A Quick Look at the Cretaceous World

The Extent of the Cretaceous The Cretaceous Period began about 144 million years ago and terminated with the well-known asteroid impact some 66 million years ago. Geologists subdivide it into 12 stages, each defined by particular rock formations, fossils and sediments at a specific locality called the type area. Several of… Read More

Public Lecture Cancelled: Human Microbiomes – Notes for Hosts

This public lecture is cancelled. However, we plan to record the lecture and post it here on the website at a later date.  We are making arrangements with Professor Crane to record his lecture, and will hopefully have the recording posted here soon. Thank you all for your understanding.   Abstract… Read More

Why was the HMS Endeavour ever here?

It’s rather sad that in all of the misinformation and fake news in New Zealand around the arrival of James Cook to “discover and colonise” New Zealand, there has been a rather stunning silence about the achievements of the expedition from the Scientific community.   Figure 1 Captain Cook,… Read More

Is Cotton Rotten? Congratulations Blake Shepherd!

Blake’s brilliant project recently won the Royal Society of Wellington branch prize at the NIWA Science Fair. His project was titled “Is Cotton Rotten?” and investigated aspects such as absorbency, ability to retain heat, water resistance, and bacterial growth in different types of fabric for tramping clothing. He found that… Read More

Wellington Branch of the Royal Society, Hudson Lecture 2019

It was our pleasure to present the Hudson Lecture, of the Wellington Branch of the Royal Society, on the 14th August. This year the lecture was by Prof. Tony Ward  “Theoretical illiteracy and therapeutic dead ends: lessons from forensic and correctional practice”. A video recording of the lecture is in… Read More

What’s a Million Years between Friends?

“Most of us these days accept that life has followed some kind of evolutionary process that has played out over a very long period of time. However, getting our heads around the enormous lengths of time available for the evolution of life is next to impossible, even for those who… Read More

A Subtlety of Earth’s Gravity and its Rotation

As is well known, Earth is not a perfect sphere. Because of its rotation, the centrifugal effect makes it bulge slightly at the equator and slightly squashed at the poles, to produce what we refer to as an ‘oblate spheroid’.  However, the centrifugal effect also applies to… Read More

Fraud in Science

Laboratory Fraud is a growing “elephant in the room” for science In New Zealand. By Brian Jones.   Last summer (2017/18) as I worked as a Biosecurity auditor in Australia, I became aware of the growing problem of “Laboratory Fraud” and the apparent total absence of any mechanism in New… Read More