BioBlog

Science & 1080

Alison Campbell Sep 18, 2018

This one is cross-posted from The Daily Blog. As Hayden Donnell said yesterday morning in The Spinoff, anti-1080 activism has become both noisy, and ugly. And, as is probably apparent to anyone with an internet connection and a social media account, that activism has taken to hijacking unrelated issues to attempt to spread its message. On The … Read More

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Cave bears and brown bears and admixture, oh my!

Alison Campbell Aug 28, 2018

Last week the story of a hybrid hominin was in the news: the discovery that remains found in Denisova Cave were those of a 13-year-old girl whose parents were a female Neandertal and a Denisovan male. This was exciting stuff: we already know, from genomic analysis, that interspecies matings involving Neanderthals, Denisovans, and H.sapiens happened – but to actually find the remains of someone … Read More

Slick propaganda has no place in science classroom

Alison Campbell Aug 01, 2018

Except, perhaps, if it’s used to develop critical thinking skills. But I don’t think that’s what happened on the occasion reported under the headline Creationism taught in science class at Villa Education Trust school: [A student who’d studied at] Mt Hobson Middle School said Darwinism was taught as an unproven theory and students were shown a video purporting to … Read More

Science education in the 21st century – what might it look like?

Alison Campbell Jul 03, 2018

There’s a lot of rhetoric these days around educating students ‘for the 21st century’, and the need for ’21st century skills’, while (not always but often) disparaging what is currently taught & how it’s delivered. Catherine Kelsey has a good op.ed. on this on the Education Central site, in which she comments on two other opinion pieces that … Read More

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Preparing for scholarship: critical thinking

Alison Campbell Jun 27, 2018

I met with a local biology teacher today to talk about setting up a Schol Bio preparation day in the Waikato, and we also discussed things like the need for critical thinking skills (in addition to a solid base of knowledge from students’ year 12 & year 13 studies and time spent in reading more widely around the subject). So … Read More

Appeal to antiquity? Appeal to nature? Bingo!

Alison Campbell Jun 13, 2018

I was idly skimming the Herald’s website when I came across an article with the headline “Is plant medicine really that effective?” Since the article appears to be in the nature of an advertorial, the answer is, it depends on who you ask. Unlike man-made chemical drugs that have been developed as novel medicines from the 19th century onwards, plant medicines … Read More

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Is there science in reflexology?

Alison Campbell Jun 06, 2018

I subscribe to the Tertiary Insight newsletter (a great way to keep up with news of what’s happening in the tertiary sector). Yesterday’s edition included a statement (& a link) about the NZQA’s decision to cancel the registration of the Aromaflex Academy. It seems that this Private Training Establishment (PTE) was placed under strict conditions in January 2018, & … Read More