Ice Doctor

Getting all atwitter about science

Victoria Metcalf Oct 17, 2014

Image source: Wikimedia Commons uploaded by The Pink Group https://www.iconfinder.com/iconsets/social-media-icons-the-circle-set Recently the Minister of Education , Hon Hekia Parata, suggested introducing new assessments for Years 9 and 10 at school. The tone of the conversations on education in general I have been having in recent months with teachers leads me to … Read More

Basking in the conference afterglow or swansong?

Victoria Metcalf Sep 11, 2014

Conferences are seen as one of the few remaining perks of a scientist’s life. A chance to step away from academia and to travel, even if only out of one’s earthquake ravaged home city. Sometimes though, as much as they energise and present opportunities to reconnect with the scientific community, conferences can be a harsh reminder of just … Read More

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A flurry of Antarctic scientists

Victoria Metcalf Aug 22, 2014

Antarctic scientist gets close to study subject, a Weddell seal. Antarctic scientists tend to feel passionate about their subject areas. For those of you living in Auckland, New Zealand, happily going about your daily lives you might be blissfully unaware that approximately 1000 Antarctic scientists are currently beginning to infiltrate the city. Think of them like a flurry of … Read More

Sensationalising science: sometimes behind the sizzle is just fizzle

Victoria Metcalf Jul 25, 2014

If we believe the headlines we might expect to see aliens waving at us via telescopes within 20 years. How much harm does the sensationalism of science do? Image Source: Wikimedia Commons http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast07sep_2/ Accompanying the increasing permeation of science news into mainstream media, there’s an explosion of popular science media sites such as IFLScience. Should we … Read More

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Frozen Friday Fab Four #6 The importance of basic science

Victoria Metcalf May 30, 2014

Four of the Antarctic or anything else headlines/social media bits that have grabbed my attention this week. Remarkably it looks like the diminutive Kiwi is the closest living relative of the extinct elephant bird. Image source: Wikimedia Commons uploaded by Glen Stewart. The importance of basic science 1. As a scientist I actually love it when what we think … Read More

Frozen Friday Fab Four #5

Victoria Metcalf May 23, 2014

Four of the Antarctic or anything else headlines/social media bits that have grabbed my attention this week(ish). Large glaciers are in irreversible decline signalling the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet more rapidly than predicted. Sea levels will rise as a result. Image credit: Victoria Metcalf 1. Although it may have been overshadowed somewhat by the elevator bust-up … Read More

Frozen Friday Fab Four #4

Victoria Metcalf May 02, 2014

After a break with a couple of Friday holidays we’re back. Four of the Antarctic or anything else headlines/social media bits that have grabbed my attention this week(ish).   Access to icebreakers is essential for polar research. 1. Woohoo for something heartening happening in science. UK polar science is set to get a huge boost with the … Read More

All abuzz about a new way to get a buzz on: the Palcohol debacle

Victoria Metcalf Apr 27, 2014

Will powdered alcohol if it becomes available be used sensibly or become just another societal problem? Image source: Wikimedia Commons uploaded by Jodie Veitch In the last week media and social media alike have been buzzing about the potential release of powdered alcohol named Palcohol by a US Arizona-based company Lipsmark. I … Read More

Defecating dogs do it with direction

Victoria Metcalf Apr 15, 2014

All that fussing around before they defecate may bemuse dog owners but it seems it’s about aligning N-S. Source: Wikimedia Commons, uploaded by Zoidy. And why this research is unlikely to get funded in New Zealand Last week I got to briefly talk science on George FM Breakfast. The invitation … Read More

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