Scibooks

Book review: How to Tame a Fox

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Apr 11, 2018

As an undergraduate studying biology, I knew I was in the right place when we got to animal behaviour experiments and the insights they gave about evolution and domestication. Pavlov’s drooling dogs, Skinner’s lever-tapping rats, Lorenz’s imprinted goslings … I lapped it up, drool and all. And no experiment has ever piqued my interest quite like an almost-forgotten study … Read More

Book Review: The Tale of Mrs Possum – A Reflection on NZ Society

Jean Balchin Mar 20, 2018

When I was a child, I was rather prone to misbehaving. On occasions when I was particularly naughty, my father would sit me down with a copy of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and would order me to rewrite four of my favourite entries. It wasn’t actually that bad a punishment; being rather childish and petulant, … Read More

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Book review: Inferior – How Science Got Women Wrong

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Dec 24, 2017

Alongside Naomi Alderman’s The Power, it’s the feminist book everyone’s been reading this year. Angela Saini’s Inferior tackles how science got women wrong and who’s resetting the agenda. Saini is a science journalist with a Masters in Engineering, so she can talk with first-hand experience about some of the issues faced in sciences. Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New … Read More

Book review: Zoo Ethics

Guest Author Dec 22, 2017

Reviewed by Susan Rapley Modern zoos exist at a difficult intersection: whether their containment and treatment of animals is morally and ethically justified, juxtaposed against an increasing need within the wider world for their research and conservation efforts. In Zoo Ethics: The Challenges of Compassionate Conservation, Jenny Gray seeks to investigate these conflicting concerns, a task she is well … Read More

After the quakes – hard lessons that help us all do better

Peter Griffin Dec 08, 2017

I was at the science communicator’s conference in Auckland on the afternoon of 22 February, 2011, when the massive earthquake struck Christchurch. The theme of the conference was “Listening to the other side” and we’d enjoyed several stimulating discussions during the day as non-scientists gave their views on ways to effectively communicate the science of complex issues. That abstract … Read More

Book review: Sea Change

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Nov 23, 2017

The latest in Bridget Williams Books mini publications of short books on big topics focuses on the social justice of climate change. I picked up Sea Change: Climate Politics and New Zealand on a Friday evening thinking I’d skim through the intro to get a taste of what University of Canterbury’s Dr Bronwyn Hayward had offered in her 90-page BWB … Read More

Book review – Science and the City

Guest Author Nov 22, 2017

Reviewed by Susan Rapley.  If you’re hunting for Christmas gifts for the scientific or technically inclined, Laurie Winkless’ first book Science and the City will be a must-have. Science and the City takes you on a journey (in various forms of transport) through the past, present, and future of metropolitan living.  Now New Zealand-based, Winkless has taken her own … Read More

Book review: Animal Eco-Warriors

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jun 08, 2017

A new book from CSIRO about a range of animals helping their human companions to protect the environment will make a great gift for conservation-minded and animal-crazed kids. Animal Eco-Warriors: Humans and animals working together to protect our planet, written by Nic Gill, is a first-person account of some of Australia and New Zealand’s most active non-human conservationists. Read More

Book review: Antibiotic Resistance – the end of modern medicine?

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Apr 21, 2017

A new book summarising the risks of antibiotic resistance by prominent Kiwi scientist Dr Siouxsie Wiles is an excellent overview of the issue, and what you should be aware of.  Antibiotic Resistance: The End of Modern Medicine?, published by Bridget Williams Books, draws on Siouxsie’s expertise as a microbiologist to discuss the threat facing modern medicine if we lose … Read More

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