Category Archives: Uncategorized

My MA reading list

One of the great things about being an academic is sabbatical, or as we call in at my university, research and study leave. I’ve got six months of it this year, from May through October, and I’m looking forward to … Continue reading

Posted in Antarctic, Creative non-fiction, Kermadecs, Personal, Science, Travel, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Does New Zealand need a science book prize?

On Friday last week, I noticed that the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Science Book Prize was no longer. I don’t recall ever seeing an announcement about it, but the online information about the prize now reads in the past … Continue reading

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Predicting the new normal

This article first appeared in The Listener, 26 November 2015. “Climate prediction is not an easy job anywhere,” says Dave Frame, professor of climate change at Victoria University of Wellington, but “the southern hemisphere hasn’t generally been the focus for … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Listener science, Personal, Science, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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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