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.

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

Alcohol advertising remains prominent in televised sport – Expert Reaction

Audiences of televised sport remain exposed to high rates of alcohol marketing and sponsorship, according to a new study. The research, published on Friday in the New Zealand Medical Journal, surveyed televised sports over the 2014-15 summer and found audiences were exposed to between 1.6 and 3.8 alcohol brands per minute. In an accompanying editorial, […]

January 13th, 2017 Read full Story

2016 another scorcher year – Expert Reaction

2016 was the hottest year in New Zealand in over a century, surpassing the previous warmest year on record, 1998. Niwa released its annual climate summary today, which showed 2016 was the warmest year on record based on the seven-station series which began in 1909. The full annual climate summary is available on Niwa’s website. […]

January 9th, 2017 Read full Story

Childhood risk factors predict future economic burden – Expert Reaction

US researchers using data from Dunedin’s longitudinal study say it is possible to predict in early childhood the segment of the population that will go on to account for the largest economic burden. The research, published today in Nature Human Behaviour, used information from the cohort of 1,037 New Zealanders who have been studied since birth, in […]

December 13th, 2016 Read full Story

Deaths following Aceh earthquake – Expert Reaction

There are reports of nearly 100 deaths following a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that struck near Aceh, in Indonesia, late Tuesday evening. The Australian Science Media Centre gathered expert reaction on the earthquake. Please feel free to use these comments in your reporting. Dr Behzad Fatahi, Associate Professor of Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering and a Chartered […]

December 8th, 2016 Read full Story

Is whitebaiting sustainable? Expert Reaction

The whitebait season closed around most of the country last week, with several regions reporting ‘lacklustre’ catch this year. The whitebait fry – considered a delicacy by many – are the juveniles of five species of galaxiid, four of which are considered threatened or declining. The SMC asked freshwater experts for their views on the sustainability […]

December 7th, 2016 Read full Story


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