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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

New Zealand doesn’t have a culture of youth drinking – Andy Towers

Posted in Reflections On Science on July 4th, 2017.

Massey University’s Dr Andy Towers is tired of hearing that New Zealand has a ‘youth drinking culture’, he writes in the Dominion Post. Drinking isn’t a ‘youth culture issue’, it’s a New Zealand culture issue. An excerpt (read in full): A potted history of New Zealand shows we’ve always had an alcohol problem. In colonial […]

Continue reading “New Zealand doesn’t have a culture of youth drinking – Andy Towers

Water, water everywhere – Ian Fuller

Two environmental issues have dominated the news so far this election year, both focused on waterways, writes Massey University’s Associate Professor Ian Fuller in Hawkes Bay Today. An excerpt (read in full): Serious storms and flooding – and the resulting economic costs – have focused attention on the effects of climate change, while events like […]

June 8th, 2017 Read full Story

Vaccinations are part of a ‘bigger picture’ – Cathy Stephenson

The immense polarisation of opinions on immunisation has been highlighted through the response to Dr Lance O’Sullivan’s protest of an anti-vaccination documentary, GP Dr Cathy Stephenson writes on stuff.co.nz. An excerpt (read in full): There are people in both camps whose views won’t be shifted – that’s fine by me. We live in a world […]

June 1st, 2017 Read full Story

Scientific research the key to balancing productivity and environmental values — Tom Richardson

We can have a profitable agricultural sector and protect the environment, writes AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson, we just need to use science.  An excerpt (read in full): As the head of a science organisation which is focused on solving that conundrum I see our role in this being clear, and critically important. Science needs to lead the […]

April 24th, 2017 Read full Story

Understanding climate risks makes us all less vulnerable – Dave Frame

Events like floods and droughts are not just figures in Treasury spreadsheets, writes Professor Dave Frame, the risks of them are changing and we need to understand how quickly they’re doing so. An excerpt (read in full): This comparison between the climate as it is today and as it might have been in a world […]

April 19th, 2017 Read full Story

Lies, dam(ned) lies and flood statistics – Ian Fuller

Massey University’s Associate Professor Ian Fuller says we need to build up knowledge of past flood events so that we can better understand the risk of future events. An excerpt (read in full): So, another “500-year” flood event in the Bay of Plenty. The last was in 2005 at Matata. Of course, this doesn’t mean that […]

April 18th, 2017 Read full Story

NZ doesn’t need to ban unvaccinated kids from childcare – Nikki Turner

Should New Zealand follow the Australian ‘no jab, no pay’ model to boost immunisation rates? Nikki Turner from the Immunisation Advisory Centre says no, our current approach is working. An excerpt (read in full): By being systematic, setting national targets and communicating effectively to healthcare providers and parents, we have seen a dramatic improvement in […]

March 14th, 2017 Read full Story

Port Hills fires: Lessons for the entire country – Fiona Carswell

Following the Port Hills fire, re-planting quickly and correctly is crucial, writes Landcare Research chief scientist Fiona Carswell. An excerpt (read in full): The Christchurch Port Hills fires, unlike floods and earthquakes, were essentially a human-created disaster and they will happen again. However, their scale and the risk to life and property can be mitigated. […]

March 13th, 2017 Read full Story

Sexual relationship education should be in schools – Katie Fitzpatrick

Schools can’t be to blame for student chatter on Facebook, but there is an opportunity for young people to learn about healthy relationships at school, writes Rutherford Discovery Fellow Associate Professor Katie Fitzpatrick. An excerpt (read in full): This opportunity is in health education classes. It is not up to (or possible for) schools to […]

March 10th, 2017 Read full Story

Native’s not always good and exotic’s not all bad – Wayne Linklater

On World Wildlife Day, Victoria University of Wellington’s Dr Wayne Linklater writes in the Dominion Post about his thoughts on the “native good, exotic bad” message. An excerpt (read in full): I don’t like my children being provoked to kill for conservation. And I don’t like them being taught to demonise an entire species of animal, […]

March 3rd, 2017 Read full Story


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