New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

First meeting of APEC chief science advisors and equivalents held in Medan, Indonesia 29-30 June 2013

Press Release: Sir Peter Gluckman Chief Science Advisor - Office of the Prime Minister's Science Advisory Committee
Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, KNZM FRSNZ FMedSci FRS Chief Science Advisor

The First Meeting of APEC Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents was held in Medan, Indonesia on 29-30 June 2013 and followed APEC Leaders’ approving a proposal for such a meeting put forward by New Zealand and Russia in 2012.

The meeting was co-chaired by New Zealand’s Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman and Deputy Minister for Science and Technology Network, Republic of Indonesia, Dr Agus R. Hoetman. 

Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents hold a unique role in managing the relationship between the scientific and policy-making communities, and between the scientific community and the broader public.

The meeting was an opportunity to share best practice on the role of Chief Science Advisors and discuss issues of current interest across the APEC region. The meeting covered a range of topics, from promoting the incorporation of scientific evidence into policy making to issues associated with risk and risk communication. 

“Science pervades every aspect of public policy. It is also increasingly becoming core to many APEC economies agendas”, Co-chair Sir Peter Gluckman said.

“It is important that science is communicated to those who need to use it in a way that is easily understood.”

The meeting also discussed how governments are increasingly wanting to understand the value of publicly funded science. The challenge-based approach is increasingly being used by governments as a means to prioritise scarce research funding resources, to ensure economic, social and environmental goals are met.

Co-chair Dr Agus R. Hoetmen said “While mission-led science will be increasingly used by governments, the importance of on-going support for basic science, through which a number of significant historical breakthroughs have come about, should not be underestimated.”

The First Meeting of Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents was able to make a unique contribution to APEC Leaders’ vision of innovation and cooperation networking in the Asia Pacific region.

“The meeting enabled a lively, collegial, open and honest discussion among scientists involved in advising government on policy issues from a scientific perspective.  It has reinforced senior science and innovation relations across the Asia Pacific, and made constructive new connections where there were previously none”, Sir Peter Gluckman said.

Participants identified the need for on-going discussion between APEC Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents for networking across the Asia Pacific, and to encourage sharing knowledge, learning and collaboration across boundaries on issues of science for policy and to identify gaps. It is likely that there will be a further meeting of APEC Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents in the future.  

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