Editor's note

We all have that friend who really wants to tell us about the benefits of vegetarianism. Or maybe that friend is you! But what does the science say about the health, or otherwise, of a vegetarian diet? I know when I was vegetarian I ate mostly chocolate and cheese. So I asked five experts whether, overall, a vegetarian diet is healthier. And thanks (mostly) to the negative health effects of red meat, and the fact vegetarian people are probably just more likely to be more health-conscious, four out of five experts said going veg is healthier.

Companies would be healthier too if they considered whether they had a “social licence to operate”, according to Thomas Maak, who takes issue with the recent decision of the Australian Securities Exchange to back away from a plan to embed the requirement in its corporate governance principles. He says the terms it will include instead – “reputation” and “standing in the community” – don’t have the same meaning.

Alexandra Hansen

Chief of Staff

Top story

Four out of five experts say a vegetarian diet is healthier. brooke lark unsplash

We asked five experts: is vegetarianism healthier?

Alexandra Hansen, The Conversation

Not eating animals might make you feel more virtuous, but is it good for your health?

The concept of a social licence is real, but proved too much for the Australian Securities Exchange. Shutterstock

The ASX abandons push to require companies to have a social licence to operate. Was it only ever ‘politically correct nonsense’?

Thomas Maak, University of Melbourne

The reality is that companies are at risk without a social licence to operate, so why shy away from the term?

Scott Morrison’s claim that Operation Sovereign Borders is the country’s great national security achievement overlooks all that has been achieved in a complex area. AAP/Lukas Coch

National security is too important to be abandoned to the politics of fear

Greg Barton, Deakin University

Too often, politicians use matters of national security for nakedly political advantage. It's a dangerous ploy, and it's time it stopped.

Health + Medicine

Business + Economy

  • Should online users be bound by their privacy agreements?

    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington

    The European Union has enacted a systematic plan to give people more control over their personal data online. But despite these efforts, privacy agreements remain largely unreadable.

Politics + Society

Environment + Energy

  • We can be a carbon-neutral nation by 2050, if we just get on with it

    Anna Skarbek, Monash University; Anna Malos, ClimateWorks Australia

    Australia's current greenhouse emissions target is not ambitious enough, and we're not on track to hit even this modest goal. But the potential is there to hit zero emissions by mid-century if we try.

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