John Pickering

Dr John Pickering is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Otago, Christchurch and a Senior Research Fellow in Acute Care in the Emergency Department of Christchurch hospital. John aims to blog on science, health, and occasionally political issues. He believes publicly funded science should be made public - so publishes regular "cheesecake files" about his own research. John is on Twitter @kiwiskinz

It’s all about the math, dummy! - Kidney Punch

Sep 18, 2014

No one understands the electoral maths of the NZ electoral system including the electoral commission apparently. Last night I put the latest figures from the “Poll of Polls” into the electoral commission calculator and I discovered the calculator was broken! I put the figures in with United Future winning one electorate seat, but when it crunched … Continue reading

World Science Week: Where are we in the world? - Kidney Punch

Aug 26, 2014

It’s World Science Week.  So, where are we in the science world?  One measure showing our commitment to science is our expenditure on R&D.  If we compare ourselves to the other OECD countries, we see that we are right at the bottom of the pile at 1.27% of GDP and have recently been overtaken by Hungary. … Continue reading

Policy our lives depend on: Health research in election 2014 - Kidney Punch

Aug 21, 2014

We all care about health – ours, our family’s, and even that of one or two politicians (perhaps). We also care that the 15 billion dollar annual health budget is spent on health care that works.  I contend that both these cares are only as good as the health research that underpins the treatments we receive.  Therefore, … Continue reading

HRC success in Christchurch - Kidney Punch

Jun 09, 2014

The Health Research Council announced Programme and Project grant recipients.  Here’s the list from the Christchurch campus of the University of Otago in which I get a brief mention :).  If others have abstracts of successful grants they’d like posted on this blog, then please let me know. *****Update: It’s come to my attention that this … Continue reading

Does being unconscious mean you should miss out? - Kidney Punch

May 14, 2014

The front page of the Herald this morning questions the participation of unconscious patients in clinical trials. While I understand Auckland Women’s Health Council co-ordinator Lynda Williams unease, I also detected a failure to understand the process of how progress in medicine is made. First, all research in such cases is approved by ethics committees which include … Continue reading

Oh hell - Kidney Punch

Apr 16, 2014

Oh Hell, that hurts!  I sat down in a hurry. My first thought was “I’m having a heart attack.”  My second was “Don’t be silly you’re only 49 and probably just gobbled lunch too quickly, again.”  Jess came up to me and said “Gosh, you look pale.”  I mumbled something about a bit of pain.  … Continue reading

A day to celebrate - Kidney Punch

Mar 13, 2014

If it weren’t for your kidneys where would you be? You’d be in the hospital or infirmary, If you didn’t have two functioning kidneys. (with apologies to John Clarke aka Fred Dagg) Happy World Kidney Day everyone. This blog started off life as $100 Dialysis because I believe that if we can make a computer … Continue reading