Agriculture

The once and future farmer - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 16, 2017

In our own cultural memory New Zealand used to have the best farming system in the world. No more, according to some. Two recent articles about the Netherlands illustrate how we are falling behind in some ways, and can provide a stimulus for how we can do better. National Geographic highlights the Netherland’s sustainable agricultural system in … Read More

New Zealand’s fisheries quota management system: on an undeserved pedestal - Guest Work

Guest Work Sep 05, 2017

By Glenn Simmons; Bruce Robertson; (David) Hugh Whittaker, University of Oxford; Elisabeth Slooten; Fiona McCormack, University of Waikato; Graeme Bremner; Nigel Haworth; Simon Francis Thrush, and Steve Dawson In popular imagination, New Zealand’s fisheries management system is a globally recognised story of sustainability, reflecting a “clean and green” environmental … Read More

Your chance to help shine a light on important science-related issues - News

Peter Griffin Aug 31, 2017

Sciblogs has joined the PressPatron platform, a crowdfunding service that makes it easy for people to make one-off or monthly payments to support content they are passionate about. We know that Sciblogs readers and those of you that comment here and in our Facebook group and on Twitter, are passionate about quality, evidence-based coverage of science-related issues. Read More

NZ’s Environmental Protection Authority in a muddle over weed killer - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Aug 16, 2017

Prof Alistair Woodward*, A/Prof Andrea t’Mannetje**, Dr Dave McLean**, Prof Jeroen Douwes**, Prof John D Potter** (*Auckland and **Massey Universities) Last year the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) chose not to accept the assessment of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that the herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient in “Roundup”) was a “probable carcinogen”. Instead, the EPA … Read More

Cows in Antarctica? How one expedition milked them for all their worth - Guest Work

Guest Work Aug 14, 2017

By Hanne E.F. Nielsen, University of Tasmania and Elizabeth Leane, University of Tasmania Domestic animals are rarely associated with Antarctica. However, before non-native species (bar humans) were excluded from the continent in the 1990s, many travelled to the far south. These animals included not only the obvious sledge dogs, but also ponies, sheep, … Read More

The political parties and where they stand on science - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Aug 11, 2017

With the Metiria Turei controversy behind us and ‘Jacindamania’ fading, it may be time for policy positions from our political parties to get more of an airing. Yesterday saw the New Zealand Association of Scientists and the New Zealand Public Service Association team up to give the major political parties and TOP candidate Geoff Simmonds the opportunity to … Read More

New blog – A History of NZ Science in 25 Objects - News

Guest Work Jun 06, 2017

Mention the words “New Zealand” and “science” in the same sentence, and one image automatically springs to mind; that of Ernest Rutherford, earnestly staring out from the $50 note. Yet there are many more diverse and compelling scientific and technological innovations throughout New Zealand history. From Tā moko uhi (chisels) and pioneering plastic surgery techniques, to disposable syringes and … Read More

Hoppy meals - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 20, 2017

Here’s a weak signal associated with changing dietary habits. Grasshoppers were on the menu at a Major League Baseball game in the US recently. At a Seattle Mariners vs Astros game six kilos of spicy grasshoppers sold out. I wrote in October in more detail about some of the trends and challenges associated with traditional western food consumption. Read More

Water pricing and bottling plants - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Mar 27, 2017

And here we go for another edition of “Because you’ve misspecified the problem, your proposed solution might make things worse.” The past couple of weeks have had renewed anger about water bottling plants. If you buy land with water drawing rights attached to it, you don’t get charged for drawing that water. The value of the water is baked into … Read More