The purpose of this blog is to provide a platform for commentary on science matters. The Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee is politically independent and will refrain from political debate.

The conservation and environmental science roadmap

Last week I chaired the first meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group for the recently announced Conservation and Environment Science Roadmap ( This important exercise was approved by Ministers late last year and will extend through most of 2016. The … Continue reading

Why do governments support research?

Why do governments support research? The evolving role of the State Sir Peter Gluckman October 2015 Recently, the New Zealand Government published the National Statement of Science Investment (NSSI). This statement heralds a number of important changes particularly in the … Continue reading

Innovation and Society: License and Precautions

Innovation and Society: License and Precautions[1] Sir Peter Gluckman  24 September 2015 Different societies have very different histories, contexts and cultures. When we think about the relationships between science, innovation and society it is important that we bear this in … Continue reading

Primary sector research over the next two decades: challenges and opportunities

The following was Sir Peter Gluckman’s Address to the New Zealand Association for Animal Health and Crop Protection, 23 July 2015 The NZ pastoral agriculture system has been built of decades on research and development: arguably a disproportionate amount of … Continue reading

Trusting the scientist

  An abridged version of this text was presented by Sir Peter in his address at the New Zealand Association of Scientists’ Annual Conference, “Speaking Out: Going public on difficult issues” in Wellington New Zealand on 10 April 2015.   … Continue reading

Impact – Early attention and a broader lens on potential impacts can pay off

Several months ago, I wrote an essay discussing the different meanings that various stakeholders have applied to the concept of ‘impact’ in research. That paper discussed how varying perspectives on the meaning of impact influence how research policy is developed … Continue reading

Science in Society Program takes a step forward

Yesterday marked a new milestone in the development of a strengthened relationship between the science community and other sectors of New Zealand society. With the government’s announcement of funding for two new projects under the Science in Society banner, there … Continue reading

Talking about talking science

The end of the year presents an opportune moment for the science community to consider not just the achievements of the past twelve months, but also the opportunities and challenges ahead, for which we may prepare. Of all the science … Continue reading