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Dr Fabien Medvecky

Fabien Photo

Senior Lecturer

Email fabien.medvecky@otago.ac.nz
Tel 64 3 479 7848

Fabien works on the interaction between science and society, focusing on the role of ethics and economics in social decisions around science. Before joining Otago, Fabien was in the Science Communication Program at the University of Queensland, Australia. He publishes on ethics, economics, ecology, science communication and science policy.
Fabien is the sitting president of the Science Communicators’ Association of New Zealand.


Current Teaching 



Research interests


Science is not value neutral, quite the contrary. We make value judgements about what is good or bad science. Because it costs money to carry out scientific research, we have to value it relative to other things we could be spending out money on. And most of our social decisions (such as decisions about health or the environment) occur at the intersection between science and social values. Fabien’s research focuses on:

  • The Ethics of Science Communication
  • Public understanding of Ethics and Economics
  • The Scope and Limits of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

Potential Postgraduate Projects


  • The Ethics of Science Communication
  • Practical approaches to increase public understanding of and public participation in economics


Current Postgraduate Student and Student Research


  • Manon Knapen Homeopathy users' perception of the scientific basis of homeopathy
  • Samantha Clarke How GMO is imagined by its industry
  • Sasha Arum How do African-Americans interact with health-related information online and to what extent do these interactions influence disease perception and encourage behaviour change
  • Chloe Wall The analogies and disanalogies between memory and testimony and how collective memory and collective testimony relate to each other in light of these analogies and disanalogies
  • Asim Sharif Climate Change in the Pakistani Media
  • Harriet Ampt Gum tree and Australian cultural identity
  • Garrett Chin Animation vs static inforgraphics
  • Siana Fitzjohn How activism and science help and hinder each other
  • Maddy Brennan How does music affect our perception of the science in documentaries
  • Lana Young How does the use of various viewing mediums affect out pereption of documentaries
  • Aaron Heimann Predator Free NZ 2050 volunteers’ motivations

Read about Fabien's Research

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Publications

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

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

Medvecky, F. (2017). Fairness in knowing: Science communication and epistemic justice. Science & Engineering Ethics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11948-017-9977-0

Burns, M., & Medvecky, F. (2016). The disengaged in science communication: How not to count audiences and publics. Public Understanding of Science. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0963662516678351

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

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

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

Medvecky, F. (2017). Fairness in knowing: Science communication and epistemic justice. Science & Engineering Ethics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s11948-017-9977-0

Burns, M., & Medvecky, F. (2016). The disengaged in science communication: How not to count audiences and publics. Public Understanding of Science. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0963662516678351

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

More publications...