Posts by Edward Abraham

Posts and discussion by NZAS members. The NZAS aims to provide a forum for discussion on issues relevant to the New Zealand science. The views expressed in this forum are not necessarily the views of NZAS.

New Zealand Science Review from 1952

The New Zealand Science Review has been published since the 1940's, but only the recent volumes (since 2003) are available digitally. I was poking around on the internt and came across a scanned copy of NZSR from 1952. This issue reported on a conference that marked the founding of the New Zealand Ecological Society. It would be great to get the full set of New Zealand Science Review scanned and made available, as they contribute a unique perspective on the development of science in New Zealand.


Making the boat go faster

Sometimes research really is about making the boat go faster. Team New Zealand trialled two of their new catamarans yesterday, small models of the real thing. The boats were built in Seaview, Wellington, and rely on some serious computational design effort to get them flying along. Many of the smaller boats are being built, so they can be raced and tested against each other while the design is honed. Peter Blake's question "will it make the boat go faster?"  is often asked about efforts to improve the economy. WIth real yachts, making them go faster needs research, development, and collaboration between people with a wide range of specialised skills. Just need to get the same approach across the economy ...

Hard talk about fresh water

While in London for the royal nuptials, John Key took the spotlight on BBC's hardtalk. With a stuffed kiwi on the shelf in the background, a well prepared Stephen Sackur kept coming back to ask questions that the Prime Minister seemed reluctant to answer. During the interview, the conversation turned to fresh water quality, with the "100% pure New Zealand" brand being held up for John Key to consider. A transcript of the section is on the Listener's website, and it is interesting to see how science and scientists are portrayed.

Ministry of Science and Innovation

A message from Lesley Middleton and Murray Bain of MoRST (contact:

Here’s the latest update on the work being undertaken by the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST) and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (the Foundation) to implement Government’s changes to New Zealand’s science system.

Environmental data policy statement

At the moment, the science funding system in New Zealand sets up a fundamental tension between public and private good. Science providers are given public funding to collect data and develop intellectual property that they are then able to sell as part of their commercial activity. A handy double earner for the organisations lucky enough to be supported by science funding.

Open government and creative commons

In August 2009 the state services commission released a draft New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing Framework, shortened to NZGOAL.

This document recommends that, where possible, government agencies release information using creative commons licenses. These have the great benefit of allowing reuse of information. In the case of science these licences could be applied to data and reports.