Science Archive

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.

I’m sorry, activists – but NZ’s climate target is actually fine

The issue is not the government's target to reduce emissions, but how we will achieve it, argues Dave Frame of the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute

101 fake facts that you’re doomed to remember as true

Thom Adams explains why he posted more than 200 intriguing and false facts on the internet, and how he learned that he too has an idiot brain.

Imagine Edgecumbe, but far more often: Climate-proofing our valuable water infrastructure

With much of New Zealand's water infrastructure particularly susceptible to the growing dangers of climate change, Iain White and Alexandra Keeble argue that investing in new systems and flexible solutions are key to future-proofing for an uncertain future. 

‘Right now, we are all Truman’: how robots are changing the way humans talk

Humans susceptibility to group pressure extends to pressure from a group consisting solely of robots, according to new research conducted by Dr Christoph Bartneck. Robots are changing the way we talk, and so the way we think. Don Rowe talks to Dr Bartneck and asks the question on everyone's lips: is it time to freak out? 

The science of Thor: Ragnarok (or how Hulk really can keep his pants on)

Professor Michael Milford and his colleague Juxi Leitner assess the scientific plausibilities of Thor: Ragnarok and finds them difficult but not always impossible.

Killing with kindness

As New Zealanders rally our collective efforts in the pursuit of the ‘crazy and ambitious’ goal of a Predator Free New Zealand by 2050, we mustn’t lose our hearts, writes Nicola Toki.

About that Stuff story on ‘edible sunblock’

In any country, Stuff's news story assessing 'edible sunscreen' would be questionable. In New Zealand, the melanoma capital of the world, it's downright irresponsible, writes Mark Hanna.

Black, bendable, lightweight and cheap: inside the coming solar panel revolution

When it comes to solar panels, the future is flexible. Vanessa Young discovers how a MacDiarmid project is unlocking the possibilities of a new generation of solar cell technology.

Polls 101: a statistician on truth and fiction in opinion polling

The only thing more volatile than the polling is the commentary around the volatile polling. Statistician Richard Arnold tackles some of the critical questions.

RIP, Cassini. Thanks for all the memories

The 20-year-old Saturn exploring Cassini spacecraft meets its fiery demise this week. Beyond revealing the universe to us, space exploration exposes our own small place in the big picture, writes Richard Easther

The script to zero carbon has been written. Now the government needs to act

After travelling to the Solomon Islands to meet the communities already affected by climate change, Madeleine Chapman looks at New Zealand's responsibility in the region and the campaign for the Zero Carbon Act. 

The crowded community on the run from climate change

Climate change is a harsh reality for the Pacific Islands. Madeleine Chapman travelled to the Solomon Islands with World Vision to meet the communities whose lives are already being upturned by climate change.

No ordinary star-gazing: my ride aboard the Stratospheric Observatory

When astrophysicist Jordan Alexander was given the chance to travel on the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy, he leapt at it.