Guest Work

Why Aotearoa New Zealand’s early Polynesian settlement should be recognised with World Heritage Site status

Guest Author Jan 08, 2021

Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato Aotearoa New Zealand likes to think it punches above its weight internationally, but there is one area where we are conspicuously falling behind — the number of sites recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Globally, there are 1,121 recognised World Heritage Sites, both cultural and natural. Read More

Online Misinformation Fuels a Fight Over Folic Acid

Guest Author Jan 06, 2021

Christina Szalinski When Martha Field became pregnant in 2005, a singular fear weighed on her mind. Not long before, as a Cornell University graduate student researching how genes and nutrients interact to cause disease, she had seen images of unborn mouse pups smaller than her pinkie nail, some with brains bulging outside their skulls or with deformed … Read More

Six space missions to look forward to in 2021

Guest Author Jan 05, 2021

Ian Whittaker, Nottingham Trent University and Gareth Dorrian, University of Birmingham Space exploration achieved several notable firsts in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, including commercial human spaceflight and returning samples of an asteroid to Earth. The coming year is shaping up to be just as interesting. Here are some of the missions to keep an eye out for. Read More

Dr. Jill Biden and the Doctoral Title Controversy

Guest Author Dec 15, 2020

Anaise Irvine The internet usually doesn’t pay too much attention to doctoral degrees and the people who hold them. Oh sure, we have our own corners of the web, but seldom does mainstream social media erupt with discussions about academic issues. This past weekend, that all changed. The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece* by a Mr. Joseph Epstein … Read More

Marine protection falls short of the 2020 target to safeguard 10% of the world’s oceans. A UN treaty and lessons from Antarctica could help

Guest Author Dec 15, 2020

Natasha Blaize Gardiner, University of Canterbury and Cassandra Brooks, University of Colorado Boulder Two-thirds of the world’s oceans fall outside national jurisdictions – they belong to no one and everyone. These international waters, known as the high seas, harbour a plethora of natural resources and millions of unique marine species. But they are being damaged irretrievably. Research … Read More

Report shows New Zealand’s ‘fragmented’ environmental research funding doesn’t match most urgent needs

Guest Author Dec 10, 2020

Troy Baisden, University of Waikato There’s a serious mismatch between what New Zealand’s government identified as the most pressing environmental issues, including climate change and freshwater quality, and the investments in environmental research it actually makes. A report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) shows New Zealand spends about NZ$500m on environmental … Read More

An ocean like no other: the Southern Ocean’s ecological richness and significance for global climate

Guest Author Dec 08, 2020

Ceridwen Fraser, University of Otago; Christina Hulbe, University of Otago; Craig Stevens, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and Huw Griffiths, British Antarctic Survey In 2018, a map named after an oceanographer went viral. The so-called Spilhaus projection, in which Earth is viewed from above the South Pole, was designed to show the connected nature of the ocean … Read More

The forgotten environmental crisis: how 20th century settler writers foreshadowed the Anthropocene

Guest Author Dec 04, 2020

Philip Steer, Massey University Just as writers and artists today are responding to the Anthropocene through climate fiction and eco art, earlier generations chronicled an environmental crisis that presaged humanity’s global impact. The Anthropocene is a proposed geological epoch that powerfully expresses the planetary scale of the environmental changes wrought by human activity. Yet almost a … Read More

Why the way we approach transgender and non-binary healthcare needs to change

Guest Author Dec 01, 2020

Rona Carroll, University of Otago Demand for healthcare for transgender people is on the rise in New Zealand but training for health professionals to develop basic competencies is lagging behind. There is little teaching on gender and sexuality at either of New Zealand’s medical schools. It’s partly due to lack of time, but also lack of confidence … Read More