A Measure of Science

Marsden 2010: Levels of funding and success rates fall

Shaun Hendy Oct 01, 2010

The 2010 Marsden fund results were announced by the Royal Society last week.  The Marsden fund supports much of New Zealand’s blue skies research and is one of the most prestigious grants available to New Zealand scientists.  In total this year, 102 proposals were awarded just under $60m to be spent over the next three years. How does … Read More

The southern lights

Shaun Hendy Aug 26, 2010

Tonight I will be talking about the aurora on Bryan Crump’s radio show (Nights, Radio New Zealand National, 8.42pm, Thursday August 26th).  I won’t spend much time here explaining the underlying physics of the effect, but take a look at the beautiful infographic posted by Peter Griffin. Now although I didn’t see any sign of the … Read More

Picking Winners?

Shaun Hendy Aug 18, 2010

It seems to have become received wisdom recently that New Zealand must pick winners with its public science investment.  In this post, I argue that this is not new:  we picked our winners a long time ago, with a strong focus on agricultural and environmental sciences.  So what are the pros and cons … Read More

What science are Australians doing?

Shaun Hendy Aug 02, 2010

By popular request our intern has put together a subject area tag cloud for Australia from their 2009 publications in the ISI database.  As she observed, Australia is poorly designed.  So much so that it is hard to squeeze Canberra’s tag cloud in between those of Sydney and Melbourne.  In fact, you’ll see in the map below it has drifted … Read More

Who are we collaborating with?

Shaun Hendy Jul 30, 2010

Our talented intern from MIT has produced another tag cloud.  This time she has taken a look at who we collaborated with in 2008 based on our co-publication preferences in the ISI database.   The resulting map is shown below: It’s clear we like working with Australians.  Those in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch prefer to … Read More

What science are we doing?

Shaun Hendy Jul 26, 2010

What science are New Zealanders working on?  To help me answer this question, I have an intern from MIT here for her summer break.  Luckily for me, she hadn’t heard about Wellington’s winter.  (Not that our spring or summer are up to much either, although we can put on a decent autumn.) She is a very bright cookie, and she … Read More

How the transistor took over our lives

Shaun Hendy Jul 12, 2010

On Thursday, I will be back on Bryan Crump’s radio show (Nights, Radio New Zealand National, 8.42pm, Thursday July 15th).  This week, we will continue our discussion of transistors, several billion of which are currently helping you read this article.  Last time, we talked about how quantum mechanics allows transistors to work as electronic switches.  This week, … Read More

National bibliometric report released

Shaun Hendy Jul 05, 2010

MoRST has released its national bibliometric report covering papers published during the years 2002-7. The team from MoRST and the Royal Society that put the report together used the Scopus database.  The major findings include: • The rate and impact of New Zealand publications has increased during the period 2002-2007. This is especially so in the Tertiary Education … Read More