Guest Work

Things to know about Whakaari/White Island

Guest Author Dec 10, 2019

Brad Scott, GNS Science Volcanologist This post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode started in 1976. It was … Read More

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Why White Island erupted and why there was no warning

Guest Author Dec 10, 2019

Shane Cronin, University of Auckland Five people have been confirmed dead, 31 remain in hospital with injuries and eight are still missing after sudden volcanic eruptions on Whakaari/White Island off the east coast of New Zealand. The island is a tourist destination and 47 people were on it when it erupted on Monday afternoon. Three of those rescued have now … Read More

The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes

Guest Author Dec 07, 2019

Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah Aylward, is one half of the YouTube duo … Read More

How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries

Guest Author Dec 05, 2019

Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in New Zealand. Yet, others did not mind … Read More

A Team Approach to Tackling the Psychology Replication Crisis

Guest Author Nov 24, 2019

Dalmeet Singh Chawla In 2008, psychologists proposed that when humans are shown an unfamiliar face, they judge it on two main dimensions: trustworthiness and physical strength. These form the basis of first impressions, which may help people make important social decisions, from who to vote for to how long a prison sentence should be. To date, the … Read More

Big Pharma has failed: the antibiotic pipeline needs to be taken under public ownership

Guest Author Nov 23, 2019

Claas Kirchhelle, University of Oxford; Adam Roberts, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Antibiotics are among the most important medicines known to humankind, but we are running out of this crucial resource. Decisive action is needed if we are to retain access to them. This includes rethinking our reliance on private companies … Read More

How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?

Guest Author Nov 14, 2019

Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many kilometres from the fire. The smoke haze blanketing parts of … Read More

Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice

Guest Author Nov 14, 2019

Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to be precise. Using DNA from ibis mummies buried around … Read More

Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis

Guest Author Nov 14, 2019

Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s 2018 ban on imports of certain … Read More