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Science Journalism Vital For Our Future

Joint Statement from the
Foundation for Research, Science and Technology
& Industrial Research Ltd
EMBARGOED till 12pm 6th October 1999


SCIENCE JOURNALISM VITAL FOR OUR FUTURE

Stories about the rights of great apes, the pros and cons of cell phone towers and using satellite imagery to spot fish, were applauded today at the annual science journalism and communicator awards.

“Our media are invaluable in promoting awareness and understanding of the value of science and technology in New Zealand,” said Steve Thompson, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, who sponsored the awards with
Industrial Research Limited.

“Science and technology affect everything we do and are what will generate economic growth in this country,” said Dr Thompson

“In building awareness about the importance of science and technology our journalists are helping to build a culture of science and technology. This culture is imperative if we are to fully capitalise on the opportunities offered to us by the new knowledge economy,” said Geoff Page, CEO of Industrial Research Limited.

The Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Maurice Williamson was at the awards and congratulated this year’s winners who came from around the country. At last year’s awards the Minister said, “the winners of these awards are doing something that is crucially important. They are getting the message out there that science is essential to New Zealand’s future prosperity.”

One winner was Catherine Harris of Radio New Zealand, who has kept us all up to date on climate change and the legal issues surrounding genetically modified food crops.

A record number of entries were received this year and Ms Harris was one of seven communicators who have excelled in bringing science and technology into public eye. The group shared close to $6000 in prizes, which were presented by the NZ Association of Scientists.

The awards aim to encourage public appreciation of scientific objectives and applaud those who communicate science and the issues that surround science.


ENDS

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