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Reflections On Science

Lies, dam(ned) lies and flood statistics – Ian Fuller

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 18th, 2017.

Massey University’s Associate Professor Ian Fuller says we need to build up knowledge of past flood events so that we can better understand the risk of future events. An excerpt (read in full): So, another “500-year” flood event in the Bay of Plenty. The last was in 2005 at Matata. Of course, this doesn’t mean that […]

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

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on December 5th, 2016.

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 […]

Disasters: Intervention is the key – Kelvin Berryman

John Kerr posted in on March 20th, 2015.

What do we really mean when we talk about  reducing or managing the risk of disaster? Dr Kelvin Berryman, Director of the Natural Hazards Research Platform, has written a new blog post reflecting on the outcomes of a high profile UN conference on disaster risk reduction. An excerpt (read in full here): A mandate for […]

Italy quake experts cleared of manslaughter

Laura Goodall posted in on November 11th, 2014.

An Italian court has overturned manslaughter convictions against six scientists for failing to give adequate warning of an 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in L’Aquila, Italy.  The 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck L’Aquila, in Italy’s central Abruzzo region, on 6 April 2009, destroying tens of thousands of buildings and killing or injuring more than 1,500 […]

Antibiotics and heart deaths – experts respond

Laura Goodall posted in on August 20th, 2014.

One of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics – clarithromycin – is linked with an increased risk of heart deaths, suggests a new study published in the BMJ. The researchers looked at over 5 million treatment courses among Danish adults aged 40-74 years from 1997 to 2011 and found that clarithromycin is linked with a 76 per cent […]

New Zealand tsunami hazard – the science updated

Peter Griffin posted in on September 30th, 2013.

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management today released a review of tsunami hazard in New Zealand, the first major update of the science since 2005, and encompassing the whole of New Zealand’s coastline for the first time. Click here to download Review of Tsunami Hazard in New Zealand (2013 Update) The review shows the maximum possible […]

‘Research should be a clever and risky business’ – Sir Peter Gluckman

Dacia Herbulock posted in on January 31st, 2013.

Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, is urging New Zealand’s science community to find ways to fund more intellectually risky research by high-performing scientists. The views appear in a new blog post on his website, following on from a discussion paper released by his office in December. “The evidence is clear that recent performance […]

Italy quake trial gains NZ attention

John Kerr posted in on September 22nd, 2011.

The trial of six seismologists and an official in Italy in the wake of the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake has become the focus of media attention in NZ as the accountability of scientists is examined. The Italian earthquake experts are being charge with manslaught following allegation that the misrepresented the risk of an earthquake following a […]

Earthquake risk in Christchurch

John Kerr posted in on June 15th, 2011.

Following Mondays two damaging aftershocks, Christchurch is starting — once more — the arduous task of clean up. But are they out of the woods yet? Seismologists have been working hard to keep the public informed of the current estimates for future shocks. Following Tuesday’s initial coverage, further reporting has explored the future risk of […]

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‘It’s not our fault’ – Kelvin Berryman and quake communication

John Kerr posted in on June 8th, 2011.

Following the Canterbury earthquakes, scientists have been working hard to provide clear and accurate information for the people of Christchurch. Reporting for The Press, Vivki Anderson captured the thoughts of Dr Kelvin Berryman (GNS Science) on science communication. An excerpt (read in full here): Don’t blame the scientists – it’s not their fault. When Dr […]

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