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More on Museums and More on other Issues

November 17th, 2013

The addition of an essay about museums and related enterprises, previously posted only on a recently commenced blog, is summarised and the creation of the separate blog site is announced. The site includes essays already listed below.

John Howard, Climate Change Denier and much more!

November 7th, 2013

It would be easy to dismiss former Prime Minister John Howard’s address, to acolytes in London, presented at the invitation of climate sceptic and former UK Chancellor Lord Lawson. Over at New Matilda Ben Pobje has done that. So have others including Guy Rundle and Max Gillies in their 2002 production Your Dreaming: Poets, Pontificators and Expatriates and Jonathan Biggins and others at the Sydney Theatre Company satirise numerous politicians and others every year in their Revue.

Australia’s Carbon Emissions Target: Intellectual Laziness At Work

October 31st, 2013

Most of us have difficulty admitting we have been wrong. More importantly, views which cannot be supported by reasonably intelligent analysis of the facts at hand can be considered intellectual laziness, the failure to keep abreast of the latest knowledge. Behavioural economic and other studies reveal people are more wedded to their preconceived views based on their own experience and the views of those they respect than they are to what is revealed by he latest information and experience. Only what agrees with the past is retained.


School Leadership and School Autonomy

September 29th, 2013

One of the several propositions advanced by the advocates of market (or neoclassical) economic solutions to education ‘problems’ is that independent schools achieve superior outcomes. Charter schools in the US and Academies in the UK continue to be supported despite compelling evidence that they do not address the principal drivers of student achievement. The reforms introduced by the Howard Government provided substantial additional support to independent schools. The latest international tests showed Australian student performance declining and inequity increasing!


What is wrong with the education debate?

January 17th, 2013

The ideas developed about the education debate and the enumeration of the issues which I think are important, were summarised in an informal talk at the Ourimbah campus of the University of Newcastle in August 2012 arranged by the NSW Chapter of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia (ISAA).


Compassion, a quality in short supply

December 22nd, 2012

In early December ABC RN’s fabulous program “All in the Mind”, now presented by Lynne Malcolm, broadcast an interview with James Doty, Professor of Neurosurgery, Founder and Director of the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. The program was entitled ‘The Science of Compassion’.

Understanding Museums – Update

January 8th, 2012

On June 10 last year I reported that the first part of Understanding Museums: Australian Museums and Museology, edited with Leon Paroissien, had been published as an e-book by the National Museum of Australia.

Late in the year the remaining essays were published. The complete e-book includes 25 separate essays covering everything from a review of the Pigott Report, developments since 1970 in museums generally through progress in art, science and history, education and touring exhibitions, digitisation and social media.

Steve Jobs, A Life Lived

October 7th, 2011

When Steve Jobs died just the other day thousands tweeted tributes and customers who had come to regard him with near reverence crowded into Apple stores with flowers and messages. Business people talked of the future of the Apple company and wondered if it would survive now that Steve had gone.

But the lessons, the things we should think about, are about inspiration and leadership, about what it means to work in a really successful organisation and the importance of creativity on the one hand and intuition on the other.

Understanding Museums: Australian Museums and Museology

June 10th, 2011

Des Griffin and Leon Paroissien (eds), 2011, Understanding Museums: Australian Museums and Museology, National Museum of Australia.

The first part of a volume on developments in museums in Australia since the 1960’s has just been published as an e-Book on the web site of the National Museum of Australia.