Scientific community and society

  • Article |

    Optical dating of sediments containing stone artefacts newly excavated at Madjedbebe, Australia, indicate that human occupation began around 65,000 years ago, thereby setting a new minimum age for the arrival of people in Australia.

    • Chris Clarkson
    • , Zenobia Jacobs
    •  & Colin Pardoe
  • Brief Communications Arising |

    • Xiao Dong
    • , Brandon Milholland
    •  & Jan Vijg
  • Brief Communications Arising |

    • Xiao Dong
    • , Brandon Milholland
    •  & Jan Vijg
  • Supplement |

    McCluskey returned in 1997 as chair of microbiology and immunology at the University of Melbourne, and became deputy vice-chancellor (research) in 2011.

    • David Payne
  • Supplement |

    Organometallic chemist Victoria Blair moved from Scotland to work as a postdoc at Monash University in May 2011.

    • Jack Leeming
  • Supplement |

    Welcome to Melbourne, where science is fuelled by a better class of coffee.

    • James Mitchell Crow
  • Analysis |

    Apparently contradictory conclusions regarding the ‘global warming hiatus’ are reconciled, strengthening the current scientific understanding that long-term global warming is extremely likely to be of anthropogenic origin.

    • Iselin Medhaug
    • , Martin B. Stolpe
    •  & Reto Knutti
  • Letter |

    Options for achieving multiple sustainability goals in land systems are limited, and integrated national-scale analyses are needed across the broader environment and economy to prioritize efficient sustainability interventions.

    • Lei Gao
    •  & Brett A. Bryan
  • Letter |

    Global food consumption drives irrigation for crops, which depletes aquifers in some regions; here we quantify the volumes of groundwater depletion associated with global food production and international trade.

    • Carole Dalin
    • , Yoshihide Wada
    •  & Michael J. Puma
  • Perspective |

    A review of mineral exploration data and demand forecasts suggests that new international governance links are needed to ensure efficient and responsible future sourcing of minerals for sustainable development.

    • Saleem H. Ali
    • , Damien Giurco
    •  & Natalia Yakovleva
  • Article |

    The authors use modelling to show that the network of trading routes known as the Silk Road emerged from hundreds of years of interactions between pastoralists as they moved their herds and flocks between higher and lower elevations in generally mountainous regions.

    • Michael D. Frachetti
    • , C. Evan Smith
    •  & Tim Williams
  • Letter |

    The wisdom of the crowd can be improved by using an algorithm that selects the answer that is more popular than people predict, rather than the answer that is most popular.

    • Dražen Prelec
    • , H. Sebastian Seung
    •  & John McCoy
  • Letter |

    Entertaining movies addressing both individual values and marriageability can provide a way to change cultural attitudes towards female genital cutting within certain cultures.

    • Sonja Vogt
    • , Nadia Ahmed Mohmmed Zaid
    •  & Charles Efferson
  • Letter |

    Demographic analysis of life expectancy and maximum reported age at death provides evidence that human lifespan has reached its natural limit.

    • Xiao Dong
    • , Brandon Milholland
    •  & Jan Vijg
  • Supplement |

    Countries are spending more than ever on research and development, but the fields they fund vary depending on national priorities. And it is not just the research reputation that matters when choosing whether to move abroad — cost of living and quality-of-life are factors too.

  • Supplement |

    A small science community offers opportunities in a dramatic landscape, but can also limit career progression.

    • Annabel McGilvray
  • Supplement |

    The government is spending more than ever before on research and development, especially on work that is likely to produce returns.

    • Tom Benner
  • Supplement |

    Scientists from across the world are attracted to the country, which competes internationally by focusing on its strengths.

    • Karen McGhee
  • Supplement |

    A big investor in research and development, South Korea is attracting top scientists in the hope of boosting basic science.

    • Mark Zastrow
  • Supplement |

    As China continues to increase its investment in research, it is offering opportunities that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

    • Rebecca Kanthor
  • Supplement |

    The government is stepping up efforts to attract international scientists, as the country invests record sums in research.

    • Smriti Mallapaty
  • Supplement |

    Although not a major scientific player, India hopes that attracting foreign researchers will help it achieve its ambitions.

    • T.V. Padma
  • Letter |

    In human societies, individuals who violate social norms may be punished by third-party observers who have not been harmed by the violator; this study suggests that a reason why the observers are willing to punish is to be seen as more trustworthy by the community.

    • Jillian J. Jordan
    • , Moshe Hoffman
    •  & David G. Rand
  • Letter |

    Centennial-scale variations in methane carbon isotope ratios are attributed to changes in pyrogenic and biogenic sources that can be correlated with anthropogenic activities, such as varying levels of biomass burning during the period of the Roman empire and the Han dynasty, and changes in natural climate variability.

    • C. J. Sapart
    • , G. Monteil
    •  & T. Röckmann
  • Letter |

    Political mobilization messages delivered to 61 million Facebook users during the 2010 US congressional elections directly influenced political self-expression, information seeking and real-world voting behaviour of millions of people and their friends, with social transmission occurring mainly between close friends and having a greater effect than the direct effect of the messages themselves.

    • Robert M. Bond
    • , Christopher J. Fariss
    •  & James H. Fowler
  • Article |

    This study develops a wide-ranging index to assess the many factors that contribute to the health and benefits of the oceans, and the scores for all costal nations are assessed.

    • Benjamin S. Halpern
    • , Catherine Longo
    •  & Dirk Zeller
  • Letter |

    Analysis of changes in functional groups of species and potential drivers of environmental change for protected areas across the world’s major tropical regions reveals large variation between reserves that have been effective and those experiencing an erosion of biodiversity, and shows that environmental changes immediately outside reserves are nearly as important as those inside in determining their ecological fate.

    • William F. Laurance
    • , D. Carolina Useche
    •  & Franky Zamzani
  • Letter |

    Biodiversity threats from Red Lists are linked with patterns of international trade, identifying the ultimate instigators of the threats; developed countries tend to be net importers of implicated commodities, driving biodiversity decline in developing countries.

    • M. Lenzen
    • , D. Moran
    •  & A. Geschke