Science Archive

NZ has pledged zero carbon by 2050. How on earth can we get there?

We have a lot of work to do to achieve carbon neutrality in just over three decades. Attention needs to focus on the likes of cars, trees, batteries and farms, writes energy analyst Briony Bennett.

Why Elon Musk was dead wrong to tell me nanotechnology is BS

Michelle Dickinson explains why she leapt to the defence of a fellow nanotechnologist at the centre of a Twitter tirade by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk.

Professor Brian Cox on why flat-earthers are funny (and frightening)

Superstar scientist Brian Cox talks to Alice Webb-Liddall about aliens, wormholes, and whether he'd punch Albert Einstein if he had the chance.

What happens to NZ after global nuclear war breaks out?

What might happen to the ecology, economy and overall quality of life in our distant isles?

Dancing with Atoms: the new documentary honouring the ‘Sir Ed of science’

This weekend marks the release of Dancing With Atoms, veteran filmmaker Shirley Horrock's tribute to physicist Sir Paul Callaghan. Don Rowe talks to Horrocks about his life and legacy.

Put on your shades: the future is photonics

On the first ever International Day of Light, Prof David Hutchinson outlines how the science of light is changing the world of computing, manufacturing, agriculture and medicine in New Zealand and around the world.

I took NZ weight loss pill Calocurb and the side effects were… disturbing

Developed by NZ plant scientists, Calocurb is being marketed as a major step forward in appetite-control treatment. But is it all it's cracked up to be? Weight loss industry expert Andrew Dickson gave it a try.

Eight reasons to slam the door on your car commute, based on the science

The arguments for ditching your four-wheel addiction are overwhelming, writes public health expert Caroline Shaw

The illness people can’t see: living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is it like to have a disease that nobody can 'see' and which society can shame you for talking about?

Now is the time to spend real money on solving our water quality woes

If regional councils are to use new funding to address water quality, they could start in Hawkes Bay, where wood mill effluent continues to be an issue 27 years after a damning report into its effects.

Once and for all: can mobile phones give you cancer?

Year in, year out, the controversy over the possible health effects of electro magnetic frequencies from cellphones and cellular antennas rumbles on. Paul Brislen takes a deep dive into the evidence.

Why a rinse won’t do: on menstrual cups, bacteria, and toxic shock syndrome

A new study shows that menstrual cups and cotton tampons may not be as safe as people are being led to believe.

Just because it looks like common sense, doesn’t mean there’s scientific evidence

The term 'evidence' has a fascinating linguistic and social history – and it’s a good reminder that even today the truth of scientific evidence depends on it being presented in a convincing way, writes James A. T. Lancaster

‘When, not if’: Super-gonorrhoea is on its way to New Zealand

'Super-gonorrhoea' has been reported in Australia, and experts say we're next. How bad could it get?

The freakiest show: How VR could help make life on Mars a reality

If humans ever want to achieve the outlandish, science fiction sounding goal of a colony on Mars, our species will get their in part thanks to virtual reality.

Can the lessons of Havelock North reverse the declining health of NZ waterways?

Six ways to improve water quality in New Zealand's lakes and rivers.

‘To become carbon-neutral by 2050, we need a lot more action’ – the experts’ view

The latest inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows a 20% increase in emissions from 1990 to 2016. The Science Media Centre has collected commentary from the experts

As China’s space lab hurtles to Earth, just how bad is our space junk problem?

China's defunct space station Tiangong-1 is expected to hit Earth in the next few hours. What are we doing, asks astrophysicist Brad E Tuckeer, to deal with the junk already in space and prevent more?

How can councils cut the number of people dying early? Be more like Wellington

Can your local council stop you getting heart disease and cancer? Our research into the way people get around New Zealand cities suggests it can, writes Caroline Shaw

How medical MDMA could become part of mainstream psychotherapy

Within five years, science will likely have answered a controversial question: can the drug commonly called ecstasy treat psychiatric disorders?

Place your bets for the bird sperm grand prix – all in the cause of conservation

Helen Taylor explains why she devotes her research to bird semen, and how an avian sperm race can help save one of New Zealand’s forgotten taonga, the hihi.

Quit the oil drip: NZ can be the leader on fossil fuels the world desperately needs

Pressure is mounting on the government to halt oil and gas exploration. If New Zealand can successfully wean itself off fossil fuels, we can only accelerate action in other countries, argues James Renwick

Why is NZ’s environmental regulator trying to muzzle scientist Mike Joy?

The Environmental Protection Authority CEO's complaint to Massey University sparked a disciplinary process, yet the agency seems disinclined to speak out on climate change denial.

Cheat Sheet: Will the Chinese space station kill us all?

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ on the news of the moment. Today, Don Rowe asks a space scientist if we're all dead courtesy of a Chinese space station set to hit Earth this month.