Guest Work

Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions

Guest Author Sep 18, 2020

Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological research accessible for New Zealanders to foster … Read More

New Zealand will make big banks, insurers and firms disclose their climate risk. It’s time other countries did too

Guest Author Sep 18, 2020

Ivan Diaz-Rainey, University of Otago This week’s announcement of mandatory disclosures of climate-related risks for companies and financial institutions is arguably the New Zealand government’s most significant climate policy — even more so than the Zero Carbon Act itself. The new policy will come into effect in 2023. It requires all banks, asset managers and insurance companies with … Read More

Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance

Guest Author Sep 11, 2020

Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close to a mother and her calf. Swim encounters with … Read More

Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should be

Guest Author Sep 11, 2020

David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming has been called a systemic barrier to Māori educational … Read More

‘Compassionate conservation’: just because we love invasive animals, doesn’t mean we should protect them

Guest Author Sep 09, 2020

Kaya Klop-Toker, University of Newcastle; Alex Callen, University of Newcastle; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, and Robert Scanlon, University of Newcastle On an island off the Queensland coast, a battle is brewing over the fate of a small population of goats. The battle positions the views of some conservation scientists and managers who believe … Read More

TikTok suicide video: it’s time platforms collaborated to limit disturbing content

Guest Author Sep 09, 2020

Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández, Queensland University of Technology and D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, Queensland University of Technology A disturbing video purporting to show a suicide is reportedly doing the rounds on the popular short video app TikTok, reigniting debate about what social media platforms are doing to limit circulation of troubling material. According to media reports, the video first showed up … Read More

The waggling wisdom of bees

Guest Author Sep 04, 2020

To celebrate Bee Aware Month in New Zealand, guest writers Hannah Davidson and Elodie Urlacher from EPA describe why understanding the world of bees and other insects is important in protecting them from harm. It is a fresh spring morning, and you stretch your legs as you wait for your sister to return from a food run. Read More

10 years since the Darfield earthquake rocked New Zealand: what have we learned?

Guest Author Sep 04, 2020

Mark Quigley, University of Melbourne Many of us may remember the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand, on February 22 2011. The quake caused 185 deaths, thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in damage and economic loss. But six months before that earthquake an interconnected maze of previously unidentified active faults ruptured beneath … Read More

The SMC Video Competition: The Science of Bellringing

Guest Author Sep 04, 2020

Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the first round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With twelve entries, ranging from infant nutrition to the science of bell-ringing, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of runner-up prize winner, MA student Scott Pilkington. My name is … Read More

NZ’s cyber security centre warns more attacks likely following stock market outages

Guest Author Aug 31, 2020

Dave Parry, Auckland University of Technology The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has issued a warning to all New Zealand businesses to be prepared for cyber attacks, following almost a week of daily attacks on the New Zealand stock exchange (NZX). The attacks have caused outages, sometimes for hours, of NZX’s public-facing website since Tuesday last … Read More