Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre
Expert Reactions:

A round-up of comment from experts on breaking stories and ongoing issues in science and technology.

Rethink of hazards after Kaikoura earthquake – Expert reaction

Last November’s Kaikoura earthquake will likely change the way scientists think about earthquake hazards in plate boundary zones, according to the first study to come out of the data collected during and immediately after the earthquake. The study, led by GNS Science researchers, will be published on Friday in Science. A range of data – […]

March 24th, 2017 Read full Story

OECD rates NZ’s environmental performance – Expert Reaction

The OECD’s latest report on New Zealand’s environmental performance warns that the country’s growth is starting to show environmental limits, including increased greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater contamination and threats to biodiversity. The third OECD Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand made 50 recommendations and noted the country has the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions […]

March 21st, 2017 Read full Story

European Chemicals Agency doesn’t classify glyphosate as a carcinogen – Expert Reaction

The European Chemicals Agency Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has concluded that the available scientific evidence did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or as toxic for reproduction. The committee has maintained its current classification of glyphosate as a substance causing serious eye damage and being toxic to […]

March 16th, 2017 Read full Story

WHO lists priority pathogens – Expert Reaction

This week the World Health Organization (WHO) released a priority list for pathogens for which new drugs are urgently needed to combat. The list includes 12 families of bacteria divided into three categories: critical, high and medium priority. Among the critical group includes Pseudomonas aeruginosa,  which causes skin infections in humans – some strains have been […]

March 2nd, 2017 Read full Story

Faster medicinal cannabis access in Australia – Expert Reaction

The Australian Federal Government has made changes to speed up access to medicinal marijuana, which patients will be required to request through their GP. Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the change today, which he said would facilitate faster access to medicinal cannabis for patients with the necessary approvals. Imports by approved providers will be authorised for […]

February 22nd, 2017 Read full Story

Highly flammable vegetation helps fuel Port Hills fire – Expert Reaction

Firefighters have been battling fires on Christchurch’s Port Hills since Monday evening. Hundreds of hectares of scrub and vegetation have been burnt and nearby residents have been evacuated. The Science Media Centre asked experts about the conditions fuelling the fire. Feel free to use the comments below in your reports. Professor George Perry, Professor of […]

February 15th, 2017 Read full Story

Why NZ’s glaciers had unusual growth – Expert Reaction

An unusual period where some of New Zealand’s glaciers grew bigger, despite a trend of shrinking glaciers worldwide, was due to a series of unusually cold years, according to new research. At least 58 New Zealand glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008, with Franz Josef Glacier advancing almost continuously during this time. It has been […]

February 15th, 2017 Read full Story

UPDATED: Change to approval for medicinal cannabis – Expert Reaction

UPDATED with new comments. Patients seeking medicinal cannabis will no longer need the approval of a minister, but instead will go to the Ministry of Health. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced the change this morning, saying he was confident the ministry could take over now that firmer guidelines are in place for making decisions on […]

February 8th, 2017 Read full Story

Australian ban on nicotine e-cigarettes to remain – Expert Reaction

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced it will keep its current ban on the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. The reasons for the decision [see pages 71-84] include the risk that any change could re-normalise smoking and concern about a lack of evidence regarding the safety of long-term nicotine exposure through e-cigarettes. The Australian Science Media […]

February 2nd, 2017 Read full Story

Proposal to ban microbeads in cosmetics – Expert Reaction

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. Other countries have already moved to ban the products from cosmetics, including the United […]

January 16th, 2017 Read full Story


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