Nau mai haere mai, welcome to this week’s newsletter.

Men get sick and die younger than women but New Zealand still doesn’t have a specific health policy to address the risk factors facing men. Other countries do. As we mark Men’s Health Week, the team at the University of Otago’s Centre for Men’s Health say a focused strategy is desperately needed.

According to centre co-director Fiona Doolan-Noble, “The consequences of this failure for New Zealand men are dire, with research showing men falling behind women in terms of access to health care, diagnoses and overall life expectancy.”

There are ways to address men’s health, including programmes like the successful Rugby Fans in Training, that reach men where they are most comfortable. But these efforts need to come under a coordinated government-led strategy, Doolan-Noble says.

There’s more to read here and on our homepage, including a personal look at New Zealand’s selective historical amnesia from Richard Shaw and an interesting breakdown of how the language of rugby is attempting to overcome linguistic boundaries.

Until next time, take care and mā te wā.

Debrin Foxcroft

Deputy Editor, New Zealand – The Conversation Australia & New Zealand

NZ men get sick or injured more and die sooner than women – a targeted health policy is long overdue

Fiona Doolan-Noble, University of Otago; Ally Calder, University of Otago; Elaine Hargreaves, University of Otago; Hui Xiao, University of Otago

When it comes to men’s health strategies, New Zealand has fallen behind countries like Mongolia, Iran and Malaysia. In Men’s Health Week it’s time to ask: what is the plan to save men’s lives?

Uncovering the stories my family forgot, about a past still haunting Aotearoa New Zealand

Richard Shaw, Massey University

While tracing his own family’s journey from Ireland to Aotearoa New Zealand, Richard Shaw encountered how much ‘selective amnesia’ about the colonial past still shapes our lives today.

As winter bites, NZ urgently needs a COVID action plan for schools – here’s how to do it

Amanda Kvalsvig, University of Otago

The government’s COVID policy for schools needs to shift from insisting on attendance to supporting the well-being of children, staff and families wherever they are.

What’s Japanese for ‘ruck’? Turning rugby’s technical terms into an international language

Averil Coxhead, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington

A project to identify rugby’s technical terms aims to make the international game easier to play, ref and watch for everyone, regardless of their native tongue.

From our foreign editions

New USB-C charger rule shows how EU regulators make decisions for the world

Renaud Foucart, Lancaster University

EU rules often have significant effects beyond its borders. The new USB-C charging standard is a great example.

Russia’s rouble is now stronger than before the war – western sanctions are partly to blame

Kirill Shakhnov, University of Surrey

Many predicted Russia’s currency would just keep plunging, but it hasn’t.

Eating fish has been linked to an increase in melanoma risk – but that doesn’t mean we should take it off the menu

Clare Collins, University of Newcastle

Newly reported study findings suggest a link between eating more fish and dangerous skin cancers. But the findings are based on observations only and more research is needed.

The explosive history of the 2,000-year-old Pompeii ‘masturbating’ man

Esmé Louise James, The University of Melbourne

Pompeii is remembered as a place of surprising liberality – but the ‘masturbating man’ is probably a far less lurid tale than assumed.

There is no one ‘religious view’ on abortion: A scholar of religion, gender and sexuality explains

Samira Mehta, University of Colorado Boulder

Views on abortion differ not only among major religious traditions, but within each one.

Could steam-powered cars decrease the CO2 in the atmosphere?

Brian Stewart, Wesleyan University; Gary W. Yohe, Wesleyan University

This technology, popular when automobiles first caught on, had a short resurgence in the 1970s.

Retracing Belgium’s dark past in the Congo, and attempts to forge deeper ties

Julien Bobineau, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg

For relations with the DRC to truly improve, the Belgian state must acknowledge its historical responsibility more strongly.

Can we time travel? A theoretical physicist provides some answers

Peter Watson, Carleton University

Theories exploring the possibility of time travel rely on the existence of types of matter and energy that we do not understand yet.