One of the things we value most in the editorial team at The Conversation is humility. You could say it’s a natural consequence of working with academics – we’ve all had to come to terms with the fact that we are never the smartest person in the room.

But humility is about more than keeping your ego in check. Understanding what we can’t do on our own opens us up to seeking help. And when we ask for help and get it, great things happen.

In 2022 we’ve been bowled over by the generous support of so many people who see the value of reliable information, and who care enough to help us provide it, free, to the widest possible audience. With help from donors this year we launched a brand new section to cover books and ideas. We asked our readers which issues to focus on in the federal election, and more than 10,000 thoughtful people responded.

Thanks to every academic who stayed up late, got up early or skipped something else important to write an article for The Conversation. Thanks to our readers who are curious and care about the world.

Thanks to our university partners and philanthropic funders who work so hard to make a positive difference. Thanks to the volunteer board members who give up so much of their time to steer the ship.

Thanks to the team of professionals in editorial, administration and technology, who are smart, passionate, humble and fun.

Finally, a special thanks to the 400 people who became monthly donors in December and the thousands more who supported us throughout the year. The support of readers like you is essential to everything we do. If you haven’t donated yet in 2022 and would like to, you still can.

I hope you have a merry Christmas and joyous holiday full of reading, expertise and a generous dose of humility.

Misha Ketchell


Every Australian will be touched by climate change. So let’s start a national conversation about how we’ll cope

Robert Glasser, Australian National University; Mark Crosweller, Australian National University; Mark Howden, Australian National University

Australia must recognise the complex risks associated with cascading natural disasters, and draw on the knowledge and experience of all citizens.

Global coal use in 2022 is reaching an all-time high, but Australia is bucking the trend

Andrew Blakers, Australian National University; Anna Nadolny, Australian National University

The good news is the world’s coal use has peaked – and will soon rapidly decline. Australia is leading the way, and the rest of the world must soon follow.

How to make the perfect pavlova, according to chemistry experts

Nathan Kilah, University of Tasmania; Chloe Taylor, University of Tasmania

Why should you not beat your eggs in a plastic bowl? Can you save an over-beaten meringue? And is there a specific sugar you should use?

Drinking alcohol this Christmas and New Year? These medicines really don’t mix

Nial Wheate, University of Sydney; Jessica Pace, University of Sydney

Drinking alcohol with some medicine means they may not work so well. With others, you risk a life-threatening overdose.

Are Christian souls gendered?

Philip C. Almond, The University of Queensland

In the history of Western thought, notions of human identity were more fluid and unstable than many realise. And for a long time, the souls of men and women were seen as identical.

Are Aussie pubs really filled with tiles because it’s easier to wash off the pee? History has a slightly different story

Tanja Luckins, La Trobe University

Would it lessen the ‘Australianness’ of the 20th century pub if we understood the ‘lavatory’ tiles in a broader context?

The University of Adelaide and UniSA merger talks are back on but other Australian unis are unlikely to follow

Gavin Moodie, University of Toronto

The proposed new university would be called Adelaide University and open in 2026, with the aim of becoming Australia’s biggest university for domestic students.

Uber plans a kids service to replace mum and dad’s taxi. What’s wrong with that? Plenty

Hulya Gilbert, La Trobe University

Uber is eyeing a service to take children wherever their parents would otherwise have to drive them themselves. Some might see it as a lifesaver, but it’s problematic for many reasons.

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