News

Road to nowhere: New Zealanders struggle to get the help they need, 2 years on from a funding boost for mental health services

Guest Author Apr 19, 2021

Dougal Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington As part of New Zealand’s well-being budget in 2019, the government announced an unprecedented NZ$1.9 billion increase in funding for the mental health sector. But almost two years on, there are no tangible signs of improvement and statistics show the number of New Zealanders seeking, but not receiving, … Read More

Otago locals rally to save fossils from destruction

Guest Author Apr 15, 2021

By Kate Evans for Undark One of New Zealand’s most spectacular fossil sites originated 23.2 million years ago. It was formed in a valley dotted with small volcanoes, when rising magma deep below the Earth’s surface came into contact with groundwater. Lava and water don’t mix — they explode. The resulting detonation obliterated the surrounding forest and left … Read More

New Zealand needs urgent action to tackle the frightening rise and cost of type 2 diabetes

Guest Author Mar 29, 2021

Jim Mann, University of Otago Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in New Zealand and will get much worse unless action is taken now, according to a new report on the economic and social cost of the disease. Already 228,000 New Zealanders (4.7% of the population) have type 2 diabetes. The estimated annual cost is NZ$2.1 billion — … Read More

Google’s scrapping third-party cookies – but invasive targeted advertising will live on

Guest Author Mar 10, 2021

Eerke Boiten, De Montfort University Google has announced plans to stop using tracking cookies on its Chrome browser by 2022, replacing them with a group profiling system in a move the company says will plot “a course towards a more privacy-friendly web”. The change is significant. Chrome commands some two-thirds of the web browser market. Third-party tracking cookies, … Read More

How did NASA’s Martian rover come to land in a crater named after a tiny Balkan village?

Guest Author Mar 01, 2021

Robert Greenberg, University of Auckland The world was excited by the news last week that NASA’s Perseverance rover had successfully landed in a Martian crater. The rover will now set about collecting samples from what scientists say was an ancient lake fed by a river. The name of this exotic Martian crater is Jezero. As a South Slavic … Read More

As the Perseverance rover lands on Mars, there’s a lot we already know about the red planet from meteorites found on Earth

Guest Author Feb 19, 2021

James Scott, University of Otago NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars this morning, and has already begun beaming back images. Hello, world. My first look at my forever home. #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/dkM9jE9I6X — NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 18, 2021 But people might be surprised to learn … Read More

NZ tourism can use the disruption of COVID-19 to drive sustainable change — and be more competitive

Guest Author Feb 18, 2021

James Higham, University of Otago The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s second tourism report urges the government to take advantage of the disruption caused by COVID-19 to transform the tourism industry. Titled “Not 100% – but four steps closer to sustainable tourism”, it builds on commissoner Simon Upton’s 2019 “Pristine, popular … imperilled?” report and presents four detailed … Read More

The Fukushima quake may be an echo of the 2011 disaster — and a warning for the future

Guest Author Feb 16, 2021

Mark Quigley, University of Melbourne A 7.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan on Saturday night, injuring around 100 people, closing roads and trains, and leaving almost a million people without electricity overnight. It came almost 10 years after the nearby Tohoku quake of March 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake … Read More

Four years of the Aotearoa NZ Science Journalism Fund

Guest Author Jan 22, 2021

Keana Virmani From healthcare robots to data privacy, to sea level rise and Antarctica under the ice: in the four years since its establishment, the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund has supported over 30 projects. Rebecca Priestley, receiving the PM Science Communication Prize (Photo by Mark Tantrum) Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley, from … Read More

A Big Science Publisher Is Going Open Access. But at What Cost?

Guest Author Jan 15, 2021

Grigori Guitchounts In November, Springer Nature, one of the world’s largest publishers of scientific journals, made an attention-grabbing announcement: More than 30 of its most prestigious journals, including the flagship Nature, will now allow authors to pay a fee of US$11,390 to make their papers freely available for anyone to read online. This move, by a company that … Read More