Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre
Q&As:

Text-based Q&As with experts on topical issues in the science and technology world.

Fire-fighting foams – Expert Q&A

As a formal investigation continues into the use of certain fire-fighting foams in New Zealand, airports are being identified as still having stocks of the foams, use of which has been restricted since 2006. Fire-fighting foams manufactured with the chemicals PFOS and PFOA were the standard from the 1970s until the early 2000s. Since 2011, no import, manufacture or use of the […]

March 23rd, 2018 Read full Story

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Expert Q&A

A number of car shipments were turned away at the border last month because they were infested with Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. The bug has spread across the globe from its original home in East Asia and is one of border security’s most wanted. The agricultural pest is not currently in the country, but MPI […]

March 6th, 2018 Read full Story

2018 flu season and influenza vaccine – Expert Q&A

PHARMAC has announced it will fund this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine that covers four strains of the flu. Following reports from the Northern Hemisphere that the latest season’s vaccine was not as effective as expected, the SMC prepared a Q&A with influenza and immunisation experts ahead of the vaccine being made available here. Feel free […]

February 28th, 2018 Read full Story

What is AMB-FUBINACA? – Expert Q&A

Yesterday, New Zealand Police confirmed 20 deaths linked to synthetic drugs since July. Most of the samples from people who had died, and those seized in raids by police, were found to contain the dangerous chemical AMB-FUBINACA. The SMC prepared this Q&A on what is known about AMB-FUBINACA. Feel free to use these comments in your reporting. Prof […]

September 15th, 2017 Read full Story

Election 2017 – 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 23. This is the fourth time the SMC has canvassed political parties on their science-related policies; you can access previous election Q&As on our website – 2008, 2011, 2014. Click […]

August 24th, 2017 Read full Story

Cattle disease found in NZ – Expert Q&A

MPI is responding to the discovery of a cattle disease on a South Canterbury farm. Mycoplasma bovis is common internationally but this is the first time it has been found in New Zealand. The SMC prepared a Q&A with an expert who has studied the disease overseas. Feel free to use these comments in your reporting. Dr Fernanda Castillo […]

July 27th, 2017 Read full Story

Expert Q&A: The science of the Ngauranga slip

Yesterday’s landslip that blocked State Highway 1 into Wellington has been cleared away, but how did it happen and are we likely to see more of these types of slips? The Science Media Centre put the following questions about the slip to engineering geologist, Dr Chris Massey. Dr Chris Massey, engineering geologist, GNS Science, comments: […]

July 12th, 2017 Read full Story

Future of Housing – Expert Q&A

There’s no place like home, but owning your own home is harder than ever before. Leaky houses, sky-rocketing prices, and ever-increasing energy bills – what do experts have to say about the Future of Housing in New Zealand? In this Expert Q&A, the Science Media Centre asked experts in the field how design, technical innovation, […]

June 21st, 2017 Read full Story

Community water fluoridation – Expert Q&A

As parliament considers a bill to put decision-making about community water fluoridation in the hands of district health boards, fluoridation is likely to remain a polarising issue for some communities. The SMC asked New Zealand and international experts to discuss what the science says about the benefits of fluoridation and where the objections stem from. […]

June 19th, 2017 Read full Story

Oyster disease Bonamia ostreae – Expert Q&A

Following the discovery of the parasite Bonamia ostreae in Stewart Island oyster farms, the Ministry for Primary Industries has issued a restriction on the area and plans to remove the affected oysters. Niwa put together a Q&A with fisheries scientist Keith Michael about the parasite and the risk of it spreading further afield. What is Bonamia […]

June 13th, 2017 Read full Story


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