CAVE Media 2013

CAVE Media 2013



Pursuing your dreams when drunk, by Anke Snoek

Practical Ethics: Ethics in the News, December 18, 2013
CAVE student, Anke Snoek

For a long time I wanted to go to Indonesia on a holiday, to see the rice fields, the buffalo's and the wayang puppets. But for some reason it took me actually years to realize this. The reason why I didn't go had nothing to do with practical difficulties: I had money, time, a travel companion, it was more a psychological threshold: the travel seemed so important to me that I felt I couldn't just book it, I was thinking that people would find it decadent to just book a trip to Indonesia, and there always seemed to be some other travel destination that had more priority. Now this story became very popular in the news and on twitter. Luke Harding, a 19-year-old youngster went clubbing in the UK and woke up in the destination of his dreams, Paris. Read more.

New insights into gendered brain wiring, or a perfect case study in neurosexism? by Cordelia Fine

The Conversation, December 4, 2013
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

The latest neuroscience study of sex differences to hit the popular press has inspired some familiar headlines. The Independent, for example, proclaims that: "The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading' (And why women are 'better at remembering a conversation')." Read more.

Remembering from the outside? by Christopher McCarroll

Imperfect Cognitions: Blog on delusional beliefs, confabulatory explanations, and implicit biases, November 28, 2013
CAVE student, Chris McCarroll

When remembering past experiences, one can remember the event from one's original point of view, maintaining the same visual perspective on the scene with which one experienced the event. Many people, however, report sometimes seeing themselves in the remembered scene, from an external or third-person perspective. Following Nigro and Neisser's seminal paper, these are known within psychology as memories from field and observer perspectives respectively. Read more.

In defence of philosophy, by Robert Sinnerbrink and Santiago Zabala

AlJazeera, November 21, 2013
CAVE member, Robert Sinnerbrink

World Philosophy Day, which the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) celebrates every year on the third Thursday of November, emphasises the enduring "value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and for each individual".

But we are not so sure whether we will celebrate the occasion in Australia and Spain, where we live - two democratic societies that pride themselves on their commitment to principles of liberty, democratic freedom, and social justice. Unfortunately, some of our politicians seem to disregard these principles when it comes to assessing the value of philosophy for their own society. Read more.

Christopher Pyne announces $500m in research grants, by John Ross

The Australian, November 8, 2013
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Professor Rogers, a general practitioner and medical ethicist, was delighted that her 2013 application had borne fruit. She will use the grant to resume research on the concerns and cost burdens arising from diagnosis of "asymptomatic" people. Read more

Macquarie University research awarded $15 million in ARC grants, including major project to prevent over diagnosis, by Macquarie University Newsroom

Macquarie University, November 8, 2013
CAVE members, Wendy Rogers, Robert Sinnerbrink, Richard Menary

An investigative study into the evaluation of disease and cost burdens of "over diagnosis" has been announced as one of several new research projects within the University to be awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant.

The Australian government announced today that the project "Defining disease: addressing the problem of over diagnosis", lead by Professor of Clinical Ethics Wendy Rogers, has received a Future Fellowship worth $820,156 over four years. Read more.

We should stop punishing addicted people for being addicted, by Anke Snoek

Practical Ethics: Ethics in the news, November 7, 2013
CAVE student, Anke Snoek

Earlier this month, a BBC news magazine report explored a new, controversial drug law in Australia's Northern Territory targeting alcohol problems among aboriginal people. In short, the new law entails that problem drinkers can be forced into treatment. Drinkers who go on to escape from rehab three times face a jail sentence. This will cost around $95m (US) over three years. The measure is presented in the article as an initiative that originates (at least partly) from the aboriginal community themselves, who are fed up with the effects of alcohol, in particular alcohol- related violence. Aboriginal people in the Alice Springs area are 31 times more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than other Australians. Read more

What should we do about sex-selective abortion, by Wendy Rogers

The Conversation, October 29, 2013
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

A Melbourne doctor is being investigated by the medical professional standards body for refusing to refer a woman to another GP after she sought an abortion.

The case raises important questions about doctors' duties of care, particularly when they have a conscientious objection to a requested procedure, as well as about abortion itself. Read more

Not for profit: the case against commercial surrogacy, by Sonia Allan

The Conversation, October 29, 2013
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

For singles and couples who can’t naturally conceive and carry a baby to term, surrogacy is sometimes considered an option to have a child. Current laws across Australia permit “altruistic” surrogacy which prohibit the exchange of funds for surrogacy, beyond reasonable expenses, in order to protect the woman and child involved. Read more.

Girl Rising, by Wendy Rogers

International Journal of Feminist Approached to Bioethics Blog, October 21, 2013
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

October 11 was the International Day of the Girl Child. I have to admit that I wasn't very aware of it until one of the mailing lists to which I subscribe sent me a reminder, along with details of a screening of Girl Rising in Sydney. Girl Rising is a film about nine different girls, who, against the odds, survive the discrimination and injustice that precludes them from school, commits them to lives of servitude, treats them as second class citizens, discards them as worthless and otherwise denies them an equal place in society. The stories are true, in that each is about the life of a specific individual girl. Writers from the same country have been paired with each girl, to tell their stories. Read more.

Out on parole - The release plan, by Kate Rossmanith

The Monthly: Australian Politics, Society and Culture, October 2013
CAVE member, Kate Rossmanith

It is impossible to predict how people will act once they are released from jail, but organisations like the Community Restorative Centre are helping to keep former inmates on the straight and narrow. Read more.

Philosophers' contribution to society, by Robert Sinnerbrink

The Australian, September 7, 2013
CAVE member, Robert Sinnerbrink

Philosophers have often been subject to mockery for the "otherworldly" nature of their work. Read more (subscription required).

Women, politics and feminism: We need to watch our backs, by Wendy Rogers

International Journal of Feminist Approached to Bioethics Blog, July 3, 2013
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

The times are tough, both for women in politics, and regarding political decisions affecting women. Three recent events are particularly noteworthy. The first was the overthrow last week of the first female Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. While I was scouring news sites for comment and analysis on that sorry affair, I noticed the extraordinary effort of Texan senator Wendy Davis to filibister a Senate Bill that aimed to introduce regulations with the potential to close 37 of the 42 clinics that provide abortions in Texas and to ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation. Read more.

Dan Markingson: a study in research misconduct, by Wendy Rogers

International Journal of Feminist Approached to Bioethics Blog, May 21, 2013
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

As someone who has worked in research ethics for many years, I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of how and where things go wrong in the research ethics review process. Such a process can never be perfect - human judgment is involved and there will inevitably be problems that slip through the net. However, the events surrounding Dan Markingson's recruitment into an industry-sponsored trial of Seroquel (quetiapine) and his subsequent death are less an issue of what slips through the net and much more an indictment of the corrosive powers of commercial interests which make a mockery of the safety net of human research ethics review. Read more.

Drone debate too late once they get off the ground, by Jai Galliot

The Sydney Morning Herald, May 10, 2013
CAVE student, Jai Galliot

In last week's Defence Department white paper, released by the Prime Minister at Fairbairn's air force base, the Australian public got a scary one-line insight into the future of its air force. "Armed unmanned systems will be available in greater variety and sophistication in years to come," it said. Read more

Drawing the line on doctors' responsibility for patients, by Wendy Rogers

The Conversation, April 23, 2013
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

The NSW Supreme Court decision to overturn damages awarded to an obese man whose doctor failed to refer him for specialist care to help him lose weight has been widely welcomed by medical and legal experts.

The appeal is a win for patient autonomy and will hopefully avoid a rise in doctors practising defensive medicine: ordering more tests, referrals and follow-ups for fear of litigation. Read more.

Tasmania Proposes Bill to Decriminalise Termination of Pregnancy, by Wendy Rogers

International Journal of Feminist Approached to Bioethics Blog, April 22, 2013
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Whether or not women have access to safe termination of pregnancy is a critical issue for women's health. In Australia, access to termination of pregnancy is governed by a patchwork of state laws. Many states still have abortion listed under nineteenth crimes act, creating the situation in which abortion is illegal unless certain conditions are met. These conditions may be specified in the various acts, or have been determined through case law. They usually relate to the likelihood that continuing the pregnancy will pose a grave threat to the health of the woman, and require certification from two doctors before the woman can legally be offered the procedure. Read more.

Of mice and men: role of mice in biomedical research questioned, by Christopher Degeling and Jane Johnson

The Conversation, February 21, 2013
CAVE member, Jane Johnson

A study recent published in the peer-reviewed journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National of Academy Sciences) shows that mice are poor models for human inflammatory diseases. The paper, which focused on sepsis, burns and trauma, raises questions about the fundamental role of mice in biomedical research. Read more.

Reproduced on Asian Scientist.

Religion-State Relations in Australia, by Denise Meyerson

Right Now, February 11, 2013
CAVE member, Denise Meyerson

There are a variety of constitutional models governing the relations between the state and religion. These range from atheist states at one end of the spectrum to outright theocracies at the other. In between the two extremes, the extent of the contact between government and religious organisations is a matter of degree. So far as Australia's arrangements are concerned, the relevant provision is section 116 of the Australian Constitution, which states that the Commonwealth "shall not make any law for establishing any religion".  There is no such restriction on the legislative power of the States and Territories. Read more.

It's a dog's life when man's best friend becomes his fattest, by Christopher Degeling

The Conversation, January 24, 2013
CAVE Visitor, Chris Degeling

A study published this morning in Nature offers further insight into how dogs became domesticated. The comparative analysis of human, canine and wolf genomes suggests that humans and dogs have evolved in parallel as a response to the increasingly starchy diets on offer after the agricultural revolution. Such a wholesale change in diet has not necessarily been benign for either species. Read more.



Modern Dilemmas: Reciprocal Giving, presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, December 16, 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

It's Christmas time, the time for giving, but it's not always straight forward in families who gives what and when. Life Matters listener "gift register" has a dilemma about giving to some nieces, because her children never receive gifts in return. Should she keep giving? Or should she stop the giving now? Hear more by Doris MclIwain.

Modern Dilemmas: Sleepovers, presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, November 18, 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

Teenage girls love sleepovers but should you think differently about sleepovers if your daughter tells you she's bi-sexual? Hear more by Doris McIlwain.

Just do it? presented by Joe Gelonesi

The Philosopher's Zone, ABC Radio National, November 3, 2013
CAVE member, Richard Menary

Famed choreographer George Balanchine was reputed to have said, "don't think, dear: just do". The idea that champion performers switch off their brains to achieve their best has taken hold in popular imagination. Just do it promises an existential zone where real players hit the heights whilst the rest shuffle to the back of the pack. We explore Expert action, a philosophical football punted between those for automatic responses and those who hear the whirring cogs. Hear more by Richard Menary.

Modern Dilemmas: My friend's secret, presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, September 23, 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

A friend's told you she's having affair, you're close to both her and her husband, what do you do? One Life Matter's listener is uncomfortable keeping her friend's secret. Should she risk everything and reveal all? Hear more by Doris McIlwain.

Modern Dilemmas: The Angry Teen, presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, August 19, 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

This modern dilemma is from a mother with a 16-year-old daughter who is making life 'a living hell'. This is what the mother writes: My doing all the 'typical' bad behaviour that teenagers have done for many years, drinking, smoking, meeting up with boys, breaking out of the house in the middle of the night, and that type of thing - however, her behaviour has ramped up over the past 12 months. Hear more by Doris McIwain.

Moral Dilemmas: The father's will, presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, July 22m 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

Today's modern dilemma is one faced by many: family disputes and inheritance. A.R. has written: My father recently remarried and whilst my 3 siblings and I are happy that our dad's found a new relationship, we really don't like his new wife. My dad wants to rewrite his will and his new will would tie me and my siblings to his wife for years (assuming he dies first). He wants my siblings and I to inherit his home on his death, but his wife would be able to live there until her death. The idea of having any ties with my father's wife until her death spells trouble and I fear the legal squabbles that could ensue. What should I do? Hear more by Doris McIlwain.

Modern Dilemmas: Should I have the baby? presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, May 20, 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

Unplanned pregnancy isn't unusual but if you're not in a relationship, and the potential father doesn't want a child, is it ethical to proceed? The listener "Unsure" is trying to make the best decision for all concerned even though she wants to have the baby. Hear more by Doris McIlwain.

Moral Dilemmas: Family Events, presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, April 15, 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

When planning family celebrations, do you feel pressured to invite everyone in your extended family? In this case, relatives not invited to a young child's birthday party are so offended they're threatening to cut off ties with the parents. So how do you balance your own needs and desires with your family's expectations? Hear more by Doris McIlwain.

Modern Dilemmas: Work versus school, presented by Natasha Mitchell

Life Matters, ABC Radio National, January 14, 2013
CAVE member, Doris McIlwain

Ross emailed Life Matters with this dilemma: A major retail outlet opened in a large country town and needed junior staff. Within a matter of months, there was a major impact on the local high school. Within two years, there were Year 11 students who were doing 32 hours a week out of school hours and Year 10s doing over 20. The repercussions on academic results were obvious as assignments were not submitted and test preparation declined with the attendant failures and drop in grades. The immediate benefit for the teenagers was access to discretionary income and the benefits arising from that.  Is this short sighted or could this work offer more for a student than staying at school to Year 12? Hear more by Doris McIlwain.

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