Message from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor,
Professor Sir Peter Gluckman
I believe that science has a central role in our future, and can help transform New Zealand to a stronger nation — socially, environmentally and economically. On the other hand, science and technology create challenges — scientific advances can create uncertainty for many people, and there is often also a credibility gap between the claims of science, at least as portrayed in the media, and its actuality. Scientific progress can come into conflict with the beliefs and cultures of our society. One of my most important tasks as Chief Science Advisor is to promote the public understanding of science by explaining, with a focus on young people, the scientific method and its opportunities and limitations. This website outlines my role and how my office operates, and provides links to our publications. We also feature science news from around the world, with an emphasis on explaining the implications of each advance for New Zealand. Additionally, my blog provides informal commentary on some of my activities and on emerging scientific issues.
An Encouraging Response to Science and Society Challenge
27 November 2013
Sir Peter Gluckman has expressed his support for the Government’s response to the Science and Society Challenge, which was put to it by the National Science Challenges Peak Panel earlier this year. Sir Peter acknowledged the strong commitment of the Government to address the challenge by further enhancing science literacy, public understanding of and engagement with science and by improving science technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM). He noted the much needed focus not only on the STEM sector, but also on the broader community. With many of today’s toughest decisions for a society – about public health; natural resources stewardship or communications technology for instance – requiring us to weigh both scientific evidence and social values, it is important that New Zealanders feel equipped and able to engage meaningfully in that discussion. Sir Peter has been asked to chair the reference group that will assist Government in developing strategies for moving ahead in these critical areas.