Archive for October, 2011

The science of rugby

October 25, 2011

Rugby and drinking in NZ

MSciComm student Tom McFadden looks at Kiwi culture during the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby Physics

MSciComm student Zoe Patterson-Ross looks at the physics of the rugby scrum

Cauliflower ears

A discussion on the causes of “cauliflower ears”, by Rachel McMechan and Julia Williams


Long time no posts…

October 21, 2011

The Waking Incubator has come and gone, with many useful creative outputs and one peer-reviewed paper.  For the latter please go to the International Journal of Science in Society Vol 2 (3) at  The title, authors and abstract are copied below.

The “Waking Incubator”: Exploring the Interface Between the Performing Arts and the Science of Sleep

Jean S. Fleming, The University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Rosemary Gibson, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Brent Harris, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
Sally Morgan, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Anne Noble, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Karyn O’Keeffe, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Anna Wirz-Justice, University of Basel, Switzerland
Sam Trubridge, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Philippa Gander, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract: In early 2010 a diverse group of scientists and performance artists came together in Wellington, New Zealand, for a week of dialogue and collaboration on the topic of “Waking”. Following on from the successful production in 2008 of “Sleep/Wake”, by performance designer Sam Trubridge and chronobiologist Professor Philippa Gander, the Waking Incubator was designed to investigate the transition from sleeping to waking, from the multiple perspectives of dance, music, photography, film, sleep science, chronobiology and science communication. A diverse range of installations, performances and presentations were displayed in an Open Laboratory at the end of the week. The aim of the Open Laboratory was to engage the public in dialogue and to develop new ways of communicating sleep science. Although “The Two Cultures” still remain largely parallel today, the Waking Incubator began to blur the edges of what constitutes art and science. The artists transformed the science of sleep through their exploration of affective resonances of scientific processes and technologies, and the scientists became actors in their role of objective communicators. We conclude that such interactions increase the chance of meaningful conversations, stimulate respect for and interest in other disciplines and promote both creative art and science communication.

Keywords: Sleep, Waking, Chronobiology, Science-art Interaction, Performance Science, Science
Communication, Practice Focus, Science Pedagogy

“When we sleep, we don’t perform. But the moment we wake up, we enter the world again. We start to put on our costumes, our make-up, constructing our persona until we’re ready to face the world again, and ready to take the stage.”
Sam Trubridge