Category Archives: Uncategorized

Antarctica 2014: a few words and some pictures (more to come)

The first time I visited Antarctica I was in the company of a poet (and essayist and novelist), Alice Miller. We were there at the Invitation of Antarctica New Zealand, on their media and artists’ programme, and were hosted and … Continue reading

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A tribute to my father: Nigel Priestley (1943-2014)

First published in the Listener, issue 3898, 22 January 2015. One day, shortly before I started school, my father took me to his work at the Ministry of Works’ central laboratories, where he was head of structures. When his colleagues … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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