Author Archives: Rebecca Priestley

About Rebecca Priestley

I have a PhD in the history & philosophy of science and I write about science and science history. I live in New Zealand.

Pathogens, sediments and nutrients: the nasties making our rivers unsafe

This was first published in the Listener, 31 July 2014. When I was a kid, in the 1970s, the only “unsafe” water I was aware of was the geothermal hot pools of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. If you put your … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Particle Fever review

The thing that differentiates scientists,” says physicist Savas Dimopoulos in Particle Fever, “is purely an artistic ability to discern what is a good idea, what is a beautiful idea, what is worth spending time on and, most importantly, what is … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Call for papers – The Fukushima Effect: Nuclear histories, representations and debates

At the APSTSN conference in Singapore this July, I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Hindmarsh, associate professor at Griffith University, Australia, and editor of Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Daiichi: Social, Political and Environmental Issues. We were each presenting papers … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The enigmatic and endangered Kermadec storm petrel

A version of this story first appeared in The Listener on 26 September 2013. One night on Macauley Island, in the Kermadec Islands group, in 1988, ornithologists Alan Tennyson, Graeme Taylor and Paul Scofield noticed something flitting around the Tilley … Continue reading

Posted in Kermadecs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Zealand scientists and the atomic bomb

How proud New Zealand must be that the foundations of the amazing discovery concerning latent atomic energy were laid by her own great scientist Rutherford. – Viscount Bledisloe in telegram to New Zealand, 9 August 1945[1] After atomic bombs were … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The dawning of the age of Anthopocene

This article first appeared in The Listener, issue 3716, 30 July 2011 As a geology student in the late 1980s, I learnt a mnemonic to remember the various geological periods, epochs and ages that make up Earth’s history. It started … Continue reading

Posted in Listener science | Tagged , , | Leave a comment