Science

Did artists lead the way in mathematics? - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 18, 2018

Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Mathematics and art are generally viewed as very different disciplines – one devoted to abstract thought, the other to feeling. But sometimes the parallels between the two are uncanny. From Islamic tiling to the chaotic patterns of Jackson … Read More

Data should smash the biological myth of promiscuous males and sexually coy females - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 17, 2018

Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, University of Missouri-St. Louis. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. That males are naturally promiscuous while females are coy and choosy is a widely held belief. Even many scientists – including some biologists, psychologists and anthropologists – tout this notion when interviewed by the media … Read More

Recreational drugs and the technology of pill testing - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 17, 2018

by Dr Jez Weston Drug policy is slowly starting to move from ineffective moralising to the adoption of effective and evidence-based approaches. KnowYourStuffNZ provides drug-related harm reduction at events and music festivals, which in practice means a constant stream of people coming to our tent to get their drugs checked. The need is clear. This summer, for instance, … Read More

It’s time for academics to stand up against bad science - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 12, 2018

Shocking revelations around a clinical trial of a new tuberculosis vaccine are just the tip of the iceberg. Maintaining public trust in science depends on open science. Ten years ago, Dr Ben Goldacre published Bad Science, a book described by The Economist as “a fine lesson in how to skewer the enemies of reason … Read More

Super-black feathers can absorb virtually every photon of light that hits them - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 12, 2018

Dakota McCoy, Harvard University. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. What do birds and aerospace engineers have in common? Both have invented incredibly dark, “super-black” surfaces that absorb almost every last bit of light that strikes them. Of course scientists worked intentionally to devise these materials. It’s evolution that brought this amazing trait … Read More

Confirmation bias – we all suffer from it but how can we reduce its effect? - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Jan 10, 2018

Confirmation bias – we all suffer from it. It’s just part of being human. According to Psychology Today, Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea/concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to … Read More

Science Tank | Snake Bite - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 10, 2018

The Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii) is a highly venomous Old World viper found throughout Asia, the Indian subcontinent and a great deal of Southeast Asia. The name derives from the Hindi word meaning “the lurker” or “that lies hid”. Other names for the Russell’s viper include Daboia, chain viper, Indian Russell’s viper, common Russell’s viper, chain snake, scissors snake and seven pacer. Read More

Time for serious work on the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 08, 2018

This opinion piece by Dr Matt Boyd and Professor Nick Wilson kicks off a series that will run over the next couple of weeks looking at tech giant Google’s AI aspirations. In a just published paper in the NZ journal ‘Policy Quarterly’ we look at how the NZ Government might respond to rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI). In this … Read More