The proposition that global warming driven by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a risk that needs to be dealt with has achieved a large measure of agreement among policymakers. The proposition that it has to be dealt with right now and at great cost has no such consensus. Continue reading “Climate emergency: future shock or last gasp”
Overshadowed perhaps by the government’s push to improve care for cancer patients, an initiative by the Heart Foundation with the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge in making a $2m grant for a research programme, has high significance in the health sector.
Heart disease is NZ’s single biggest killer, claiming the lives of more than 6,300 NZers every year – that’s one person every 90 minutes. More than 22,000 Māori and more than 7,000 Pacific people are living with heart disease.
The new three-year study, the first major programme of its kind in NZ, aims to improve access to healthcare for Māori and Pacific people, which has the potential to achieve equity in heart health outcomes for all NZers.
At last there’s some recognition from the government that it needs to revise its policy on gene editing. It follows a report from the Royal Society Te Aparangi on the considerable benefits gene editing can bring to our lives.
Climate change is being widely accepted as one of the greatest threats facing mankind.
The more extreme Green lobbyists contend it could lead to the extinction of the human race — but the same Green lobbyists resist the gene editing science.
Largely as a result of pressure from the Green Party, the provisions governing gene editing, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), were amended in 2003 in line with the government’s overall policy of proceeding with caution while preserving opportunities.
Work in gene editing was not prohibited , but scientists found the policy so difficult to navigate that those working in the field have been forced to conduct experiments and trials abroad. Continue reading “Royal Society report heaps more pressure on government to review GM law – but Green extremists are an obstacle”
You’ve got to hand it to Shane Jones. Even when he is not playing the fairy godfather role in the provinces he can make the headlines.
There he was on the front page of the NZ Herald last week with the message that NZ needs to review its genetic modification-free “gospel”.
Of course this raises alarm bells among the Green lobbies, because it is an article of faith among Green politicians that they “saved” NZ when a ban was applied to the application of GM in this country.
But Jones reckons if NZ is going to find a solution to meet the climate change transition, then it must apply weapons from the arsenal of science and technology. His intervention followed the concerns raised by the government’s Interim Climate Change Committee that laws surrounding GM could be a barrier to lowering farm emissions.
Lincoln University administrators did some consulting before answering questions first sent to them on September 21. They finally answered the questions – about the incorporation of matauranga Maori in science classes – earlier this month but won’t say who was consulted.
The short answer is yes, it is incorporated in their science classes.
- Is Maori knowledge incorporated in science courses, at Lincoln University
2. If so, when was it introduced to science courses, why was it introduced, and is it incorporated in all science courses or just some?
Maori knowledge content began to be introduced into some courses at Lincoln University from around 2005 by individual lecturers who were motivated to do so. Currently some courses available in 2018 have Maori knowledge content.
The university has been somewhat sparse with the information it provided and is not disclosing the identities of the people whom it consulted after insisting Bob Edlin’s questions be dealt with under the Official Information Act.
All other universities approached for information had replied by early November. All but the University of Auckland said yes, they did incorporate Maori knowledge in science as well as other courses. Continue reading “Lincoln University at last says it, too, includes Maori knowledge in its science classes”
New York University professor Paul Romer, who shared this year’s Nobel Prize for economics, documented, quantified and confirmed the assumption that innovation leads to economic growth.
In its announcement, of the award, the Nobel Prize committee said Romer and William Nordhaus “have designed methods for addressing some of our time’s most basic and pressing questions about how we create long-term sustained and sustainable economic growth.”
Romer’s work has focused on confronting the rapid pace of technological change by showing how knowledge can function as a driver of long-term economic growth.
It’s great to have this affirmed because politicians inevitably bang on about the great boost to economic growth they are generating when they announce they are pumping more public money into science, research and innovation.
But as this article in Fortune points out, Romer did more.
Continue reading “Lessons from a Nobel Prize winner on the role of government in innovation”
Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods went public at the weekend to welcome news that New Zealand’s 11 National Science Challenges have received $422.5m in a second tranche of funding.
Her statement can be found on the Scoop website but, curiously, not on the Beehive website.
Her most recent statement on the Beehive site (released yesterday) is headed Surge funding for kauri dieback and myrtle rust research.
The one before that, dated November 8, is headed Critical research being funded via Marsden Fund. Then she said New Zealand’s top researchers will be able to investigate critical issues and build knowledge across the board supported by $85.64 million over the next three years.
The statement posted at Scoop deals with a much bigger lump of public money. In this she said the Science Board, which is responsible for investing Government funds in research, science and technology,
” … approved the second tranche of funding bringing the total investment to $680.8m following a positive mid-way review.”
Alas, the review is being kept under wraps which means we have only Woods’ word for it that the review was positive and that therefore the second chunk of this investment is justified.
Continue reading “Science Board approves $422.5m further investment – but progress report is kept secret”