the rise of emissions of non-CO₂ greenhouses cases (Methane, Nitrous oxide, CFCs).
4. Investigate techniques for geoengineering, including Solar Radiation Management.
All four of these must proceed simultaneously and in parallel. COP24 must make this perfectly clear. There is utmost urgency and no time to “wait and see”.

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Time Is Running Out on Climate Change, but Geoengineering Has Dangers of Its Own
Catriona McKinnon – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

3 Dec 2018 – The realities of climate change look bleak, but is relying on a climate engineering project like solar radiation management the answer?

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We All Buy Slave-Made Products: Here’s How We Avoid Feeling Guilty
Michal Carrington, Andreas Chatzidakis and Deirdre Shaw – The Conversation, 10 Dec 2018

3 Dec 2018 – Hidden slavery is a growing global problem but we continue to turn a blind eye and embrace a seemingly insatiable demand for fast, cheap goods and services.

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World’s First Gene-edited Babies? Premature, Dangerous and Irresponsible
Joyce Harper – The Conversation, 3 Dec 2018

26 Nov 2018 – A scientist in China claims to have produced the world’s first genome-edited babies by altering their DNA to increase their resistance to HIV. Aside from the lack of verifiable evidence for this non peer-reviewed claim, this research is premature, dangerous and irresponsible.

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Earth’s Wilderness Is Vanishing, and Just a Handful of Nations Can Save It
James Allan, James Watson, Jasmine Lee and Kendall Jones – The Conversation, 5 Nov 2018

1 Nov 2018 – Just 20 countries are home to 94% of the world’s remaining wilderness, excluding the high seas and Antarctica, according to our new global wilderness map, published today in Nature. Our planet faces not just a species extinction crisis, but also a wilderness extinction crisis. Once lost, our wild places are gone forever. This may be our last opportunity to save the last of the wild, we cannot afford to miss it.

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Girls in West Africa Offered into Sexual Slavery as ‘Wives of Gods’
Wisdom Mensah – The Conversation, 5 Nov 2018

29 Oct 2018 – Trokosi is an ancient practice in West Africa where virgin girls, some as young as six are sent as slaves to make amends for wrongs committed by their families.

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Why Does the Migrant Caravan Exist? And How Did It Come to Be?
Jerry Flores – The Conversation, 5 Nov 2018

31 Oct 2018 – A migrant caravan of almost 7,000 people who left Guatemala and Honduras is heading north towards the United States. The reasons they are leaving are complex but involve a U.S.-backed violent history.

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How US Policy in Honduras Set the Stage for Today’s Migration
Joseph Nevins – The Conversation, 29 Oct 2018

25 Oct 2018 – Hondurans fleeing poverty and violence – who make up most of the participants of a “caravan” estimated at between 7,000 and 8,000 people – are slowly moving through Mexico in the hope of reaching the United States and receiving refuge. President Trump has responded by characterizing the caravan as, among other unflattering things, “an onslaught” and “an assault” on the United States.

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Orthodox Church: Biggest Split in a Thousand Years Triggered over Ukraine
Alexander Titov – The Conversation, 29 Oct 2018

24 Oct 2018 – The Moscow Patriarchate recently announced that it is breaking its ties with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, triggering what is potentially the biggest split in the Orthodox Church in a thousand years. So why is one of the great defenders of Christianity tearing itself apart?

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Slavery Was Never Abolished – It Affects Millions, and You May Be Funding It
Catherine Armstrong – The Conversation, 22 Oct 2018

17 Oct 2018 – Slavery still exists and it happens in plain sight. The modern day estimate for the number of men, women and children forced into labour worldwide exceeds 40m. Today’s global slave trade is so lucrative that it nets traffickers more than US$150 billion each year.

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Stop Measuring Obesity with a Ruler: We’ve Discovered a Far Better Predictor of Health
Tim Spector – The Conversation, 15 Oct 2018

11 Oct 2018 – For over a century, we have relied on a simplistic measure to determine if someone is a “healthy” weight or not. This is the body mass index, the ratio of a person’s weight to the square of their height. The limits of this ratio are clearly demonstrated by professional rugby players; most of whom would be classified as “overweight”, despite having less than 10% body fat.

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[Nobel Peace Laureate] Aung San Suu Kyi’s Extraordinary Fall from Grace
Anthony Ware and Costas Laoutides – The Conversation, 8 Oct 2018

3 Oct 2018 – Facing increasing international pressure, Myanmar’s one-time star leader is running out of time to show leadership on human rights and the Rohingya crisis. In just the last few days, Canada stripped Suu Kyi of her honorary citizenship and the Malaysian prime minister stated publicly that she has lost his support.

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UN Report Documents Genocide against Rohingya: What Now?
Max Pensky and Nadia Rubaii – The Conversation, 10 Sep 2018

5 Sep 2018 – As co-directors of the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University, we see this recognition of genocide in Myanmar as an opportunity to help mobilize the international community to take more decisive action than it has so far against the Myanmar government and in support of the Rohingya.

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Probiotics: A First Look at What’s Going on in the Gut
Ana Valdes – The Conversation, 10 Sep 2018

6 Sep 2018 – For the first time researchers have taken samples from inside people’s guts to find out how much probiotics change the composition of microbes and the chemical compounds they produce. And they found that the effect of probiotics depends on the bacteria that are already present in the gut.

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As Myanmar Sends Journalists to Jail, Pressure Mounts on [Nobel Peace Laureate] Aung San Suu Kyi
Andrew Fagan – The Conversation, 10 Sep 2018

4 Sep 2018 – Myanmar’s de facto head Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is facing renewed international condemnation after two Reuters journalists were sentenced to seven years in prison for receiving documents detailing the killing of ten Rohingya men and boys by Myanmar army. This is yet another wakeup call that exposes the grave risks of passing over the hard work of building a democracy in favour of simply joining a personality cult.

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Jury Finds Monsanto Liable in the First Roundup Cancer Trial – Here’s What Could Happen Next
Richard G. "Bugs" Stevens – The Conversation, 20 Aug 2018

A jury concluded on 10 Aug 2018 that exposure to the herbicide Roundup caused Dewayne Johnson’s cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages. Thousands more claims are pending.

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Rohingya Crisis: A Year since It Shocked the World, What’s Changed?
Abdullah Yusuf - The Conversation, 20 Aug 2018

13 Aug 2018 – One of the world’s worst refugee crises is still unfolding, and conditions on the ground have barely improved.

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