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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

Can we eradicate cervical cancer in New Zealand? – Peter Sykes

Posted in Reflections On Science on April 27th, 2018.

Last month, Australian media ran articles predicting Australia would be the first country in the world to eradicate cervical cancer. University of Otago’s Associate Professor Peter Sykes asks whether that’s realistic and if it could be achieved in New Zealand. An excerpt (read in full): We can prevent cervical cancer by preventing the HPV infection. […]

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We owe it to the environment to get better at reporting on it – Murray Petrie

There are a number of weaknesses in the Environmental Reporting Act, passed in 2015, writes Victoria University of Wellington’s Dr Murray Petrie in the Dominion Post. An excerpt (read in full): At the moment, governments get away with long-term “feel good” goals, such as “predator-free by 2050”, without the discipline that comes from being required […]

April 26th, 2018 Read full Story

In defence of science and our Treaty – Margreet Vissers

University of Otago’s Associate Dean (research) Professor Margreet Vissers has penned a heartfelt response to a column criticising inclusion of Treaty of Waitangi principles in academic research. An excerpt (read in full): As a research scientist, I reject the notion that we (Western Science) have all the answers. Our current model of the scientific method, […]

March 28th, 2018 Read full Story

A letter to my grandchildren – Jim Salinger

Prominent climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger has spent much of his career studying climate change – in the NZ Herald, he writes a heartfelt letter to his grandchildren. An excerpt (read in full): I studied climate change before you were born, and about the time Mum and Dad were born, and recognised when they were […]

February 26th, 2018 Read full Story

Doubters try to bury sugary-drinks tax — Boyd Swinburn

Despite doubt-mongering by the Food and Beverage industry, a tax on sugary drinks would help counter childhood obesity and dental caries, writes University of Auckland professor of public health Boyd Swinburn, on the NZ Herald.  An excerpt (read in full): A report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) concluded that a sugary drinks tax by itself […]

February 19th, 2018 Read full Story

Top Ten Science Stories of 2017

Who would’ve thought freshwater would be a major election issue this year? Alongside the tragic deaths from synthetic drugs, freshwater, biosecurity, earthquakes and volcanoes have all made a show in the year’s top science stories. Some of last year’s stories have continued to draw headlines, including the Kaikōura earthquake, Havelock North campylobacter outbreak and Predator […]

December 12th, 2017 Read full Story

Why it’s so important to mark the anniversaries of earthquakes – Ursula Cochran

As the one year anniversary of the Kaikōura earthquake nears, GNS scientist Dr Ursula Cochran writes on The Spinoff why it’s important to mark the anniversaries of earthquakes, even ones that happened 300 years ago. An excerpt (read in full): Measuring how far we’ve come as a nation in living wisely with earthquakes is a […]

November 9th, 2017 Read full Story

Oz sizzles as climate action cools – Jim Salinger

2017 has been a sizzler for Australia, showing global warming is alive and well, but as Dr Jim Salinger writes in the NZ Herald, both Australian and New Zealand governments are failing on climate action. An excerpt (read in full): As Australia sizzles and the ice on our Southern Alps shrink what climate action is […]

September 26th, 2017 Read full Story

Farmers advocate takes wrong message from climate reports – Andy Reisinger

Deputy Director of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre Dr Andy Reisinger offers a rebuttal in the NZ Herald to a column published on Tuesday. An excerpt (read in full): As a climate scientist, I strongly rebut Tuesday’s opinion piece by Robin Grieve who claimed he was relating facts from the Motu Research […]

August 24th, 2017 Read full Story

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

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 […]

July 4th, 2017 Read full Story


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