Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

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 New Zealand 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:

  • Normative questions in social epistemology (from the ethics of science communication to the value of ignorance in knowledge making to the ethics of RRI)
  • 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 responsible innovation

Current Postgraduate Student and Student Research

PhD

  • Matt Fuller: The campaign to ban Depleted Uranium
  • 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

Masters

  • Olivia Taylor-Peebles: The human-nature relationship
  • Wen Qing Ng: Dog walkers in Kauri forests
  • Millie Johnston: Neurotech and Responsible Innovation

Recent Books

de Saille, S., F. Medvecky, M van Oudheusden, K Albertson, E Amanatidou, T Birabi and M Pansera, (2020). Responsibility Beyond Growth: A Case for Responsible Stagnation, Policy Press

Medvecky, F. & Leach, J. (2019). An Ethics of Science Communication. Palgrave, London.

^ Top of page

Publications

Medvecky, F. (2022). [Review of the book Science communication practice in China]. Journal of Science Communication, 21(6), R05. doi: 10.22323/2.21060705

Medvecky, F. (2022). Public understanding of ignorance as critical science literacy. Sustainability, 14, 5920. doi: 10.3390/su14105920

Metcalfe, J., Gascoigne, T., Medvecky, F., & Nepote, A. C. (2022). Participatory science communication for transformation. Journal of Science Communication, 21(2), E. doi: 10.22323/2.21020501

Heimann, A., & Medvecky, F. (2022). Attitudes and motivations of New Zealand conservation volunteers. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 46(1), 3464. doi: 10.20417/nzjecol.46.18

MacDonald, E. A., Neff, M. B., Edwards, E., Medvecky, F., & Balanovic, J. (2022). Conservation pest control with new technologies: Public perceptions. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 52(1), 95-107. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2020.1850481

Medvecky, F., & Leach, J. (2019). An ethics of science communication. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 123p. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-32116-1

Authored Book - Research

Medvecky, F. (2016). The cost of being known: Economics, science communication and epistemic justice. In J. H. Collier (Ed.), The future of social epistemology: A collective vision. (pp. 177-186). London: Rowman & Littlefield.

Chapter in Book - Research

Medvecky, F. (2014). Sinking our teeth into public policy economics: A taste of immortality. In G. Whitman & J. Dow (Eds.), Economics of the undead: Zombies, vampires, and the dismal science. (pp. 191-199). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Chapter in Book - Research

Heimann, A., & Medvecky, F. (2022). Attitudes and motivations of New Zealand conservation volunteers. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 46(1), 3464. doi: 10.20417/nzjecol.46.18

Journal - Research Article

MacDonald, E. A., Neff, M. B., Edwards, E., Medvecky, F., & Balanovic, J. (2022). Conservation pest control with new technologies: Public perceptions. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 52(1), 95-107. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2020.1850481

Journal - Research Article

Medvecky, F. (2022). Public understanding of ignorance as critical science literacy. Sustainability, 14, 5920. doi: 10.3390/su14105920

Journal - Research Article

Albertson, K., de Saille, S., Pandey, P., Amanatidou, E., Arthur, K. N. A., Van Oudheusden, M., & Medvecky, F. (2021). An RRI for the present moment: Relational and ‘well-up’ innovation. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 8(2), 292-299. doi: 10.1080/23299460.2021.1961066

Journal - Research Article

Finkler, W., Medvecky, F., & Davis, L. S. (2021). Environmental immersion and mobile filmmaking for science education: A New Zealand pilot study. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 17(1), e2228. doi: 10.29333/ijese/9155

Journal - Research Article

MacDonald, E. A., Edwards, E. D., Balanovic, J., & Medvecky, F. (2021). Scientifically framed gene drive communication perceived as credible but riskier. People & Nature, 3(2), 457-468. doi: 10.1002/pan3.10186

Journal - Research Article

MacDonald, E. A., Edwards, E., Balanovic, J., & Medvecky, F. (2021). Underlying beliefs linked to public opinion about gene drive and pest-specific toxin for pest control. Wildlife Research, 48, 30-37. doi: 10.1071/wr19149

Journal - Research Article

Macknight, V., & Medvecky, F. (2021). ‘It’s not like any survey I’ve ever seen before’: Discrete choice experiments as a valuation technology. Valuation Studies, 8(1), 7-31. doi: 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2021.8.1.7-31

Journal - Research Article

O’Connor, R. A., Nel, J., Roux, D. J., Leach, J., Lim-Camacho, L., Medvecky, F., … Raman, S. (2021). The role of environmental managers in knowledge co-production: Insights from two case studies. Environmental Science & Policy, 116, 188-195. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.12.001

Journal - Research Article

Reid, O. S., & Medvecky, F. (2021). Sharks and New Zealand news media. Marine Policy, 134, 104751. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104751

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, 14(7), 904-918. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1702568

Journal - Research Article

Macknight, V., & Medvecky, F. (2020). (Google-)knowing economics. Social Epistemology, 34(3), 213-226. doi: 10.1080/02691728.2019.1702735

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Medvecky, F. (2022). [Review of the book Science communication practice in China]. Journal of Science Communication, 21(6), R05. doi: 10.22323/2.21060705

Journal - Research Other

Metcalfe, J., Gascoigne, T., Medvecky, F., & Nepote, A. C. (2022). Participatory science communication for transformation. Journal of Science Communication, 21(2), E. doi: 10.22323/2.21020501

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F. (2019). [Review of the book Ethics and Practice in Science Communication]. Public Understanding of Science, 28(4), 510-511. doi: 10.1177/0963662518816153

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F. (2019). [Review of the book The science communication challenge: Truth and disagreement in democratic knowledge societies]. Public Understanding of Science, 28(7), 865-866. doi: 10.1177/0963662519836798

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F., & Leach, J. (2017). The ethics of science communication. Journal of Science Communication, 16(4), 1-5. [Editorial].

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F. (2015). Knowing from others [Review of the books Knowledge on trust and A critical introduction to testimony]. Social Epistemology Review & Reply Collective, 4(9), 11-12. [Book Review].

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F. (2015). Transgressions and the scientific knower. Social Epistemology Review & Reply Collective, 4(2), 37-41.

Journal - Research Other

Leach, J., & Medvecky, F. (2014). Why do some people not care about science? The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/why-do-some-people-not-care-about-science-22473

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F. (2013). Economics, science and the spandrels of San Marco. Social Epistemology Review & Reply Collective, 3(1), 20-22.

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F. (2008). To infinity and beyond [Review of the book Introducing philosophy of mathematics]. Metascience, 17(2), 225-229. doi: 10.1007/s11016-008-9180-7

Journal - Research Other

Medvecky, F., & Leach, J. (2013). The ethics of distributing scientific knowledge: Epistemic and ethical injustices in context. In J. Goodwin, M. Dahlstrom & S. Priest (Eds.), Ethical Issues in Science Communication: A Theory-based Approach. (pp. 163-172). Ames, IA: Science Communication Project. [Full Paper]

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Medvecky, F. (2021). Can Antipodean RRI be a responsible 'policy innovation' in innovation policy? Proceedings of the Inaugural Antipodean Responsible Innovation Symposium. Retrieved from https://antipodeanri.wordpress.com

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Dickie, L., & Medvecky, F. (2018). When science meets politics: The case of young adults and the Predator Free 2050 goal. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 156). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Knapen, M., & Medvecky, F. (2018). The scientific basis of homeopathy, where is the (mis)communication? Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 254). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Medvecky, F. (2018). The ethics of risk communication [Keynote]. Proceedings of the SRA-Benelux Conference: Change in risk - Risk in change. (pp. 20). Retrieved from http://science.sckcen.be/en

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Medvecky, F., & Van Oudheusden, M. (2018). Putting responsibility centre-stage: The case of responsible stagnation. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S): TRANSnational STS. Retrieved from http://www.4sonline.org/meeting

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Medvecky, F., Bucchi, M., Leach, J., & Dahlstrom, M. (2018). Talking about values in science communication. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 301). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

O'Connor, R., Leach, J., Medvecky, F., Lim-Camacho, L., & Nel, J. (2018). Valuing good engagement process and individual outcomes in decision-maker engagement with science. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 337). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Trench, B., Entradas, M., Hetland, P., Medvecky, F., Murphy, P., & Otero, S. (2018). Big challenges for small countries in science communication. Proceedings of the 15th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference. (pp. 408). Retrieved from https://pcst.co/conferences

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Hilton, C., & Medvecky, F. (2017). What is science, what is it not? What is art, what is it not? Proceedings of the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) Conference. (pp. 14). Retrieved from https://www.scanz.co.nz/2017-conference

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Knapen, M., & Medvecky, F. (2017). Perception of homeopathy by homeopathy users in New Zealand. Proceedings of the University of Otago Student Research Symposium: Te Wānaka Rakahau: Ākoka. (pp. 46). Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/graduate-research/scholarships/otago643219.html

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Medvecky, F., & de Saille, S. (2017). The (economic) value of science. Proceedings of the 9th Australian Science Communicators National Conference. Retrieved from http://2017conf.asc.asn.au/sessions17/the-economic-value-of-science/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Bering, J., Medvecky, F., & Curtin, E. (2016). Scientists behaving badly. Proceedings of the 14th International Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference. (pp. 148). Retrieved from http://pcst-2016.org/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

More publications...