Hot off the press

When faces are partially covered, neither people nor algorithms are good at reading emotions

Guest Author Aug 06, 2021

Harisu Abdullahi Shehu, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Hedwig Eisenbarth, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Will Browne, Queensland University of Technology   Artificial systems such as homecare robots or driver-assistance technology are becoming more common, and it’s timely to investigate whether people or algorithms are better at reading emotions, particularly given the added … Read More

Tuatara are ancient, slow and endangered. But their super speedy sperm could boost conservation efforts

Guest Author Aug 04, 2021

Sarah Lamar, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Dr Diane Ormsby, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Jennifer Moore, Grand Valley State University ; Nicola Jane Nelson, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Susan N. Keall, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   New Zealand’s endemic tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) are the … Read More

Kids set free to roam on their own feel more confident navigating in adulthood

Guest Author Jul 30, 2021

Vanessa Vieites, Rutgers University   The distance from home that kids are allowed to roam and play has shrunk significantly over the last 50 years. That’s largely due to parents’ concerns over safety, especially in cities. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has further restricted children’s independent activity. As a Ph.D. student in psychology, I studied factors … Read More

Fossil tooth fractures and microscopic detail of enamel offer new clues about human diet and evolution

Guest Author Jul 27, 2021

Ian Towle; Carolina Loch, and Thomas Loho, University of Auckland   Teeth can tell us a lot about the evolution of prehistoric humans, and our latest study of one of our species’ close relatives may finally resolve a long-standing mystery. The genus Paranthropus is closely related to ours, Homo, and lived about one to three … Read More

When an ancient volcanic ‘supereruption’ caused sudden cooling, early humans got lucky

Guest Author Jul 22, 2021

Ben Black, Rutgers University and Anja Schmidt, University of Cambridge Around 74,000 years ago, a “supereruption” on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, blasted out an estimated 5,000 cubic kilometres of magma. This was the Toba eruption, the largest volcanic eruption of the past 2 million years. To put 5,000 cubic kilometres of magma in perspective, this is more than … Read More

Do you answer emails outside work hours? Do you send them? New research shows how dangerous this can be

Guest Author Jul 14, 2021

Amy Zadow, University of South Australia   What could be so bad about answering a few emails in the evening? Perhaps something urgent pops up, we are tidying up an issue from the day, or trying to get ahead for tomorrow. Always being online and available is one of the ways we demonstrate our work ethic and professionalism. But the … Read More

A significant number of New Zealanders overestimate sea-level rise — and that could stop them from taking action

Guest Author Jul 13, 2021

Rebecca Priestley, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Richard Levy, GNS Science; Taciano L. Milfont, University of Waikato; Timothy Naish, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and Zoë Heine, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   Following a recent storm surge in Wellington, some media coverage expressed surprise that 30cm of sea-level rise … Read More

Five shifts to decolonise ecological science – or any field of knowledge

Guest Author Jul 07, 2021

Jess Auerbach, North-West University; Christopher Trisos, University of Cape Town, and Madhusudan Katti, North Carolina State University   The COVID-19 pandemic will change a lot about the way knowledge is produced, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine. Social movements such as Black Lives Matter have also increased awareness of significant economic inequalities along racial and geopolitical … Read More

Suburban living the worst for carbon emissions – new research

Guest Author Jul 06, 2021

Sabrina Zwick, United Nations University   Work, education, entertainment, or simply better connectivity all draw people to cities. By the end of this century around 85% of the world population are predicted to live in cities. There are speculations that the COVID-19 pandemic will slow down this urbanisation trend, but I think it’s unlikely to stop it. Cities remain … Read More