Science & Technology

How can New Zealand reach 100% renewable energy?

How can New Zealand reach 100% renewable energy?

Renewable energy sources currently supply around 40% of total energy demand in New Zealand. Increasing this share is critical to reducing the current level of greenhouse gas emissions to meet our international obligations.

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Can viewing art reduce stress?

Can viewing art reduce stress?

By Paul Panckhurst There's evidence that looking at paintings can reduce stress and anxiety. A researcher wants to know if this phenomenon can help surgery patients heal. Pablo Picasso once said, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” The artist...

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How will Delta evolve? Here’s what the theory tells us

How will Delta evolve? Here’s what the theory tells us

The COVID-19 pandemic is a dramatic demonstration of evolution in action. Evolutionary theory explains much of what has already happened, predicts what will happen in the future and suggests which management strategies are likely to be the most effective.

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Is TikTok breaching your privacy?

Is TikTok breaching your privacy?

TikTok is hugely popular. But its latest decision to capture unique digital copies of your face and voice is a cybersecurity threat to your identity and privacy.

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Why do we have Zoom fatigue and what can we do about it?

Why do we have Zoom fatigue and what can we do about it?

Why is it that after studying, working, entertaining and socialising at the computer screen or looking at texts, Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and responding to notifications on the cellphone, we often feel exhausted (Zoom fatigue) and experience neck, back and shoulder discomfort, or eye irritation?

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How can we clean up space?

How can we clean up space?

Space might be the final frontier, but, like all frontiers it’s strewn with junk. Luckily, Professor Guglielmo Aglietti, director of the Auckland Space Institute has a plan.

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Is cyber security a people problem?

Is cyber security a people problem?

In an age where personal information is the new oil, chief privacy officers in companies should be as important as chief financial officers. Gehan Gunasekara explains the human dimension to cyber vulnerabilities – and how we can keep safe. 

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How are we fighting kauri dieback?

How are we fighting kauri dieback?

Progress is being made in the fight against kauri dieback. Anthony Doesburg meets researchers at the University determined to help save the mighty native conifer.

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What are the effects of long COVID?

What are the effects of long COVID?

Dr Victor Dieriks draws attention to Covid’s potential risks of long-term, life-changing neuropsychiatric disorders should we not run a successful vaccination campaign.

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How can we use and waste less energy?

How can we use and waste less energy?

If we keep trying to maintain our current growth trajectory, built on a one-off fossil bonanza, we will destroy the already stressed life-supporting systems that sustain us.

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How can we address biodiversity loss? ▶

How can we address biodiversity loss? ▶

Biodiversity loss and climate change are paramount global existential threats. A conservation scientist must wield a scientific Swiss army knife to successfully undertake research in these topics that informs policy.

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What is the future of thinking in the wake of AI? ▶

What is the future of thinking in the wake of AI? ▶

In this talk, hosted by the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Science, Michael Witbrock will survey some of the upgrades that most directly predict the path towards broadly capable AI, while looking at indicators that such AI is fairly imminent

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How safe is vaping?

How safe is vaping?

We know the damage smoking causes, but we’re yet to conduct conclusive research about vaping. That’s the focus for Kelly Burrowes for the next three years.

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What causes the loss of smell in COVID-19?

What causes the loss of smell in COVID-19?

New research shows that SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause significant damage to the olfactory bulb and brainstem and highlights the importance of monitoring the neurological symptoms of COVID-19.

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How will climate change affect infrastructure? 🔊

How will climate change affect infrastructure? 🔊

Flooding, drought, and rising sea levels are just some of the major climate events that are already affecting millions. One of the major issues, as a result, is how infrastructure in both urban and rural communities will be affected by climate change.

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How can syndemics help us understand disease better?

How can syndemics help us understand disease better?

How is it that an infection can be worse or different depending on whether someone has another disease? Why does it matter where someone lives? Why does history make disease progression different in different places? Thinking about syndemics helps us answer these questions.

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Climate change: Is New Zealand doing enough? 🔊

Climate change: Is New Zealand doing enough? 🔊

New Zealand has continued to garner criticism for inaction on climate change and was recently excluded from the Climate Ambition Summit. This raises the question of whether New Zealand’s climate policy reflects the urgency of the situation.

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How useful can statistics be in helping ecological conservation efforts? ▶

How useful can statistics be in helping ecological conservation efforts? ▶

In her inaugural lecture at the University of Auckland, Professor Rachel Fewster will give a taste of the diversity of statistical problems in the ecological domain, introduce a charismatic cast of creatures, and give insights into how we can – sometimes – convert baffling volumes of data into interpretable conclusions.

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Is New Zealand ready for a COVID-19 vaccine? 🔊

Is New Zealand ready for a COVID-19 vaccine? 🔊

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the world is racing to create a viable vaccine to help control the spread of the virus. Is New Zealand ready for a vaccine? How will it be rolled out? And how effective will it be?

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How can we learn to adapt to changes in this dynamic world? ▶

How can we learn to adapt to changes in this dynamic world? ▶

Much of scientific research involves the generation and testing of hypotheses that can facilitate the development of accurate models for a system. In machine learning the automated building of accurate models is desired, however traditional machine learning often assumes that the underlying systems are static and unchanging over time.

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Why are data ethics important? ▶

Why are data ethics important? ▶

In this talk, Professor Tim Dare from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland will discuss why transparency and explainability have become central to data ethics and the reasons there are to question that centrality.

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What is eco-anxiety? ▶

What is eco-anxiety? ▶

This seminar hosted by the University of Auckland Sustainability Network explores the issue of eco-anxiety and includes speakers from the University of Auckland and AUT who will present current research and approaches to eco-anxiety. 

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Is deep sea mining bad for the environment? 🔊

Is deep sea mining bad for the environment? 🔊

The search for minerals is leading some corporations to begin mining the ocean floor, but scientists warn that this could devastate fragile ecosystems that will have repercussions that we still don’t understand.

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Fast fashion: What are the hidden costs?

Fast fashion: What are the hidden costs?

“The textile and clothing manufacturing industry comes with a heavy price including environmental pollution and the well-publicised issues around the income and working conditions for workers.”

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What needs to happen to address wildfires? 🔊

What needs to happen to address wildfires? 🔊

In the last few weeks, the western part of the United States has experienced one of the worst wildfire seasons in history. Not coincidently, some areas have also recorded the highest temperatures since records began.

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Climate change: How damaging is methane?

Climate change: How damaging is methane?

Methane is a shorter-lived greenhouse gas – why do we average it out over 100 years? By doing so, do we risk emitting so much in the upcoming decades that we reach climate tipping points?

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Can you trust political polls?

Can you trust political polls?

From now until October 17, Election Day in New Zealand, voters will be getting election poll information from multiple directions. So which ones can be trusted?

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Can New Zealand keep coronavirus out?

Can New Zealand keep coronavirus out?

Stringent border controls and mandatory quarantine give New Zealand a good chance to remain free of COVID-19 for months to come, according to new modelling from Te Pūnaha Matatini.

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How does one model a pandemic?

How does one model a pandemic?

With basic mathematical models, researchers can begin to forecast the progression of diseases and understand the effect of interventions on disease spread.

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What technologies can help clean up rivers? 🔊

What technologies can help clean up rivers? 🔊

New Zealand has a dirty rivers problem. In 2017, two-thirds of the country’s rivers were deemed too polluted to swim in. Given this, research is being carried out to find ways in which the country can attempt to clean up its rivers.

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How do your genes affect your mental health? ▶

How do your genes affect your mental health? ▶

In this lecture hosted by the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland researchers discuss how knowing what your genes do can guide the development of future personalised medicine for the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions and type 1 diabetes.

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What is the future of food?

What is the future of food?

Gilbert Wong looks at the forces shaping the future of food and how research is contributing to what’s likely to be on our plates in 2030.

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What institutional reform befits the era of the long climate crisis?

What institutional reform befits the era of the long climate crisis?

On October 22, former MP and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, who now leads Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand, delivered the 2019 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture at the University of Auckland, looking at institutional reform options for dealing with climate change, in light of Parliament’s recent passage of the Zero Carbon Bill.

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Q+A: Does food advertising push up obesity rates?

Q+A: Does food advertising push up obesity rates?

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world – but how much does advertising have to do with it? Jim Mann is calling for greater government regulations around how food is advertised, especially to children.

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