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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

Why scientists need to go to the barricades against Trump – and for the humanities – Nicola Gaston

Posted in Reflections On Science on January 31st, 2017.

University of Auckland’s Associate Professor Nicola Gaston writes on The Spinoff about why scientists need to stand against anti-science agendas and for the humanities. An excerpt (read in full): Very few of the Trump regime’s attacks on science have not been previously signalled – I spoke about one example, the proposal to prevent scientists from […]

Continue reading “Why scientists need to go to the barricades against Trump – and for the humanities – Nicola Gaston

Micro-response to major problem – Michelle Dickinson

A proposal to ban microbeads from cosmetics is a positive step, but the problem pales in comparison to the harm caused by plastics from bags, bottles and food packaging, writes Dr Michelle Dickinson in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): Our proposed law change is a positive step. It is important to note […]

January 24th, 2017 Read full Story

Can Bill English pick up the pace on scientific investment? – Jeff Tallon

Science was ignited as the fuel of economic growth, but the fame has gone out, writes Professor Jeff Tallon, physicist with The MacDiarmid Institute, in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): And it is inescapable, the Government needs to invest here much more heavily. We need to fund strategies, not projects. Where is […]

January 19th, 2017 Read full Story

In the face of the mind-boggling peril of climate change, feel the despair, then work harder – James Renwick

With the, somewhat signposted, news that 2016 was the warmest year on record globally, and the warmest in New Zealand since modern records began in 1909, Professor James Renwick writes that we need to channel energy into urgent action. An excerpt (read in full): The past year also saw two milestones: the atmospheric concentration of […]

January 11th, 2017 Read full Story

Top Ten Science Stories of 2016

Nature’s made herself well known in science this year, with the recent Kaikoura earthquake dominating media attention for the past month. A plan to make New Zealand predator free and the campylobacter outbreak that sent Havelock North hurtling to the bathroom made science a crucial part of news stories this year. As 2016 draws to […]

December 13th, 2016 Read full Story

How to take the fight to bad science? By singing good science’s praises — Jess Berentson-Shaw

In the face of everything from anecdote posing as evidence to bias peddlers to outright quackery, the best riposte is to champion good science. But how? Dr Jessica Berentson-Shaw offers seven tips on The Spinoff An excerpt (read in full) Science and evidence gets a pretty bad rap these days. Some of this bad rap […]

December 8th, 2016 Read full Story

Lawmakers must keep up with the pace of changing technology – Michelle Dickinson

With technology advancing at breakneck speed, we risk foundering on ethical and legal decisions, writes Dr Michelle Dickinson – aka ‘Nanogirl’ – in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): As individuals I don’t think we have yet come to grips with what is ethical or high risk around new technology, let alone formed […]

December 5th, 2016 Read full Story

Everyone agrees NZ needs a better tsunami warning system. But what? – Jane Cunneen

Following the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake, much has been said about the confusion around tsunami warnings and what a solution might look like, writes Curtin University’s Dr Jane Cunneen. An excerpt (read in full): The prime minister says that a cellphone-based tsunami alert system will be announced shortly. At a reported cost of $20 million, […]

December 2nd, 2016 Read full Story

Silent killer’s revival needs urgent action – Peter Saxton

Last year New Zealand recorded the highest number of annual HIV diagnoses ever – we need to evolve and modernise our responses, writes inaugural New Zealand AIDS Foundation Fellow Dr Peter Saxton, from the University of Auckland. An excerpt (read in full): This World Aids Day, more individuals are living with HIV in New Zealand […]

December 1st, 2016 Read full Story

Meat the future – Ralph Sims

By mid-century, it’s estimated the world’s population will exceed 9 billion and they’ll need to be fed, writes Massey University’s Professor Ralph Sims. An excerpt (read in full): Unfortunately, methane emissions from the digestion processes of cattle, sheep and deer and nitrous oxide emissions from animal urine and fertilisers are proving challenging to reduce. We […]

November 24th, 2016 Read full Story


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