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The tiresome title of Professor Emeritus

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, June 9th, 2010 - 28 comments
Categories: climate change, science - Tags: , ,

Carrying on from r0bs post about dissecting the bloated ego of the Looney Lord, I thought I should share my thoughts on the role of retired professors with similar meaningless titles.

There has been a series of posts at Hot-topic and other sites looking at the actions and background of climate change skeptical scientists. As someone who has trained in earth sciences I find it hard to see why anyone would give them much credibility in the face of the mounting evidence of quite fundamental changes in the atmospheric heat balance. However it appears many people prefer comforting noises rather than facing the consequences of not changing polluting behaviors. But what is fascinating generally is that many are retired professors far from the cut and thrust of the peer reviewing of their work that is a major and critical part of the scientific process. Many people seem to imbue a larger mantle of authority over a title than its meaningless value deserves.

Bryan Walker has been reviewing a book called “Merchants of Doubt” about four scientists who have been ranging far out of their areas of expertise to offer opinions over many decades.

Three of the physicists were Fred Seitz, William Nierenberg and Robert Jastrow. The fourth, Fred Singer, is still living.

The issues in which the men, jointly or severally, played a part cover a wide range.  A surprising range at first sight.  What have tobacco smoking, the strategic defence initiative, acid rain, ozone depletion, second-hand smoking and climate change got in common? They were not areas of professional expertise for the four scientists. Oreskes and Conway point to the fact that they all involved the possibility of government regulation of market activities in the interests of the environment. Regulation was the road to socialism. All four men were stout defenders of free market capitalism and strident anti-communists. Nierenberg and Seitz hated environmentalists, viewing them as Luddites.

In other words, bugger the evidence or the science. In the opinion of these people the politics is more ‘important’. It evidentially works from the way that the media report their opinions. But there are always the simple and credulous without an understanding of the processes of science prefer to believe in titles rather than reviewing the available science. It makes for a good story for the journos who generally don’t have much background in science, but can spot a human interest story from miles away. Especially when it is being promoted by spinsters pushing for the interests of their major corporates clients.

Part of the interest of the book is its reflections on the nature of science. Science doesn’t provide certainty or proof. What it does provide is the consensus of experts, based on the organised accumulation and scrutiny of evidence. Thus the geological theory of plate tectonics, for example, has emerged as accepted scientific knowledge. Modern science is a collective enterprise. What counts as knowledge are the ideas that come to be accepted by the fellowship of experts, the jury of one’s scientific peers.  If a claim is rejected the honest scientist moves on to other things. When Robert Jastrow and his colleagues first took their claims to the halls of public opinion rather than to the halls of science, they were stepping outside the institutional protocols that for four hundred years have tested the veracity of scientific claims. Many of the claims of the climate science contrarians had already been vetted in the halls of science and had failed to pass the test of peer review. Many were never even submitted for vetting.

This has been particularly evident in some of the comments written in this site. The name and title of Fred Singer in particular keeps being used like a talisman by the climate change deniers and skeptics here. They appear to think that the the phrase of “Professor Emeritus” means something more than it is. My definition of it is roughly:-

Professor Emeritus : Old specialist who is no longer doing much real work in their field, and will frequently comment on areas outside of their areas of expertise. Often entertaining, but frequently fossilized in their thinking.

Emeritus status is a bit of a mixed sword in most areas in its recipients.

It is sometimes useful because many of its recipients do develop a habit of thinking outside of their previous specialized box. They can help in cross-fertilize across areas of specialization. They often have a strong role in mentoring younger talent by providing the required support, especially in refining ideas. They frequently lecture in other universities worldwide cross-fertilizing the academic community, which is usually where I’ve observed them.

However often the real reason is that the status is awarded as a near-bribe to get old farts with tenure out of a department so people with new ideas and approaches can start doing some real work. Work that isn’t being constrained by the dead weight of someone locked into ideological positions developed many decades earlier.

Fred Singer appears to be one of the latter. His work in the 50’s and 60’s on using earth looking satellites is exemplary. However in his later years, he appears to have become increasingly associated with defending corporations in declining industries, and a lot less interested in current science.

Another good example of the scientific fossilization has been recently offered in a presentation offered at the Heartland Institute – which appears to largely be a spinster creation for the hydrocarbon industry. Don Easterbrook, Emeritus Professor of Geology, has for a long time been looking at the well known long-term cyclic effects that would indicate that the world would be tending to go into a cooling phase at present. At least they would if humans weren’t around screwing up the heat retention of the atmosphere and hydrosphere.

However in his presentation to the faithful at the Heartland conference, he appears to have clipped the last hundred years of contrary temperature data from his charts so he could show a 1905 ‘baseline’ temperature. Of course, this rather ignores the geologically rapid increases in temperature that have been happening both regionally (especially in the polar regions) and globally during the last century. These are not been explainable during the last century using the effects he was commenting on. They get in the way of an otherwise good theory. The temperature rises have been all the more remarkable because they are on top of the probable overall cooling effect he was examining.

There are a series of posts at Hot-topic looking at the detail of Don Easterbrook’s presentation where both the posts and comments have been enlightening (and entertaining) – 1, 2, 3, and 4. If he was arguing that the world would (without human interventions) have been naturally dipping towards another glacial period over the long-term, then his data and conclusions would have been valid. His presentation may have won him applause from an audience already invested in that conclusion. But is unlikely to carry much weight with anyone who has looked at the worrying temperature trends over the last century that were removed from his presentation.

Why am I pointing out these two (out of many) examples of Emeritus Professor? Well it is because examples like these and the constant use of retired lecturers as being authorities are steadily making me think that the status is past its use-by-date.

I’ve been moderating comments on this site for a number of years now. I’m tired of reading eulogies by people commenting with hushed tones of awe about the statements of some awesome Emeritus Professors – it is merely a title indicating their largely retired role in the academic community. It is as ridiculous to throw a false mantle of authority over them as the clowns who seem to have the same awe of the rather spurious hereditary authority of Chris Monckton. They never seem to consider exactly what titles mean – which is sweet bugger all.

In the case of any person of science, your current reputation and the authority of your opinions depends on your recent contributions to science. Those contributions are not made by prancing around on a stage at the pleasure of spinsters or offering consultancies to corporations with declining markets and telling them what they want to hear. Those are the roles that we assign to motivational speakers to harangue sales staff, or to people paid to boost the egos and confidence of tired managers. That roles doesn’t sit well on people of science.

28 comments on “The tiresome title of Professor Emeritus”

  1. Bored 1

    All a bit of a laugh to be had from the honours and ranking system of the halls of academia. Emeritus is now more like being a senior partner in a consultancy company really (like the parasitic EYs of this world). Lets face it the university system is now a fully fledged industry at all levels, a money making concern. Which means an Emeritus man is in somebodies back pocket. All a very sad commentary on how the commercial imperative has been allowed to bastardise what should be one of our most revered and esteemed institutions.

    Capcha “passes” aka something you pay for the privelege of sitting for, with the bar set proportionately low so that the fear of costly failure does not put off the next hopeful enrolees.

    • just saying 1.1

      Gotta mention that there are some notable exceptions like the Alliance’s Jim Flynn.
      Last I heard he was still working out of a broom closet in the politics department at otago, but since he went emeritus he has continued to do world-class research in his two fields – politics and psychology.

      Seventy-something I think.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Yeah, you have to look closely at what people are doing in the position (and some are indeed awesome). But the title demands a degree of skepticism, as I hope I’ve shown with the two examples above.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        ~77 now (IIRC, he was 73 when I took one of his classes in ’06) and, yes, his office is a broom closet.

  2. Richard 2

    Yes, exactly. “Emeritus Professor” means “retired”.

    It means that we (the university who used to employ you) no longer employ you, but we might let you still use an office, and we’ll print you some business cards. In return, we would still like to use your name for some assorted “elder-statesman of academia” purposes (opening buildings, chairing administrative committees, making up the numbers on examination boards, etc). We will probably give you some funding to potter about on whatever (cheap) project takes your fancy — pontificating on the “philosophy” of your discipline would be a good area to work in. But we think that you are too senile to do any actual work, which is saying something, as many of our working professors are quite senile. If you are not too senile, we might get you to help work on university “strategy”.

  3. PK 3

    ***I’m tired of reading eulogies by people commenting with hushed tones of awe about the statements of some awesome Emeritus Professors it is merely a title indicating their largely retired role in the academic community.***

    Whether they call themselves emeritus professors, or retired professors, people will still look for arguments that support their views. And in anycase, the evidence & logic they use should be the focus, not their title.

    • lprent 3.1

      Exactly my point. The source, rationale, evidence, AND peer-criticism are all important.

      Of course what happens here is that I get an interesting sounding link by a CCD on earth sciences, pop through, read the article, track back to the original paper, find out it is not peer reviewed, lookup the writer, and find out that they’re retired and have a background in chemistry and have never published a peer-reviewed paper in earth sciences.

      It just pisses me off, and the CCD usually starts complaining when I call them a moronic scientifically illiterate idiot.

      This post was mostly written so I can link to it in comments to explain why I think that they are such a dipshit.

  4. Anita 4

    I think your complaint is actually about the media paying too much over-awed attention to academics (semi-retired or otherwise) who are speaking on issues outside their area of expertise.

    There are plenty of awesome emeritus professors who continue doing great work in their own fields; supervising, participating in research teams, publishings and even providing useful public commentary.

    The fact the media can’t tell the difference between a well-respected leading thinker in a particular niche and a person with an opinion and a title is a criticism of the media, not of emeritus professors.

    The same criticisms could be levelled at the media’s attitude toward Family First and the Sensible Sentencing Trust. In both cases they’re effectively one person lobby machines which get treated with far too much reverence.

    • lprent 4.1

      I’d agree. I’ve net some pretty awesome emeritus profs (and for that matter other retired/semi-retired lecturers/researchers). I’ve also met a few that were (to put it politely) were fools running around with some pretty weird ideas and a complete lack of evidence.

      But who I was getting at was mostly the credulous fools that I see here and in the media who seem to see the title and don’t bother looking at the background.

      If someone is a working scientist (for instance), they take risks in coming up with unsubstantiated assertions. EP’s don’t have such restrictions on them. It means that they need to have their ideas treated with a lot more skepticism. It simply depends on the person.

    • Richard 4.2

      Absolutely, there are plenty of emeritus professors doing quality work *in their field*. The point is that an emeritus professor outside their field really offers no more than a “clever, but uninformed opinion.

  5. Retired is necessary but not sufficient for emeritus status; there is a minimum quality threshold. I don’t think we have a single Emeritus in our economics department currently, though many have retired. The title isn’t exactly given out like candy.

    Otherwise, Anita’s got it right.

    • Anita 5.1

      I’ve always thought of emeritus professors as semi-retired FWIW, there are expectations of continued participation on emeritus professors, so they’re still active within the university and/or research community on an unpaid basis.

  6. Carol 6

    There’s an interesting Prof Em talking on Nat Radio right now:

    “Professor Robert Ayres – How energy efficiency can fuel economic growth

    Professor Emeritus of the European Institute of Business Administration who says economists are missing out on a major growth driver for the economy.

    Robert Ayres is the author of several books, including The Next Industrial Revolution, and the 13 Percent Economy, which argues that the giant US economy functions on only 13 percent efficiency in terms of energy use – meaning 87 percent is wasted.”

    He may be onto something, or he maybe just providing a way for neoliberal capitalism to go on providing business as usual, without really tackling the real problems of climate change.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “without really tackling the real problems of climate change.”

      On the contrary, it means there is great opportunity for the economy to keep growing in the face of shrinking energy input, either from a climate-change impetus, or peak oil (or most likely, both).

  7. pointer 7

    Great podcast of Naomi Oreskes interviewed by Chris Mooney:
    http://www.pointofinquiry.org/naomi_oreskes_merchants_of_doubt/
    It’s long — about 40 min — but well worth listening to for the history of how climate change denialists started to manufacture doubt.

  8. uke 8

    You could level all the same accusations of being captured by special interests at “serving” professors, not just the retired ones.

    An argument has been made, most prominently by the science historian David Noble, that the current academic peer review system is a scam and system of censorship that benefits corporatised US universities, academic publishers, and commercial research interests. He came up with examples of papers credited to certain academics that were in fact ghost-written by pharmaceutical company staff and reviewed by captured “peers”. See:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/mazur02262010.html

    Of course, no doubt there are some bad apples among the retirees too.

    • NickS 8.1

      …And it’s by Suzan Mazur, who cannot in any way be relied to get anything to do with science _right_

      Ugh, I lack the motivation to even slog through Mazur’s interview, let alone put the brain into gear to critically look at Noble’s answers and get into the finer issues with peer review.

  9. Andy 9

    On the subject of Oreskes claims, I though you might be interested in the following comments (h/t Bishop Hill commenter “Mac”)


    In 2004, history professor Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of research papers on climate change. Examining peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003, she found a majority supported the “consensus view,” defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. Oreskes’ work has been repeatedly cited.

    Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte updated this research. Using the same database and search terms as Oreskes, he examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the AGW hypothesis.

    So is Naomi Oreskes being completely impartial here?

  10. Craig Marshall 10

    So four professors emeriti attract your scorn on the basis that that they hold views outside of their nominal areas of expertise and with which you disagree. On this basis you condemn the whole class?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Ah, no. They get scorned because it’s provable that they don’t know WTF they’re talking about.

    • lprent 10.2

      Draco caught the sentiment…. BTW: I only commented on two – did you actually read the post or just the first quotation?

      Based on his track record for the last 30 years, Fred Singer seems to have been more concerned with getting the ‘right’ ideological answer on a large number of topics than he is with the science.

      Easterbrook looks more like he is stretching the data to get the ‘pure’ conclusion he’d like, while ignoring the effects that those pesky humans are adding to the geological processes.

      Both aren’t exactly good role models for the PE status.

      • Craig Marshall 10.2.1

        I stand corrected. My point remains. The fact that two (or five if you included those in the quotation) professors emeriti hold views with which you disagree proves exactly what? You cannot generalize from that to justified scorn for the whole class of such people.
        Having said that, I’d agree that a title such as this offers little in the way of authority per se: the test is the quality of their arguments (and not just whether they agree with you) and the data they offer.
        And is it really provable they don’t know what they are talking about, or is it just they take a different point of view?

        • NickS 10.2.1.1

          Ye gads, in this age of google you’d think people would at least be able to do rudimentary searches and a bit of basic research. Which in terms of the particular people lprent’s talking about leads one to a whole range of good material on the bad science these people have pushed and in the case of Singer, still do.

          e.g.
          http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Fred_Singer

          Or you could just use wikipedia.

          Which lprent’s linked to in the post.

          So go forth and fucking _read_ before asking fairly stupid questions.

  11. Craig Marshall 11

    The claim that lprent made was a general one. My point is that however doubtful the ideas that any emeritus professor such as Fred Singer (or anyone else) might promote, it does not follow that all professors emeriti are idiots. For each Singer there is a Flynn (but I’ll bet there is range of opinion on Jim Flynn’s political views).

  12. Andy 12

    Not quite as impressive as Emeritus Professor, but I see that the climatic claque have been suitably rewarded in the Queen’s honours

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/6/12/gongs-for-greens.html

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  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    7 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
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