Guest Work

New Zealand’s environmental parable for a world crisis

Guest Author Aug 19, 2019

Brian Gill The fate of rats on a tiny New Zealand island is a story to retell as the world’s experiment with unlimited growth of human numbers threatens ruin. The world has too many people. As if more than 7,260 million souls are not enough, the population is in the dreaded phase of exponential growth, rocketing uncontrolled and uncontrollably to … Read More

Almonds don’t lactate, but that’s no reason to start calling almond milk juice

Guest Author Aug 07, 2019

Dan Weijers, University of Waikato and Nick Munn, University of Waikato At a conference about disruptive innovations in food production last week, dairy industry spokespeople criticised the “milk” labelling of non-dairy products such as almond or rice milks. Federated Farmers, a rural advocacy group, prompted media headlines with a suggestion that we should call … Read More

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Calling all Storytellers!

Guest Author Jul 31, 2019

Ceridwyn Roberts I often wonder if all science starts with kids making potions. All you really need is some red cabbage indicator and then everything in the house is being tested, including the cat’s fur with the cat still attached. When my son was little ‘playing chemist’ would keep him happily occupied for at least half an hour at a … Read More

40 years ago, scientists predicted climate change. And hey, they were right

Guest Author Jul 23, 2019

Neville Nicholls, Monash University This month the world has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon. But this week sees another scientific anniversary, perhaps just as important for the future of civilisation. Forty years ago, a group of climate scientists sat down at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts for the first … Read More

Japan resumes commercial whaling – researchers on how the world should respond

Guest Author Jul 02, 2019

Sui Phang, University of Portsmouth and Peter Bridgewater, University of Canberra Japan recently left the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and has now caught the first whale in its waters since resuming commercial whaling, 33 years after a global ban came into effect. As a non-member, Japan is no longer bound by the International Convention … Read More

Why the Australasian Health Star Rating needs major changes to make it work

Guest Author Jun 19, 2019

Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington; Alana Harrison, Victoria University of Wellington; Hongzhi Gao, Victoria University of Wellington, and Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington Unhealthy diets cause multiple physical and mental health problems. To help consumers make healthier choices, Australia and New Zealand introduced the voluntary Health Star Rating … Read More

Call for independent watchdog to monitor NZ government use of artificial intelligence

Guest Author May 27, 2019

John Zerilli, University of Otago and Colin Gavaghan, University of Otago New Zealand is a leader in government use of artificial intelligence (AI). It is part of a global network of countries that use predictive algorithms in government decision making, for anything from the optimal scheduling of public hospital beds to whether an offender should … Read More

The ‘Christchurch Call’ is just a start. Now we need to push for systemic change

Guest Author May 17, 2019

Kevin Veale, Massey University The “Christchurch Call” summit has made specific progress, with tech companies and world leaders signing an agreement to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. The question now is how we collectively follow up on its promise. The summit in Paris began with the statement that the white supremacist terrorist attack … Read More