When scientists don’t speak out – gag orders and funding fears revealed Peter Griffin Nov 03

There’s been much debate about the forthcoming Code of Conduct on Public Engagement the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, is working on with the Royal Society of New Zealand. This piece of work is part of the Government’s Science in Society Strategy and is laid out in Annex 4 of this document, [...]

Dirty Politics: Learning from Washington lobbyists’ play book Peter Griffin Aug 21

If the covertly organised smear campaigns and secretly-funded attacks on public health experts outlined in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics seem more suited to an episode of House of Cards, that’s because they could easily be lifted from the dirty politics of Washington D.C. that inspired aspects of the show. As I blogged about earlier this [...]

A week of science about to kick off Peter Griffin Aug 19

Next week is going to be science-central in Auckland – literally thousands of scientists will be in town for a number of major conferences, many of which are accompanied by public events. World New Zealand Science Week groups together everything from the SCAR Antarctic research conference to the ICSU General Assembly. I’m even hosting my [...]

Cash for comment and New Zealand’s MOD squad Peter Griffin Aug 18

Nicky Hager’s new book Dirty Politics appears set to colour the whole tone of the current election campaign and have some impact on the election’s outcome. It has also given us a window into the tactics of rightwing bloggers, lobbyists and political strategists intent on discrediting scientists who present evidence that conflicts with their political [...]

Flu claims Antarctic researcher Peter Griffin Aug 04

A lot of people in the scientific community are struggling to come to terms with the death of Antarctic historian and museum curator Natalie Cadenhead, who died at Christchurch Hospital on July 24 of influenza. Natalie was only 47, a fit and healthy tramper as this report from The Press explains. She didn’t get the [...]

What people are saying about the Science in Society strategy Peter Griffin Jul 30

Yesterday saw the much-anticipated release of the Government’s National Strategic Plan for Science in Society, which lays out a series of activities and priority areas for better engaging New Zealanders with science. I was part of an expert working group that MBIE consulted, a group that was mainly made up of education experts, which indicates [...]

The Naked Scientists hit New Zealand Peter Griffin Jul 25

If you like listening to science podcasts, you’ll love the live shows that are coming up in Auckland and Wellington featuring Dr Chris Smith who leads the merry  band of scientists and journalists known as The Naked Scientists. Chris was an early pioneer of science podcasting, starting The Naked Scientists in 1999 as a podcast [...]

Where should the science funding dollars be going? Peter Griffin Jul 24

A few weeks ago I headed up the hill to Victoria University to hear science and innovation minister Steven Joyce launch a document called the “Draft National Statement of Science Investment 2014 – 2024“. If you are a scientist in New Zealand, or involved in the science system, this should be very important to you. [...]

Want to lower your carbon footprint? Eat less beef Peter Griffin Jul 23

When it comes to industries that are seen as damaging to the environment, the dairy sector is usually the prime target in New Zealand. And there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the production that powers our largest export industry is having an increasingly apparent impact on the land and our waterways. The scale [...]

Tangaroa gets an overhaul Peter Griffin Jul 11

NIWA’s research ship Tangaroa has spent the last few weeks in dry dock at the Devonport Naval Base where it is receiving an overhaul that will set it up well for many more voyages of discovery. But the inclement weather in Auckland has hampered efforts to get a fresh coat of paint onto Tangaroa’s bottom. [...]

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