Science and Society

COVID-19 cost more in 2020 than the world’s combined natural disasters in any of the past 20 years - COVID-19

Guest Author Apr 20, 2021

Ilan Noy, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Nguyen Doan, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington What have we lost because of the pandemic? According to our calculations, a lot — and many of the worst hit countries and regions are far from world media attention. Typically, damage from any disaster is measured in separate … Read More

Heroes, villains … biology: 3 reasons comic books are great science teachers - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 19, 2021

Caitlyn Forster, University of Sydney People may think of comics and science as worlds apart, but they have been cross-pollinating each other in more than ways than one. Many classic comic book characters are inspired by biology such as Spider-Man, Ant-Man and Poison Ivy. And they can act as educational tools to gain some fun facts about the natural world. Read More

The cost of a rolling omnishambles - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Apr 15, 2021

The travel bubble with Australia has not brought room for others to come into the MIQ system from overseas. Instead, spaces are being decommissioned. Why? The system is leaky. The government cannot afford to let riskier people into those spaces, because the system can’t handle them. My column in Insights last week went through the problem. Maintaining quarantine-free travel … Read More

Otago locals rally to save fossils from destruction - News

Guest Author Apr 15, 2021

By Kate Evans for Undark One of New Zealand’s most spectacular fossil sites originated 23.2 million years ago. It was formed in a valley dotted with small volcanoes, when rising magma deep below the Earth’s surface came into contact with groundwater. Lava and water don’t mix — they explode. The resulting detonation obliterated the surrounding forest and left … Read More

so much misinformation on a page supposedly about health - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Apr 15, 2021

It’s always something of a shock to come across a page run by a health-focused business that contains substantial misinformation. This one left me gobsmacked, given the sheer number of statements that are demonstrably untrue. And while a fair bit of the content is prefaced by the statement that it’s the personal opinion of one individual, the fact that … Read More

we haven’t taught critical thinking particularly well - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Apr 14, 2021

  Yesterday I got told to “do some research” &, by extension, to think critically. The biologist in me cringed a little when I read it (and not because of the advice about doing research). Biology teachers I know suggested that perhaps everyone should take the NCEA standard that lets students learn about the basic genetics that … Read More

evidence vs spin - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Apr 14, 2021

A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this blog post by New Zealand’s “Plan B” group. While initially this group opposed the government’s use of lockdowns to manage covid19 outbreaks in this country, they seem to have since moved on to opposing the rollout of vaccines against SARS-Cov-2. And, while they claim to be “injecting evidence … Read More