Guest Work

The SMC Video Competition: The Science of Camouflage

Guest Author Aug 21, 2020

Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the first round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With twelve entries, ranging from infant nutrition to the science of bell-ringing, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of first place prize winner, PhD candidate Morgane Merien. My name … Read More

Marketing a vaping lifestyle to non-smokers is working: Vaping is seen as trendy and viewed positively by consumers

Guest Author Aug 09, 2020

Dr Sommer Kapitan, Auckland University of Technology, and Dr Patrick van Esch, Auckland University of Technology The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill will limit vape sales at dairies and service stations to only three flavours, and make vaping illegal in smokefree areas. Vaping laws will be more aligned with tobacco laws, especially in regards to advertising and … Read More

When rehoming wildlife, Indigenous leadership delivers the best results

Guest Author Aug 06, 2020

Aisling Rayne, University of Canterbury; Channell Thoms, University of Canterbury, and Levi Collier-Robinson, University of Canterbury This article is republished from The Conversation. Read the original article. Whakapapa [genealogy] binds tākata whenua [people of the land] to the mountains, rivers, coasts and other landscapes, linking the health of the people with that … Read More

How climate change made the melting of New Zealand’s glaciers 10 times more likely

Guest Author Aug 04, 2020

Lauren Vargo, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Glaciers around the world are melting — and for the first time, we can now directly attribute annual ice loss to climate change. We analysed two years in which glaciers in New Zealand melted the most in at least four decades: 2011 and 2018. Both years were characterised … Read More

Sharks are thriving at the Kermadec Islands, but not the rest of New Zealand, amid global decline

Guest Author Jul 31, 2020

Adam Smith, Massey University A recent global assessment of shark populations at 371 coral reefs in 58 countries found no sharks at almost 20% of reefs and alarmingly low numbers at many others. The study, which involved over 100 scientists under the Global FinPrint project, gave New Zealand a good score card. But because it focused … Read More

New Zealand wants to build a 100% renewable electricity grid, but massive infrastructure is not the best option

Guest Author Jul 31, 2020

Janet Stephenson, University of Otago A proposed multibillion-dollar project to build a pumped hydro storage plant could make New Zealand’s electricity grid 100% renewable, but expensive new infrastructure may not be the best way to achieve this. New Zealand’s electricity generation is already around 80% renewable, with just over half of that provided by hydro power. The … Read More

Searching for Misha: the life and tragedies of the world’s most famous polar bear

Guest Author Jul 25, 2020

Henry Anderson-Elliott, University of Cambridge On the morning of August 31 2017, I didn’t meet a remarkable polar bear. It was my third week of fieldwork-based out of Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, studying the conservation of the bears on the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. Having spent a few days transcribing interviews in my small rented room, I needed a break and some … Read More

1 in 5 Australian PhD students could drop out. Here are some tips for how to keep going

Guest Author Jul 15, 2020

Craig Batty, University of Technology Sydney; Alison Owens, Australian Catholic University; Donna Lee Brien, CQUniversity Australia, and Elizabeth Ellison, CQUniversity Australia Doctoral students show high levels of stress in comparison to other students, and ongoing uncertainty in terms of graduate career outcomes can make matters worse. Before the pandemic, one in five research students were expected to disengage … Read More

Power play: despite the tough talk, the closure of Tiwai Point is far from a done deal

Guest Author Jul 15, 2020

Geoff Bertram, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Another year, another round of hostage-taking by the owners of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. As always, Rio Tinto has made the first move, threatening to close New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) in Southland unless some ransom is paid. A thousand jobs would be lost, with a further 1,600 … Read More

Did ancient Americans settle in Polynesia? The evidence doesn’t stack up

Guest Author Jul 13, 2020

Lisa Matisoo-Smith, University of Otago and Anna Gosling, University of Otago How did the Polynesian peoples come to live on the far-flung islands of the Pacific? The question has intrigued researchers for centuries. Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl brought the topic to public attention when he sailed a balsa-wood raft called the Kon-Tiki from Peru to Polynesia … Read More