Guest Work

Can Cult Studies Offer Help With QAnon? The Science Is Thin

Guest Author Mar 01, 2021

Michael Schulson Days before the inauguration of President Joe Biden, at a time when some Americans were animated by the false conviction that former President Donald J. Trump had actually won the November election, a man in Colorado began texting warnings to his family. The coming days, he wrote, would be “the most important since World War II.” … Read More

The mysterious existence of a leafless kauri stump, kept alive by its forest neighbours

Guest Author Feb 16, 2021

Sebastian Leuzinger, Auckland University of Technology and Martin Karl-Friedrich Bader, Auckland University of Technology Plants use their leaves to make food from the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide. With very few exceptions of parasitic plants, no tree is known to grow without green foliage — or to be more precise, no tree can start life without leaves or some … Read More

When Scientists Become Allergic To Their Research

Guest Author Feb 09, 2021

Hannah Thomasy Bryan Fry’s heart was pounding as he stepped back from the snake enclosure and examined the bite marks on his hand. He had just been bitten by a death adder, one of Australia’s most venomous snakes. Its neurotoxin-laced bite could cause vomiting, paralysis and — as the name suggests — death. Fry, at the time … Read More

In an age of digital disinformation, dropping level 1 media studies in NZ high schools is a big mistake

Guest Author Feb 05, 2021

Wayne Hope Primary and secondary school teachers engage with students who are constantly on devices — consuming, sharing and jointly creating texts, photos, videos and memes. Across social media, hate speech, conspiracy threads and health disinformation swamp evidence-based material. Fabrications and fragmentations of reality cannot be challenged in real time. Despite this massive influence on young minds, the government intends … Read More

Under the moonlight: a little light and shade helps larval fish to grow at night

Guest Author Feb 05, 2021

Jeffrey Shima, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Craig W. Osenberg, University of Georgia; Erik Noonburg; Stephen Swearer, University of Melbourne, and Suzanne Alonzo, University of California, Santa Cruz At night on any one of hundreds of coral reefs across the tropical Pacific, larval fish just below the sea surface are gambling on their chances of survival. Our … Read More

The demise of Project Energize in the Waikato

Guest Author Feb 04, 2021

Emeritus Professor Elaine Rush, Auckland University of Technology New Zealand is a world leader in many things, but health promotion and disease prevention, particularly for children, is not one of them. One exception is the long-running Project Energize programme in the Waikato.  Every year for the last sixteen years, Project Energize worked with up to 240 schools attended by 40,000 … Read More

Curb population growth to tackle climate change: now that’s a tough ask

Guest Author Feb 01, 2021

Michael P. Cameron, University of Waikato Population growth plays a role in environmental damage and climate change. But addressing climate change through either reducing or reversing growth in population raises difficult moral questions that most people would prefer to avoid having to answer. The English political economist Thomas Robert Malthus laid out a compelling argument against overpopulation … Read More

Are We Screening Too Much for Skin Cancer? It’s Complicated.

Guest Author Feb 01, 2021

Teresa Carr About a decade ago, when he was a first-year dermatology resident, Adewole Adamson learned that “exploding” rates of melanoma were a pressing problem. That was — and still is — the official position of the American Academy of Dermatology. Since the mid-1970s, the incidence rate of melanoma, a potentially deadly cancer, has skyrocketed sixfold; once … Read More

Electric Cars’ Looming Recycling Problem

Guest Author Feb 01, 2021

Perry Gottesfeld In September, Tesla announced that it would be phasing out the use of cobalt in its batteries, in an effort to produce a $25,000 electric vehicle within three years. If successful, this bold move will be an industry game changer, making electric vehicles competitive with conventional counterparts. But the announcement also underscores one of the … Read More