Science and Society

USA Court ruling on glyphosate— the role of IARC and Eugenie Sage’s call - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Aug 13, 2018

A lot has been said about a recent court case ruling about Monsanto’s Roundup. Let’s look just at the role of IARC and Eugenie Sage’s call for the New Zealand Environment Protection Agency (NZ EPA) review their stance on Roundup. The role IARC seems to be very little understood. Many media reports (worldwide) on this court case offer a throw-away … Read More

Slick propaganda has no place in science classroom - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Aug 01, 2018

Except, perhaps, if it’s used to develop critical thinking skills. But I don’t think that’s what happened on the occasion reported under the headline Creationism taught in science class at Villa Education Trust school: [A student who’d studied at] Mt Hobson Middle School said Darwinism was taught as an unproven theory and students were shown a video purporting to … Read More

Skywatching southerners have chance to see selenelion this Saturday morning - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 26, 2018

Dr Duncan Steel A few minutes after 8am this Saturday those further south in New Zealand will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness a rare celestial event: a selenelion (or selenehelion). What is that? It’s when the eclipsed Moon can be seen on one horizon, whilst the rising Sun can also be observed near the opposite … Read More

Funding science journalism in Aotearoa - News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jul 23, 2018

The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund is now in its third round, with applications closing this week, which seems like a good time to celebrate some of the great journalism that’s been enabled by the fund. It’s the first independent journalism fund dedicated to furthering coverage of the science-related issues that impact New Zealanders. Dr Rebecca Priestley, winner … Read More

Critically endangered but not lost: the fight to save Te Papa’s collections from extinction - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jul 23, 2018

In an unassuming building at the top of Tory Street in Wellington lies buried treasure: the remains of a lost world that rivals Smaug’s hoard, but the equivalent of the five armies is closing in. The proposed restructure of our national museum means we are in danger of losing the key to unlocking the secrets these biological taonga hold. Read More

PBRF: The end is nigh - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Jul 16, 2018

I’d like to say the end is nigh for the performance-based research fund (PBRF), full stop. A few months ago, I demonstrated how the expensive and tedious production of evidence portfolios by 7000 academic staff will do nothing to change the redistribution of research funding – the purported reason for PBRF. So, I’d like to … Read More

How safe is the MMR vaccine? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Jul 13, 2018

In the tiny Pacific Nation of Samoa, on Friday 6 July 2018, two babies died shortly after receiving MMR vaccine. How could this happen? Lots of discussion is going around about this tragedy, and even more questions. Here are some responses to the things I have been asked this week summarised under the headings below. About MMR vaccines How … Read More

Out of the Cave: Now What? - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 11, 2018

Karen Nimmo So the psychological recovery begins. With the physical ordeal behind them, the 12 Thai footballers and their coach who survived underground terror and a high-risk rescue must now re-engage with life. Physical injuries will heal; hopefully any infections will too. But the invisible wounds will bear tending for the rest of their lives. It is not possible to … Read More