Inaugural Hay Lecture: The beautiful lie and ugly governance: why NZ environmental science needs reform Event as iCalendar

(Science Event Tags, Environment)

06 June 2017

5 - 6pm

Venue: MLT1 Lecture Theatre 303-G23

Location: 38 Princes Street

Host: School of Environment

Contact info: Dr George Perry

Contact email:

In 1945 scientist Vannevar Bush, in an influential report to the President of the United States, argued that ‘The free play of intellects . . . dictated by their curiosity’ was the best way to provide the knowledge that the world needs to confront its challenges. This attitude – this ‘beautiful lie’ - dominates international academic research. In New Zealand it co-exists uncomfortably with an over-governed, over-managed, over-competitive science sector that pumps out thousands of publications, many of dubious value.

Dr Matt McGlone will discuss two environmental fields – biodiversity and climate change – showing how poorly the public interest is served by this combination of academic ambition and inefficient oversight. We need to de-bureaucratize environmental science, realign its priorities and engage the public in a much more meaningful way.

Following the presentation drinks and nibbles will be available at 302 Level 6 break out space 6-7pm