News

Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin: can they be more than ‘space’ joyrides for millionaires?

Guest Author Jul 19, 2021

Ian Whittaker, Nottingham Trent University and Gareth Dorrian, University of Birmingham Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his team successfully flew to the “edge of space” on the Unity 22 mission aboard a Virgin Galactic plane on July 12. The event was hailed as the start of space tourism, narrowly beating the planned launch on 20 July … Read More

In NZ and around the world, women are still more likely to present and report the news than appear in it

Guest Author Jul 15, 2021

Susan Fountaine, Massey University   Women are more visible in the world’s news than ever before — but they’re still far from achieving parity with men. According to the just released Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), women made up 40% of reporters and 25% of news sources across print, TV, radio, internet news and Twitter. This was a record … Read More

With seas rising and storms surging, who will pay for New Zealand’s most vulnerable coastal properties?

Guest Author Jul 13, 2021

Tom Logan, University of Canterbury   The major storm surge and coastal flooding in Wellington earlier this month was another reminder that the sea is now lapping close to a lot of New Zealand’s front doors. The ominous question is: who will pay when it crosses the threshold? But that’s not a question worrying insurance companies. They’ve made their … Read More

Australia and New Zealand are signing up for an international tax on the tech giants — but will it be enough?

Guest Author Jul 09, 2021

Victoria Plekhanova, Massey University   Australia, New Zealand and many other countries are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year by not adequately taxing the profits of digital giants doing business in their jurisdictions. Australia has opted not to impose a digital services tax (DST) on the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb. Meanwhile, … Read More

Online learning has changed the way students work — we need to change definitions of ‘cheating’ too

Guest Author Jun 29, 2021

Linda Rowan, Massey University and Fiona Murray, Massey University   As university students wait on their mid-year exam results, some will no doubt be thinking about more than just passing. Since COVID-19 pushed teaching and testing online last year, the issue of cheating has come into sharper focus. Recent reports of University of Auckland students allegedly cheating in online … Read More

Auckland is the world’s ‘most liveable city’? Many Māori might disagree

Guest Author Jun 17, 2021

Ella Henry, Auckland University of Technology   While I am always happy to celebrate any accolades my country and city might garner on the international stage, seeing Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau awarded the top ranking in a recent “most liveable cities” survey left me somewhat flummoxed. In particular, I would argue that many Māori whānau in Auckland do not enjoy … Read More

Whakaari tragedy: court case highlights just how complex it is to forecast a volcanic eruption

Guest Author Jun 04, 2021

Shane Cronin, University of Auckland and David Dempsey, University of Canterbury   While today’s pre-trial hearing over the Whakaari White Island tragedy revealed most of the 13 parties charged have yet to enter pleas, there is no disputing the basic facts. The December 9 2019 eruption struck when 47 people were on the small island; 22 people died … Read More

New Zealand relies on scientific research for good policy. It’s a pity the budget didn’t reflect this

Guest Author Jun 02, 2021

Nicola Gaston, University of Auckland   New Zealand’s government has been praised for listening to scientists as it continues to pursue its COVID-19 elimination strategy. But it’s difficult to find any signs of significant investment in science in the recent budget — or in fact previous budgets. It was with a sense of déjà vu I scrolled through … Read More

HIV/AIDS vaccine: Why don’t we have one after 37 years, when we have several for COVID-19 after a few months?

Guest Author May 18, 2021

Ronald C. Desrosiers, University of Miami   Smallpox has been eradicated from the face of the Earth following a highly effective, worldwide vaccination campaign. Paralytic poliomyelitis is no longer a problem in the U.S. because of development and use of effective vaccines against the poliovirus. In current times, millions of lives have been saved because of rapid deployment … Read More

Jacinda Ardern calls for ‘ethical algorithms’ to combat online extremism. What this means

Guest Author May 18, 2021

Nathalie Collins, Edith Cowan University   New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has called for “ethical algorithms” to help stop online radicalisation. She made her call on the weekend at the second summit of the “Christchurch Call” for action to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online. The first Christchurch Call summit was convened by Ardern and French president … Read More