News

Endurance captain Frank Worsley, Shackleton’s gifted navigator, knew how to stay the course

Guest Author Mar 14, 2022

Daniella McCahey, Texas Tech University When the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was found nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in March 2022, it was located just 4 miles from its last known position, as recorded by the Endurance’s captain and navigator, Frank Worsley, in November 1915. That’s an astonishing degree of accuracy for … Read More

Ski jump: Flying or falling with style?

Guest Author Feb 10, 2022

Amy Pope, Clemson University If you or I jump in the air as high as possible, we can stay off the ground for about half a second. Michael Jordan could stay aloft for almost one second. While there are many events at the Winter Olympics that feature athletes performing feats of athleticism and strength while high in the … Read More

Volcanoes, plague, famine and endless winter: Welcome to 536, what historians and scientists believe was the ‘worst year to be alive’

Guest Author Feb 04, 2022

Miles Pattenden, Australian Catholic University It’s only February and already 2022 is shaping up badly. A huge volcanic eruption off the coast of Tonga, the prospect of war with Russia, the ongoing pandemic (and its economic disruptions). And that’s even before we touch on Chinese sabre-rattling over Taiwan or Sex and the City’s disastrous reboot. Welcome to the New Year: … Read More

Once a form of ‘social camouflage’, school uniforms have become impractical and unfair. Why it’s time for a makeover

Guest Author Jan 28, 2022

Johanna Reidy, University of Otago As the start of a new school year looms, school uniforms are being dusted off or new ones bought. At the same time, age-old debates about the pros and cons of school uniforms are being dusted off, too. But questions about practicality, cost or conformity tend to overshadow the bigger underlying issue of how uniforms … Read More

COVID will dominate, but New Zealand will also have to face the ‘triple planetary crisis’ this year

Guest Author Jan 26, 2022

Nathan Cooper, University of Waikato As New Zealand’s government prepares to deal with a looming Omicron outbreak, this won’t be the only major issue it will have to tackle this year. 2022 will be important for environmental and climate action. Several key developments are expected throughout the year, both in New Zealand and internationally, focusing on climate change and … Read More

Laws governing undersea cables have hardly changed since 1884 – Tonga is a reminder they need modernising

Guest Author Jan 25, 2022

Karen Scott, University of Canterbury Since the catastrophic volcanic eruption on January 16, Tonga has been largely cut off from the world due to a break in the undersea cable that links Tonga with Fiji (and from there with the world). A complete fix may take weeks. Aside from the distress and inconvenience this is … Read More

Climate activism has gone digital and disruptive, and it’s finally facing up to racism within the movement

Guest Author Dec 07, 2021

Nina Hall, Johns Hopkins University; Charles Lawrie, University of Sussex, and Sahar Priano, Johns Hopkins University   To understand the agreement states reached at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow earlier this month, it’s important to explore how climate activism has grown and changed since the Paris Agreement in 2015. Climate activists have played a pivotal role. They … Read More

Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?

Guest Author Nov 26, 2021

Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to be retracted due to “the anxiety it is creating … Read More

Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…

Guest Author Nov 19, 2021

Feature image: The weight of the world’s news can be too much. (Shutterstock) Neill Fitzpatrick, MacEwan University In 1983, Canada’s Anne Murray released another hit song. This one, though, was different than what her fans were accustomed to. A Little Good News is a sombre ballad summarizing the mood of the day: “One more sad story’s one … Read More

7 ways to get proactive about climate change instead of feeling helpless: Lessons from a leadership expert

Guest Author Nov 15, 2021

Thomas S. Bateman, University of Virginia   Humans do not capitalize nearly enough on our most significant evolutionary advantage: a unique ability to take forward-looking actions that influence the future for the better. Exhibit A: Climate change is here, and things are changing quickly for the worse. However, even as dangerous and costly weather events grow more … Read More