Peter Griffin – Manager
BCS (Journalism) MA (creative writing)
Peter Griffin is the founding manager of the Science Media Centre and the founder and editor of Sciblogs. Prior to founding the SMC, he was Technology Editor of the New Zealand Herald and spent nearly eight years covering business and technology for the paper as a reporter and columnist, winning numerous awards. He was the technology columnist for the Herald on Sunday and a commentator for TVNZ, Radio New Zealand and Radio Live while as a freelancer he wrote widely on technology for magazines such as PC World, Idealog and the New Zealand Listener. In 2005 he relocated to Wellington to complete a masters degree in creative writing at Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters. Peter is the 2012 Fulbright-Harkness Fellow and is undetaking research in the US looking at centres of excellence in public interest journalism. You can follow his progress at FutureNews.
Dacia Herbulock – Senior Media Advisor
BA Hons (East Asian studies; Foreign languages (Chinese and French)
Dacia Herbulock has been a core member of the Science Media Centre team since its launch in 2008. She came to the SMC with a background in radio, film, television and science writing, most recently at Radio New Zealand, where she was Science and environment features producer and presenter of Our Changing World. She has a life-long passion for science and loves the challenge of bringing its hard-won discoveries to life for a wider audience.
John Kerr – Media Advisor
BSc Hons (Neuroscience), MSciComm (Writing)
Before starting at the Science Media Centre in 2010, John undertook a Master of Science Communication degree at the University of Otago, focusing on the media’s portrayal of the use and subsequent ban on BZP party pills. He has a background in neuroscience, including several years laboratory research experience. John previously worked in London as an editor for the online publishing company BioMed Central, where he managed the peer-review of research manuscripts and produced web content for a wide range of journals.
Our Establishment Board
The SMC is an independent organisation managed by the Royal Society and operates under the direction of a governance board. This Establishment Board has been formed to oversee the SMC as an interim governance body pending the creation of a Trust, which it is anticipated will occur in 2012.
The Establishment Board provides strategic counsel and advice to the chief executive of the RSNZ on the activities and scope of the media centre within its terms of reference. The board follows on from an earlier Advisory Board which operated for the first two years of the centre’s existence.
Current members are:
Rick Christie (Chair)
Professional director and company chairman
Rick is a professional director and company chairman, and has had many science and technology related appointments in both the public and private sector. He was chairman of AgResearch Ltd for six years and Director and Deputy Chair of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology for six years.
Currently Rick is chairman of Ebos Group Ltd and Argenta Ltd. He is a director of Tourism Holdings Ltd, Wakefield Health Ltd and the NZ Pork Industry Board. He has also been chairman of AgResearch Ltd, CEO of Tradenz, managing director of Cable Price Downer, chairman of the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board, deputy chairman of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, chairman of the Victoria University Foundation board of trustees, a member of two Science and Technology Expert Panels, and a member of the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Council.
Dr Gavin Ellis
Senior Lecturer in Political Studies, University of Auckland
Gavin retired in 2005 as editor-in-chief of the country’s largest daily newspaper, the New Zealand Herald, after a 40-year career in journalism and media company management. In 2005 he received the Commonwealth Astor Award for contributions to press freedom. He lectures part-time at the University of Auckland where he is also completing doctoral studies. Gavin is a trustee and executive committee member of Asia New Zealand, a national council member of the Council for Security Cooperation Asia Pacific (CSCAP) and an associate of the New Zealand Institute of Management.
Publisher, Tangible Media
Vincent is a director of Tangible Media, publisher of magazines including Idealog, Good, Real Groove, Dish and NZ Marketing. He won many awards as a journalist with Metro magazine and The Independent Business Weekly and was twice named Editor of the Year by the Magazine Publishers’ Association for his role in founding Unlimited magazine. In 2004 he co-founded HB Media, which this year merged with Tangible Media to form the largest independent magazine publisher in the country. He is also a publisher at AUT Media, the publishing division of AUT University.
Terms of Reference – SMC Establishment Board
The Science Media Centre (SMC) is an independent business unit of the Royal Society of New Zealand (the Society). It was established in 2008 with government funding administered through the Ministry of Science & Innovation (MSI). The SMC has received further funding until 2013 during which time it is expected to transition to a new governance structure, independent of the Society, and will operate with either reduced or no directing funding from the government. An Establishment Board has been formed to oversee the transition and to be the interim governance body pending the creation of a Trust, which it is anticipated will occur in 2012.
- Provide independent advice to the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand on the strategic direction of the SMC with a particular focus on the SMC’s transition to a new governance structure.
- Provide advice to the Society on the activities of the SMC, including meeting the requirements of the Terms of Reference under which it is funded.
- Act as expert advisors with knowledge of various publics.
- Provide long term views on communicating science that will lead to cultural change.
- Act as advocates for the professional reporting of science
- Provide a level of risk mitigation through their status as independent advisors. (There will be no liability to advisors; advisors will be indemnified.)
- The Establishment Board shall meet according to the needs of the Society’s executive team during the term of the services agreement between MSI and the Society. It is expected that four meetings will normally be held each year.
- The Chairperson will be appointed for a period of two years. Appointment and removal will be by the Chief Executive of the Society.
- Meetings may be called on no less than ten business days notice unless either the date and time is otherwise set by the Establishment Board during a previous meeting or the Society reasonably requires a meeting to be convened under urgency (in which case two business days notice must be given).
- The Establishment Board shall reach decisions by consensus (excluding the Society or SMC representatives). Providing that, in the event consensus cannot be achieved, the Chairperson shall decide the matter.
- Any other aspect of the procedure in respect of the Establishment Board shall be determined by the Chairperson.
- The Establishment Board shall comprise of up to five members representing the media, business and the research, science and technology communities.
Appointment, Removal and Honorarium
- Establishment Board members will be appointed for a term of two years.
- Appointment and removal will be by the Chief Executive of the Society.
- An honorarium will be provided to members of the Establishment Board and any travel costs associated with attending meetings or undertaking agreed activities on behalf of the SMC will be met.
Last updated March 2011