Curious Kids: how do bushfires start?

Author: David Bowman
Date: May 14, 2019
You probably know that bushfires are most likely to start when the weather is hot and dry. Bushfires, like all fires, require three ingredients: oxygen, heat, and fuel. These are the elements that make up the “fire triangle”. Oxygen Oxygen is a gas. It is in the air we breathe. About one-fif...

Curious Kids: how do solar panels work?

Author: Andrew Blakers
Date: 6/11/19
The Sun produces a lot of energy called solar energy. Australia gets 20,000 times more energy from the Sun each day than we do from oil, gas and coal. This solar energy will continue for as long as the Sun lives, which is another 5 billion years. Solar panels are made of solar cells, which is the p...

Why a sense of kinship is key to caring about the living world

Author: Matthew Hall
Date: October 29, 2019
Leading thinkers in environmental economics and conservation are asking a pressing question. Why are we ignoring the destruction of the living world? Recently, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published a global assessment of biodiversity that set ...

Our nature laws are being overhauled. Here are 7 things we must fix

Author: Jan McDonald
Date: October 30, 2019
Environment Minister Sussan Ley yesterday announced a ten-yearly review of Australia’s national environmental laws. It could not come at a more critical time, as the environment struggles under unprecedented development pressures, climate change impacts and a crippling drought. The la...

Curious Kids: can Earth be affected by a black hole in the future?

Author: Janie Hoormann
Date: 31/7/19
That is a great question. As you know, black holes are called that because the gravity in their centre is so strong, it sucks all nearby light in. None can escape. That’s how strong a black’s hole’s gravitational pull is. Black holes create the strongest gravitational pull in the universe (t...

Curious Kids: how high could I jump on the moon?

Author: Jacco van Loon
Date: 25/7/19
If you were lucky enough to go to the moon, you’d be able to jump six times as high there as you can here on Earth. Try it: jump up and imagine you’re on the moon. Six times further up you’d go (better not look down). How does that work? Well, it’s all to do with gravity, that mysterious fo...

Curious Kids: how are stars made?

Author: Orsola De Marco
Date: 18/10/19
How are stars made? Well, stars are not made, they make themselves! Or maybe I should say: they come into existence because of a powerful force of nature called gravity. Galaxies are where new stars are born. In galaxies, there are very large and fluffy clouds of gas and dust called nebulae. Gravi...

Misogyny, male rage and the words men use to describe Greta Thunberg

Author: Camilla Nelson, Meg Vertigan
Date: September 30, 2019
Greta Thunberg departs after speaking at the youth climate strike in Battery Park, New York. Peter Foley/EPA Camilla Nelson, University of Notre Dame Australia and Meg Vertigan, University of Newcastle Detractors have dismissed Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg - a Nobel Prize nominee - as...