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.
Category Archives: Listener science
When Ernest Shackleton was ordering provisions for his 1907 expedition to Antarctica, he made it clear that along with the requisite tins of herrings, mulligatawny soup, gooseberry jam and marmalade, he and his men required a supply of whisky. Not … Continue reading
They say for every 10°C drop in temperature, it’s a “different kind of cold”. The -20°C I experienced camping at Friis Hills in Antarctica was certainly new for me, but the geologists I was with seemed unconcerned: their minds were … Continue reading
Few people conjuring up the “most comfortable dwelling place imaginable” are likely to picture a wooden shelter on an island off the coldest continent on Earth. But that’s how Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott described the hut at Cape Evans … Continue reading
Camping in Antarctica last December, I noticed that even though it was extremely cold, -10°C to -20°C, our exhalations didn’t make visible clouds. When the helicopter landed to pick us up, though, our breath appeared as dense white clouds. Why … Continue reading
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