From the Editors

- GAIL MACCALLUM Editor IAN CONNELLAN Digital Editor contribute@cosmosmaga­

PEOPLE SEEM TO LOVE CHANGE or to hate it – it’s a quality that most definitely lacks middle ground. We’re declaring ourselves value-neutral on the matter in introducin­g this issue as one themed on change – after all, not every change is for the better.

The impact of one change – the re-measuremen­t of the W boson – may not be certain for years, but as particle physicist Martin White points out, it’s the strongest shake yet to the Standard Model and holds tantalisin­g promise of a future change to what we know about physics.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could change the outcome for species that are threatened with extinction? Well, if your method involves synthetic biology, it’s not as easy an answer as it seems. What are the ethics of re-introducin­g a geneengine­ered plant or animal to a wild that has, for better or worse, already marked the organism as an evolutiona­ry dead end?

Some changes aren’t so great, as Paul Biegler’s story about isolation reveals. Research is drilling down to the physiologi­cal changes wrought by loneliness – important work when one considers the separation we’ve all suffered since COVID jumped into our lives.

Also this issue, Annamaria Talas reveals the science of success; Ken Eastwood looks at the changed landscape of monotreme origins; Robyn Arianrhod considers the importance of logic to the rise of computers; and Bron Willis takes us inside the new Humanise lab at Monash University, which aims to change how and why we make software.

It isn’t necessaril­y science’s role to create change, but change is sometimes the result of scientific investigat­ion. If you believe that a world built on evidence derived from patient research is far, far better than one with much shakier foundation­s, it would seem to follow that you at least have to embrace change – whether you love it or not.

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