Current Edition : Apr – Jun 2017

 Preview the Current Edition!



Is American Democracy an oxymoron? And why are the seeds of the USA’s plutocracy sown in their beloved Constitution?

How is Open Source Drug Discovery highlighting the greed of Big Pharma?

And what does the future of Personalised Medicine look like?


If it could be said that there was a fundamental energy that fuelled human society, it would be that fissive, uncontrollable, potentially-explosive power born of the tension between the past and the future.

To my mind, the feeling of our social fabric being pulled both forward and back, stretching and thinning like a balloon, has never felt so pronounced as it has in the last 12 months.

The rapid run away of technologies that could alter the very nature of humanity, the fist-thumping roll-back agendas of Trump and the resurgent Tony Abbott. The alienation of free media straight out of the Golden-Age-of-Dictators playbook, stock markets skyrocketing on a wave of apparent optimism, even as global cynicism reaches its peak. Entrenched corporate interests playing frantic whack-a-mole with disruptive technologies…the list goes on – sometimes it’s hard to know what era we are actually living in.

In what is a bumper edition, most of this issue’s articles exist at this critical past/future junction and a common theme links each of these. The power structures that oppose these new movements have chosen to be so rigid that adaption is not an option; only destruction is likely to make way for change.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to an annual print subscription of AQ for only $26! Digital subscriptions are as little as $15 a year! Subscribe now.

AQ continues to deliver in-depth and independent analyses of the topics that are shaping Australia. With longer-style articles written by the people at the forefront of the debates, AQ is unique in bridging the gap between journal and magazine, combining the compelling writing of a glossy with the intellectual rigour of a journal.



A Steampunk Vision: Prosumers and Frequency Control

Australia’s electricity system is created as a giant rotating mass. Hundreds of fast-spinning turbines are elegantly joined together by three-phase electrical currents twisting along the transmission network – Australia’s is the longest in the world. Yet with changing generation methods hooking up to the grid, our old steampunk image of the network is going to have to change. What if greater number of renewables could mean greater grid stability?

Geoff James


Land of the Free (Market): The oxymoron of American Democracy

The paradox of democracy is that it is designed to defend the freedoms of all and to subject the government to the legitimate concerns of the people. Yet those very freedoms give licence to those who fundamentally spurn them and threaten the ideals of democracy themselves. The Inauguration of Donald Trump illustrates the paradox. The demonstrations against his accession were greater that the public show of support at his swearing in. What does ‘American Democracy’ mean to Australia and how can we be more conscious of its influence?

Graham Maddox


Open Source Drug Discovery: Global Solutions to Global Problems

Despite phenomenal advances in diagnostics, medical interventions, and therapeutics, universal access to medicines and healthcare has not been realised. While access to curative medicines for diseases such as Alzheimer’s or diabetes is limited by progress in research and development, many other diseases are entirely preventable and/or treatable and their continued prevalence is inextricably linked with poverty. How can we achieve equitable global healthcare when disease solutions are so tightly bound to corporate profitability?

Alice E Williamson


Personalised Medicine: More Than Just Personal

Personalised medicine? What’s new about that? Best practice in medicine has always had the patient at its centre. What is new however, is that the most unique and personal information a patient has – that which is contained in their DNA – is available to clinicians. In only a decade, the cost and time of generating an analysis of just one person’s genome has reduced from about $10 million to $2,000-3,000, and from years to days respectively. The benefits are great, the risks could be greater…

Kristine Barlow-Stewart


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