Sponsoring species – is it worth it? Peter Griffin Mar 25

From the Yellow-eyed penguin to the Kakapo, companies are keen to associate their brands with efforts to save some of our iconic native species. Is this funding worth it? Hell yes! As Department of Conversation spending on preserving biodiversity comes under pressure, private money is increasingly being sought to support conservation efforts. We need these [...]

When New Zealand science news goes viral Peter Griffin Jan 13

“Wooo, there’s New Zealand did ya!” Wrote one commenter on the Facebook page “I F*cking Love Science” last week. Okay, hardly the most articulate response to a story, but one that expressed the pride in seeing New Zealand science receiving exposure and recognition on a global scale. The story attracting attention was about researchers from [...]

Top ten weirdest science stories of 2014 Peter Griffin Dec 19

It was another big year for science capped off with the successful Rosetta mission to land a probe on a comet. But as usual, there were also plenty of quirky science stories that captured our attention too. My colleagues at the Australian Science Media Centre rounded up a list of the some of the quirkiest. [...]

Public attitudes to science and technology – key takeaways Peter Griffin Dec 04

The latest Nielsen survey to gauge New Zealanders’ attitudes towards science and technology is the largest and most thorough one yet and reveals much to be positive about but also several areas of concern. Nielsen surveyed a representative sample of 3,004 New Zealanders over the age of 15, (2,504 online and 500 by phone), asking them a series [...]

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 [...]

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