In this issue

Issue 186


Jocelyn Davies: Building trust between cultures
In May this year, Dr Jocelyn Davies won CSIRO’s inaugural award for Excellence in Research Ethics, recognising her work in developing cross-cultural relationships here and abroad, notably in CSIRO’s work for AusAID on food security in Africa. In the first of a two-part interview, Mike McRae asks Jocelyn about the challenges in developing, and maintaining, enduring partnerships between indigenous communities and research groups in Australia.
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Get real: agronomists and breeders should review agricultural science
How will agriculture adapt to a changing climate? It's an important question and, as more governments start worrying about future food security, one that's worth trying to answer.
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Indigenous intellectual property and desert knowledge
In this second part of an ECOS interview with CSIRO researcher Dr Jocelyn Davies, Mike McRae asks about the ethical issues involved in engaging with other cultures, and how Australia’s desert heart might shape the nation’s future.
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Stefan Hajkowicz: on megatrends and ‘freefall' moments
It is Stefan Hajkowicz’s job to think big. At CSIRO Futures, his focus is global and long term. The six ‘megatrends’ that Dr Hajkowicz identified in a 2009 report Our Future World: Global megatrends that will change the way we live seem to have struck a chord with many Australians. As a result, he has found himself in demand as a speaker and consultant for industry and government.
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The Red List of Ecosystems: a new approach to conservation
Conservation scientists and managers tell us some of our best known (and loved) animals and plants are disappearing. Species' ranges are contracting, some in spectacular fashion, and population sizes are dwindling. For some species these declines may not lead to their loss, for the foreseeable future at least, but others may be close to becoming extinct. What can we do about it?
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Marine life spawns sooner as our oceans warm
Warming oceans are affecting the breeding patterns and habitat of marine life, according to a three-year international study published recently in Nature Climate Change. This is effectively re-arranging the broader marine landscape as species adjust to a changing climate.
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There are no time-travelling climatologists: why we use climate models
The first climate models were built on fundamental laws of physics and chemistry and designed to study the climate system. Now, the use of climate models is heated ground in the public discussion of our changing climate.
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Forests would be fully valued in a green economy
As more developing countries plan to make the transition to a green economy – defined as ‘low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive’ – the spotlight is turning on the true value of forests. And it’s clear that they’re worth a lot more than the price of timber.
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In Brief - Round-up of sustainability news

Global sea-level rise temporarily halted by Australian floods
Disease-carrying Asian tiger within biting distance of Australia
Agricultural runoff main threat to Reef water quality
Human traits the X-factor in species conservation?
Backyard a good place to start saving vulnerable species
Weeds threaten carbon offsets from strategic burning
Smart little Aussie home wins international challenge
Antarctica’s more acid seas point to human CO2 fingerprint
High-tech ‘teapot’ to purify water
Young turtles at sea more likely to swallow plastic
New home for green chemistry and manufacturing
Investor group report: climate change a 'material risk'
Soil fertility and stored carbon blown away by dust storms
Taking solar cooling into the home
Groundwater warming a clue to surface inflow rates
Report shows we are moving to a low-carbon economy
World Toilet Day – no joke, this is serious
Barrier reef corals deliver world-first for sunscreen

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