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Public to have say on NZ Science Challenges

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Science & Innovation
8 November 2012 Media Statement

Public to have say on NZ Science Challenges

A television campaign starting this Sunday will ask New Zealanders to help identify the biggest science challenges facing the country, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says

The Great NZ Science Project is part of the Government’s new $60 million National Science Challenges initiative announced in October which over time will incorporate much of New Zealand’s contracted public science investment.

“We are keen for the public and the science community to tell us what they think are New Zealand’s most important science challenges are over the next 5-10 years, so we can focus our investment on solving these challenges for the benefit of New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.

“We have put forward eight illustrative challenges as a starter for ten. The selected challenges might include those on this list, variations on them, or completely different challenges.”

The illustrative challenges are:

• Our Rich Seas

• Land and Water

• Foods for Health

• Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

• Protecting New Zealand’s Biodiversity

• Fighting Disease

• Our Changing Climate

• Resilience to Natural Hazards

The TV advertisements featuring scientists and children explaining different areas of science will screen from 6pm this Sunday evening (11 November) and will run for three weeks. There will also be information online, including how to provide feedback.

The Great NZ Science Project will also help lift the public profile of science, particularly among young people,” Mr Joyce says.

“We have a long tradition of creating outstanding scientists, such as Lord Rutherford, Alan MacDiarmid and Sir Paul Callaghan and it is essential this continues by encouraging more young people into a career in science.”

Following the public input, Cabinet will select the final National Science Challenges in April 2013, following advice from an expert panel chaired by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser Sir Peter Gluckman.

For more information go to: www.greatnzscienceproject.co.nz

(Note: the website will be live from Sunday, 11 November 2012).

ENDS

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