Concerns are raised by signs of reduced science content at Radio NZ

The New Zealand Association of Scientists is troubled by news of changes to science content at New Zealand public broadcaster RNZ.

Associate Professor Nicola Gaston, the past president, said the association is particularly concerned about the future for the type of science coverage provided by the “Our Changing World” programme. This is the only programme delivering quality, in-depth, science stories for, and about, New Zealand, she said.

Its format allows for in-depth exploration of topics and even allows for scrutiny of scientific thinking, a behind-the-scenes intro into what it is like to work in the world of science.”

“Importantly, it focuses a good deal of the time on New Zealand science and scientists. It aligns well with the Government’s current and laudable push to improve society’s science literacy”, Dr Gaston said.

She noted that the very first point of the RNZ charter says it provides “programmes which contribute toward intellectual, scientific, cultural, …. development”.

The association did understand there was a need to periodically reinvigorate content, Dr Gaston said. .

But she understood the present plan would result in a significant reduction in on-air science content.

RNZ should create more New Zealand science content, not less.



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