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Dr Fabien Medvecky

I’m a social epistemologist; I study the relationship between knowledge and society and how social interactions shape, create and direct what counts as knowledge. And there’s no better space to study this than science communication and science policy.

I usually take a philosophical approach in my studies, though I also engage in empirical research. Basically, data without good reasoning isn’t particularly insightful, and reasoning without grounding it or relating it to the empirical world isn’t particularly meaningful.

I’m especially interested in areas that are challenging and uncomfortable, from ethical and justice issues (who gets to know what and who should get to know what; who gets a say and who should get a say; etc) to questions over contentious or controversial science and technologies (gene tech; alternative medicine; etc).

I also have an interest in how economics (the discipline, not the economy) is made public, and how that interacts with other forms of knowledge and expertise.

I’m an active member of the science communication community in NZ and internationally, and was the president of the Science Communicators’ Association of New Zealand from 2015 to 2018.

Current Teaching

Research interests

I have three core areas of interest:

  • Ethics and science communication (from the ethics of science communication to ethical issues in science communication)
  • The relationship between economics and knowledge (from making economics public to how economics shapes knowledge through policies)
  • Social engagement in contentious issues (from alternative health to nuclear research and anything in between, but currently focusing on gene tech for pest control)

Potential Postgraduate Projects

I am happy to consider supervising project on the following topics:

  • Economics in the public space
  • Ethical issues in science communication and/or social epistemology
  • Novel technology/contentious science and the public
  • Science policy, participation and economics

Current Postgraduate Student and Student Research

PhD

  • Alba Suarez Garcia: Poetry, Podcasts and narratives
  • Suzanne Claessen: Unloved Biodiversity and cartoons
  • Samantha Clarke: How GMO is represent in the media in three countries
  • Sasha Arum: An analysis of the African-Americans AIDS twitter network
  • Chloe Wall: memory and testimony in social epistemology

Masters

  • Maddy Brennan: The effect of music in science documentaries
  • Oscar Reid: Sharks in the NZ media
  • Vanessa Barratt: Wildlife volunteering in the public eye

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Publications

MacDonald, E. A., Balanovic, J., Edwards, E. D., Abrahamse, W., Frame, B., Greenaway, A., … Medvecky, F., … Tompkins, D. M. (2020). Public opinion towards gene drive as a pest control approach for biodiversity conservation and the association of underlying worldviews. Environmental Communication. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1702568

Macknight, V., & Medvecky, F. (2020). (Google-)knowing economics. Social Epistemology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02691728.2019.1702735

MacDonald, E., Harbow, M., Jack, S., Kidd, J., Wright, A., Tuinder, P., … Medvecky, F., & Poutasi, M. (2019). Segmenting urban populations for greater conservation gains: A new approach targeting cobenefits is required. Conservation Science & Practice, 1(10), e101. doi: 10.1111/csp2.101

Sharif, A., & Medvecky, F. (2018). Climate change news reporting in Pakistan: A qualitative analysis of environmental journalists and the barriers they face. Journal of Science Communication, 17(1), A03. doi: 10.22323/2.17010203

Burns, M., & Medvecky, F. (2018). The disengaged in science communication: How not to count audiences and publics. Public Understanding of Science, 27(2), 118-130. doi: 10.1177/0963662516678351

Journal - Research Article

MacDonald, E. A., Balanovic, J., Edwards, E. D., Abrahamse, W., Frame, B., Greenaway, A., … Medvecky, F., … Tompkins, D. M. (2020). Public opinion towards gene drive as a pest control approach for biodiversity conservation and the association of underlying worldviews. Environmental Communication. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1702568

Macknight, V., & Medvecky, F. (2020). (Google-)knowing economics. Social Epistemology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02691728.2019.1702735

MacDonald, E., Harbow, M., Jack, S., Kidd, J., Wright, A., Tuinder, P., … Medvecky, F., & Poutasi, M. (2019). Segmenting urban populations for greater conservation gains: A new approach targeting cobenefits is required. Conservation Science & Practice, 1(10), e101. doi: 10.1111/csp2.101

Sharif, A., & Medvecky, F. (2018). Climate change news reporting in Pakistan: A qualitative analysis of environmental journalists and the barriers they face. Journal of Science Communication, 17(1), A03. doi: 10.22323/2.17010203

Burns, M., & Medvecky, F. (2018). The disengaged in science communication: How not to count audiences and publics. Public Understanding of Science, 27(2), 118-130. doi: 10.1177/0963662516678351

Fraser-Baxter, S., & Medvecky, F. (2018). Evaluating the media's reporting of public and political responses to human-shark interactions in N.S.W, Australia. Marine Policy, 97, 109-118. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2018.08.020

Medvecky, F. (2018). Fairness in knowing: Science communication and epistemic justice. Science & Engineering Ethics, 24(5), 1393-1408. doi: 10.1007/s11948-017-9977-0

Medvecky, F., & Macknight, V. (2017). Building the economic-public relationship: Learning from science communication and science studies. Journal of Science Communication, 16(2), A01.

de Saille, S., & Medvecky, F. (2016). Innovation for a steady state: A case for responsible stagnation. Economy & Society, 45(1), 1-23. doi: 10.1080/03085147.2016.1143727

Hine, A., & Medvecky, F. (2015). Unfinished Science in Museums: A push for critical science literacy. Journal of Science Communication, 14(2), A04.

Medvecky, F. (2014). Valuing the environment in conservation economics: Conceptual and structural barriers. Ethics & the Environment, 19(2), 39-55. doi: 10.2979/ethicsenviro.19.2.39

Medvecky, F., Lacey, J., & Ashworth, P. (2014). Examining the role of carbon capture and storage through an ethical lens. Science & Engineering Ethics, 20(4), 1111-1128. doi: 10.1007/s11948-013-9474-z

Medvecky, F. (2012). Valuing environmental costs and benefits in an uncertain future: Risk aversion and discounting. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 5(1).

Parris, K. M., McCall, S. C., McCarthy, M. A., Minteer, B. A., Steele, K., Bekessy, S., & Medvecky, F. (2010). Assessing ethical trade-offs in ecological field studies. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47(1), 227-234. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01755.x

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