Archive: Griffin's Gadgets 2012

Speed bumps on the road to Paris

Peter Griffin Jun 24, 2015

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 ahead of a … Read More

Budget 2015: What's in it for science?

Peter Griffin May 21, 2015

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 main centres of … Read More

Carrick Graham still gunning for public health researchers

Peter Griffin May 13, 2015

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. Carrick Graham As I’ve written before, one of the most disturbing revelations in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics was the coordinated … Read More


When Nigel Latta blows stuff up

Peter Griffin Apr 23, 2015

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. Nigel Latta The first episode kicked off … Read More


When balance goes out the window

Peter Griffin Apr 14, 2015

A few weeks ago, for the first time ever, I took a complaint to the Press Council against a newspaper. Times-Age on homeopathy 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 lightly. Read More


New media rules hit UK government scientists

Peter Griffin Apr 02, 2015

Science communication bodies have criticised a UK Government code for civil servants requiring ministerial approval before they talk to the media. Fiona Fox 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 for Biological … Read More


On climate change and fire-breathing dragons

Peter Griffin Apr 01, 2015

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 … Read More


Sponsoring species – is it worth it?

Peter Griffin Mar 25, 2015

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. Yellow-Eyed Penguin Source: Wikipedia 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 … Read More

When New Zealand science news goes viral

Peter Griffin Jan 13, 2015

“Wooo, there’s New Zealand did ya!” Wrote one commenter on the Facebook page “I F*cking Love Science” last week. Okay, hardly the most articulate response to a story, but one that expressed the pride in seeing New Zealand science receiving exposure and recognition on a global scale. The story attracting attention was about researchers from the Wellington-based Malaghan Institute … Read More

Top ten weirdest science stories of 2014

Peter Griffin Dec 19, 2014

It was another big year for science capped off with the successful Rosetta mission to land a probe on a comet. But as usual, there were also plenty of quirky science stories that captured our attention too. My colleagues at the Australian Science Media Centre rounded up a list of the some of the quirkiest. Sorry hipsters, we hit peak … Read More

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