From The Editor

“From as early as Grade 3 teachers start teaching children how to put across their own points of view. It’s not about winning arguments, but ensuring kids grow up to be thoughtful and engaged citizens. These skills might come in to play at school in essay writing, in oral presentations or in debates. And whether we’re talking about making arguments for school or just in life, there are three things present in all good arguments.”  This quote is from an August 23, 2019 article in The Conversation, which gives productive advice for engaging in arguments. (As if there was anything to argue about these days.) See below How to make good arguments at school (and everywhere else) 

“Researchers have developed a prototype of an app that may potentially prescribe the optimal dose of medicine for the individual patient, as well as prevent counterfeit products.” This quote is from an  August 23, 2019 ScienceDaily article from the University of Copenhagen,  which notes that “200 years ago, the first patent on making tablets was filed and the products have not changed much since. We are still having the same tablets. What we are doing now is suggesting a totally new type of product…By rethinking the product design principles, related manufacturing solutions and distribution models for the pharmaceutical products, it is possible to dramatically reduce the overall price of medicine while also improving the safety and efficacy of the medication” See below, The technology behind Bitcoin may improve the medications of the future.

“A post on the London School of Economics Impact Blog outlined why it is unrealistic for academic research to drive policy change. Yet social and behavioural research can help solve real world problems and contribute to public value. There are evidence-based lessons from successful case studies for policy-makers and university researchers who want to increase its relevance and us.” This quote is from an August 5, 2019 report in The Mandarin on a  London School of Economics Impact Blog post which outlines “how best academic evidence can leverage the real-world nature of policymaking.”  The report is part of The Mandarin’s Research Series via the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). See below,  How to increase the relevance and use of social and behavioural science. 

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) website  gives free information and alerts  on information security threats, including access to the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM), published on August 1st, 2019. For a reprint of the Executive summary and link to the full ISM, see below, The Australian Government Information Security Manual.


Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover:

How to make good arguments at school (and everywhere else)

“It’s perfectly acceptable to want to win and to be heard. But we want to teach our kids inquiry and making everyone feel valued is more important than winning. After all, we can win and still be wrong.”

The technology behind Bitcoin may improve the medications of the future

“As an example, a patient who scans a QR code on his medication may be alerted by an alarm if the code does not match the one that the pharmaceutical company has entered into the system, or if the medication does not match with the prescription. Conversely, the pharmaceutical company may be alerted if an otherwise unique medication code is registered more than once.”...

How to increase the relevance and use of social and behavioural science

In a paper for the Justice Evaluation Journal, Mark Western (University of Queensland) presents three successful cases where social and behavioural sciences have contributed solutions to policy problems. These ranged from improving school attendance to building new industries to supporting Indigenous people in remote regions to addressing antisocial behaviour among public housing tenants..”

The Australian Government Information Security Manual

 The ISM represents the considered advice of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) within the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). This advice is provided in accordance with ASD’s designated functions under paragraph (1)(ca) of section 7 of the Intelligence Services Act 2001.

The ACSC also provides cyber security advice in the form of hardening guides, consumer guides, Australian Communications Security Instructions, and other cyber security-related publications. In these cases, device and application-specific advice may take precedence over the advice in the ISM..”.



“Under what conditions are the intuitions of professionals worthy of trust?”

This question was asked in a 2010 McKinsey interview with Daniel Kahneman, winner of  the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics, and Gary Klein, a senior scientist at MacroCognition.

This McKinsey Classic, revisited in August 2019, is astonishingly relevant to modern politics. Strategic decisions: When can you trust your gut?



Consensus Software Awards

World’s Most Successful Awards

2019 Awards Presentations

The second round of 2019 Consensus Software Awards are now open for entries to the end of September and will be presented at the end of October. There are now 9 Awards Programs with new ones for FinTech, Blockchain, Agriculture, Education and Cognitive. See

The first set of 2019 Awards were presented on 9th May at PwC. If you would like to receive further information, please  email.


Quote of the Day

There’s a silly notion that failure’s not an option at NASA. Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.  – Elon Musk

Quote from Yesteryear

A fool and his money are soon elected. – Will Rogers


Ted Smillie

QESP Chair