Here’s an interesting discussion from TVNZ’s Media7 programme (see video below). A discussion on the problems and issues with science communication in New Zealand.
Russel Brown discusses this with the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Science Media Centre’s Peter Griffin and NZ Herald’s feature Writer Chris Barton.
It’s an interesting discussion covering aspects like:
- The lack of journalists with scientific background;
- The low priority given to science by the media;
- Poor communication skill of many scientists;
- The Crown Research Institutes’ bureaucracy’s fear of the media and subsequent restriction on contact with scientists, and
- The relative freedom of university scientists.
The NZ Sciblogs new blogging platform was also discussed. Due to be launched this month this will provide a platform for blogging scientists. About 20 scientists are involved initially but this will expand as more come on board. Peter Griffin hopes that this will encourage development of a new crop of science communicators.
Download the audio file: (media7_s3_e8_part1.mp3)
NZ science bloggers – new opportunity
NZ scientists twittering
Media reporting around the “child discipline” referendum has been atrocious. However, the NZ Herald yesterday did provide some interesting information.
They brought to our attention the fact that some of the groups campaigning for the referendum have been receiving funds from conservative US religious groups (see US funding for ‘no’ vote). the article gave information for Focus on the Family but I am sure that US fundamentalist largess extends to other NZ groups.
Take, for instance, the United church of God – New Zealand. In 2008 it received 40% of its revenue from its parent organisation based in the US. I suspect these sort of subsidies are widespread amongst religious groups.
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