Science Archive

‘The core technology of the future’: Time to rethink NZ’s GMO-free status?

Trees with red trunks and apples that are red right the way through and flower all year round. Should we back or block the genetically changed plants New Zealand scientists are growing?

Science or Snake Oil: do hangover cures actually work?

If you’re not feeling so crash hot this morning after a few too many, is there anything you can take to help?

Celebrating the amazing women of Antarctica

Women have made a massive impact on scientific research in Antarctica, but they don't get remotely the recognition they deserve.

‘I literally covered my wall in Post-it notes’: meet NZ’s new chief scientist

Professor Juliet Gerrard on diversity in science, the political hot potatoes, and what constitutes science.

100 years ago, NZ was in the depths of deadly pandemic. Are we ready for the next one?

November was the peak month of the 1918 pandemic that killed 9,000 New Zealanders. A century, will we be able to deal with another outbreak?

Your poo is alive (mostly). Here is what’s in it

Human excrement is not just a bunch of dead cells. Most of it is alive, teeming with billions of microbes.

The subducting slab: Why the large, deep #eqnz sent shakes far from the epicentre

Today's 6.2 earthquake was centred near Taumarunui and transmitted via a rigid subducting slab on the east of the North Island  A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck at 3.13pm today, centred 25 …

Can our dogs read our thoughts?

Dogs think harder when their owners speak gibberish words, a study has found, and one New Zealand dog behaviourist suggests it could be because they're trying to read humans' thoughts.

There’s no renewable energy future without lithium

If the future is going to be powered by renewable energy, the world needs to get a lot better at dealing with one very precious element, the Materialise conference on sustainability in Wellington has heard.

Computers have grown into energy gluttons, and it can’t go on like this

It's natural to assume that the IT revolution will continue forward at a cracking pace, but that could be about to end.

Today marks the end of magical thinking on climate change

Bronwyn Hayward, Jim Salinger, James Renwick and other experts respond to a critical report from the International Panel on Climate Change  The IPCC’s latest special report, Global Warming of 1.5C, has …

It will be one of the most important scientific papers ever, and for NZ it’s huge

Monday sees the release of a new IPCC report that will tell us whether keeping warming under 1.5deg is possible. The next question will be: do we have the will?

Why is Wikipedia biased against women? And can it be changed?

This week, Wikipedia hit the headlines after it was reported that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Donna Strickland didn’t have her own page until after her win.

What on earth drives someone to put up an anti-vaccination billboard?

The controversy around signage in Auckland points to a deeper malaise.

NZ’s pig-headed rejection of GM is putting our agricultural future at risk

Ignorance of the facts of genetic modification poses an economic risk to New Zealand, writes a professor of plant biology.

Was the octopus-seal vs kayak viral video a set-up? A Spinoff investigation

We dive deep into the heaven-sent octoslap viral video.

The climate visualisations that leave no room for doubt or denial

Data visualisations created by Ed Hawkins have offered a less traditional approach to popularising climate science, and now New Zealand has a 'warming stripe' of its own

Sharks have a PR problem. The solution? Tourism

Jaws has a lot to answer for.

Why vaccine opponents think they know more than medical experts

Could the Dunning-Kruger effect – when individuals’ ignorance about a particular subject makes them believe they're more expert than they are – be the reason for intractably anti-vax views?

Western theory isn’t the only way: celebrating Māori and Pasifika science at DiscoveryCamp

DiscoveryCamp is inspiring young Māori and Pasifika students to persist with science. Simon Day talks to three graduates about the opportunities the programme has provided.

When The Meg’s giant prehistoric shark bites, the science bites back

The shark The Meg the movie isn't big, it's huge. Prehistoric, millions of years ago huge. But how strong would it's bite be? And how fast could it move? Michael Milford and Peter Stratton break down the science.

Why compostable plastics may be no better for the environment

Now that single-use plastic bags are on their way out, what are we going to line our rubbish bins with? Compostable bags? Not so fast, warns AUT emeritus professor Thomas Neitzert.

How clean is your desk? The unwelcome reality of office hygiene

Which carries more bacteria, your toilet seat or your desk? If you guessed the former, you'd be very, very wrong.

This creationist claptrap has absolutely no place in a science class

There is simply no way to present this material without misrepresenting the science, writes cosmologist Richard Easther