Chronic pain is arguably ‘the difficult problem’ in health care, not just because of its massive burden on the bottom line. Even though pain is essentially private and invisible, the Australian Government defines pain in terms of ‘proof’ – either of an organic lesion understood to cause the pain, or of a level of disability arising from the pain. However, could such an essential scepticism of the reality and legitimacy of a person’s pain contribute to the difficult problem, by encouraging stigmatisation of chronic pain sufferers, damaging doctor-patient relationships, compelling unnecessary scans and tests, and incentivising ongoing disability and old-school treatment approaches?
Seamus Barker and G. Lorimer Moseley
Smart Cities: Socio-Technical Innovation for Empowering Citizens
By 2020, 80% of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities. Some estimates are predicting that the cost of urban congestion will reach $37.7 billion by 2030. Under the pressure of such drivers governments, councils and leaders in all spheres of life are rethining urbanisation and are looking to futuristic solutions to improve the liveability, sustainability and economy of our urban spaces. It won’t be long until we are all living in ‘Smart Cities’, fully networked cities that provide increased efficiencies to their citizens. But how to minimise the risk of developing these complex projects, and how to capitalise on the global ‘Smart City’ trend? Within Australian Universities might lie the answer…
The Surprise State – More than Rocks, Crops and Beaches
Queensland has a global reputation for its sun, surf and natural wonders. Yet the Sunshine State is also readily becoming known for its world-class research, modern trans-disciplinary institutes, and its budding entrepreneurial sector. Supported by some innovative government initiatives, the Queensland science landscape is looking increasingly diverse, proving that there is more to the state than just rocks, crops and beaches. Queensland’s Chief Scientist, Dr Geoff Garrett gives us the bird’s eye view of his state’s science opportunities in the next of our State of the Nation series.
Geoff Garrett AO
From the Archive: Pauline and the Magic Pudding
Just when you thought Pauline Hanson and One Nation had been shoved deep into the recesses of Australia’s collective subconscious, the spectre of Fortress Australia once again raises its head. AQ looks back to 1998 when One Nation came of age – and the parallels to modern Australia are eerie. The Double Dissolution, the shadow of the ‘recession we had to have’, the war between business economy (Jobs and Growth!) vs social economy, and the fear of the foreign. It seems like all we’ve done in the last two decades is switch enemies…