Science, startups and deciding to pivot Peter Griffin Jul 07

It was an emotional weekend in Wellington. There was the thrill of anticipation in the run-up to Saturday night’s clash between the Hurricanes and the Highlanders, then the emptiness of defeat as the Cake Tin emptied and thousands of yellow-clad rugby fans trudged home. But at Creative HQ a stone’s throw from Courtenay Place where [...]

Sciblogs 2.0 coming soon – wanna get involved? Peter Griffin Jun 26

After nearly six years in operation, Australasia’s largest blog network is getting a facelift and some fresh voices. Sciblogs features commentary from around 30 scientists and science writers and is consistently ranked among the country’s top 10 blogs based on Sitemeter statistics. But the platform is well overdue for a revamp and will soon be [...]

Speed bumps on the road to Paris Peter Griffin Jun 24

The next few months will witness a steady build-up to COP21, the December major climate change conference organised by the United Nations, and in the mind of many scientists, our last chance to strike a global agreement to tackle emissions reduction in a bid to stop dangerous global warming. There hasn’t been as much anticipation [...]

Budget 2015: What’s in it for science? Peter Griffin May 21

Budget 2015 is done and dusted and it appears there are few surprises for the science sector, other than an interesting move to replicate the success of the independent, Nelson-based Cawthron Institute. $25 million in funding has been allocated over three years to establish “between one and three” new Regional Research Institutes outside of the [...]

Carrick Graham still gunning for public health researchers Peter Griffin May 13

Dirty Politics. Remember that? It seems like a bad memory, a fleeting, nightmarish glimpse into the inner workings of New Zealand politics and the interplay between politicians and the hired guns who do their dirty work. As I’ve written before, one of the most disturbing revelations in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics was the coordinated [...]

When Nigel Latta blows stuff up Peter Griffin Apr 23

Psychologist Nigel Latta has a new show running on TV One: Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up. It is great TV, science-related but presented in a very pop-science format, with shades of Mythbusters and the types of science shows you’ll see browsing the Discovery Channel – plenty of explosions and slow motion photography. The first episode [...]

When balance goes out the window Peter Griffin Apr 14

A few weeks ago, for the first time ever, I took a complaint to the Press Council against a newspaper. I’ve been the subject of a Press Council complaint in the past, one that wasn’t upheld. I know it is time consuming and stressful responding to a complaint, so I didn’t make my own complaint [...]

New media rules hit UK government scientists Peter Griffin Apr 02

Science communication bodies have criticised a UK Government code for civil servants requiring ministerial approval before they talk to the media. The UK’s Civil Service Code was updated this month requiring the pre-authorisation, which in theory also applies to scientists working for the government in units such as the Met Office and the National Institute [...]

On climate change and fire-breathing dragons Peter Griffin Apr 01

Given the recent climate-related discussion here on Sciblogs, paper from Nature seems highly appropriate… Wed 1 Apr – Embargoed until 12:01 NZT: Climate change to wake sleeping dragons: An Australian and UK study has reported that increasing temperatures will result in an explosion of fire-breathing dragons around the world. The researchers say that dragon numbers declined during cool periods in history [...]

Sponsoring species – is it worth it? Peter Griffin Mar 25

From the Yellow-eyed penguin to the Kakapo, companies are keen to associate their brands with efforts to save some of our iconic native species. Is this funding worth it? Hell yes! As Department of Conversation spending on preserving biodiversity comes under pressure, private money is increasingly being sought to support conservation efforts. We need these [...]

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