Blog - QESP

Honest Government Ad | Julian Assange

By on Monday, April 29th, 2019

“Hello friends, welcome to our latest Honest Government Ad. I was mid-way through writing an Aussie election episode when news broke of the US Government unsealing an indictment against Julian Assange. I wasn’t planning to make a video about this, but after seeing the sheer avalanche of bullshit that followed in the media, I just […]

Brexit – an alternative view

By on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Physicians were unable to reach a consensus: Should Brexit take place? The Allergists were in favour of scratching it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.  The Gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Brexiters had a lot of nerve.  Meanwhile, Obstetricians felt certain everyone was labouring […]

How Machine Learning Creates Big Bad Data

By on Sunday, February 24th, 2019

Machine learning mistakes range from serious to ridiculous. Here are some examples: “The answers they come up with are likely to be inaccurate or wrong because the software is identifying patterns that exist only in that data set and not the real world.” Speaking at the  February 2019 Annual meeting of the American Association for […]

AI in 2019

By on Thursday, January 31st, 2019

2018 has been an eventful year for AI to say the least! We’ve seen advances in generative models, the AlphaGo victory, several data breach scandals, and so much more. I’m going to briefly review AI in 2018 before giving 10 predictions on where the space is going in 2019. Prepare yourself, my predictions range from […]

Seriously…Trust Me, I’m a Scientist

By on Friday, December 28th, 2018

Richard Dawkins on a worrying disconnect between scientists and society.

Presenting his first programme for Radio 4, the evolutionary biologist, author and former Professor for Public Understanding of Science, Richard Dawkins, investigates trust in science. It’s an issue of concern for scientists as well as others. Despite our scientific and technological advances, many people still believe the Earth is flat and that vaccines cause autism. Even the President of the United States has called climate change a hoax.

What’s the difference between decodable and predictable books, and when should they be used?

By on Monday, December 3rd, 2018

“While there’s much we know about how students learn to read, research on books used to support beginning reading development is sparse. Guidelines provided in the Australian Curriculum and the National Literacy Progressions complicate matters further. Teachers are required to use two types of texts: decodable and predictable books.

Each book is underpinned by a different theory of reading, arguably in conflict. This contributes to uncertainty about when and how the books might be used.” This November 12, 2018 article in The Conversation uses picture books to explain What’s the difference between decodable and predictable books, and when should they be used?

James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin

By on Thursday, October 25th, 2018

An October 15, 2018 article in The Conversation, Boyer Lectures: gene therapy is still in its infancy but the future looks promising, brings another reminder of forgotten female scientists.

In 1953, four scientists co-discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, which formed the basis for modern biotechnology. In 1962 the three males, Watson, Crick and Franklin jointly received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The female, Rosalind Franklin (the only one who had any degrees in chemistry), had died in 1958 and although Watson recommended a posthumous award, none was made. The Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award was established in 2003 and is awarded annually by the Royal Society to a woman for an outstanding work in any field of Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Science History Institute gives a summary of the original research, including a short video, see James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin.

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Barclays phish claims cards explode

By on Thursday, September 27th, 2018

(Editors Note: This is a reprint of an article on the Malwarebytes blog. The original can be found here ) We feel compelled to relay the dire warning from this Barclays snail-mail letter, which we acquired through social media, therefore it must be true. Warning: Barclays debit cards may catch fire! The letter reads as follows: Dear costumer, Many […]

BioBits: Teaching synthetic biology to K-12 students

By on Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Educational kids bring fun, hands-on experiments to classrooms without costly lab equipment (QESP Editor’s Note: The following is a reprint of a August 1st, 2018 article in Science Daily. The original, including links to related articles,  is available at As biologists have probed deeper into the molecular and genetic underpinnings of life, K-12 schools […]

Another day, another data breach – what to do when it happens to you

By on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Reports of data breaches are an increasingly common occurrence. In recent weeks, Ticketmaster, HealthEngine, PageUp and the Tasmanian Electoral Commission have all reported breaches.

It is easy to tune out to what is happening, particularly if it’s not your fault it happened in the first place.

But there are simple steps you can take to minimise the risk of the problem progressing from “identity compromise” to “identity crime”.