Celebrating 10 years of SMC
To mark a decade of the Science Media Centre's operation, director Dacia Herbulock reflects on ten years.
In July 2008, a small team with a big mission launched from a back room in the Royal Society’s heritage premises.
We were tasked with improving the depth, breadth and quality of science coverage in the New Zealand media. We wanted to go further and set the agenda, offering news leads across the full spectrum of science-related issues: environment, technology, agriculture, innovation, health, social policy. We needed to be useful as a first port-of-call for busy journalists with no special attachment to science.
We were nimble. We were driven. We learned from our mistakes.
Over the years, we carved out a reputation based on responsiveness to the media’s changing needs, a solid understanding of complex issues and scientists’ perspectives, and effectiveness at bridging this divide.
We are deeply humbled by the enthusiastic expressions of support we’ve received on marking this important milestone. As the voices in the video below demonstrate, the Science Media Centre has established itself as an independent, trusted and essential resource for media and research organisations alike. Our thanks go out to the thousands of individuals whose contributions of time, goodwill and energy have made this possible.
This decade has been a time of enormous change for the media, for researchers and for society. Against this backdrop, the Science Media Centre has a more essential role to play than ever, championing public discussion that is grounded in evidence and fostering respectful, informed engagement from scientists on issues that matter.
We look forward to confronting new challenges in the decade ahead.
Founding director Peter Griffin has also reflected on the SMC's first decade on Sciblogs, alongside Te Pūnaha Matatini director Professor Shaun Hendy.
Quoted: The Spinoff
"The Impossible Burger is one company’s response to the fact that we simply can’t afford to continue feeding the world’s growing population using our current land-hungry, water-thirsty, pollution-heavy and extinction-inducing ways of producing food."
University of Auckland microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles
on reaction to the meat-free burger Air New Zealand is trialling.
Fresh-look website, timeline
To celebrate our anniversary, we've unveiled a new look to our website, including an interactive timeline of a decade in science media.
Our old website has been around since before the SMC was officially launched, so it's done well to hang on this long. However, a new decade felt like a good time for a facelift.
We've also created an interactive timeline reflecting on some of the major science stories from the past ten years and those where the SMC has played a role in helping media coverage. Check out the timeline here.
We've also put together a video with reflections from some of the journalists and scientists we've worked with over the years. Click below to watch the video:
Policy news & developments
Flu vaccine uptake: More than 1.29 million Kiwis have had an influenza immunisation this season, which is already the highest number of any year.
President-elect of ISC: Sir Peter Gluckman has been elected to the position of President-elect of the newly formed International Science Council at its inaugural meeting in Paris.
Drinking water safety: The Government will amend the Health Act to allow for improvements to drinking water safety.
Possible Unitec commissioner:
The Tertiary Education Commission has opened consultation on
the possibility of dissolving Unitec's council and
appointing a commissioner.
This week on the NZ Conversation.
New gene transfer rules could help prevent
spread of antibiotic
Heather Hendrickson, Massey University
Why Trump’s liberal demolition job and
authoritarian outreach is about
Reuben Steff, University of Waikato
See more NZ-authored Conversation articles.
We're holding two 2-day Science Media SAVVY training workshops in Auckland in September.
• Sept 3-4 – Media SAVVY for Māori researchers
• Sept 6-7 – Science Media SAVVY
These highly-acclaimed workshops offer researchers first-hand insight into the workings of news and social media, as well as hands-on, practical exercises to improve communication.
Our experienced facilitators provide a supportive environment for researchers to consider their work from different perspectives and find new ways to describe the value of their research to the public.
Ideally suited for researchers with previous media experience seeking further development of their skills, as well as beginners anticipating media interest in thei