Science and Society

Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 22, 2017

What’s the story about this new IQ-fluoride study? The one that claims fluoride intake by pregnant women could endanger their children’s IQ? Whatever the truth, it has certainly got the anti-fluoride activists going. Mary O’Brien Byrne, leader of the local anti-fluoride group is even suggesting people check if their mothers lived in fluoridated areas. And they are busy promoting the newspaper articles … Read More

Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 20, 2017

A recent issue of the Fluoride Exposed Newsletter gives us the facts about dental fluorosis – a subject very often misrepresented by opponents of community water fluoridation. Ever notice how words ending with “-osis” sound a bit scary?  That’s because “-osis” is a suffix (from the Greek) commonly used to describe disorders or abnormal states. Tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis…no fun. Those … Read More

We need more post-publication peer review - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 18, 2017

We often tout peer review as the reason for accepting the veracity of published scientific studies? But how good is it really? Does it ever match the ideal picture people have of it? And what about peer review before and after publication – are we neglecting these important stages? Pre-publication peer review Here I mean the collective process of evaluating … Read More

Aluminium adjuvants, immune dysfunction, and the AV syndrome scammers - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Sep 15, 2017

Vaccine scammers I call them. They prey on people with a sick kid. Perhaps they want to flog dietary supplements or bleach enemas but today I refer to the proponents of a variety of fake syndromes, which they claim have been induced by vaccines and/or vaccine adjuvants*. The most infamous vaccine scammer in this case is Andrew Wakefield, but this … Read More

Climate change and recent actions of NZ political parties - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 15, 2017

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Caroline Shaw, A/Prof Ralph Chapman, Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman The health organisation OraTaiao convened a group of experts to analyse the climate change policies of NZ political party policies. It gave the highest grade to the Green Party, then the Labour Party, and then The Opportunities Party … Read More

Cassini plunges into Saturn tonight – a grand finale - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Sep 15, 2017

After two decades in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is nearing the end of its remarkable journey of exploration. Having expended almost every bit of the rocket propellant it carried to Saturn, operators are deliberately plunging Cassini into the planet to ensure Saturn’s moons will remain pristine for future exploration. Watch live coverage of Cassini’s end of mission on … Read More

Anti-vaccination activists – deluded and dangerous - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Sep 14, 2017

The latest news reports indicate that the mumps outbreak in Auckland is spreading. As you might expect, the very first commenter on the FB page for that story is someone claiming that vaccines don’t cure mumps and offer a significant risk to health. (I wish Moveable Type allowed the Comic Sans font…) The only reason I bother dipping … Read More

A Statue of Merit: Dr Margaret Cruickshank and the 1918 influenza pandemic - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Sep 12, 2017

Nick Wilson, Ben Schrader, Geoff Rice, Christine Clement, George Thomson, Catharine Ferguson, Michael Baker Some statues are getting bad press at present – and rightly so for the Confederate military statues which represent the racist history of the Southern United States. But in this blog we briefly look at a particular New Zealand statue that we think characterises some of … Read More

Drones and wildlife – working to co-exist - Guest Work

Guest Work Sep 12, 2017

By Pip Wallace, University of Waikato; Iain White, University of Waikato, and Ross Martin, University of Waikato The drone market is booming and it is changing the way we use airspace, with some unforeseen consequences. The uptake of remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) has been swift. But despite their obvious benefits, concerns are growing about … Read More