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Briefings:

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

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Expert Q&A: Aquifers, groundwater and how contaminations can occur

Posted in Briefings on August 24th, 2016.

A campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North affected an estimated 4000 people, sent dozens to the emergency department and sparked an inquiry into what happened and how well the response was managed. We’ve worked with experts to answer some simple and frequently-asked questions about the water in our aquifers, how it’s linked to surface water, and […]

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SMC BRIEFING: Medical cannabis products

Medical cannabis products such as Sativex and Epidolex have been in the headlines for months, with many patients pushing for greater access. But what exactly are these products and do they even work? The Science Media Centre held an online briefing with researchers and journalists to find out more about the current state of research […]

April 20th, 2016 Read full Story

SMC BRIEFING: Climate change and the Pacific

With a warmer future set to hit our Pacific neighbours hardest, is there still a chance to turn the tide? The first ever conference on climate change and the Pacific, ‘In the Eye of the Storm‘,  is being held this week in Wellington at Victoria University. The conference brings together Pacific community representatives, scientists, artists, politicians […]

February 17th, 2016 Read full Story

BRIEFING: Paris & climate talks

International representatives are meeting in Paris this month to negotiate an agreement aimed at keeping the Earth’s warming climate in check. The Science Media Centre held an in-person and online briefing with experts to provide media with key information ahead of the COP 21 climate meeting. SPEAKERS: Prof Dave Frame– Director of the Climate Change […]

November 20th, 2015 Read full Story

BRIEFING: 1080 & predator control – where to from here?

The predator control poison 1080 is not without controversy — but it’s the best thing we’ve got, say scientists meeting at a national conference this week. Ecologists and researchers from across the country are meeting this week to share their latest findings at the New Zealand Ecological Society 2015 Conference, which includes a symposium dedicated […]

November 16th, 2015 Read full Story

Going public at the New Zealand Association of Scientists annual conference

‘Going public’ was the theme at the New Zealand Association of Scientists annual conference, held last Friday at the Royal Society of New Zealand in Wellington. A huge variety of speakers were on show at the event, from the scientists themselves (NZAS President Nicola Gaston and Royal Society President Sir David Skegg) , to the […]

April 16th, 2015 Read full Story

SMC BRIEFING: Superbugs and vaccines – infectious disease

In conjunction with the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, the Science Media Centre hosted an online briefing to preview new research highlights from their international conference on infectious diseases in Auckland this week (18-21 March). Speakers presented new findings on: How prescriptions for children’s skin infections are driving the spread of a new superbug strain (MRSA) Effectiveness of the childhood […]

March 18th, 2015 Read full Story

SMC BRIEFING: Kauri dieback – what happens now?

Kauri, one of New Zealand’s most iconic tree species, are dying. It is becoming apparent that Kauri Dieback disease is here to stay. But how widespread is the pathogen behind Dieback? Can we hold off the disease using fungicides? Or could we breed a new generation of Kauri trees resistant to the disease? Ahead of […]

February 11th, 2015 Read full Story

SMC BRIEFING: Unmanned flight – pushing the limits

Consumer-grade and custom-designed drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have exploded onto the market in recent years, opening up a surprising range of potential applications, but also raising concerns that the speed of technology development is outstripping current safety rules.   A new briefing from the SMC brings together several experts to explore the range of […]

November 25th, 2014 Read full Story

BRIEFING: Ebola – contagion, containment and treatment

The West African Ebola epidemic isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. The latest WHO report lists over 10,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths from the disease, with rates still on the rise.  The Science Media Centre assembled a panel of experts — including a live update from a Kiwi scientist currently visiting the US Centre […]

October 31st, 2014 Read full Story


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