Category: policy

  • Why you shouldn’t entrust your pet to Glenstar Kennels

    Travel is part of life and if you have pets, finding appropriate boarding for them is a must. This is my explanation for why you should not entrust your dog to Glenstar Kennels, in Canterbury, New Zealand. At the end of 2016 I had work approval for a two-month trip overseas. Normally I would book […]

  • Back of the envelope look at school decile changes

    Currently there is some discussion in New Zealand about the effect of the reclassification of schools in socioeconomic deciles. An interesting aspect of the funding system in New Zealand is that state and state-integrated schools with poorer families receive substantially more funding from the government than schools that receive students from richer families (see this […]

  • A couple of thoughts on biotech and food security

    “What has {insert biotech here} done for food security?” This question starts at the wrong end of the problem, because food security is much larger than any biotechnology. I would suggest that governance, property rights and education are the fundamental issues for food security, followed by biotechnological options. For example, the best biotechnology is useless […]

  • Should I reject a manuscript because the analyses weren’t done using open source software?

    “Should I reject a manuscript because the analyses weren’t done using open software?” I overheard a couple of young researchers discussing. Initially I thought it was a joke but, to my surprise, it was not funny at all. There is an unsettling, underlying idea in that question: the value of a scientific work can be […]

  • Protectionism under another name

    This morning Radio New Zealand covered a story (audio) where Tomatoes New Zealand (TNZ, the growers association) was asking the Government to introduce compulsory labeling for irradiated products (namely imported Australian tomatoes), stating that consumers deserve an informed choice (TNZ Press Release). Two points that I think merit attention: