UOW expert commentary (29 August)

UOW expert commentary (29 August)

UOW academics provide expert commentary, opinion and analysis on a range of ongoing and breaking news stories

Interest rates and mortgage stress

Associate Professor Alfredo Paloyo can discuss the growing number of Australians facing mortgage stress as interest rates continue to rise. Associate Professor Paloyo is an economist in the School of Business. He is an expert in issues related to human capital, particularly in the fields of labour, health, and education economics.


Dr Stephen Brown can provide expert commentary on recent developments in the Russia-Ukraine war, including confirmation from Russia that Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in plane crash last week. The Russian history expert says Putin has thrown out his own playbook with this conflict. Dr Brown is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.

Fighting in Sudan

Associate Professor Phil Orchard can talk about the unfolding crisis in South Darfur, where fighting in Nyala continues to rage. International aid organisation Doctors Without Borders said targeted and indiscriminate attacks against civilians have reached catastrophic levels. Associate Professor Orchard is from the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry. His research and teaching interests focus on international efforts to provide legal and institutional protections to internally displaced persons, refugees, and war-affected civilians.

Female scientists missing from STEM textbooks

Associate Professor Jane Carey is available for interviews about new research that reveals Australian high school students enrolled in STEM subjects don't read or learn about nearly as many prominent female scientists compared to their male counterparts (Curtin University and ANU). Earlier this year Associate Professor Carey published Taking to the Field, a book exploring the history of Australian women in science. She says histories of Australian science largely overlook women. Associate Professor Carey teaches history in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.

Anniversary of Martin Luther King JR’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech

It’s been 60 years since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his celebrated ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Dr Daniel Fleming says these words have inspired people the world over, but in Australia campaigners against the Voice to Parliament are carelessly misusing them. Dr Fleming is an expert in US history, civil rights history and Martin Luther King Jr. He is the author of Living the Dream, which tells the history behind the establishment of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the battle over King’s legacy that continued through the decades that followed. He is a lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry.

More funding needed for Antarctic research

Honorary Senior Fellow Dana Bergstrom can provide commentary on the need for more funding to support Antarctic science. In an article for The Conversation Dr Bergstrom writes:

Much of this winter’s sea ice is missing. A crucial ocean current is slowing down, and glaciers and ice shelves are disintegrating.

On land, fragile moss ecosystems are collapsing. Majestic emperor penguins may be headed for extinction. And pollution from human activity in Antarctica has left a toxic legacy.

The story of Antarctica serves as a compelling reminder humanity must end our reliance on fossil fuels. We must also do a far better job of environmental stewardship – including paying for the scientific research so urgently needed.

 Failing to fully support vital Antarctic science in a rapidly unfolding climate emergency, in my view, is unwise.

Dr Bergstrom is an Antarctic ecologist and Honorary Research Fellow in the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health.

Resetting the vagus nerve

Associate Professor Theresa Larkin can discuss her latest article in The Conversation about whether it’s possible to reset the vagus nerve. Associate Professor Larkin writes:

Whether it’s through mindfulness, paced breathing, sports, sex or simply smiling, increased vagal tone is important for good health and wellbeing. There is a lot of hype online and some of it may be over the top. But reduced stress and greater relaxation are safe for everyone and have positive effects for our body and brain.

Associate Professor Larkin is an expert in anatomy and medical science. She is a Senior Lecturer in UOW’s Graduate School of Medicine. Associate Professor Larkin was recently named a Superstar of STEM by Science & Technology Australia.

UOW academics exercise academic freedom by providing expert commentary, opinion and analysis on a range of ongoing social issues and current affairs. This expert commentary reflects the views of those individual academics and does not necessarily reflect the views or policy positions of the University of Wollongong.