My mother and father – whose own childhoods took place against the backdrop of the Pacific War and the Blitz, respectively – hoped that their children’s lives would be safer and more comfortable than their own. But parents today should have no such illusions about what our children could face in the anthropocene if climate action does not begin right now.
Showing visitors around the University of Auckland can be a quick lesson in our colonial history. The University is named for the city, which is named for a spectacularly unsuccessful Governor-General of India. Our oldest streets are centred on Queen Street — which is crossed by Victoria Street. The settlers took a belt and braces approach to honouring their young monarch when the city was laid out in 1841.
No-one seems to dispute that the video was played, but minimising it as a conversation starter or "just one viewpoint" will not inspire confidence. If this was part of a wider programme to slip creationism into science classes, it speaks to a failure of leadership and, I believe, integrity.
If you're a teacher, what's your ambition? It's got to be better to watch your students chase their dreams than, when they come to tell the story of their success, be remembered as the person who said they couldn't do it.
The equation-filled blackboard is one of the most reliable props of academia, not just in cartoons and movies, but in real life. You know a scientific discussion is taking a turn for the serious when the protagonists head to the board. Walking into a colleague's office, a glance at the scrawled notes on their board gives you a taste of their current research preoccupations and teaching commitments; wobbly chalk drawings along the bottom edge are a pretty good sign that the office's owner has a small child in their life.