Science and Society

Matariki – Te whetū tapu o te taū - Kidney Punch

John Pickering May 18, 2022

“Māori star lore was, and still remains, a blending together of both astronomy and astrology, and while there is undoubtedly robust science within the Māori study of the night sky, the spiritual component has always been of equal importance” writes Professor Rangi Matamua in his book Matariki – Te whetū tapu o te taū (Matariki – The star of the year).  I … Read More

Sustained Resilience: the impact of nuclear war on New Zealand and how to mitigate catastrophe - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Apr 13, 2022

Dr Matt Boyd & Prof Nick Wilson* (Syndicated from the Adapt Research Blog) Efforts to prevent nuclear war should be greatly intensified – but we must also consider what happens if prevention fails. NZ is often cited as somewhere most likely to preserve a thriving society through a nuclear aftermath. However, our society is a complex adaptive system heavily … Read More

With COVID cases still in the thousands, why are some so keen to ditch the things that kept New Zealand safe? - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 04, 2022

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced New Zealand will remain at the red traffic light setting, but other public health mandates created to control COVID-19 will still be lifted, contributing to the sense that there’s light at the end of the tunnel after two years. But many New Zealanders … Read More

Brains are bad at big numbers, making it impossible to grasp what a million COVID-19 deaths really means - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 04, 2022

Lindsey Hasak, Stanford University and Elizabeth Y. Toomarian, Stanford University As of April 2022, there have been nearly 1 million confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. For most people, visualizing what a million of anything looks like is an impossible task. The human brain just isn’t built to comprehend such large numbers. We are two neuroscientists who study the … Read More

Our cities are making us fat and unhealthy – a ‘healthy location index’ can help us plan better - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 01, 2022

Matthew Hobbs, University of Canterbury and Lukas Marek, University of Canterbury As councils and central government consider what cities of the future will look like, a new tool has been developed to map how various features of where we live influence public health. The Healthy Location Index (HLI) breaks down healthy and unhealthy elements in cities across New Zealand. Read More

Putin and the Bomb: Why New Zealand national risk assessments should include planning for the potential impacts of nuclear winter - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Mar 14, 2022

Dr Matt Boyd & Prof Nick Wilson* (Syndicated from the Adapt Research Blog) In this blog we briefly review the literature on the probability of nuclear war and what various models estimate to be the potential global climate impacts (eg, of nuclear winter). Although New Zealand is relatively well placed as a major food producer – a … Read More

Endurance captain Frank Worsley, Shackleton’s gifted navigator, knew how to stay the course - News

Guest Author Mar 14, 2022

Daniella McCahey, Texas Tech University When the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was found nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in March 2022, it was located just 4 miles from its last known position, as recorded by the Endurance’s captain and navigator, Frank Worsley, in November 1915. That’s an astonishing degree of accuracy for … Read More

Latest Gender Attitudes survey reveals the attitudes of New Zealanders are not changing - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 08, 2022

Suzanne Manning, President of Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa – National Council of Women NZ International Women’s Day on 8 March 2022 has a theme of #BreakTheBias, by calling on people to to work collectively for a gender equal world. A first step is being aware of the bias that exists, and acknowledging the problem. The Gender … Read More

Ski jump: Flying or falling with style? - News

Guest Author Feb 10, 2022

Amy Pope, Clemson University If you or I jump in the air as high as possible, we can stay off the ground for about half a second. Michael Jordan could stay aloft for almost one second. While there are many events at the Winter Olympics that feature athletes performing feats of athleticism and strength while high in the … Read More