Guest Work

Five ways fish are more like humans than you realise

Guest Author Apr 01, 2021

Matt Parker, University of Portsmouth You’ve probably heard that fish have a three-second memory, or that they’re incapable of feeling pain. Neither of these statements is true, but it’s telling that these misconceptions don’t crop up for other vertebrates. Perhaps it’s because fish appear so different from us. They don’t seem to have any capacity for facial expression, … Read More

Put a stock in it: How to choose better generic images for science and health articles

Katherine Hurst Mar 24, 2021

Are you familiar with headclutchers and headless fatties? How about hackers in hoodies? These tips and resources will help you avoid the clichés and make a more considered choice next time you’re searching for the perfect picture.  Beside every great science story is a great stock image. Although actually some of those images aren’t so great. It only … Read More

Floods leave a legacy of mental health problems — and disadvantaged people are often hardest hit

Guest Author Mar 22, 2021

Sabrina Pit, Western Sydney University Yet again, large swathes of New South Wales are underwater. A week of solid rain has led to floods in the Mid-North Coast, Sydney and the Central Coast, with several areas being evacuated as I write. As a resident of the NSW Far North Coast, which has had its share of devastating floods, many … Read More

A green tax on long-haul flights favours rich tourists. NZ needs a fairer strategy

Guest Author Mar 17, 2021

Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology International tourism has clearly been hit hard by COVID-19. But despite the desperation of the travel and airline industries, people are already questioning whether it should ever return to pre-pandemic levels. One who thinks not is Air New Zealand’s chief environmental adviser, Sir Jonathon Porritt. Increasing the price of long-haul flights to pay … Read More

‘Biodegradable’ plastic will soon be banned in Australia. That’s a big win for the environment

Guest Author Mar 09, 2021

Jenni Downes, Monash University; Kim Borg, Monash University, and Nick Florin, University of Technology Sydney To start dealing with Australia’s mounting plastic crisis, the federal government last week launched its first National Plastics Plan. The plan will fight plastic on various fronts, such as banning plastic on beaches, ending polystyrene packaging for takeaway containers, and phasing in microplastic filters … Read More

Following 3 major quakes off New Zealand, questions remain about how they might be linked

Guest Author Mar 08, 2021

Timothy Stern, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington A sequence of three major offshore earthquakes, including a magnitude 8.1 quake near the Kermadec Islands, triggered tsunami warnings and evacuations along the east coast of New Zealand on the morning of March 5. The Tonga Kermadec subduction zone stretches between New Zealand and south of Samoa. USGS, … Read More

Gender bias in medicine and medical research is still putting women’s health at risk

Guest Author Mar 08, 2021

Kelly Burrowes, University of Auckland International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements and raises awareness of the continuing mission towards gender equality. So it’s a good time to be reminded we still need to correct decades — centuries even — of gender bias in medicine and medical research. It’s no secret men and women are different. It’s why we have a … Read More

Can Cult Studies Offer Help With QAnon? The Science Is Thin

Guest Author Mar 01, 2021

Michael Schulson Days before the inauguration of President Joe Biden, at a time when some Americans were animated by the false conviction that former President Donald J. Trump had actually won the November election, a man in Colorado began texting warnings to his family. The coming days, he wrote, would be “the most important since World War II.” … Read More

The mysterious existence of a leafless kauri stump, kept alive by its forest neighbours

Guest Author Feb 16, 2021

Sebastian Leuzinger, Auckland University of Technology and Martin Karl-Friedrich Bader, Auckland University of Technology Plants use their leaves to make food from the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide. With very few exceptions of parasitic plants, no tree is known to grow without green foliage — or to be more precise, no tree can start life without leaves or some … Read More