Let’s Talk Politics Michael Edmonds Jul 23

Well it is less than two months until the next general election in New Zealand and I must admit I feel more unsure than ever about who I will vote for. Traditionally I have tended to vote Labour because they have always seemed to have a good social conscience while avoiding what I used to [...]

New Campaign to Boost Engineering Numbers at Polytechnics Michael Edmonds Jul 23

Yesterday, an new initiative to encourage enrolments into engineering qualifications at polytechnics was launched by Steven Joyce, a move welcomed across the polytechnic and industry sectors. Graduates of the three year Bachelor of Engineering Technology and the two year New Zealand Diploma of Engineering are in demand in industry – according to the National Engineering [...]

Why Skeptics shouldn’t have Heroes Michael Edmonds Jul 21

While there are some skeptics who I admire for their contribution to skepticism there are none who I would describe as my heroes. Assigning someone “hero status” implies that they can do no wrong, and more importantly, that their decisions or behaviour is beyond question.  This is not a valid skeptical position, as we are [...]

Egyptian Army Claims Cure for HIV and Hepatitis C Michael Edmonds Jun 30

Apparently the Egyptian army has developed a new cure for hepatitis C and HIV, described in the following video. The claims about this device contain many of the trappings of pseudoscience – a secretly developed device using “electromagnetic waves”, a conspiracy to suppress the invention, however, the obvious giveaway in this story is the inclusion [...]

What do we expect of scientists … and is it too much? Michael Edmonds Jun 18

Depending on your point of view there are many things that are expected of scientists excellence in research great teacher effective administrator skillful grant proposal writer good mentor and research group co-ordinator media savvy science communicator All up this is quite a wide ranging and challenging list, so much so that I would suggest that [...]

Why the Research Process needs Subjectivity, Emotion and Collaborative Support Michael Edmonds Jun 15

When scientific breakthroughs are reported in professional journals they are done objectively and without emotion. This is very different from the process of science, very ably and creatively described by Uri Alon, in a recent TED talk.

Linwood College becomes first official STEM school in New Zealand Michael Edmonds Jun 15

On Friday afternoon I attended the launch of Linwood College’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education initiative. This initiative has a wide range of supporters and collaborators including local tertiary institutions (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University) local government and businesses (including Downer and David Reid Homes) Sir Peter Gluckman, [...]

Why Women Don’t Choose Science & Engineering Careers Michael Edmonds Jun 13

I just found this very clever clip which I think demonstrates one of the reasons why we don’t have more women in engineering & the sciences.

Sir Peter Gluckman on New Zealand’s Childhood Obesity Epidemic Michael Edmonds Jun 09

Yesterday on TV One’s Sunday programme there was an interview with Sir Peter Gluckman on New Zealand’s childhood obesity problems and his recent appointment to the Commission to End Childhood Obesity by the World Health Organisation. I thought it was an excellent interview (though personally I would avoid terms such as co-variates and multi-sectorial) highlighting [...]

Why We Need More Women in Engineering Michael Edmonds Jun 07

New Zealand needs more engineers, and one way to achieve this is to encourage more women to consider engineering as a career. The benefits of having more women in engineering are many. Engineering jobs these days are often team efforts, which typically benefit from team diversity. And dare I say it, more women many have [...]

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