Scibooks

Spending time in nature has always been important, but now it’s an essential part of coping with the pandemic

Guest Author Mar 16, 2021

Catherine Knight, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Even a short walk, an ocean view or a picnic by a river can leave us feeling invigorated and restored. There is now a growing body of evidence establishing the link between such nature encounters and our mental and physical well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance … Read More

Book Review: The Unintended Consequences of Taming Nature

Guest Author Mar 01, 2021

John Schwartz Elizabeth Kolbert lives her stories. In the course of reporting her new book, “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future,” she got hit by a leaping carp near Ottawa, Illinois (“It felt like someone had slammed me in the shin with a Wiffle-ball bat”) and visited tiny endangered pupfish at Devils Hole, a … Read More

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

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