Kidney Punch

A letter for all District Health Board Candidates

John Pickering Sep 30, 2013

Dear District Health Board Candidates Soon I and thousands like me will cast our votes to choose our District Health Boards.  Given the huge budgets of DHBs and the huge potential to influence health outcomes I want more information from you than a couple of paragraphs I received with the voting packs.  Below are two … Continue reading → … Read More

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Teach creationism; undermine theology

John Pickering Sep 24, 2013

My fellow science blogger Alison Campbell recently wrote a blog post entitled “teach creationism, undermine science”  in which she highlighted some of the concerns shared by many scientists.  As a Christian and as a scientist I believe the issue is far worse than the undermining of science.  Because so many teaching creationism are so well … Continue reading → … Read More

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What the HRC should have done

John Pickering Sep 18, 2013

The system is broke.  It is no better than a lottery.  The Health Research Council tacitly acknowledged this last year when they introduced a lottery to their grant funding round.  The lottery was for three grants of $150,000 each.  These “Explorer Grants” are available again this year.  The process went thus: HRC announced the grant … Continue reading → … Read More

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A new entity is born: CDaR

John Pickering Aug 29, 2013

Have you ever been told the blood test is positive and the disease in question is shocking – Cancer, an STD (but you don’t sleep around!), MS?  Have you every wondered why it is that some drugs get withdrawn years after, and millions of prescriptions after, they were first approved?  Surely, you’ve read a headline … Continue reading → … Read More

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Papanui Campus closes!

John Pickering Aug 27, 2013

917 days; 131 weeks; 2.5 years.  However you look at it, it’s a long time to be temporary.  Today the Papanui Campus of the University of Otago Christchurch, a.k.a the Versatile workshop in my front yard, closed.  The sole permanent occupant (moi) became the last of the academics to return to the “main building” of … Continue reading » … Read More

My 10 Commandments of a Data Culture

John Pickering Aug 06, 2013

Thou shalt have no data but ethical data. Thou shalt protect the identity of thy subjects with all thy heart, soul, mind and body. Thou shalt back-up. Thou shalt honour thy data and tell its story, not thy own. Thou shalt always visualise thy data before testing. Thou shalt share thy results even if negative. … Continue reading » … Read More

Totally Underwhelming

John Pickering Jul 25, 2013

What do you get when you cross dozens of New Zealand’s best scientists with a myriad of Ministry officials?  The answer is the underwhelming reports from the 10 June workshops of the National Science Challenges. If every there was need for proof that science by committee does not work, here it is.  Each report consists … Continue reading » … Read More

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Prostate cancer and omega 3

John Pickering Jul 12, 2013

The media is in a feeding frenzy with reports of a link between Omega 3 and Prostate Cancer.  Here’s a sample: Link Between Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Increased Prostate Cancer Risk Confirmed (Science Daily) Omega-3 supplements ‘could raise prostate cancer risk’ (Telegraph) Omega-3 supplements linked to prostate cancer (Fox) Omega 3 could increase cancer risk … Continue reading » … Read More

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