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Voices from the Grassroots of Science

A respected international academic says many New Zealand scientists and technologists have been unable to determine whether our science and technology policy is evolutionary or revolutionary. The speed of change has evoked a variety of responses ranging from determined hope to sadness.

Jack Sommer, Fulbright US Distinguished American Scholar and Knight Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, University of North Carolina, conducted a survey of the New Zealand science community entitled Profiles of New Zealand Scientists and Technologists in 1997. He returned during 2000 to conduct a second survey of this same group.

He presents his findings in his seminar Voices from the Grassroots of Science: Tales of Hope and Woe, during the R&D Management Conference 2001, held in Wellington's Duxton Hotel during February 7-9.

His talk will highlight crucial aspects of the survey and the respondents changes in attitude and opinion on key science policy initiatives undertaken in New Zealand during the period 1996-2000.

He will also discuss progress toward meeting some of the science policy goals established in the Government's

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