Code for life

Luminous Moments

Grant Jacobs May 11, 2015

Paul Callaghan is well-known to many New Zealanders as a scientist and science communicator. His little book, Luminous Moments, published posthumously, is well worth while reading. It contains “some of his more personal speeches and essays”, seven in all, apparently edited from his hospital bed. The book is put together and prefaced by a foreword by Paul’s daughter, Catherine. Read More

All the science that is fit to blog – an analysis of science blogging practice

Grant Jacobs Apr 25, 2015

Those who use blog software as the media to distribute their science writing might like to browse Paige Brown Jarreau’s summary of her Ph.D. thesis, All the Science That is Fit to Blog: an analysis of science blogging practice, or to download a PDF copy of it. You can also download the data and figures. Read More


Kumara are transgenic

Grant Jacobs Apr 21, 2015

Like some genetically-engineered plants are. Kumara have a long history in New Zealand, being brought here by early Polynesian settlers and are well-known to Kiwis.[1] They’re a crop that has been cultivated in South America for about 8,000 years that have been spread to other parts of the world.[1] Research just … Read More


CRediT where it is due: the Contributor Role Taxonomy for research journals

Grant Jacobs Mar 19, 2015

Five years ago I wrote a piece titled Retrospective: Credits, Dis-credits and mis-credits, recycling an article I wrote for my consulting website in 2002 triggered by an article written earlier that year by Peter Lawrence about credits for research work, Rank Injustice. Yesterday the Wellcome Trust and Digital Science announced an updated “Contributor Role … Read More

Terry Pratchett lives on in the wires and how to see it for yourself

Grant Jacobs Mar 18, 2015

Many readers will know the wonderful satirical writer Terry Pratchett passed away last week. I’ve just learnt from the Guardian newspaper of a rather sweet—and very geeky—memorial: Pratchett’s 33rd Discworld novel, Going Postal, tells of the creation of an internet-like system of communication towers called “the clacks”. When John Dearheart, the son of its inventor, is murdered, … Read More

The sheep-leaf nudibranch

Grant Jacobs Mar 15, 2015

Feeling a little sheepish? What do you think of this little creature: Photo copyright Lynn Wu, taken in Puri Jati, Bali, Indonesia. It was an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Scuba Diving Magazine Photo Contest (image 16; lead to source details, K.J.Bishop) I’m not a marine biologist, but when curious things come across your way … Read More


The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on GMO legislation

Grant Jacobs Mar 12, 2015

Recommendations to the British parliament on GMO legislation and public engagement look useful for New Zealand. I’ve previously suggested that the New Zealand legislation for Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) wants to be updated, or replaced. I’ve also suggested that there wants to be fresh discussion on the topic, especially as it’s now been almost twenty … Read More

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