Science and Society

Aristocracy of Pull continues - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jan 18, 2021

RNZ reports on continued arbitrariness on decisions at the border.  British comedian Russell Howard is about to tour New Zealand and other acts allowed in through managed isolation this summer include drag queen RuPaul and musicians at Northern Bass in Mangawhai and the Bay Dreams festival. The vice-president of the Promoters Association, Gray Bartlett, said despite being an approved … Read More

The frail elderly and COVID vaccines – should we be concerned? - Unsorted

Helen Petousis Harris Jan 16, 2021

(updated 18 Jan to reflect new information) Health authorities in Norway are reporting some concerns about deaths in frail elderly after receiving their COVID-19 vaccine. Is this causally related to the vaccine? Probably not but here are the things to consider. According to the news there have been 23 29 deaths in Norway shortly after vaccine … Read More

A Big Science Publisher Is Going Open Access. But at What Cost? - News

Guest Author Jan 15, 2021

Grigori Guitchounts In November, Springer Nature, one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific journals, made an attention-grabbing announcement: More than 30 of its most prestigious journals, including the flagship Nature, will now allow authors to pay a fee of US$11,390 to make their papers freely available for anyone to read online. This move, by a company that … Read More

Net-zero, carbon-neutral, carbon-negative .. confused by all the carbon jargon? Then read this - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Jan 13, 2021

Jessica Allen, University of Newcastle Countries around the world are taking steps to tackle climate change and become net-zero emitters of carbon dioxide (CO₂) by 2050. Most recently, Joe Biden’s presidential election win means the US is the latest nation to adopt the goal. So what does net-zero mean? Completely eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions? Not necessarily. The … Read More

They’re everywhere: New study finds polyester fibres throughout the Arctic Ocean - Hot off the press

Guest Author Jan 13, 2021

Peter S. Ross, University of British Columbia The Arctic has long proven to be a barometer of the health of our planet. This remote part of the world faces unprecedented environmental assaults, as climate change and industrial chemicals threaten a way of life for Inuit and other Indigenous and northern communities that rely heavily on seafood and marine … Read More

Cleansing the Twitters - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jan 13, 2021

I’m less than convinced by arguments that platforms like Twitter should be subject to common carrier regulation preventing them from being able to decide who to keep on as clients of their free services, and who they would not like to serve. It’s much easier to create competition for the network in this case than it was for Telecom in … Read More

Post-pandemic cities can permanently reclaim public spaces as gathering places - COVID-19

Guest Author Jan 08, 2021

Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Will the COVID-19 pandemic prompt a shift to healthier cities that focus on wellness rather than functional and economic concerns? This is a hypothesis that seems to be supported by several researchers around the world. In many ways, containment and physical distancing measures have contributed to an increased recognition of the … Read More

Why Aotearoa New Zealand’s early Polynesian settlement should be recognised with World Heritage Site status - Guest Work

Guest Author Jan 08, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato Aotearoa New Zealand likes to think it punches above its weight internationally, but there is one area where we are conspicuously falling behind — the number of sites recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Globally, there are 1,121 recognised World Heritage Sites, both cultural and natural. Read More

Scientists shine in New Year’s Honours - Lately, In Science

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 31, 2020

In a fitting bookend to a year of science, over a dozen scientists and health experts have been distinguished in the New Year’s Honours. Every year at New Year and Queen’s Birthday I scan the list of honours looking for familiar names from the research field, and I can’t think of a time so many scientists and other researchers were … Read More