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: Paris & climate talks

Posted in Briefings on November 20th, 2015.

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 […]

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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

Media, disasters & the public – audio collection

Communicating vital information to the public during disasters is an essential, but sometimes daunting, responsibility for scientists and engineers. At the request of members of the natural hazards research community, the Science Media Centre hosted a workshop reflecting on challenges faced and lessons learned during recent major events, such as the Canterbury and Cook Strait quakes, the eruption of Mt […]

October 17th, 2014 Read full Story

New fault line discovered in Wellington Harbour

A previously unknown fault in Wellington Harbour has been discovered, but scientists say it is unlikely to increase the capital’s known risk of earthquake damage. The Aotea fault, named for its proximity to Aotea Quay, was found by NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) marine geologists mapping the area between the Cook Strait Ferry terminal and Point […]

October 8th, 2014 Read full Story

BRIEFING: Predator plague, beech mast and 1080

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 […]

September 9th, 2014 Read full Story

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