Science Archive

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

Set your alarm for 8am Saturday to glimpse a once-in-a-lifetime horizon

In the south especially, New Zealanders will get the chance to witness a rare celestial event: a selenelion

I got a hoax academic paper about how politicians wipe their bums published

Would a journal publish a pseudo-study about arse-wiping? A psychology lecturer decided to find out

In defence of Otago University’s Loch Ness DNA project

The editor of Dunedin's student magazine may not like it, but the University of Otago's hunt for Nessie was science communication at its finest, argues Ellen Rykers.

How to cool down your data

Whether you're mining bitcoin or Googling yourself, you're creating a lot of heat somewhere. A group of New Zealand scientists have found a way to take the heat off data centres.

Super grass is here, and it’s a green breakthrough. Can Greens stomach it?

A new strain of ryegrass developed in NZ promises to reduce water demands and curb emissions. But it's genetically modified, so may not be politically palatable.

1080 does not kill kiwis – on the contrary, it helps them live

Misleading remarks in the media erode public confidence in a pest-control tool we urgently need to save species.

Fact check: could smoking weed off a can give you Alzheimer’s?

Teens have smoked weed from the side of a can for decades, and probably always will. But doesn't that give you Alzheimer's?

I’m excited by this big business pledge on climate. Now let’s hold them to it

At last attitudes across the business sector appear to be seriously changing, writes climate scientist James Renwick

What scientists know about the Wellington whale

A NIWA scientist explains what they've discovered about the whale in Wellington harbour so far. We're used to traffic jams in Wellington, but when they come with people lining the harbour …

How genetic modification helps the Impossible Burger take flight

Genetic engineering is central to success of the synthetic meat that has been embraced by Air NZ and caused a flap among MPs

Nicola Gaston on taking the wheel at the MacDiarmid Institute

Recently appointed co-director of the MacDiarmid Institute Dr. Nicola Gaston's new role allows her to guide one of New Zealand's top science institutes to potentially world-leading research.

The one easy trick to rid your home of mould

Mould is one of the biggest health risks associated with New Zealand’s substandard housing stock. But what to do about it? Madeleine Chapman came up with an easy workaround.

A brilliant woman is our new chief scientist, and the timing couldn’t be better

Siouxsie Wiles celebrates the announcement that Juliet Gerrard will be the next prime minister's chief science advisor