Infrequently Asked Questions

Kids catastrophise climate change

Lynley Hargreaves Jul 28, 2016

It’s good to keep things positive, says Macleans College teacher Susan van der Spuy, when teaching science and environmental issues to children. Otherwise they can tend to think the whole planet is going to burn up. Mrs van der Spuy, who recently finished a placement at Landcare Research under the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Science Teaching Leadership Programme, … Read More

2 1

Counting carbon – knowledge is power

Lynley Hargreaves Jun 21, 2016

One of the striking things for University of Waikato law Professor Barry Barton, while working on the Royal Society of New Zealand report Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy for New Zealand, was how often his scientific colleagues had to tell him they didn’t have necessary data on New Zealand’s carbon emissions options. Without that information, we don’t know … Read More

New editor of Journal of Royal Society of NZ

Lynley Hargreaves May 12, 2016

The journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand began its life in the 1860s covering a wide range of topics. New editor Professor Ewan Fordyce FRSNZ would like to regain a little more of that breadth of discipline. The University of Otago Professor knows something about crossing disciplinary boundaries, as a paleontologist in a Geology Department, working … Read More

Electric cars – a slow hope

Lynley Hargreaves Apr 28, 2016

Dr Janet Stephenson Experts, just about everyone and even the government would like New Zealanders to be zipping around in electric cars. But it won’t happen, at least not rapidly. Otago University’s Director of the Centre for Sustainability Dr Janet Stephenson explains. She also tells us why New Zealanders are buying photovoltaic solar panels, wonders why we’re buying … Read More

63 4

Floods for you; sea level rise for me

Lynley Hargreaves Apr 21, 2016

Professor James Renwick With sixteen percent of New Zealanders living in the coastal zone, and two thirds in areas prone to flooding, most of us are likely to feel the watery effects of climate change. A new Royal Society of New Zealand report, Climate Change Implications for New Zealand, says your local council should be thinking about … Read More

41 1

WWII war brides – love, law, race and marriage

Lynley Hargreaves Mar 10, 2016

Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla About 1,500 hundred New Zealand women married American Servicemen during WWII, says University of Otago’s Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla. With the latest of a string of illustrious research grants, she looks at the less-considered questions of this war time history – divorce, adoption, legitimacy, shame, the women who were married then abandoned, and the women … Read More

1

Crabs hear turbines and stop developing

Lynley Hargreaves Feb 25, 2016

Dr Craig Radford When New Zealand marine crab larvae are played the sound of tidal turbines, they halt their metamorphosis into an adult form. That’s one of the findings of Rutherford Discovery Fellow Dr Craig Radford’s team, in the little-known, underwater world of crab hearing. The Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland tells us about another new finding … Read More

Marmalade chapati multiculturalism

Lynley Hargreaves Feb 11, 2016

Professor Colleen Ward FRSNZ The more culturally diverse our neighbourhoods are, the happier we are about it – up to a certain point, says Professor Colleen Ward, Director of  Victoria University of Wellington’s Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research. The Royal Society of New Zealand Fellow explains the tipping point of immigration acceptance, what makes kiwis tend to embrace diversity, … Read More

1 1

Discovering new species in the Kermadec Islands

Lynley Hargreaves Jan 28, 2016

Dr Tom Trnski A November 2015 expedition to the remote, subtropical Kermadec Islands doubled the area’s number of known sponge species, with a sponges taxonomist on the team for the first time. That was exciting to see, says Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Tom Trnski, the expedition leader. But often the really interesting part, he tells us, is how species … Read More

4 1