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Joyce to address SCANZ conference

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce will address an international symposium on disaster communication, hosted by the Science Communicator's Association (SCANZ) in Christchurch 21-22 February.

"The welcome addition of the Minister of Science and Innovation completes the most impressive line-up of speakers SCANZ has ever assembled," says the association's president Phil Johnstone.

"Next week's global symposium will provide a wide range of communication insights from highly-regarded New Zealanders as well as experts from Japan, Italy, China, Singapore and Australia."

"Case studies from major natural disasters such as the 2011 Christchurch quake will feature alongside presentations on topics such as climate change, the politics of disasters, social media and how to successfully engage the public in complex issues."

Minister Joyce will speak during the symposium's opening session on Thursday 21 February.

The event, timed to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, will bring together professionals in the fields of natural hazards communication and science outreach. The international network of Public Communicators of Science and Technology (PCST) will co-host the event alongside SCANZ.

Special sessions will examine best practice for communicating risk, scientists' responsibility to the public, as well as effective ways to motivate communities to prepare for disasters.

Wider topics include biosecurity (Psa outbreak in kiwifruit), climate change, public health and the Rena oil spill.

There will also be sessions focused on infographics, visual story-telling, science museums, online games and education.

Registration for the symposium remains open, with a one-day registration option now available.

For more information, see the conference website,

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