Catch up with the latest activities of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and her office.

Combatting food waste

Our next major project is on food rescue, food loss and food waste. We’re kicking off our project to understand the nature and extent of this problem in Aotearoa New Zealand and explore evidence-based solutions to reduce food waste across the food supply chain.

Daylight saving: It’s complicated

With New Zealanders preparing to turn their clocks back as daylight saving ends this Sunday, senior analyst Emily McCarthy has been pondering the history and science behind this tradition.

Kotahitanga in the media

We released our report Kotahitanga Uniting Aotearoa against infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance on 3 March 2022. Check out recent news articles that have profiled our work.

An artist's depiction of an Escherichia coli bacterium cell

What comes next with COVID?

The New Zealand Herald has written an in-depth article questioning what is going to happen next after two years of COVID in Aotearoa New Zealand. Speaking to the Herald, Juliet said she had faith we would come through this crisis just as strongly as before. We’ve...

An illustrative model of a SARS-CoV-2 virus particle

Are kiwis losing faith in our experts?

Last year an international study found that Aotearoa New Zealand had the highest level of trust in scientists compared to 11 other countries surveyed (including the US, UK and Australia). With recent protests, journalists are asking whether this level of trust may have waned. Juliet talked to the Herald about how this is not necessarily the case.

Protesters in Wellington

Why is it so hot?

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. With global temperatures up 1.1°C compared to pre-industrial levels, it’s getting noticeably warmer throughout the world. Aotearoa New Zealand is no exception.

A busy year with our interns and fellows

Amidst the noise and haste of supporting the COVID response and delivering our infectious disease and AMR project (more on this in the New Year), we have had a busy and exciting year behind the scenes with our interns and fellows – 13 projects across the year.

Sunrise on Waikanae Beach, Tairāwhiti Gisborne, New Zealand.

Out and about on the AMR beat

We’ve been making the most of a COVID-free South Island, getting out and about as part of our project on antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease.

The five burning questions facing NZ

When will we have a vaccine? And are our borders sufficiently secure now? Science reporter Jamie Morton spoke to Juliet and other scientists to answer five burning coronavirus questions facing NZ.

A COVID tracer QR code print out in a cafe

Our cannabis webpage is now live

This evidence summary won’t tell you how to vote – instead, it aims to support you to make your decision in the upcoming referendum on legalising recreational cannabis.

Cannabis growing indoors under yellow light

Why science really does matter

Dr George Slim, consultant for the Office, writes about the role of the PMCSA and evidence-based decision making in Build magazine, the flagship publication of BRANZ.

Dr George Slim

Accelerating Rangatahi Māori

Over the last year, the Chief Science Advisor Forum has been focused on building a bridge between the science advisory system and te ao Māori. This culminated last year in a hui on 11 December.

harakeke weaving

Space is for everybody

More than a few researchers we meet on our travels raise an amused, sceptical eyebrow at the thought of kiwis being among those with an interest in space, but in fact, Aotearoa New Zealand has a long history in space science and technology.

Close up of the Orion nebula

Mātauranga and science

It seems apt in this year of commemoration to ponder the interface of our two knowledge frameworks. Tahu and I were honoured to be asked to write a forward for a New Zealand Science Review Special Issue on Mātauranga and Science.

Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand

In light of increasing public concern over the harmful effects of plastic pollution, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard, is presenting the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand report to the Prime Minister on Sunday 8th December.

Reusable coffee cups made of ceramic with the word "reuse" written on one

Rethinking plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand

We are excited and delighted to launch our major report – Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand – today.  Our panel set out with a bold and broad scope to find ways to reduce the size of the plastic shadow that is cast by modern life.

Reusable coffee cups made of ceramic with the word "reuse" written on one

WasteMINZ Press Release Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa NZ

WasteMINZ, NZ’s largest representative body of the waste minimisation, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors, is pleased to see the report articulating a national focus on many of the challenges and solutions that its members have been debating and creating in recent years.

Reusable coffee cups made of ceramic with the word "reuse" written on one

Why isn’t my professor Pasifika or Māori?

One of our interns, Dr Tara McAllister (Te Aitanga ā Māhaki), and her fellow researcher, Dr Sereana Naepi, joined RNZ to talk about their research into the stubbornly low numbers of Māori and Pasifika working at New Zealand universities.

Lecture hall

A quick update

It has been a very busy month in our Office, with lots of activity on our various work streams, and some rapid reprioritisation to assist in collating an evidence base for those supporting recovery in Christchurch.

Juliet joined the Forum for Australian Chief Scientists in Darwin last week.

Quiet thoughts

Apart from acknowledging the terrible events of March 15th with a ‘Kia Kaha’, we have turned down the social media volume to zero this week in the Office. A mark of respect for the victims and their whānau, and a time to reflect. A week later, here are a few thoughts.

The Beehive in Wellington with its flag at half-mast

12 Questions with Juliet

In the NZ Herald's '12 Questions with...' series, Professor Juliet Gerrard answers questions about science and her role as the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor.

Juliet Gerrard. Image credit: Greg Bowker/NZ Herald

Ministry of Education Chief Science Advisor discusses teaching children argument and empathy

Professor Stuart McNaughton, Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry of Education, recently spoke to Newshub about the need to teach children critical analysis and argument—but also empathy, Aoteaora, NZ, New Zealand, Science, research, science advice, science policy, evidence-based policy, science advice, PMCSA, OPMCSA, Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard, Juliet Gerrard, Chief Science Adviser, Chief Science Advisor

Apple, books, pencils and ABC blocks

NZ Herald Q&A with Juliet

Science journalist Jamie Morton interviewed Juliet for a Q&A in NZ Herald about her new role as the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor. 

Juliet Gerrard