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.

Pedestrian dies in self-driving car accident – Expert Reaction

A woman has died in Arizona after being hit by an Uber self-driving car – it is reported to be the first time a pedestrian has died as a result of a self-driving car accident. In 2016, a Tesla employee was killed while operating a self-driving car. The Science Media Centre has asked local experts to […]

March 20th, 2018 Read full Story

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking dies age 76 – Experts respond

World-renowned cosmologist and theoretical physics pioneer Stephen Hawking has died in the UK aged 76. The Science Media Centre asked physicists and those who worked with him to respond to the news. Roy Kerr, Canterbury Distinguished Professor, University of Canterbury, comments: “Stephen Hawking. Such an Incredible strength of spirit and character. I first met him […]

March 14th, 2018 Read full Story

Tobacco stick health claims challenged – Expert reaction

Smokeless ‘heat not burn’ tobacco sticks claims of reduced harm questioned in a new study. New US research finds that iQOS heat stick devices become hot enough to char tobacco and melt plastic, releasing toxic chemicals and increasing the amount of nicotine inhaled. The Ministry of Health is currently involved in a court case against tobacco supplier Philip Morris International over the […]

March 14th, 2018 Read full Story

Low-level lead exposure leads to heart disease – Expert reaction

Almost one-third of early deaths from heart disease in the US could be because of cumulative low-level lead exposure, according to an international paper published in The Lancet Public Health.  Researchers monitored the lead levels in more than 14,000 Americans over 20 years and found that even low-level lead exposure (between 1-5 micrograms of lead per decilitre of blood) increases […]

March 14th, 2018 Read full Story

South Island marine reserves recommended – Expert reaction

Following three years of work, the South-East Marine Protection Forum has presented its final report on marine protection for the South Island’s south-east coast. The forum’s recommendations to the Conservation and Fisheries ministers include two alternative networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): Network 1 includes six marine reserves and five MPAs with fishing restrictions; Network […]

March 7th, 2018 Read full Story

Dog attacks on children – Expert Reaction

Another dangerous dog attack has been reported in Australia this morning as a three-year-old boy in Newcastle was bitten while riding his bike. While the boy is in hospital, his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. With the serious mauling of a toddler and a ten-year-old girl by pet dogs in recent days, the Australian SMC has created a […]

March 7th, 2018 Read full Story

Environment Commissioner’s Zero Carbon Act recommendations – Expert reaction

The new Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, has released his first report, containing advice for the Government on how to implement a Zero Carbon Act and establish an independent Climate Commission. The report follows on from his predecessor Dr Jan Wright’s report Stepping Stones to Paris and beyond, released in July 2017. The SMC asked […]

March 7th, 2018 Read full Story

Surveillance may be appropriate for some precancerous lesions – Expert Reaction

For some types of cervical lesions, women under 30 may be better served by regular monitoring than by immediate treatment, according to a UK study. Published today in The BMJ, the study examined data from 36 separate studies of women who had been diagnosed with grade 2 cervical lesions (CIN2). While CIN2 can progress to […]

February 28th, 2018 Read full Story

NZ economy grew faster than greenhouse gas emissions – Expert reaction

New Zealand’s economy grew faster than the country’s greenhouse gases over the past 25 years, according to a new report. Statistics New Zealand has released the first report of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts, which is intended to be an annual report that feeds into Treasury’s investment statements. It highlights the importance of natural resources to the economy, as […]

February 27th, 2018 Read full Story

Biofuels could lead NZ to a green transport future – Expert reaction

New Zealand could build a renewable low-carbon transport fuels industry – but only if the nation decides to act, according to a new report from Scion. In 2015, nearly a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions were from combustible fuels, so the report suggests biofuels could have a major impact on overall reduction of […]

February 26th, 2018 Read full Story

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