Blog post

Science correspondent on RNZ

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Back in March, I appeared on the fantastic RNZ show, Nine to Noon. I was there to talk about Sticky - it was the first media interview that book publicist Rebecca secured for me.

The interview was a blast - Kathryn was an amazingly kind interviewer - I still can't believe I got to talk about friction and stickiness on primetime radio for 30 mins! You can listen to it here.

Immediately afterwards, as we came off air, the producer, Victoria, asked if I might be interested in coming back on the show at some stage as a general 'science correspondent'. I said yes, of course - I'd loved doing a similar gig for the Naked Scientists back in the day. We agreed to chat about the logistics soon. Fast-forward to July, and the promised email arrived to my inbox - Nine to Noon wanted me to make some appearances on the show. Microbiologist (and superstar scicommer) Dr Siouxsie Wiles had been doing this fortnightly gig solo for some time, but it sounds like, with everything else she does, she needed a break. So, I joined the team. The gig: I'd choose 2-4 interesting science stories from the previous couple of weeks, and talk about them live on air in a 10 min segment.

Because I am a nerd, I also wanted to share links to the quoted papers over on Twitter. But I thought I should probably do it here too! So this post is now the official home for my RNZ stories. I'll update it after each appearance.

Debut appearance: 27th July

Link to the segment: listen here.

Topics covered + links to paper:

- The effects of air pollution on the health of New Zealanders https://environment.govt.nz/publications/health-and-air-pollution-in-new-zealand-2016-findings-and-implications/

- A mysterious radio signal getting astronomers excited https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04841-8

- The discovery of a link between the areas of a dog's brain that handle smell and vision https://www.jneurosci.org/content/42/33/6392

Appearance #2: 24 August 2022

Link to the segment: listen here.

Topics covered + links to paper:

- Exposure to pesticides damages bee brains https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/finsc.2022.936826/full

- Low-gravity droplets https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.084501

- Upcycling polystyrene https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2203346119

- Making concrete with waste tyres https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344922002348

Appearance #3: 19 October 2022

Link to the segment: listen here.

Topics covered + links to paper:

- Ocean warming rates set to quadruple if we don’t reduce emissions https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-022-00345-1

- Telescope finds heavy element in the atmosphere of faraway planets  https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/2022/10/aa44489-22.pdf

- New device allows you to smell (wine) in virtual reality https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1071581922001483

+ free resources to make your own VR odorant device https://www.su.se/english/news/smelling-in-vr-environment-possible-with-new-gaming-technology-1.630811

Appearance #4: 30 November 2022

Link to the segment: listen here.

Topics covered + links to paper:

- Procrastinating before bedtime might be bad for you https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079222001101

** apologies to Central Queensland University for incorrectly attributing this work to another institute, live on air **

- Jellyfish-relative pulses its jets https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2202494119

- Physicists design ‘splash-free’ urinal https://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DFD22/Session/U12.8