Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre

Unbiased and topical backgrounders and handy reference sheets for journalists covering issues in science and technology.


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BRIEFING: Predator plague, beech mast and 1080

Posted in Briefings on September 9th, 2014.

The largest 1080 predator control operation ever attempted in New Zealand will be carried out in Kahurangi National Park later this month, as part of a national effort to combat soaring rat and stoat numbers in the conservation estate. This year’s large beech flowering and mast seeding event has created a huge increase in food […]

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Election 2014 – SMC science Q&A with political parties

The Science Media Centre put questions on key science-related issues to the political parties ahead of the General Election scheduled to be held on September 20.  This page has now been updated to include responses from the Maori Party. Please click on the links below to find the answers from responding political parties (or download […]

September 8th, 2014 Read full Story

Audio: Science advice in the context of opposing views

A panel discussion at the inaugural Science Advice to Governments conference in Auckland, 28-29 August, 2014. Science advice in the context of opposing political / ideological positions Speakers: Chair: Ian Boyd (Defra, UK) Hubert Deluyker (EFSA, EC) Roger Pielke (US) Gordon McBean (Canada) Chris Tyler (UK) Ian Chubb (Australia) Session description: One of the most difficult situations […]

September 2nd, 2014 Read full Story

Audio: Science advice in situations of crisis

A panel discussion at the inaugural Science Advice to Governments conference in Auckland, 28-29 August, 2014. Science Advice in Situations of Crisis panel Speakers: Chair: Anne Glover – Chief Science Advisor to President, European Commission Yuko Harayama – Executive Member of Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet Office of Japan Andreas Hensel – President, […]

August 29th, 2014 Read full Story

Expert Encounter: Antibiotic resistance

SMC Expert encounters — a new series of monthly lunchtime events for Auckland media Antibiotic resistance is this month’s topic — The evolution and spread of antibioticresistance in harmful bacteria is increasingly being recognised as a major modern crisis. Understanding how bacteria evolve — and the shortcuts they use to swap genes across species — is key to understanding why they are […]

August 5th, 2014 Read full Story

The future of New Zealand science investment

The Government’s draft National Statement of Science Investment lays out the plan for science funding for the next decade and with submissions open on the plan until August, 22nd, the SMC in conjunction with the Science Communicator’s Association held a panel discussion to tease out some of the big issues concerning the direction of science […]

July 31st, 2014 Read full Story

BRIEFING: The Kiwi’s ‘bizzare’ closest relative

A new study has found that Kiwi’s closest relative is the now extinct 2.3 meter tall elephant bird from Madagascar. The research from the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), has solved a 150-year-old evolutionary mystery about the origins of the giant flightless “ratite” birds, such as the emu and ostrich, which […]

May 23rd, 2014 Read full Story

BRIEFING: Do-it-yourself climate modelling

Any Australian and New Zealander with a home computer and an internet connection will soon be able to power up their own climate model. The work will help scientists find the causes of the record high temperatures that hit Australia and New Zealand in 2013. The online climate experiment, Weather@Home, created by a group of […]

March 26th, 2014 Read full Story

Nuclear expert – Q&A with Prof Robin Grimes

Three years on from Fukushima, questions are still being asked about the long term impacts of radiation contamination for local communities and the wider environment. Public attitudes towards nuclear energy and perceptions of the associated risks have shifted globally, though not always in the same direction. Visiting nuclear energy specialist Prof Robin Grimes, the current UK […]

March 21st, 2014 Read full Story

SMC BRIEFING: Climate impacts and action — The next IPCC releases

What risks from climate change will New Zealand need to confront? What areas are most vulnerable, and what actions will be required? What options are still on the table for limiting greenhouse gas emissions?  The next sections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest report (AR5) — the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the world’s vulnerabilities […]

March 12th, 2014 Read full Story

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