Science and Society

Taxonomy for Sale to the Highest Bidder - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 15, 2019

Shaena Montanari Last December, the environmental group Rainforest Trust celebrated its 30th anniversary by auctioning off the rights to name 12 newly discovered species, including orchids, frogs, and an ant. The Virginia-based nonprofit group claimed the auction raised $182,500 for its conservation programs. The most valuable animal turned out to be a wormlike amphibian from Panama, which … Read More

Is my science ethical? - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Apr 12, 2019

Am I doing what the public thinks is OK to do?   That was the question that came to mind as I heard Bioethics and Health Law expert Rochelle Style speak at a Health data workshop held at the University of Otago Christchurch this week.  Rochelle spoke with clarity and demonstrated a great deal of expertise.  I like the simplicity of Law – tells … Read More

Why do we mix up faces? Game of Thrones might help us find the answer - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 11, 2019

Christel Devue, Victoria University of Wellington and Gina Grimshaw, Victoria University of Wellington In the Game of Thrones universe, confusing a photograph of actor Jack Gleeson, who played the popular HBO TV show’s despised sadist Joffrey Baratheon, for one of Maisie Williams, the beloved Arya Stark, is an egregious case of … Read More

A Classic Case of Science “He Said”, “She Said”: How Psychologists Trying to Prevent PTSD Got Controversial - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 11, 2019

Hilda Bastian Natural disasters have a lot in common with other major traumas, like life-threatening accidents and mass shootings – especially the emotional distress they leave in their aftermath. Hilda Bastian, CC BY-NC-ND. As predictable and common as the psychological distress is, though, what those psychologists should or shouldn’t be doing is still controversial. It’s the centre of … Read More

A drug-resistant fungus shows the importance of the media - Lately, In Science

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Apr 10, 2019

Last weekend a number of alarming headlines from the USA showed up in my social media feeds. They’ve continued over the past few days, from Forbes: To People.com: And ever the restraint from Jezebel: The stories stemmed from a New York Times investigation, by Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs, detailing … Read More

Science to resolve environmental conflicts - Politecol

- Wayne Linklater Apr 10, 2019

Conservation science is sometimes used to subjugate people’s environmental values and opinions. Some people say, for example, that they would rather that poisons, like 1080, were used less or not at all in their environment. For most people, those concerns come from genuinely held ethical and environmental values and beliefs. They place great importance in the humane treatment of … Read More

Essential oils in the classroom: a rose (or other flowers) would smell as sweet - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Apr 08, 2019

A story about essential oils being used in classrooms hit the headlines this week. It described how an Auckland primary school had put diffusers into 20 classrooms, using oil blends that would supposedly “stop the spread of viruses and keep children focused at school.” A parent subsequently used the threat of a legal injunction to stop this practice, at … Read More

Orbit of the newly-launched R3D2 satellite - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Apr 02, 2019

Last Friday Rocket Lab successfully launched another satellite from the Mahia Peninsula. In this post I describe the satellite’s orbital path, and how it will slowly vary in time over the next week.  Rocket Lab successfully launched another satellite into orbit from the Mahia Peninsula soon after midday last Friday (March 29th), a wonderful achievement. Well done to … Read More

Limiting the size of single serve sugary drinks: New NZ study on health and cost impacts - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 01, 2019

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Helen Eyles There is a lot of focus on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) internationally, due to their role in tooth decay, obesity and diabetes [1-3], their lack of beneficial nutrients, and potential acceptability as an intervention target [4]. Our just-published study has shown that an intervention to reduce the size of all single-serve SSBs … Read More

The NZ Aerospace Challenge - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Mar 31, 2019

An open competition soon to start will provide a wonderful opportunity for smart people of any age in New Zealand to take on the challenge of how we might assess water and soil pollution using satellite and drone data. What they might choose to do in attacking such environmental problems is limited only by their imaginations, and technical capabilities. All … Read More