About REBECCA PRIESTLEYI’m a science historian and writer. I write about all sorts of things, but I’m mostly interested in New Zealand’s science history, about which I’ve curated two exhibitions, The Art of Science and Butterflies, Boffins & Black Smokers. I write a regular science column for The Listener, which you can read here, and I’ve completed four books, which you can read more about here. I’m now working on an anthology of Antarctic science, which should be finished ... soon and trying to decide between two new book projects: a worthy history of science biography and a fun contemporary science story. Perhaps I'll do both. I mostly blog when I'm adventuring - most of these posts are from recent trips to Antarctica and the Kermadec Islands.
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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
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
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
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
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 After atomic bombs were … Continue reading
The weather forecast for tomorrow’s transit of Venus is appalling. Cloud cover, rain, and gale force winds. But I was up in Tolaga Bay today – the focus of New Zealand’s celebrations of the transit – and the local Anglican … Continue reading