CAVE Media 2014

CAVE Media 2014

Written - 1

2014

Professor Catriona Mackenzie elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, by Macquarie Newsroom

Macquarie Newsroom, November 28, 2014
CAVE member, Catriona Mackenzie

In one of the highest honours for achievement in the humanities in Australia, The Australian Academy of the Humanities has elected nineteen new Fellows, including Professor Catriona Mackenzie from Macquarie University’s Department of Philosophy.

Mackenzie was recognised by the Academy as: “a philosopher with an international reputation for her research in moral psychology, applied ethics, social philosophy and feminist philosophy.” Read more.

How easy is it to bring overseas-born surrogate babies back to Australia and what are their parents' rights? by ABC Fact File

ABC Fact File, August 20, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

The recent baby Gammy case has exposed the pitfalls of the international commercial surrogacy trade. Read more.

Sydney hospital launches internal investigation after patient records altered, by Belinda Hawkins

ABC AM with Chris Uhlman, August 18, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: When you go to see your doctor, you assume that he or she will keep an accurate record of that consultation.

But that's not what happened at a public hospital in Sydney. Read or hear more.

Searching for C11, by ABC

ABC Australian Story, August 11 and 18, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

At the age of 21, aeronautical engineer Lauren Burns was told a family secret that turned her world upside down.

Barbara Burns revealed that Lauren was conceived in a Melbourne clinic using donor sperm. The man she knew as her father was infertile. Read more: Part 1 and Part 2

An unproductive story of reproductive success and PMS, by Cordelia Fine

The Conversation, August 15, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

It's been a mixed week for women and their hormones.

When Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal for mathematics, a Cambridge mathematician suggested it would "put to bed many myths about women and mathematics", one of which is the idea that females are not exposed to enough prenatal testosterone to excel in the field. Read more.

Review of Mind Change: How digital technologies are leaving their mark on our brains, by Cordelia Fine

Financial Times, August 15, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

A neuroscientist's study of how technology is affecting our brains and everyday lives. 

Neither digital technologies nor the worries they provoke will be disappearing any time soon. This makes Susan Greenfield's goal in Mind Change - "to explore the different ways in which the digital technologies could be affecting not just thinking patterns and other cognitive skills, but lifestyle, culture and personal aspirations" - an important one. Read more

Sperm-donor-conceived woman planning next step in six-year fight to secure identification rights and learn identity of father, by Belinda Hawkins

ABC News, August 13, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

An aeronautical engineer is plotting her next move in what has been a six-year battle to see the rights of donor-conceived children enshrined in law. Read more

Gammy surrogacy case fires up debate on bigger issues, by Deborah Snow and Lindsay Murdoch

Sydney Morning Herald, August 9, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

To hear the story of Adelaide woman Donna's* decades-long struggle to have a child is to understand why, in desperation, she turned to a third-world surrogate mother to bring her baby into the world. Read more.

Après Gammy, c'est le sort de sa jumelle qui inquiète les Australiens, by Caroline Lafargue

ABC Radio Australia, August 6, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

Car leur père est un pédophile. David John Farnell, un électricien de 56 ans installé en Australie occidentale, a un casier judiciaire bien chargé. Read more. (In French)

Baby Gammy needs our support. So do women coerced into surrogacy, by Sonia Allan

The Guardian, August 5, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

Commercial surrogacy is not the answer. While we rally to support baby Gammy and his Thai family, we should also ensure that women are protected from exploitation. Read more.

Gammy case highlights risks of for-profit surrogacy market, by Sonia Allan

The Age, August 5, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

The story of baby Gammy and his surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua is in news headlines around the world. Gammy, born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart condition, is a twin, conceived as a result of a commercial surrogacy arrangement between an unknown Australian couple and Chanbua, a Thai national whose family was struggling to pay off debts. When it was discovered that one of the babies Chanbua was carrying had Down syndrome, she was told to abort it. She refused and went on to give birth to the twins. The Australian couple took the healthy baby, while Gammy was left behind, and although loved and cared for, Chanbua and her family were unable to meet the costs of his medical needs and care. Read more.

Baby Gammy case reveals murky side of commercial surrogacy, by Sonia Allan

The Conversation, August 5, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

The story of baby Gammy and his "surrogate" mother has captured the world's attention, highlighting just how complex and fraught commercial surrogacy arrangements can be. It also shows Australia is right to prohibit commercial surrogacy - and why other countries should do the same. Read more.

Surrogate Mother Cares for Baby Abandoned Because of Down Syndrome, by Sonia Allan

Biopolitical Times Blog, August 4, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

The story of baby Gammy and his "surrogate" mother, Pattaramon Chanbua, hit headlines around the world last week. Six-month-old Gammy, born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart condition, was conceived as a result of a commercial surrogacy arrangement between Chanbua, a Thai national, and an unknown Australian couple who abandoned him at birth. Read more.

Take out the pilot from Australia's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, by Jai Galliott

The Conversation, July 8, 2014
CAVE student, Jai Galliott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott sat in the pilot seat of a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the time he announced his government will buy an additional 58 planes at a cost of at least A$12.4 billion. But imagine if there was no need for a pilot to fly inside the so-called fifth generation aircraft. Read more.

Turf war? Woolies' health checks fuss not just about patients, by Wendy Lipworth

The Conversation, July 2, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Wendy Lipworth

When supermarket chain Woolworths announced plans to offer in-store "health checks" earlier this week, health groups came out in force to criticise the move. But scratch the surface and it's apparent that the criticisms aren't just about protecting the public. Read more.

Australian budget hits science jobs, by Leigh Dayton

Nature, July 1, 2014
CAVE student, Leigh Dayton

Research-agency staff protest over slashed spending and concerns about country's future research capability. Read more

Australian scientists take to the streets to protest job cuts, by Leigh Dayton

Science, June 26, 2014
CAVE student, Leigh Dayton

Abandoning their usual reserve, nearly 1000 scientists across the country downed instruments and grabbed placards this week to protest pending job losses at the nation's leading research organization, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). "Scientists are not known for rushing to the barricades," says Anthony Keenan of the CSIRO Staff Association, who adds that while staff members are concerned about job cuts at CSIRO, they are "dismayed" at the government's short-sighted approach to science. Read more.

Drinking alcohol or using drugs during pregnancy could become a crime, by Anke Snoek

Practical Ethics: Ethics in the News, June 26, 2014
CAVE student, Anke Snoek

Recently a neuroscientist discovered he was a psychopath. He was studying the brain scans of psychopaths, and intended to use some brain scans of family members and one of himself for the control group. Now one of the brain scans from the control group show clear signs of psychopathy, so he thought he must have misplaced it. He checked the reference number, and found out it was his own brain! This came as a total surprise to him, he never showed any signs of psychopathy, yet, he was very convinced that if his brain scan showed similarities with that of psychopaths, he must be a psychopath himself. Retrospectively his wife admitted that she thought he had some of the signs like lacking in empathy, and he found some famous murderers in his family. Instead of hiding this intimate fact about himself, he wrote a book about it, showing how amazing brain scans are. His book argued that brain scans can detect a psychopath like him, who never had any compelling symptoms of psychopathy. Read more.

Peering into a person's genome opens a Pandora's Box, by Nicky Phillips

The Sunday Morning Herald, June 22, 2014
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

When Joseph Schwartz's* elderly mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and agreed to participate in a study to understand its causes, he thought little about what the research would mean for himself. Read more.

Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see, by Wendy Lipworth and Ian Kerridge

The Conversation, June 18, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Wendy Lipworth

In the endless drive to get people's attention, advertising is going 'native', creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care. Read more.

Put down the smart drugs - cognitive enhancement is ethically risky business, by Nicole A. Vincent and Emma A. Jane

The Conversation, June 16, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Nicole Vincent

Cognitive performance enhancers promise to deliver a better version of ourselves: smarter, more alert and more mentally agile. But what if such enhancement was no longer a personal choice but a socially and legally enforced responsibility? In the final instalment of  Biology and Blame, Nicole A Vincent and Emma A. Jane explore the risks of normalising this emerging trend. Read more

Why shouldn't addiction be a defence to low-level crime? by Jeanette Kennett

The Conversation, June 12, 2014
CAVE member, Jeanette Kennett

In today's article in our series Biology and Blame, Jeanette Kennett considers an inconsistency in the law's approach to compulsion - addicts are responsible but others compelled to harmful behaviours are not. Read more

Don't fret about girls and pink, by Catherine Bennett

The Guardian, May 4, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

When did you last see or hear of a Bratz doll? Exactly. Quite possibly, these "slutty", "sexualised", even "post-coital" looking dolls, with their infamous feather boas and fishnet tights, are still sneakily corrupting our daughters, as once advertised by concerned psychologists and child welfare experts. But they have been forgiven, or forgotten. Read more

The advantages and disadvantages of stigmatizing smoking, by Anke Snoek

Practical Ethics: Ethics in the News, April 30, 2014
CAVE student, Anke Snoek

A new study among students, found that those who smoked cannabis performed better academically than their tobacco smoking, stigmatized peers. The study has been collecting data among students (8,331 in total) in grade 7,9 and 11 for 30 years, and noticed the following trends. While the use of tobacco around the 90ties decreased, the use of cannabis increased. While the use of tobacco became increasingly associated with a slow and painful death due to cancer, the cry for legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes (for example to treats side effects of cancer treatment) gave cannabis a more positive image. The study emphasizes that performing worse academically has nothing to do with the substance tobacco itself. Although it is well known that cannabis can effect one's memory, no such effect is known about tobacco. The fact that tobacco users perform worse than cannabis users has all to do with changing social norms and the marginalizing of tobacco smokers. The study seems to suggest that it is a double effect: marginalized students will choose to smoke tobacco rather than cannabis, but this will marginalize them further. Students who use marijuana are more like the general population, so perform better academically than the marginalized group. Instead of zooming in on the effects of marginalization of tobacco smokers, the study chooses to warn again the normalization of cannabis use, which, according to the study, is a very dangerous substance, in many aspects as dangerous as tobacco. Non-users of tobacco or cannabis still perform better than cannabis users. The study wants to make a case against the legalization of cannabis. Read more.

SA's Edinburgh RAAF base to host drones fleet, by Max Opray

The Saturday Paper, April 26, 2014
CAVE student, Jai Galliott

The government plans to buy a fleet of unproven unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol for asylum seekers and illegal fishing boats. Basing it in Adelaide suggests a political agenda. Read more.

Written - 2

2014

TEDx speakers' favourite TED talks of all time

The Sydney Morning Herald, April 24, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Nicole Vincent

Nicole Vincent, neuroethicist
Favourite TED: The Art of Memory, by Daniel Kilov

I write lists to remember stuff. Yellow post-it notes, whiteboards and gadgets that go "bling" are my enhancers of choice for a memory like Swiss cheese.
Daniel Kilov's talk has similarly profound effects on memory, but it's more portable than my whiteboard, and safer than Ritalin, Modafinil, or tDCS (look them up)
Australian memory athlete Kilov not only demonstrates one of his techniques by teaching viewers the names and order of our Solar system's planets, but he also skilfully explains how teaching school children the art of memory would transform education. And unlike pills, gadgets, and whiteboards, Kilov's talk is free.Read (and see) more.

A new womb for the baby, by Richard Orange

The Sydney Morning Herald, April 23, 2014
CAVE student, Ruby Catsanos

Dr Mats Brannstrom's phone begins to buzz and the words ''Donor 9'' flash up on the screen. He apologises, picks up and then starts nodding patiently, answering the caller's questions under his breath. Read more

Total recall: truth, memory and the trial of Oscar Pistorius, by Amanda Barnier, John Sutton, Misia Temler

The Conversation, April 11, 2014
CAVE member, John Sutton

In the legal system, first-hand memory reports of victims, witnesses and suspects are crucial evidence. Some cases rely also on physical evidence and expert testimony. But the accounts of those who experienced the event remain central in the legal process, as we've seen this week in the trial of South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius. Read more.

The man with 1000 children: The limit of male fertility, by Greg Downey

Neuroanthropology, Public Library of Science Blog, April 5, 2014
CAVE member, Greg Downey

Moulay Ismail ibn Sharif succeeded to the sultanate of Morocco after his brother fell from a horse and died in 1672. Twenty-six when he became the Sharifian Emperor, Moulay Ismael "the Bloodthirsty" - as he was called - went on to expand his holding in a remarkable reign. His armies conquered neighbouring territories and fought off the Ottomans (eventually forcing them to recognize Moroccan independence), and the emperor went on a building spree to make Meknes a rival to Versailles, with French engineers to help. Read more.

Biology doesn't justify gender divide for toys, by Cordelia Fine

New Scientist, March 31, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Cordelia Fine

There is concern at the increasing segregation of toys and books for boys and girls. Is there any scientific justification, asks the author of Delusions of Gender

Caught on camera in the "pink aisle" of a US toy store, 5-year-old Riley posed a multibillion dollar question: "Why does all the girls have to buy pink stuff, and all the boys have to buy different coloured stuff?" Read more.

Giving alcohol to alcoholics: not as controversial as it seems, by Anke Snoek

Practical Ethics: Ethics in the News, March 27, 2014
CAVE student, Anke Snoek

A Dutch program pays chronic alcoholics in beer for cleaning the streets and parks. A Canadian homeless shelter provides their alcohol clients with six ounces of white wine every 90 minutes. Giving alcohol to alcoholics, it seems counterproductive from a 'just say no' perspective, but I would like to argue that it makes sense on many levels. Read more.

Euthanasia not solely responsible for vet depression, by Macquarie University

The Conversation, March 27, 2014
CAVE member, Monique Crane

Euthanasia administration is not solely responsible for veterinarians risking suicide up to four times more than the general population, new research shows. Read more.

Drone impact study is crucial, by Jai Galliot

The Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2014
CAVE student, Jai Galliott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed that the government will buy a fleet of drones and locate them at Edinburgh air force base in South Australia, just in time for this weekend's election in that state. Read more.

Giving names to aromas in Asian languages, by Greg Downey

Neuroanthropology, Public Library of Science Blog, March 9, 2014
CAVE member, Greg Downey

My wife and I disagree about how one should judge whether milk has gone bad or is still fresh enough to drink. She consults the date on the carton. I smell it. Read more.

Blind people can 'see' bodies with sound: study, by Madeleine Martineillo

The Conversation, March 7, 2014
CAVE student, Mirko Farina

Congenitally blind people have been taught to perceive body shape and posture through "soundscapes" that translate images into sound, a study published today in Current Biology reports. Read more.

Non-financial conflicts of interest and surgical innovation, by Wendy Rogers

The IDEAL Collaboration, February 25, 2014
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Conflicts of interest arise in medicine when professional decision-making regarding a primary interest (care of the patient) may be affected by a secondary interest. Most authors agree that secondary interests create biases, often unconscious, which affect decision-making. The most widely discussed conflicts of interest in medicine are financial, where for example, a surgeon may receive a payment from a device company for implanting a particular device into their patient; or for enrolling a patient into a research trial. Financial conflicts of interest are relatively easy to identify and to a large extent may be avoided. In this paper, Wendy Rogers and Jane Johnson argue that surgeons have a duty to innovate, which creates a within role conflict of interest that may affect the primary interest of patient care. Unlike financial conflicts, these conflicts are much more difficult to address. Read more.

From mat to bat, yoga gets an innings at cricket training, by Catherine Armitage

The Sydney Morning Herald, February 23, 2014
CAVE members, Doris McIlwain and John Sutton

Science says an elite cricketer such as South African star A.B. de Villiers reacts about 50 milliseconds faster to an oncoming ball than your average club batsman. Read more.

Shutter Bugs: New memory might not be the memory aid people expect, by Evan Williams

The Sydney Morning Herald, February 22, 2014
CAVE member, John Sutton

In 2014, a stroll down memory lane involves more technology than ever before: increasingly, people's life stories are stored on Facebook's Timeline, their observations on Twitter and breakfasts on Instagram. Now there's growing evidence some of this new technology might not improve our memory of events, but make it worse. Read more.

The death of celebrities due to addiction: on helpful and unhelpful distinctions in destigmatising addiction, by Anke Snoek

Practical Ethics: Ethics in the News, February 20, 2014
CAVE student, Anke Snoek

Philip Seymour Hoffman is dead. Probably due to an overdose of heroin. Hoffman didn't have to die if he wasn't so ashamed of his substance use that he did it in secrecy. Because he overdosed alone, no one could call an ambulance on him that would have probably saved his life. Some are using the media attention surrounding his death to push for better drug laws. Some want to treat heroin addicts with heroin while some simply want to draw attention to a secret demographic: high educated, rich, white, middle age heroin users. Both attempts try to destigmatise heroin use. In this blog I will argue that the deaths of celebrities will only further stigmatise substance users and outline how we should really try to reverse the stigmatisation of drug users. Read more.

Memory, Emotion, and Epistemic Value, by Marina Trakas

Imperfect Cognitions: Blog on delusional beliefs, confabulatory explanations, and implicit biases, February 19, 2014
CAVE student, Marina Trakas

My project aims to develop a general framework for understanding the content of autobiographical and episodic memory experiences as they are lived by human beings in everyday situations. In my thesis, first, I defend the idea that our memories can change through time and so their content can be "enriched" as well as the thesis that our episodic and autobiographical memories cannot be always reduced to a simple verbal description of what happened in our past but they are often charged with evaluative and emotional components. Second, I explore the implications of this conceptualization of our autobiographical and personal memories for judging when our memory experience is faithful to our past. For these purposes, I approach these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, taking in consideration not only research on philosophy -contemporary philosophy as well as philosophers from XIX and beginning of XX century- but also current research on cognitive psychology and even neurosciences. Read more.

What is surgical innovation?: A qualitative study of surgeons' views, by Wendy Rogers

The IDEAL Collaboration, February 7, 2014
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

How do surgeons identify surgical innovation and distinguish it from variation?

One of the most challenging issues in the management of innovative surgery is identifying just when a surgical innovation occurs. This seems such a simple matter, but despite various definitions of "surgical innovation" in the literature, it is difficult to specify precisely which surgical activities are innovative. Identifying an innovation (as opposed to routine variation) is however essential to triggering the collection of evidence recommended by the IDEAL model. Read more.

Do we have a right to drink? On Australian thugs and French hedonists, by Anke Snoek

Practical Ethics: Ethics in the News, January 23, 2014
CAVE student, Anke Snoek

It has been an interesting week awaiting the announced reforms on the alcohol laws in New South Wales, Australia. After another incident with alcohol fuelled violence where a young boy died due to an unprovoked single punch, the family of this young man, Thomas Kelly, submitted a petition asking for intoxication to be taken into account in sentencing as a mandatory aggravating factor, rather than a mitigating factor, which is now sometimes the case. While the government reflected on what to do about alcohol induced violence, the discussion in the media sparked up high. Read more.

Blame the Brain, by Melissa Davey

The Sydney Morning Herald, February 3, 2014
CAVE centre

A new branch of law is exploring the the complex relationship between neuroscience and crime. Copy of story here.

Audio

2014

Feminist Bioethics, by Wendy Rogers

Radical Philosophy, 3CR Radio, November 6, 2014
CAVE member, Wendy Rogers

Dr Wendy Rogers. Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University, speaks about the philosophy of feminist bioethics and answers such questions, such as "with the current situation with direct embryo donation, is this a case of free choice or discrimination?" Hear more.

Sydney hospital launches internal investigation after patient records altered, by Belinda Hawkins

ABC AM with Chris Uhlman, August 18, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: When you go to see your doctor, you assume that he or she will keep an accurate record of that consultation.

But that's not what happened at a public hospital in Sydney. Read or hear more.

Dr. Sonia Allan on sperm donor and surrogacy legislation, by ABC News

ABC News, August 10, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

Dr Sonia Allan says the recent case of Gammy, the baby born to a Thai surrogate mother, demonstrates problems surrounding assisted reproductive technology legislation. See more

Gaza truce broken, by BBC World Service

BBC World Service News hour, August 1, 2014
CAVE member, Sonia Allan

Sonia Allan was interviewed on the Baby Gammy surrogacy case. Hear more (story at 45:00; interview at 49:15).

A super dilemma, presented by Joe Gelonesi

The Philosopher's Zone, ABC Radio National, May 18, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Nicole Vincent

Personal responsibility occupies Nicole Vincent's centre stage. But the closer she looks the more complex it appears. The times aren't helping: pills and potions are being used to sharpen the wits in a very modern race to be the best. When simply being good may not be good enough, where does this leave responsibility? Should we expect more from Superman than Clark Kent? Hear more by Nicole A. Vincent. 

TEDx speakers' favourite TED talks of all time

The Sydney Morning Herald, April 24, 2014
CAVE affiliate member, Nicole Vincent

Nicole Vincent, neuroethicist
Favourite TED: The Art of Memory, by Daniel Kilov

I write lists to remember stuff. Yellow post-it notes, whiteboards and gadgets that go "bling" are my enhancers of choice for a memory like Swiss cheese.
Daniel Kilov's talk has similarly profound effects on memory, but it's more portable than my whiteboard, and safer than Ritalin, Modafinil, or tDCS (look them up)
Australian memory athlete Kilov not only demonstrates one of his techniques by teaching viewers the names and order of our Solar system's planets, but he also skilfully explains how teaching school children the art of memory would transform education. And unlike pills, gadgets, and whiteboards, Kilov's talk is free.Read (and see) more.

The Plastic Brain of Greg Downey, by Greg Wah and Dan Beeston

Smart Enough to Know Better Podcast, March 2, 2014
CAVE member, Greg Downey

Fun comedy-science interview of Greg Downey on echolocution, capoeira, strangling, and all things neuroanthropology. Hear more.

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