Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor
Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaio Matua ki ti Pirimia
The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor (PMCSA), Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaiao Matua ki te Pirimia, has a broad role centred around advising the Prime Minister on how science in its very broadest sense can inform good decision making in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
- provides strategic advice across sectors, and does not seek to influence operational or funding matters within the science system;
- serves as an accessible conduit of alerts from the science community to government
- provides advice on specific topics, to the Prime Minister or other Ministers; this advice may be informal, or in a formal commissioned report with a synthesis of the available scientific evidence on a topic to inform policy; priorities will be agreed periodically with the Prime Minister
- plays a role in raising the profile of science in Aotearoa, New Zealand, especially amongst young people
- plays a role in making science more accessible to the public, leading by example and encouraging the science community to build trusted relationships with communities
- builds relationships internationally with science advisors and international thought leaders.
The PMCSA is independent and not an employee of the Government, enabling an independence of voice that is free to speak out on important issues. The PMCSA commits to scrupulous management of conflicts, resigns from all Board appointments and leadership roles, and does not apply for research funding in New Zealand during their term.
Terms of reference:
These are currently undergoing a refresh to acknowledge the wider role played by the Departmental Science Advisor Network, who provide a broader team feeding in independent advice to the Government. Watch this space.
Juliet’s vision for her term in the role:
Juliet has a vision for the role around four principles: rigourous, inclusive, transparent and accessible. She aims to create a trusted bridge between science, society and government.
She notes that inclusivity needs careful definition in Aotearoa, New Zealand and is seeking partnerships to define how to frame her questions in the most inclusive way.
The fable of Foulden Maar – a case study in the collision of scientific evidence and government policies?
Kia ora koutouWhen I took on this role in July, my predecessor had recently put out the now famous “Meth report” – perhaps the best example of the value of this role that the public had seen. Sir Peter, supported by his very experienced researcher Anne...
Kia ora koutou, 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. The Chief Science Advisor Forum...