Katherine Hurst

Covid-19 and the Science Media Centre - News

Dec 18, 2020

“Always expect the unexpected” could be the Science Media Centre’s motto, but 2020 has proven more unexpected than most years. The novel coronavirus spread through all aspects of the SMC’s work: queries from journalists, media briefings, expert reactions to breaking news, and distributing recent scientific research through the Scimex website. Even the SMC’s Media SAVVY training courses were affected, with several postponed or cancelled throughout the year. Dacia Herbulock, the SMC’s Director, remembers recognising that the experts were clearly worried, concerned that this could be the pandemic they’d warned of for so many years. “I have a vivid memory from early January when mention of a ‘novel influenza-like illness in China” cropped up in my inbox for the first time. Something in the carefully worded, formal language of … Read More

Matariki, history and ethnicity research honoured - Mātau Taiao

Nov 19, 2020

Every year Royal Society Te Apārangi celebrates the achievements of researchers, scholars, and kairangahau who have achieved excellence in their disciplines throughout Aotearoa. This year separate ceremonies were held in the three main centres. In the first of two posts, we highlight the Māori and Pasifika recipients from the Auckland and Christchurch ceremonies. Callaghan Medal – Professor Rangi Mātamua The 2020 Callaghan Medal was given to Professor Rangi Mātamua (Tūhoe) for his science communication work in Māori astronomy. The award recognised Rangi’s outstanding contribution to science communication, and his proven ability to raise awareness of the value of science and technology to human progress. Rangi’s family have connections with the Royal Society Te Apārangi going back to the late 1800s. His ancestor Te Kōkau Himiona Te Pikikōtuku collected … Read More

A few days in the life of an ER - News

Oct 30, 2020

Most people hear “ER” and they think of an emergency room – ambulances, patients, life and death situations. But for the staff at the Science Media Centre, ER stands for “Expert Reactions” and means timely comments from experts responding to breaking news.  When news breaks, journalists often want quotes about the importance or relevance of what has happened. They might also need help understanding complex issues so they can then communicate them to the public. The Science Media Centre helps by providing comments from academics and other professionals.  Journalists can follow up further with those experts, or they can use the comments directly in their reporting, saving them and the experts time, and ensuring the information they are using comes from respected sources.  Earlier this week NASA announced the discovery of … Read More