Guest Work

Why long-term environmental observations are crucial for New Zealand’s water security challenges

Guest Author Jun 24, 2020

Andrew Lorrey, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research; Ben Noll, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and Lauren Vargo, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Brewster Glacier in New Zealand’s Southern Alps lost 13 million cubic metres of ice between March 2016 and March 2019 – almost the equivalent of the basic drinking water needs of … Read More

New Zealand sits on top of the remains of a giant ancient volcanic plume

Guest Author May 28, 2020

Simon Lamb, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Timothy Stern, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Back in the 1970s, scientists came up with a revolutionary idea about how Earth’s deep interior works. They proposed it is slowly churning like a lava lamp, with buoyant blobs rising as plumes of hot mantle rock from near … Read More

How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist

Guest Author Mar 19, 2020

Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also need to read science stories, even well-known publications, with … Read More

When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media

Guest Author Mar 19, 2020

Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram have played critical roles in sharing … Read More

The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous

Guest Author Mar 18, 2020

As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. The Netherlands reportedly plans to use herd immunity to … Read More

3

Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pacific

Guest Author Mar 18, 2020

New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway country for many travellers entering the region. Health systems in … Read More

New Zealand’s COVID-19 public health response must be aggressive

Guest Author Mar 13, 2020

Professor Philip Hill, University of Otago China, Taiwan and other Asian countries have shown that a massive public health response to COVID-19 works. Now is the time for New Zealand to do the same.  COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge for New Zealand and the rest of the world. Unchecked, the coronavirus causing this disease spreads easily … Read More

What’s the difference between pandemic, epidemic and outbreak?

Guest Author Mar 12, 2020

Rebecca S.B. Fischer, Texas A&M University The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This is a landmark event. As an epidemiologist listening to the steady stream of conversation around the coronavirus, I’m hearing newscasters and neighbors alike mixing up three important words my colleagues and I use in our work every day: outbreak, epidemic and pandemic. Read More

Polly knows probability: this parrot can predict the chances of something happening

Guest Author Mar 04, 2020

Ximena Nelson, University of Canterbury Avian experts have repeatedly demonstrated the remarkable brainpower of birds. Parrots, in particular, have established a reputation as skillful imitators – a talent that requires a complex network of neural connections. Now, researchers Alex Taylor and Amalia Bastos from the University of Auckland have once again observed parrots beating the odds when it comes … Read More

First recorded ‘marsquakes’ reveal the red planet’s rumbling guts

Guest Author Feb 25, 2020

Katarina Miljkovic We’ve all heard of earthquakes, but what about marsquakes? NASA’s InSight mission has, for the first time, recorded seismic activity coming from Mars’ interior. The observations, recorded in 2019 and published today, will help understand the red planet’s internal structure, composition and dynamics. It opens a new chapter in planetary geophysics and exploration. The NASA InSight … Read More