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.

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

Legal Action Against Tobacco ‘Sticks’ — Expert Reaction

Tobacco sticks designed to be heated in an electronic device have run afoul of NZ law, with charges laid against their manufacturer. The Ministry of Health has charged tobacco giant Philip Morris with illegally importing and selling a new product that heats tobacco sticks in a battery-powered device rather than burning them. The device itself […]

May 18th, 2017 Read full Story

NHS services hit by cyber-attack – Expert Reaction

News broke over the weekend that a ransomware cyber attack had hit an estimated 200,000 victims across 150 countries, which was initially reported as affecting the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Just last week, a UK doctor wrote in The BMJ that hospitals were at risk of ransomware attacks, largely because of reliance on outdated […]

May 15th, 2017 Read full Story

Threatened Species Strategy – Expert Reaction

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has launched a draft strategy for protecting our threatened species. Announced during DOC’s Threatened Species Summit yesterday, the strategy outlines how the government aims to halt the decline of our threatened species and prevent others from becoming threatened. The draft strategy is open for consultation until 31 July. The strategy included a priority list of 150 […]

May 11th, 2017 Read full Story

Painkillers and Heart Attacks — Expert Reaction

A new study published today in The BMJ found that taking NSAID painkillers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to treat pain and inflammation could heighten the risk of heart attack. Collectively, the study analysed data from 446,763 people from Canada, Finland and the United Kingdom, and found that taking any dose of NSAIDs for a week, a month, or over a month was […]

May 10th, 2017 Read full Story

Climate change and insurance – Expert Reaction

The extent to which climate change threatens New Zealand’s coastal housing will depend on insurance options available to homeowners, according to a new report. Insurance, Housing and Climate Adaptation – commissioned by the Deep South National Science Challenge – investigates the different challenges climate change will present to homeowners, insurers and government. Possible policy solutions suggested […]

April 28th, 2017 Read full Story

Cassini’s grand Saturn finale – Expert Reaction

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun its 142-day death spiral inside Saturn’s rings, passing through them 22 times over the coming months. With propellant running low, NASA scientists are concerned that the probe might accidentally crash into one of Saturn’s nearby moons, which could contaminate it with Earthling bacteria stuck to the spacecraft. Otago Museum’s Dr […]

April 27th, 2017 Read full Story

Our fresh water 2017 – Expert reaction

UPDATED: The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand have released the latest national report about the state of freshwater. Our fresh water 2017 measures the quality of New Zealand’s waterways, including water quality, biodiversity and cultural health. Nitrogen levels at over half of monitored river sites are getting worse, according to the report […]

April 27th, 2017 Read full Story

Syrian chemical attack – Expert reaction

A suspected gas attack in Syria early yesterday morning killed at least 70 people and injured close to 500. It is unclear which chemical was used in the attack or whether it is the same chemical, Sarin, that was used in the last major gas attack in Syria in 2013. The Australian Science Media Centre […]

April 6th, 2017 Read full Story

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