SMC Briefing: GST and healthy food
The price of fruit and veggies was in the media spotlight this week on the back of a Green Party survey that suggests produce prices are being marked up several hundred percent by the country’s supermarkets.
Researchers have been studying the best ways of tackling obesity and weight-related health issues by encouraging better nutrition through making fresh fruit and vegetables more accessible.
The SHOP study released in March and looking at the food purchasing habits of over 1,000 New Zealanders, found that dropping GST from healthy foods would encourage people to buy more of them. The Maori Party will seek to introduce a bill in parliament later this month calling for GST to be scrapped on classes of healthy foods.
In an SMC online briefing to be held on Tuesday, July 13 at 9am, public health experts will discuss the relationship between GST and food, the SHOP study and the public health impact of the population having better access to fruit and vegetables. Registered journalists will be emailed dial-in details for the briefing. For further information, contact the SMC.
Final report clears climate scientists
The third and final report into the “Climategate” scandal involving leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit this week found that the scientists involved were not dishonest and that their scientific findings on climate change are not in doubt.
But like the inquiries that came before it, the investigation headed by Sir Muir Russell criticised the scientists for failing to be open about their data.
“We have not found any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments,” the Russell report noted.
The report was released at a press conference hosted by our colleagues at the Science Media Centre in London. Audio from the briefing and the report are available here.
Your science in a sentence… or two
Hundreds of emerging researchers around the country have been honing their science communication skills as part of workshops requiring them to sum up their research goals in one or two sentences.
The results, which include some gems (and a fair few statements in need of a polish) have been published on the New Zealand science blog network Sciblogs.
Science Media Centre manager, Peter Griffin, who hosted the workshops, said the aim of them was to give scientists early in their career some tips to develop their science communication skills.
“They may not be sitting down with a journalist to do an interview at this stage in their careers, but whether they are presenting at a Cafe Scientifique or showing people through their lab, there are lots of things they can do to get their science across effectively to a broad audience,” he said.
Scientists interested in pursuing science communication projects with a media element have the opportunity to apply for the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication prize which is worth $100,000. Applications close on August 27.
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