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Showing posts from February, 2021


Corruption 2 – What Governments are doing (and not doing)

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay   There are two major international institutions which seek to end corruption. The first is the UN and the second is GRECO the Group of Nations against Corruption. Although based in Europe, the latter is also open to other nations outside the EU. Their main instruments and methods are set out below. The Role of the UN 1.        UNCAC – The UN Convention Against Corruption was adopted in 2003 and by May 2020, 187 countries had become signatories, promising to do what they could to eliminate corruption. The Convention basically calls for countries to cooperate in preventing and criminalising activities such as trading in influence and abuse of power by governments and for the elimination of financial fraud and money laundering in the private sector. It also seeks to strengthen international law enforcement and to create effective legal mechanisms for the recovery of funds. To achieve its aims, there are peer review mechanisms as to how memb

Ovarian Cancer Week

  Image by jiao tang from Pixabay To get away from the depressing subject of global corruption, I went to a fabulous fundraiser yesterday. It was a burlesque workshop with boas and bubbles and a lot of really fun women. There was however a serious side to it. The workshop was hosted by SHE which stands for Support, Hope and Education. This group informs people about Gynaecological Cancer and provides help and support to women with Ovarian Cancer. As it also happens to be Ovarian Cancer week, we’ll talk a bit about it here. Prevalence Ovarian Cancer is the seventh and eighth most common cancer in women (it varies by location) and is among the most under -diagnosed and deadly. Unlike Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer, there is as yet no screening test in the early stages of the disease and in the later stages the prognosis is not very good.   At present more developed countries have the highest rates . The USA for example has around 21,000 diagnosed cases and 14,000 deaths a ye

Corruption – That other pandemic

  While countries have been preoccupied with Covid 19, another pandemic has been silently stalking the land. Although corruption has always been a problem to varying degrees, the UN believes that the pandemic has allowed far more corruption than usual – in part because of the large flows of money involved and because the need for emergency measures has allowed nefarious activities to flourish with minimal oversight and accountability as to how these funds are disbursed. What do we mean by corruption? The UN defines corruption as “the abuse of power or entrusted power for financial gain.” Corruption takes many forms. It’s easy to point to the legendary dictator and Ruler for Life who sold his African nation’s resources to buy himself a mansion in Malibu, or the passport control officer at a popular tourist destination who demands a few dollars extra for letting you pass through unhindered.“Do you have a little money for tea?” is apparently the prelude to a bribe demand in man

4 . The Future of Science

                                                                                                         -Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Australia's new Chief Scientist speaks on techno-optimism, renewable energy and encouraging STEM Tim Dean, The Conversation Dr Alan Finkel took over as Australia’s new Chief Scientist on January 25 this year. He is a respected neuroscientist, engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and was the Chancellor of Monash University from 2008 to 2015 and President of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE). He also established Axon Instruments, a supplier of electronic and robotic instruments and software for use in cellular neuroscience, genomics and drug discovery. The Conversation asked Dr Finkel about his views on topics ranging from “techno-optimism” to renewable energy to encouraging young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Q1. You have a backgr