Science Archive

Digging for the truth on fossils, profit, and the Foulden Maar mine

Is someone, somewhere, is sitting in an office making a clean choice between fossils and profit?

The father and daughter facing a future without sight

May 20 - 26 is macular degeneration awareness week. The subject is a personal one for Grant Thompson and his daughter Donna, who have both been diagnosed the condition which can lead to blindness.

Why we’re searching through your sewage for drugs

Wastewater testing provides an objective, standardised way of assessing levels of drug usage, and that has manifold benefits.

Does the Canterbury Panther exist? Six experts weigh in

Recent sightings of a large and potentially dangerous cat demand a social and political response, so we gathered a panel of experts to do just that. 

You live on a planet facing a million-species extinction

An 1,800-page report, years in the making, has painted a profoundly stark picture for diversity. With up to a million species facing extinction, humanity itself is in peril

I used to be an anti-vaxxer

Hannah McGowan once believed that vaccination was to blame for her chronic health issues, and refused to vaccinate her two young sons. Then she started to listen to the health professionals who know best.

New Zealand is failing on climate change

Despite all the evidence of climate change and environmental degradation, and the clear need to take action, we just aren’t taking action, writes James Renwick

New Zealand cities are spreading, eating into our environment as they go

A new environment report from Stats NZ has highlighted nine areas of concern, linking them into a wider picture of how much stress the environment is under.

Why that black hole image is a galaxy-shattering achievement

You've probably seen the image, but have you been secretly wondering why it's such a big deal? NZ cosmologist and physicist Professor Richard Easther explains.

Where do I draw the line? Stuffing a jade ‘egg’ into my vagina

Most bacteria are completely harmless. But a porous piece of jade, as once promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness empire Goop, could be harmful and deliver a potentially nasty infection

WTF is molybdenum disulfide? An expert on why this nano-material matters

Sam Brooke is a Ph.D student at Massey, who is working with the Macdiarmid Institute. He talked to Alex Braae about his research, why it matters, and how it became possible to do it in New Zealand.

Strike if you like, but then go do what really matters: maths and physics

Climate change is here and now, and young people will bear the costs of continued inaction. But it matters less whether they skip a day of school than what they do when they go back

The problem with false balance reporting on vaccination

Science is good, but that doesn't have the same opportunity to penetrate as fear-based storytelling.

Building batteries that go beyond lithium

New Zealand researchers develop novel batteries from a very commonplace material - beyond lithium, skipping the solar cell and downsizing monster redox-flows. Laurie Winkless writes.

The Nelson fires are a climate change warning for New Zealand

If any more evidence was needed for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, the Tasman District fires were it, says Dr Judy Lawrence of Victoria University of Wellington.

The kids are revolting, and they’re smarter than you

Just like the principals, students striking over climate change are seeking control and order. But what our children are hoping to control is the environment they inherit

Nothing is ever easy at an Antarctic weather station

Everyone knows it’s cold in Antarctica but knowing exactly how cold it is the job of Jeremy Rutherford, an environmental technician for NIWA who has just returned from nearly three …

Your period tracking app could tell Facebook when you’re pregnant. An ‘algorithmic guardian’ could stop it.

How is Facebook not just eroding our privacy, but changing our lives - and not just our lives?

Myopic management decisions at Te Papa are bad news for New Zealand science

For the first time since the Victorian era, New Zealand does not have a tenured marine mollusc expert. Here's why that matters.

How fear of regret runs our lives – and how to break free

From the 'sunk cost bias' to decision paralysis, being overly fearful of regret can lock us into bad relationships, jobs and habits. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Single use plastic is piling up. Is pyrolysis the answer?

With global angst mounting about the buildup of plastic ending up in landfills and the environment, chemists and materials scientists are considering pyrolysis as an option.

Te Papa must decide if it still wants to be a natural history museum

The revelation that our national museum is on the brink of turfing out two world-class scientists casts grave doubt over its commitment to being a natural history museum

How the fertiliser of the future could help save New Zealand’s environment

Harvard professor Dan Nocera's research in the creation of a new type of fertiliser, shared at the MacDiarmid Institute’s AMN9 conference, could have dramatic implications for New Zealand.