Engaging early- and mid-career scientists

Those involved in New Zealand’s science scene may have heard of Stratus, ‘a network of emerging and early career University of Auckland researchers’, which was launched in 2008. Well, there’s a new kid on the block - allow me to introduce WEMCR, or Wellington Early- and Mid-career Researchers. WEMCR is currently led by 5 researchers […]

It’s Ada Lovelace Day!

Today, October 16th, is Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace, for those who didn’t already know (and you all do, right? * wink *), also called Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, is one of the shining stars in mathematics and computer history. Yep, you heard right - a _girl_ was incredibly good at maths :P […]

Measuring the value of science

UPDATE: Please see the end of this piece, where I give examples of possible ‘good’ metrics The subject of innovation/science/tech/R&D, and its contribution to a country’s economy and society, appears to be top of mind for policymakers, funding bodies and scientific bodies all over the world. In New Zealand alone, MSI has set a target […]

No, actually, everyone is NOT entitled to their opinion

The question of opinion is becoming an increasingly vexed issue all over the world, and in all kinds of disciplines. While no one (well, no one in their right minds) would say that one isn’t entitled to the opinion that purple is a waaaaaay prettier colour than, say, orange, the same is not true when […]

Lots of land still up for grabs on largest LEGO set

In around June this year, LEGO and Google Australia (who do the maps) released Build, a WebGL LEGO simulator. Touting itself as the world’s largest LEGO set, it allows you to build, using Lego bricks, anything you want on a Google map.The map’s been divided up into small squares, and plots are a 32×32 grid. […]

More fraud behind paper retractions than you might have thought

A subject that’s come up in discussion with my friend a couple of times recently has been the increase in retractions of scientific papers from journals. I’ve always staunchly defended allegations this might be due to naughty scientists. I am  now having to make my own retraction about that. According to research (as yet unretracted) […]