Pointing At Science

Ant-tastic science

Steve Pointing Mar 23, 2016

There have been several recent scientific papers about ants that really caught my eye. I share some thoughts on these below, or you can listen to my Dear Science podcast this week for more on these stories. War and Peace – ant style African acacia ants build their colonies in trees and are well known … Read More

Mātauranga Māori in science

Steve Pointing Feb 09, 2016

At my Institute we actively nurture a spirit of collaborative learning in our research and teaching relationships by developing tikanga (Māori protocols) for ensuring the cultural safety and comfort of all research stakeholders. We wanted to share our experience and so have just released a new video on the Sci21 websiteby conservationist Dr John Perrott, acknowledging the value and … Read More

I’m baaaaaack!

Steve Pointing Feb 03, 2016

After a fantastic kiwi summer totally off the grid, it’s time to get back to work, and also to the fun part of science – which for me is all things ‘scicomms’ My radio show ‘Dear Science – science that makes sense’ kicks off again today and has a fresh new look and a new co-host in Sara Shirazi.  Today … Read More

The science of modern life

Steve Pointing Nov 18, 2015

On my Dear Science show this week, I highlight new research that may help to explain how we respond to some aspects modern life. Obesity increases risk of respiratory disease The first study is from Montreal, where a disturbing connection between obesity and respiratory health has been identified. The Journal Risk … Read More

Art meets science in Antarctica

Steve Pointing Nov 16, 2015

If you are in Auckland from now until 24thJanuary then you might want to check out the Elusive Earth: Refined images of Antarctica exhibition at the TSB Bank Wallace Art Centre.  The artwork will definitely appeal to the scientist in you, with images of the natural landscape and scientific fieldwork that have been filtered, collaged and abstracted to … Read More

Some quirky armchair physics

Steve Pointing Oct 28, 2015

I featured a trio of really interesting new scientific publications this week on my Dear Science radio broadcast, with a quirky physics theme that illustrates how the purest science can explain really diverse ‘stuff’. Ant colonies that behave as a liquid A report by scientists at Georgia Tech published in Nature Materials this week … Read More


Almost Armageddon?

Steve Pointing Oct 13, 2015

There were a large number of people who believed that the end was nigh last weekend, after reports that a massive asteroid was going to pass perilously close to Earth and possibly even impact and cause global devastation Armageddon style.  The fact that I reported this story on Monday’s Paul Henry Show attests to the fact this did not … Read More

Life on Mars – one step closer?

Steve Pointing Sep 29, 2015

NASA has delivered the first proof that moving ‘liquids’ on Mars’ surface are made of water, albeit extremely salty brines. These are likely to be ten times saltier than seawater here on Earth and so a human would receive burns from contact with these brines.  However, extremely salty lakes that occur in many desert environments from California to Tibet do … Read More