Science Archive

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.

Summer Reissue: Sorry Paleo Pete, but I’ll take medical qualifications over your ‘common sense’ any day

Every time celebrity chef Pete Evans talks about his 'wellness' beliefs, scientists and doctors line up to counter them with peer-reviewed research and established facts. That's because Evans' 'common sense' sounds a lot like utter nonsense, writes Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

The kauri dieback muddle shows officials ignore Wikipedia at their peril

When people want information, they go to the online encyclopedia. So why is public money being showered on messages that hardly anyone sees while Wikipedia is overlooked?

Kaikōura’s long and hazardous road to post-quake recovery

Thirteen months on, State Highway 1 is reopening north of Kaikōura. The fragility of the land has brought extraordinary challenges for the rebuild

How we found a giant penguin, and what it tells us about monster birds

Alan Tennyson of Te Papa describes the discovery of colossal fossils in an Otago boulder, and how it helps us better understand ancient penguin species.

‘Blood will fall’: the bush Rambos at war with 1080

The threats reveal a crack opening up between urban perception and rural values. We need to act before somebody gets hurt, writes Dave Hansford

The NZ tech researchers working to make asthmatics’ lives a little easier

Scientists hope to help asthma sufferers and others needing oxygen at home by developing ‘molecular sponges’ with nanoscale-sized pores to purify the air.

Just how freaked out should we be by predictions of more big earthquakes in 2018?

According to media reports, a slowing of the Earth's rotation is likely to bring an increase in the number of severe quakes. What do NZ scientists say?

Our rating of NZ’s climate target? Not good enough. The heat is now on James Shaw

The Climate Action Tracker reveals the NZ ambition is not ‘fine’ as claimed, writes Bill Hare, a physicist and climate scientist and a former lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Could the solution to New Zealand’s quake-prone buildings already be on a shelf at Bunnings?

Auckland University researchers say beams of timber stuck onto the backs of unreinforced masonry façades could be a cheap and simple way to stop them collapsing in an earthquake. Laura McQuillan investigates.

Why it’s so important to mark the anniversaries of earthquakes

Whether it’s one year or, in the case of the formidable Alpine fault, 300, looking back to these events should motivate action on building resilience, writes Ursula Cochran of GNS.