Message from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor,
Professor Sir Peter Gluckman

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman

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.

Global Conference: Science Advice to Governments 27-29 August

6 March 2014
Internationally, there is a growing recognition, in many jurisdictions, for better management of the relationship between the scientific and policy-making communities, and between the scientific community and the broader public. Increasingly, this need is being met through the position of Chief Science Advisor, Departmental Science Advisors, Science Advisory Committees or other structures of science advice to policy makers.

The practice of providing policy-relevant science advice to government is a constant challenge for a number of reasons including time frames, political sensitivities, and the state of knowledge and uncertainty, among others. Science advice practitioners need to manage all of these tensions in the course of their work, yet rarely have the opportunity to discuss them fully or to share practices and insights among peers.

On August 28-29 2014, Auckland New Zealand will welcome the world’s eminent Science Advisors, and others who have expertise in the field for a frank and fruitful discussion of the current and future state of the practice. On behalf of the International Council for Science (ICSU), Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand will host and chair this landmark global conference.

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