Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre
Q&As:

Text-based Q&As with experts on topical issues in the science and technology world.

Expert Q&A: The science of the Ngauranga slip

Yesterday’s landslip that blocked State Highway 1 into Wellington has been cleared away, but how did it happen and are we likely to see more of these types of slips? The Science Media Centre put the following questions about the slip to engineering geologist, Dr Chris Massey. Dr Chris Massey, engineering geologist, GNS Science, comments: […]

July 12th, 2017 Read full Story

Future of Housing – Expert Q&A

There’s no place like home, but owning your own home is harder than ever before. Leaky houses, sky-rocketing prices, and ever-increasing energy bills – what do experts have to say about the Future of Housing in New Zealand? In this Expert Q&A, the Science Media Centre asked experts in the field how design, technical innovation, […]

June 21st, 2017 Read full Story

Community water fluoridation – Expert Q&A

As parliament considers a bill to put decision-making about community water fluoridation in the hands of district health boards, fluoridation is likely to remain a polarising issue for some communities. The SMC asked New Zealand and international experts to discuss what the science says about the benefits of fluoridation and where the objections stem from. […]

June 19th, 2017 Read full Story

Oyster disease Bonamia ostreae – Expert Q&A

Following the discovery of the parasite Bonamia ostreae in Stewart Island oyster farms, the Ministry for Primary Industries has issued a restriction on the area and plans to remove the affected oysters. Niwa put together a Q&A with fisheries scientist Keith Michael about the parasite and the risk of it spreading further afield. What is Bonamia […]

June 13th, 2017 Read full Story

Manchester attack and trauma in young people — Expert Q&A

On the 22nd May 2017, a suicide bombing took place at a pop concert at the Manchester Arena, with the latest reports indicating 22 dead and a further 59 injured. With the UK ramping up police presence in the streets and increasing the terror alert to from severe to critical, Theresa May noted in a statement that […]

May 24th, 2017 Read full Story

Rocket Lab and its efforts to launch NZ into space game — Expert Q&A

Yesterday marked the start of the ten-day window in which Rocket Lab will attempt to launch its Electron rocket from the Mahia Peninsula in the Northern Hawkes Bay.  If they succeed, this will be the first rocket launched into space from New Zealand, making us the 11th country to do so. After high winds scrubbed […]

May 23rd, 2017 Read full Story

Cyclone Cook and flooding – Expert Q&A

A mere week after the tail end of Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the North Island, another cyclone is on its way. The MetService is warning Kiwis that Cyclone Cook could bring heavy rainfall especially to areas already saturated from last week. The SMC gathered expert reaction on the cyclone and flood risk, please feel free […]

April 13th, 2017 Read full Story

Toxic algal blooms in NZ – Expert Q&A

UPDATED: Last week, the New Zealand Government announced its intention to make 90 per cent of NZ’s waterways ‘swimmable’ by 2040. Yet with Summer hitting its peak, rivers and lakes are across the country are being closed to swimmers due to toxic algal blooms. The SMC asked Cawthron Institute’s Dr Susie Wood about whether these […]

February 27th, 2017 Read full Story

Will NZ’s future energy be clean? – Expert Q&A

Approximately 80 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources. But is this the full picture behind NZ’s clean and green reputation?  This week the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability releases ten policy briefs from its Energy Cultures research. The SMC asked experts how New Zealand’s energy usage compares to the […]

February 16th, 2017 Read full Story

HPV vaccine now funded for boys – Expert Q&A

As students head back to school this week, boys, as well as girls, will have funded access to the HPV vaccine Gardasil. The rollout follows Pharmac’s decision last year to extend the vaccine programme. Though Gardasil is commonly known to protect against cervical cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV) also causes other cancers in both men and women. […]

January 31st, 2017 Read full Story


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