Archive: Infectious Thoughts 2011

Are feminists really bullying Richard Dawkins? A response to Ken Perrott

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 18, 2016

My fellow sciblogger over on Open Parachute Ken Perrott has posted his thoughts on recent events involving prominent atheist Richard Dawkins, who was invited then disinvited to speak at a skeptics conference in the USA later this year.  Basically, Dawkins was invited to speak at the Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism (NECSS), then very publicly … Read More

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Zika update – sexual transmission & GM mosquitoes

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 04, 2016

Earlier this week the WHO declared the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and yesterday the CDC reported that someone in Dallas had become infected with the virus by having sex with someone infected overseas. Meanwhile, the internet is awash with claims that genetically-modified mosquitoes are to blame for the outbreak in Brazil.  In … Read More

Busting sexism in science

Siouxsie Wiles Dec 16, 2015

Science IS sexist. Fullstop. There is an abundance of evidence that it is more difficult for women working in science to get jobs, funding and published, just because they are women. So the question is, how are we going to fix the problem? Dr Nicola Gaston, Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria … Read More

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Support science with these last minute Xmas gifts!

Siouxsie Wiles Dec 11, 2015

If you are looking for gifts that are a little different, and like the idea of supporting scientific research, then we have just the thing for you! This year I’ve worked with a number of artists and illustrators to make amazing artworks out of naturally glowing bacteria. The artworks may only last a day or two but we took photos of … Read More

Surviving the flupocalypse!

Siouxsie Wiles Sep 07, 2015

Picture this. A new virus, Mortenza, is sweeping around the world, killing millions. Despite all efforts, Mortenza reaches New Zealand and rapidly spreads around the country. In desperation, the Government isolates the tiny uninfected island of Great Barrier. How would this small community cope? Would they survive the pandemic? This is the fascinating scenario I’ll be exploring this coming weekend … Read More

NIWA in astonishing attack on scientist association

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 28, 2015

NZ’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has accused the NZ Association of Scientists (NZAS) of casting doubt on the integrity of NZ’s scientists, and says it will no longer pay membership fees for its staff.  This morning, news broke on Radio NZ National of an internal email within the Crown Research Institute (CRI) NIWA sent … Read More


What would you ask a scientist?!

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 27, 2015

In preparation for Queenstown Research Week, Auckland University’s Prof Peter Shepherd asked primary school kids what questions they would ask a scientist. One class at Shotover Primary School sent us this list: Edit: A group of 10-11 year olds from Wakatipu High have added to the list (Q29-48) How does the sky stay up? How does … Read More

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Question it! Science in Queenstown

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 27, 2015

From the 29th of August to the 4th of September, over 1,000 scientists will be descending on Queenstown for the annual Queenstown Research Week. And this year the public are invited! In addition to the conferences the scientists will be attending comes a fantastic array of events for the public. Hands on science Otago University’s chemistry, physics, geology, microbiology, food … Read More

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