Science and Society

Students are told not to use Wikipedia for research. But it’s a trustworthy source - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 05, 2021

Rachel Cunneen, University of Canberra and Mathieu O’Neil, University of Canberra   At the start of each university year, we ask first-year students a question: how many have been told by their secondary teachers not to use Wikipedia? Without fail, nearly every hand shoots up. Wikipedia offers free and reliable information instantly. So why do teachers almost universally distrust it? … Read More

Protesting during a pandemic: New Zealand’s balancing act between a long tradition of protests and COVID rules - COVID-19

Guest Author Nov 05, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato and Claire Breen, University of Waikato   Several times this week, protesters have forced Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to abandon events aimed to support the COVID vaccination rollout. Over the past few weeks, thousands have gathered, in breach of COVID restrictions and public health measures, to protest against lockdowns and vaccination mandates. The … Read More

Intersex children in New Zealand are routinely undergoing unnecessary surgery – that needs to change - News

Guest Author Oct 27, 2021

Claire Breen, University of Waikato and Katrina Roen, University of Waikato   Until very recently, people with intersex variations have often been unseen, stigmatised and routinely discriminated against. Intersex Awareness Day (October 26) is therefore an opportunity to examine how much progress has been made and how far we still have to go. It’s estimated 1.7 to 4% … Read More

Monitoring CO2 indoors for improving ventilation as a Covid-19 control tool - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Oct 27, 2021

Dr Ian Longley and Dr Julie Bennett* Poor ventilation in indoor settings is widely recognised as a risk factor for the airborne transmission of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19. Virus-laden aerosols can remain airborne for hours in indoor spaces with low levels of ventilation. In this blog, we discuss how to use carbon dioxide (CO2) measures as a proxy … Read More

Long read: reflections of a volcanologist as a science organisation faces charges in the wake of the 2019 Whakaari eruption - News

Guest Author Oct 27, 2021

Ben Kennedy, University of Canterbury   This week, a case review hearing sought to set a trial date – now likely in 2023 – for 13 organisations and individuals facing charges in the wake of the Whakaari White Island eruption of December 9 2019. The volcano erupted while 47 people were on the island, leaving 22 dead and survivors … Read More

Many of New Zealand’s most popular websites use ‘dark patterns’ to manipulate users – is it time to regulate? - Hot off the press

Guest Author Oct 19, 2021

Cherie Lacey, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Alex Beattie, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   More than half of the most popular New Zealand websites may be unfairly manipulating visitors, according to our latest research into the use of “dark patterns” in sites with a “co.nz” domain name. While legal, dark patterns … Read More

Is injection technique contributing to the risk of post vaccine myocarditis? - Diplomatic Immunity

Helen Petousis Harris Oct 17, 2021

Recent misleading media headlines about vaccines being administered incorrectly in the absence of evidence do little to help public confidence in vaccines. Spoiler alert, vaccines are not being administered incorrectly. The topic of this blog is based on what could be an important scientific question – is one of the most widely used injection techniques a risk for serious … Read More

Why Jacinda Ardern’s ‘clumsy’ leadership response to Delta could still be the right approach - COVID-19

Guest Author Oct 15, 2021

Suze Wilson, Massey University   Leading people through the pandemic is clearly no easy task. But does the criticism currently directed at New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveal a major misstep on her part, or something deeper about the nature of leadership itself? Ardern has previously won widespread praise for her COVID-19 response and crisis communication, topping … Read More

How a random sampling regime could help detect COVID and highlight infection hotspots - COVID-19

Guest Author Oct 15, 2021

Stephen John Haslett, Massey University and Richard Arnold, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   For the detection of community transmission of COVID-19, New Zealand currently relies on contact tracing, testing of self-selected people with symptoms and those with permission to travel between different alert levels, and surveillance testing of staff at businesses permitted to … Read More