Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor is supported by a small staff, most of whom are based at the University of Auckland.

Christine Price

Christine Price

Christine Price is the Executive Assistant to Juliet Gerrard. Christine brings enormous experience to the role, and has worked as an EA in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Dr Ben Jeffares

Ben Jeffares

Dr Ben Jeffares is the office director. He has a background in research funding, working for the Royal Society Te Apārangi,  and has worked in the ITP sector in the research office of WelTec and Whitireia polytechnics. His research background is in the Philosophy of Science, and he also has a fine art degree.

Dr Akshita Wason

Akshita Wason

Akshita is working as a seconded Research Analyst having completed her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Canterbury, funded by the MacDiarmid Institute of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in chemistry. Prior to joining PMCSA, she worked as a technical editor in a medical publishing firm, where she spearheaded the research integrity team. She also gained experience in science commercialisation while working as a product development scientist in a biotech start-up.

Dr George Slim

George Slim

George provides policy advice to the PMSCA and maintains a presence in Wellington for the office.

George is a consultant with Rhadegund Life Sciences ltd (www.rls.co.nz) working with organisations to provide policy advice, access to science knowledge, assist with funding sources, and consulting on strategy in the management of research and intellectual property.

George has over 30 years’ experience in the science system in New Zealand and offshore. He has worked in academia, the government research sector and government. He obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Otago then left for work in the United Kingdom, at the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory for Molecular Biology. He returned to New Zealand as a researcher at the Crown Research Institute, Industrial Research Ltd, where he stayed for eleven years. Since then he has been with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Research Science and Technology before starting Rhadegund Life Sciences. As a consultant he has had major contracts with companies, universities, government agencies, Crown Research Institutes, and industry organisations, including NZBio and Science New Zealand.

He is fluent in Academic, Bureaucrat and Commercial, and an able translator between them.

Dr Victoria Metcalf

Dr Victoria Metcalf

Victoria is the National coordinator for the Participatory Science Platform. You can see more about her and her work on the Participatory Science Platform

Contacts

  Phone: + 64 9 923 6318

Mailing Address

Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
The University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142
New Zealand