Infrequently Asked Questions

The complex future of ecology

Lynley Hargreaves Aug 27, 2015

If you believe the next mass extinction event (caused by humans) has begun, how do humans begin to choose which species to save? Rutherford Discovery Fellow Dr Daniel Stouffer may be able to help, although he isn’t looking at kiwi, lichens, or in fact any particular species. Instead, he’s working on ways to study all of them at the same … Read More

Aliens, relativistic effects, and the end of elements

Lynley Hargreaves Aug 21, 2015

Distinguished Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger would like to find the end of the periodic table – where elements get heavier, more relativistic and much, much less stable. The Massey University Professor is delivering the annual Rutherford Lecture series around New Zealand, and you can come along to find out more about why gold is … Read More

New Zealand kids monolingual, missing out

Lynley Hargreaves Jul 29, 2015

Associate Professor Sharon Harvey The Māori language is in a dire situation and the 2013 census saw a further drop in numbers of Māori speaking Māori. In 2015’s Māori language week, Auckland University of Technology Associate Professor Sharon Harvey takes on popular misconceptions, explains how a national languages policy would increase our awareness of languages overall, and tells us … Read More

Where will all the people go?

Lynley Hargreaves Jul 23, 2015

Professor Richard Bedford Sea level will rise, mosquitoes will likely carry dengue fever and malaria, and drought may damage dairy farming. But climate change is not going to be as devastating in New Zealand as in other parts of the world, says Auckland University of Technology’s Professor Richard Bedford. The first social scientist to lead the Royal Society … Read More


Is our flag a brand?

Lynley Hargreaves Jun 29, 2015

If you’ve felt uneasy about the new flag debate, this might be why. A flag, says a University of Auckland geographer, is supposed to be something that defines us as a people in our place, not an exercise in market branding. After a prestigious Marsden Grant looking at the development of Brand New Zealand, Associate Professor Nick Lewis says that … Read More

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Data mining medical trials – a 'game changer'

Lynley Hargreaves Jun 10, 2015

Associate Professor Suetonia Palmer Diabetic? Got heart disease? Which blood pressure treatment will help you most? With hundreds of thousands of medical trials to wade through, even your doctor might not know. But in a paper in the Lancet medical journal published recently, University of Otago Associate Professor Suetonia Palmer, as part of a worldwide team, uses a new … Read More


Tangata Whenua – changing science, changing history

Lynley Hargreaves May 27, 2015

Climate science may be fundamentally changing our view of how humans settled New Zealand and of how pre-European Māori culture changed. Australian National University Emeritus Professor Atholl Anderson FRSNZ tells us how science as a whole is an important part of Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, which charts Māori history from ancient origins to the 21st century. Read More

Wonderful dolphins, still lacking protection

Lynley Hargreaves May 14, 2015

Raewyn Peart When asked for legal assistance for dolphins, New Zealand’s Environmental Defence Society policy director Raewyn Peart was unable to help. But although the group couldn’t join a court case in which the fishing industry was challenging new regulations, Raewyn was so taken by the stories and science that she wrote Dolphins of Aotearoa, now a finalist in … Read More

Science, Poetry & Responsibility

Lynley Hargreaves Apr 29, 2015

The front cover of Gathering Evidence The dissection of football-sized hailstones, the role of Newton’s first law of motion in long-distance cycling, and the ethics of some twenty tons of one woman’s cells posthumously grown in laboratories all feature in Caoilinn Hughes’ poetry book, Gathering Evidence, a finalist for the 2015 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize. Read More

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