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.

European Court of Justice ruling on vaccines – Expert Reaction

The European Court of Justice has ruled that national courts can decide that vaccines can cause adverse reactions, even in the absence of scientific evidence. The ruling follows a case of a French patient who was vaccinated against hepatitis B in 1998 and developed multiple sclerosis a year later. Prior to his death in 2011, […]

June 22nd, 2017 Read full Story

Grenfell Tower fire forensics — Expert Reaction

The latest reports from last week’s devastating fire in the Grenfell Tower apartment block in London suggest there are 58 people still unaccounted for who are presumed dead.  Forensic scientists are beginning their investigation, but the intensity of the fire makes it difficult to identify the remains. The UK SMC collected expert reaction on the […]

June 19th, 2017 Read full Story

Bleeding risk for over-75s taking aspirin daily – Expert Reaction

People over 75 who take aspirin every day to prevent heart problems have a higher than expected risk of intestinal bleeding, say UK researchers. They argue that anyone over 75 taking aspirin daily should be prescribed proton-pump inhibitors at the same time to counter this risk. The 10-year-long study, published today in The Lancet, showed […]

June 14th, 2017 Read full Story

Could a couple of beers a day damage your brain? – Expert Reaction

Just a couple of stubbies a night, or a glass or two of wine, could be damaging your brain, say UK researchers, though independent experts caution the study can’t show cause-and-effect. Studying the cognitive capabilities of people over 30 years, the scientists found moderate drinking – 14 – 21 units of alcohol a week – may […]

June 7th, 2017 Read full Story

Trump pulls out of Paris Agreement – Expert Reaction

News this morning that US President Donald Trump has decided to pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement was widely anticipated. The USA was one of 195 countries to sign on to the historic agreement, which former President Barack Obama was instrumental in brokering. Trump called the agreement a deal that “hamstrings” the USA while […]

June 2nd, 2017 Read full Story

Practical ways to change the ETS – Expert Reaction + Q&A

Practical changes to New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) would ensure emitters reduce their greenhouse gases quicker than the current pace, according to a discussion paper released today. Motu Economic and Public Policy Research based its proposals on a series of working papers and meetings. Research fellow Suzi Kerr told stuff.co.nz that the ETS had […]

May 31st, 2017 Read full Story

Wireless tech and childhood development — Expert Reaction

A review paper published in Child Development claims that exposure to electromagnetic fields and radio-frequency radiation – via wireless technology – may be linked to neurodevelopmental problems in children. The paper does not include any new data, but reiterates data from previous papers linking electromagnetic fields (EMF) and pulsed radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices to ADHD and autism in children. […]

May 31st, 2017 Read full Story

Native birds in dire straits – Expert Reaction

A new report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment highlights the desperate situation for many native birds, despite concerted conservation efforts. While Dr Jan Wright applauds the Predator Free 2050 goal, she says a plan of action is urgently required. Among her other recommendations, she suggests a Nature Border Levy to fund conservation and […]

May 31st, 2017 Read full Story

Rocket Lab achieves liftoff — Expert Reaction

Rocket Lab launched its Electron rocket yesterday from the Māhia Peninsula. #ItsaTest ©Rocket Lab Despite not reaching orbit, the company announced it successfully made it to space, marking the first orbital-class rocket launched from a private launch site. The SMC gathered expert reaction about the launch. Feel free to use these comments in your reporting. […]

May 26th, 2017 Read full Story

BUDGET 2017: Science and research

The Government has released this year’s Budget, with $250 million earmarked for science and innovation initiatives. This page will be updated with any new announcements and expert reaction. Finance Minister Steven Joyce delivered his first budget today: the National-led Government’s ninth budget. The Science and Innovation sector will receive $255.6 million of investments over the […]

May 25th, 2017 Read full Story


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