The Department of Science Communication is proud to be New Zealand’s original tertiary-based institute devoted to the public communication of science. We are one of the largest facilities in the world offering specialised degrees at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in this burgeoning field. In addition to our academic programme in the theoretical discipline of science communication, we provide practical training in science and natural history filmmaking, creative nonfiction writing, and exhibitions.
Our students – more than 300 to date – come from around the globe and boast an impressive catalogue of achievements. Some have won the most prestigious awards in their industries for their creative contributions, including an Emmy Award (as well as two Emmy nominations), the New Zealand Book Award for “Best First Book,” a Wildscreen Panda Award (also known as the “Green Oscar”), best Feature Writer (Junior) in the Voyager Media Awards for excellence in New Zealand journalism, and a WWF Conservation Innovation Award.
We are proud of our graduates' success in landing a wide variety of jobs in the industry, including with some of the most competitive and prestigious employers in the field of science communication. For more information, check out some recent alumni profiles:
Creative and original research
What really sets us apart is our focus on both creative output and original research. Our students and staff are not only creative professionals, but academic scholars in the field of science communication, with most conducting theory-based empirical research. Keys to the Department’s success are its world-renowned research staff, practicing science communicators, and talented students.
The Head of Department, Professor Jesse Bering, is an experimental psychologist who is also an acclaimed essayist and popular science writer. He is the first point of contact for postgraduate course advising and also coordinates the internship programme.
Visit Professor Jesse Bering's profile page.
Professor Lloyd Davis, a zoologist and award-winning author and filmmaker, also contributes to the writing programme and coordinates our PhD degree.
Visit Professor Lloyd Davis' profile page.
Professor Nancy Longnecker, a scholar in the study of science communication who has curated exhibits seen by thousands, spearheads the science in society endorsement and is at the helm of our social media outreach.
Visit Professor Nancy Longnecker's profile page.
Dr Fabien Medvecky, an economist whose work on ethics and science communication policy embodies the Department's interdisciplinary emphasis, is past president of the Science Communicators’ Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) and coordinates our undergraduate degree (Minor in Science Communication).
Visit Dr Fabien Medvecky's profile page.
The filmmaking stream is directed by Dr Gianna Savoie, a National Geographic Explorer and Emmy-nominated director with over two decades of film industry experience. Students also receive hands-on instruction Jeff Avery, a longstanding producer and editor of documentaries, television, and films.
Visit the profile pages for Dr Gianna Savoie, and Mr Jeff Avery.
Mr Steve Ting, a professional filmmaker and talented photographer (and an alumnus of the Centre for Science Communication’s first graduating class of 2009), provides additional support to both students and academic staff in his role as the department’s Teaching Fellow. Steve also serves as the first point of contact for students interested in our distance degree options.
Visit Mr Steve Ting's profile page.
Our friendly administrative staff, Anna Samuel and Michelle Moss, have many years of combined experience and are invaluable members of our team. In addition to making sure the everyday business of the department runs smoothly, they’re the first stop for any logistical questions related to the programme.