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Reflections On Science:

Scientists and other thinkers talk about science and society and the connection between the two.

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Reflections On Science

Bearded beauty in the eye of the beholder

Posted in Reflections On Science on April 16th, 2014.

A University of New South Wales study by Rob Brooks, Zinnia Janif and ex-pat Kiwi Barnaby Dixson has burrowed into the beauty of beard. Writing on the website The Conversation, researcher Rob Brooks offers some context on their facial hair findings. Fear not the hipster beard: it too shall pass By Rob Brooks If you […]

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Water quality choices ahead – Sir David Skegg

Expanding dairying is certainly good for the economy, but will come at a cost, writes Sir David Skegg, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, in the New Zealand Herald (also published in the Otago Daily Times). An excerpt (read in full here): David Skegg: We must choose: riches or water? Unless New Zealand […]

April 10th, 2014 Read full Story

‘Should Genetic Engineering play a part in NZ’s future?’

“Should Genetic Engineering play a part in New Zealand’s future?” That was the question at the heart of a debate hosted by Lincoln University this week. Respected broadcaster Kim Hill and panellists took part in the stimulating discussion on genetic engineering’s part in New Zealand’s future, featuring: Tony Conner, AgResearch; Jon Hickford, Lincoln University; Philip […]

April 3rd, 2014 Read full Story

Scientists and Science Communication – Prof Shaun Hendy

Scientists need to step up and share their expertise in a crisis, writes Prof Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland physics professor and winner of the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize, in an Unlimited opinion piece. An excerpt (read in full here): The science of communication At 4.35am on 4 September 2010, Dr Mark Quigley, […]

March 26th, 2014 Read full Story

‘High as a Kiwi’ – NZ Drug reform featured in New Scientist

A special report in New Scientist, ‘High as Kiwi‘, highlights the recent changes in New Zealand’s legislative approach to emerging psychoactive substances. Although the article is paywalled, the magazine’s freely available editorial speculates on how New Zealand’s new drug policies could play out. An excerpt (read in full here): Will NZ drug reform bring high […]

March 17th, 2014 Read full Story

Gluckman on science advice to government

In an article in this week’s issue of Nature, titled ‘The art of science advice to government‘, Sir Peter Gluckman, New Zealand’s chief science adviser, offers his ten principles for building trust, influence, engagement and independence. An excerpt: In 2009, I was appointed as the first science adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. […]

March 13th, 2014 Read full Story

PODCAST: Climate, extreme weather and polar forecasting

The president of the World Meteorological Organization, Dr David Grimes, and over 30 international experts on polar weather and climate are in New Zealand for a week-long meeting of the WMO’s specialist polar advisory panel. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on […]

February 27th, 2014 Read full Story

Peter Gluckman: The changing culture of science

The Prime Minster’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman reflects on the forces of change in the world of science – from the shifting priorities of publically-funded science to the impact of the internet and social media, in this essay The Changing Culture of Science. The essay can be read in full here. Some […]

December 20th, 2013 Read full Story

NZ climate policy ‘a disgrace’ – Brian Fallow

The New Zealand Herald’s Economics Editor Brian Fallow expresses his concern on climate policy in New Zealand. An excerpt (read in full here): Brian Fallow: A year on, climate policy still a disgrace Govt stance cannot be reconciled with its forecasts of emissions growth in latest policy report to the UN A year ago, this […]

December 19th, 2013 Read full Story

‘Break the tyranny of the luxury journals’ – Nobel laureate

In UK newspaper the Guardian, Nobel Prize winner Randy Schekman calls for an end to the scientific community’s dependence on high-profile journals a measure of the quality of research. In an opinion piece titled ‘How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science‘, Schekman outlines how the major journals artificially restrict the number of […]

December 11th, 2013 Read full Story


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