Science Archive

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.

The two things you should know about methane

In New Zealand, as in the rest of the world, the climate change conversation tends to focus on fossil fuels and renewable energy. But, asks Kieran Martin, when methane in the atmosphere can do far more damage than carbon dioxide, shouldn't we thinking harder about cows?

Huntington’s disease: a 50/50 game of chance

Today is International Rare Disease Day. Dorothy McLean looks at the heartbreaking decision to take the test for Huntington's Chorea, a deadly and debilitating hereditary disease with no known cure.

The bionic leaf: how artificial plant life could wipe out poverty

Harvard chemist Dan Nocera says the world needs a major technological shift, and he thinks NZ could play a pivotal role, writes Vernoika Meduna

Face-swap on steroids: How ‘deepfake’ videos are messing with reality

Deepfake software is already being used to make pornographic videos using the faces of celebrities like Natalie Portman and Gal Gadot. But in the age of fake news, the deepfake problem could get a lot worse.

‘Raw water’, the loony fad that poses a massive health risk

Forget bottled water – the new 'health' craze for those who reject tap water is raw, untreated water from rivers and springs. New Zealanders shouldn't need to be told what a terrible idea that is, writes biological scientist Dr Alison Campbell.

Why the survival of NZ’s wildlife is in our hands

The idea that New Zealand's threatened species can somehow safely ‘co-exist’ with the onslaught of introduced predators is irresponsible and untrue, writes the Department of Conservation's Nicola Toki.

The Kiwi scientists exploring the hidden ocean beneath Antarctica’s largest ice shelf

From November through to January, a multi-disciplinary team of experts from New Zealand melted a hole through the Ross Ice Shelf to explore the hidden ocean below. Team members Christina Hulbe and Craig Stevens take us through the findings.

Cheat Sheet: The Humanity Star aka the great disco ball in space          

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ on the news of the moment. Today, the geodesic sphere deposited into space from the east coast of the North Island.

Short shark shock: NZ’s shark man on the scare at Oriental Bay

Just how worried should we be about talk around a surge in shark numbers in our shore, and the unexpected visitors to Oriental Bay. Alice Webb-Liddall talks to Riley Elliott. 

Slaying the zombie memes in that ‘climate sceptic’ column on Stuff

I would love for Doug Edmeades to be right, as I would sleep better at night, but the arguments he trots out have been debunked over and over again, writes climate scientist James Renwick

Enough is enough. Academics must stand up against this bullshit

Shocking revelations around a clinical trial of a new tuberculosis vaccine are just the tip of the iceberg. Maintaining public trust in science depends on a new approach to transparency.

Summer Reissue: Is Siggi Henry New Zealand’s most dangerous city councillor?

She's an anti-vaccination, anti-fluoride campaigner who believes measles is a hoax and polio can be cured with vitamin C. Meet Siggi Henry, one of the most powerful people in our fourth largest city. Angela Cuming reports.