Scibooks

Book review: The Conversation Yearbook 2016

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jan 20, 2017

Toward the end of the year there can be a glut of ‘best of’ publications, but The Conversation Yearbook 2016 stands out as an enjoyable, wide-ranging collection of essays. The Conversation has been running in Australia since 2011, collating news and views from the academic and research community on hot topics of the day or longer-burning issues. My main … Read More

Book review: Falcon

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 14, 2016

You may have already devoured H is for Hawk, but Helen Macdonald’s precursor is worth a visit (or revisit) for its marvellous story telling of the cultural and natural history of falcons. Better known for her acclaimed H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald’s precursor book Falcon has been re-released on its tenth anniversary. I’ve yet to read H is for Hawk, … Read More

Book review: What’s so controversial about genetically modified food?

John Kerr Dec 11, 2016

John T Lang’s new book tackles a tough question: What’s so controversial about genetically modified food? The answer is: It’s complicated. While far from satisfying, this conclusion isn’t a cop out. The staggering complexity of our modern food systems is a returning theme in Lang’s small treatise on genetic modification (GM) and food. His observations and insights are … Read More

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Book review: Cowspiracy – The Sustainability Secret

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Nov 12, 2016

A documentary regurgitated into book format falls flat in Cowspiracy, which investigates the role of animal husbandry in global greenhouse gas emissions. With its gripping image of a cow in dark colours staring out at you – the documentary Cowspiracy has been sitting unwatched on my Netflix queue for some time now.  I’ve been hesitant because anything that implies a … Read More

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Book review: The story of the Hauraki Gulf

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Oct 28, 2016

A new book on the Hauraki Gulf spans the breadth of natural and human history and will be an enjoyable read for those who make their home and livelihoods around the Gulf. The Story of the Hauraki Gulf: Discovery, transformation, restoration has been lovingly compiled and written by Raewyn Peart – policy director at the Environmental Defence Society. At first glance, The Story … Read More

Book review: Big, bold and blue – Lessons from Australia’s Marine Protected Areas

SciBooks Oct 04, 2016

By Raewyn Peart As of 2015, Australia has designated over a third of its waters as marine protected areas, leaving much to be learnt from their experience – as is covered in a new book on the topic. This impressive book, edited by James Fitzsimons and Geoff Westcott, provides a comprehensive description of progress with establishing networks of marine … Read More

Book review: The First Migration – Maori Origins 3000BC – AD1450

Peter Griffin May 31, 2016

If Tangata Whenua, the fantastic illustrated history of Māori from Pacific origins to modern day, is the coffee table book every Kiwi family should own, The First Migration is the truncated desk reference for the office. Both are published by Bridget Williams Books and The First Migration, by acclaimed archaeological researcher Professor Atholl Anderson, draws heavily on the first two … Read More

Book review: I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that

Sarah-Jane O'Connor May 28, 2016

Dr Ben Goldacre’s collection of columns and essays, I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that, is a snackable read for anyone interested in science and how it’s used and misused in media, policy, and everyday life. I must first admit to being a bit sucked in on this book. I picked it up in a bookstore thinking … Read More

Book review: Ocean Notorious

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Mar 24, 2016

In his book Ocean Notorious, New Zealand writer, photographer and sailor Matt Vance threads history, science and good old fashioned armchair travel into a riveting read. The Ocean Notorious in question is the Southern Ocean: the ocean that doesn’t really exist. In 1914, authorities tried to agree on names and boundaries for the world’s oceans. Dubbed the Southern Ocean, they drew its … Read More

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