Guest Work

Anti-vaccination network told to change its name or be shut down

Guest Author Dec 19, 2012

By Rachael Dunlop, University of Technology, Sydney The heated battle between Australia’s anti-vaccine lobby, the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), and those fighting against its misinformation took a positive turn late last week, with the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading ordering the AVN to change its name or risk being shut down. The move follows … Read More

Māori knowledge and Western science: the final frontier

Guest Author Dec 07, 2012

By Gretchen Carroll, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence. Interfaces between Pāhekā and Māori have been occurring since first contact, and understanding these have become essential around governance issues, Treaty based claims, as well as education, politics and health. When it comes to science, the two world views are traditionally different and the … Read More

Learning from L'Aquila and why Canterbury is different

Guest Author Oct 25, 2012

by Dr Mark Quigley, Senior Lecturer in Tectonics and Geomorphology at the University of Canterbury and the 2011 Prime Minister’s Science Communicator’s Prize winer Six scientists and one government official have been found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison for how they assessed and communicated risk prior to the magnitude 6.3 L’Aquila earthquake that killed 309 … Read More

Dopey Physics: can bio-mechanics help point the finger at Armstrong?

Guest Author Oct 24, 2012

by Dr Paul Behrens, International and Policy Officer at the Royal Society of New Zealand and former research fellow at the University of Auckland Last week has seen the final vestiges of Lance Armstrong’s fig leaf of innocence disappear; knowing Lance he probably smoked it. Notwithstanding the fact there is a lot of evidence against Lance from teammates and doctors, … Read More

Separating the chaff from the grain in the debate on GM wheat

Guest Author Sep 18, 2012

By Prof. Jack Heinemann, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury. My report on assessing the risks of a form of GM wheat has sparked heated comment here and on other blog sites. The Sciblog-associated Science Media Centre (NZ) included comments from Peter Dearden and a link to the “Genetics Otago” blog along with comments made by … Read More

Simon Chan 1974 – 2012: Contagious passion for science

Guest Author Aug 28, 2012

Simon Chan, a New Zealand-born scientist who went on to achieve great success in plant science in the US has died after developing complications while awaiting a liver transplant. Bart Janssen, Sciblogs reader and plant molecular and developmental biologist working at Plant and Food Research contributed the following tribute. One of the joys of being a scientist is occasionally … Read More

Soy versus dairy: what's the footprint of milk?

Guest Author Aug 28, 2012

By Judith Friedlander, University of Technology, Sydney Are soy milk’s environmental attributes based on substance or froth? Is soy a sustainable solution in the dairy debate? Comparative environmental analysis of different food groups is like comparing, well, apples and oranges. Reports such as the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Livestock’s Long Shadow document the negative environmental … Read More

Plain packaging of cigarettes: Evidence and Effects

Guest Author Aug 23, 2012

Authored by Professor Janet Hoek, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Professor Richard Edwards & Dr Ninya Maubach. Allan Main raises questions about the likely effectiveness of plain packaging and suggests we need to take more heed of some economists’ claims, namely that plain packaging will lead to increased price competition which may, ironically, increase tobacco consumption. We disagree … Read More

Plain packaging of cigarettes: Economics and unintended consequences

Guest Author Aug 20, 2012

by Allan Main With Australia being first-mover to legislate for plain packaging of tobacco products, and given the closeness of our countries, the noise level is rising on what New Zealand’s policy should be. Generally that debate is providing a great deal of heat and very little light. Commentators with backgrounds in public health, sociology, intellectual property law/international … Read More