85 Years in 85 Days

85 years banner1960s

The momentous decade decade of the moon landing, JFK’s ascension and assassination, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the birth of hippie culture.

In AQ there is a definite shift away from internal issues and a greater concept of world politics. Our country had rebuilt from the war, we display a greater coherent national character and we we’re keen to take our place in the wider-world world.

The reigning generations had not experienced a time before federation and there is a sense that it was only in the 1960s that we threw off the shackles of our past and really saw ourselves as ‘a nation’.

As Australia was buffeted by international trends and circumstances we too began to test the boundaries of the paradigms we were so familiar with and AQ reflects this time of transition.

The Importance of Being Scientific

A special double-whammy today with an article and its rebuttal. In the first article, one of Australia’s leading CSIRO scientists discussed the role of science and technology in our society and the importance of scientists’ involvement in the development of smart government policy.

Read the article from June 1966: The Importance of being Scientific

The Science of being Important

In an active reply to ‘The Importance of Being Scientific’ a Melbourne Uni politics lecturer sets about popping the self-important bubble of rationality that scientists tend to erect around themselves, particularly comparing the differences in respect for scientists in American and Australia.

“…in American politics and policy-making, scientists are important. In Australian policy-making by contrast…they are not.” Yet are the Australian government, or the Australian scientist to blame…?

A very sporting, gentlemanly debate and an interesting look back into the dissociation between rule and research.

Read the article from March 1967: The Science of Being Important

Australian Women

AQ publishes an article from 1963, looking at the state of gender equality in Australia. How was the gender divide viewed half a century ago? And how much do you think things have actually changed…?

Read the article from March 1963: Australian Women

Apartheid: Battle for the Mind

With the death of Nelson Mandela still fresh in people’s minds it is fitting that we look back to 1961 and the height of Apartheid.

As with the perpetuation of any political agenda and the consolidation of power, the concept of Apartheid was instituted from the political top as well as from the social bottom. Government legislation created a fortress of protection for South Africa’s white minority while, all the more insidiously, the education system reinforced the inferiority of the black population, under the guise of ‘Christian Nationalism’.

…”The perpetuation of the white pigmentocracy at all cost, at the expense and to the detriment of all other groups, is meant by ‘Nationalism'”… It’s the old ‘get ’em while they’re young’ adage.

If there is a lesson to be learnt it is that we should be sceptical of political meddling in education, particularly under the guise of Nationalism, as it promotes a narrowing of world views, a hyper-inflated sense of one’s own privilege and does not promote empathy for a global community.

Are there echoes in the current Coalition government’s criticism of Australia’s education system not being ‘Australian-centric’ enough?

Beware the hands of the mighty on the minds of the young.

Apartheid- Battle for the Mind

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