Posts by Sophie Fern

  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools:…,

    Growing up in Belgium, I started French at 2 (when I say "started" I mean "was put into a French speaking kindergarden"), Flemish at 6, German at 12 and Spanish at 14. I get the Flemish and German incredibly mixed up, and have a differing amounts of fluency but can often get by, with arm waving. I don't know if academically it's an advantage but being able to talk to people in their own language, even when you make a mess of it, is a huge amount of fun.
    The year I started teaching at Otago, the university offered free places for staff on the introductory Maori course, which was brilliantly taught and now means I don't make a total idiot of myself trying to pronounce words correctly. I'd love to do more.

    Hobart, Australia • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Science: it's complicated, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Very true.

    Hobart, Australia • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Science: it's complicated, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    re having to justify your research in science. I gave a great justification of my PhD research, (PhD is in English, but I'm a biologist by training), at a departmental seminar and my first comment, from the HoD was that no one had ever justified their research in the department before!

    Hobart, Australia • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Science: it's complicated, in reply to BenWilson,

    You're right that science is incredibly broad and that grasping it all is just impossible, but what if there was more of it out there for people to enjoy? Then people can find their thing, and in exploring that have a boarder appreciation of science in general.
    "The rock stars of science aren’t, in my opinion, necessarily closely related to the good science."
    So true!

    Hobart, Australia • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Science: it's complicated,

    Can I cheer for NHNZ too, even though we don't get to see their stuff on terrestrial TV in NZ? They have piles of talented scientists working there (as producers, researchers, on camera) and although their style doesn't always work for me, they are communicating science daily.

    Hobart, Australia • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Science: it's complicated,

    NZ is lucky (sensible) enough to have the truly wonderful "Our Changing World" on RNZ, and I believe that all of the team were trained scientists before they got into communicating it. Here in Australia we have Catalyst, which is a science news/magazine show. If we could have science always there in the media, like background scientific noise, it would normalise it, and make it not just something which people bring out to trump an argument. It'd just be part of culture. Appreciating great art and music would be the same as appreciating an elegant experiment.
    In my ideal world at least!

    Hobart, Australia • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: One Hundred and Thirty-one…,

    While we're thinking about Holland-ing and Scandinavi-nization, can we have some of their building codes on insulation please? It's the first of winter and us in the South are sitting with our feet on the heaters to keep warm. We could re-build Christchurch and no longer have a smog problem because we have finally got the building code up to scratch.

    Hobart, Australia • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply