Public Science

This project aims to contribute to the limited dialogue concerning the government-funded science system, in the hope that New Zealand invests its research dollar well and delivers sustainable outcomes for current and future generations.
The project was established in 2012 and is ongoing.

Please note this page is still in progress.

Recent work
On 31 July 2015 the Royal Society of New Zealand published a special issue on the future of science in New Zealand. Wendy personally submitted an article entitled ‘The future of scientific thought’, which was accepted early this year and can now be found in Volume 45, Issue 2 (available for free online until the end of August 2015) of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. The article chiefly examines the relationship between science and society, looking at how this relationship has changed over time to better understand how it may shape our future.

If you have any questions in regard to this project, please email

Submission: Draft National Statement of Science Investment 2014–2024, Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3, Appendix 4 (August 2014)
Report 9: Science Embraced: Government-funded science under the microscope (February 2012)
Report 9 – Executive Summary: Science Embraced: Government-funded science under the microscope (February 2012)
Report 9b – A History of Government-funded Science 2009–2011
Background Report 9a: A History of Government-funded Science from 1865–2009 (December 2009)
Submission: Draft New Zealand Energy Strategy and the Draft New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (September 2010)
Submission: Energy Related Entities in the Public Sector (March 2007)

The project is built on an assumption that society needs good science. However, we have found that the government-funded science system has a long way to go before it delivers value to society through the provision of a vibrant and dynamic science community that is committed to working hard to achieve a shared vision for the future. As outlined in Report 9: Science Embraced, the formula for improving well-being through science consists of nine strategic pillars that together build a space where science and society meet. The pillars build sequentially on one another, creating an integrated and transparent framework in what could loosely be called a social contract.