Molecular Matters

New Year’s Honours – Who is being recognised?

Michael Edmonds Jan 15, 2017

Each year when the list of New Year’s Honours recipients is announced I eagerly look to see if any scientists and engineers are among the recipients. And usually I am disappointed to see a sparse representation. More often awards seem to go to sportspeople, politicians and business people, or at least that is the impression I get, particularly from the media. But is … Read More

John Key rejects inconvenient research (again)

Michael Edmonds Jun 19, 2016

On Friday, the New Zealand Herald reported that John Key has yet again rejected research that contradicted what the governments’ position is – in this case on the lack of effectiveness of 90 day trial employments. John Keys’ response to the Motu funded report, which found that 90 day employment trials result in no statistically significant increase in employees being hiring by employers was: … Read More

Are children natural scientists?

Michael Edmonds Apr 28, 2016

Earlier in the week I attended the New Zealand Association of Scientists conference in Wellington. The theme of the conference was “The Future for Scientists in New Zealand”. It was a very interesting conference with a diverse range of thoughtful and thought-provoking talks. During the conference the idea that young children are natural scientists was mentioned several times – an … Read More

Should degrees be taught mainly by research active staff?

Michael Edmonds Mar 28, 2016

Should degrees be taught mainly by research active staff?* is one of the many questions being asked in the “New models of tertiary education” issues paper released for comment in February of this year. Looking at the various regulations currently embedded in New Zealand there appears to an assumption that degrees benefit from being taught by research active … Read More

Exploring the Blended/Distance Delivery Landscape – A Learners’ Perspective

Michael Edmonds Mar 26, 2016

One of the things I love about the summer break is that it gives me time to learn new things. Normally this means working my way through as many books as I can read before I have to go back to work (when my time for recreational reading evaporates). In summer 2015/2016 I decided to direct my learning in a … Read More

Skeptics Conference 2015 – Should I become a vegan?

Michael Edmonds Nov 23, 2015

Over the weekend (20-22nd November I attended (and MC’d) the 2015 NZ Skeptics Conference in Christchurch. The theme of the conference was Apocalypse How? with many of the speakers talking about ways the world/humankind might end. Some talked about fictional/fantastical ways we might meet our demise while others provided scenarios much more possible. Given the topics and the great line up of speakers, … Read More

Social media’s dark side

Michael Edmonds Nov 08, 2015

Social media has become an integral part of many peoples lives and provide many benefits – wider access to information, an introduction  to those with similar interests, and exposure to new ideas. However, it also has a dark side which can be seen in the vicious and cruel comments which appear on Twitter as well as platforms such as Facebook and … Read More