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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

Oz sizzles as climate action cools – Jim Salinger

Posted in Reflections On Science on September 26th, 2017.

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 […]

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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

Getting the Port Hills regreening right – Nick Ledgard and Miles Giller

Following last week’s devastating Port Hills fire, scientists Nick Ledgard and Miles Giller call for a plan to make sure the regreening of the hills is done correctly, with the best science at hand. An excerpt (read in full): For many centuries fires have arguably been the most significant single influence on vegetation successions in […]

February 24th, 2017 Read full Story

Why scientists need to go to the barricades against Trump – and for the humanities – Nicola Gaston

University of Auckland’s Associate Professor Nicola Gaston writes on The Spinoff about why scientists need to stand against anti-science agendas and for the humanities. An excerpt (read in full): Very few of the Trump regime’s attacks on science have not been previously signalled – I spoke about one example, the proposal to prevent scientists from […]

January 31st, 2017 Read full Story

Micro-response to major problem – Michelle Dickinson

A proposal to ban microbeads from cosmetics is a positive step, but the problem pales in comparison to the harm caused by plastics from bags, bottles and food packaging, writes Dr Michelle Dickinson in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): Our proposed law change is a positive step. It is important to note […]

January 24th, 2017 Read full Story

Can Bill English pick up the pace on scientific investment? – Jeff Tallon

Science was ignited as the fuel of economic growth, but the fame has gone out, writes Professor Jeff Tallon, physicist with The MacDiarmid Institute, in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): And it is inescapable, the Government needs to invest here much more heavily. We need to fund strategies, not projects. Where is […]

January 19th, 2017 Read full Story

In the face of the mind-boggling peril of climate change, feel the despair, then work harder – James Renwick

With the, somewhat signposted, news that 2016 was the warmest year on record globally, and the warmest in New Zealand since modern records began in 1909, Professor James Renwick writes that we need to channel energy into urgent action. An excerpt (read in full): The past year also saw two milestones: the atmospheric concentration of […]

January 11th, 2017 Read full Story

Top Ten Science Stories of 2016

Nature’s made herself well known in science this year, with the recent Kaikoura earthquake dominating media attention for the past month. A plan to make New Zealand predator free and the campylobacter outbreak that sent Havelock North hurtling to the bathroom made science a crucial part of news stories this year. As 2016 draws to […]

December 13th, 2016 Read full Story

How to take the fight to bad science? By singing good science’s praises — Jess Berentson-Shaw

In the face of everything from anecdote posing as evidence to bias peddlers to outright quackery, the best riposte is to champion good science. But how? Dr Jessica Berentson-Shaw offers seven tips on The Spinoff An excerpt (read in full) Science and evidence gets a pretty bad rap these days. Some of this bad rap […]

December 8th, 2016 Read full Story

Lawmakers must keep up with the pace of changing technology – Michelle Dickinson

With technology advancing at breakneck speed, we risk foundering on ethical and legal decisions, writes Dr Michelle Dickinson – aka ‘Nanogirl’ – in the NZ Herald. An excerpt (read in full): As individuals I don’t think we have yet come to grips with what is ethical or high risk around new technology, let alone formed […]

December 5th, 2016 Read full Story


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