Health & science
$100k to fill science-news gap

The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes were awarded in Wellington yesterday to five stars of New Zealand science.

The combined $1 million prize pool was started by the Government in 2009 to raise the profile and prestige of science in New Zealand.

Each year, cash prizes go to science teachers, students and communicators, as well as some of our top researchers.

This year’s winner of the Science Communication Prize, former TVNZ journalist Damian Christie, plans to use his $100,000 award to launch the Aotearoa Science Agency, a creator of free video about extraordinary New Zealand research.

The agency will provide video stories and footage to major media outlets such as TVNZ and the New Zealand Herald.

The goal is to fill what Christie sees as a gap in mass-media science coverage, as increasingly-squeezed newsrooms struggle to find the resources for in-depth science stories.

Christie spoke to Newsroom’s Eloise Gibson about how taking a YouTube star to Antarctica helped him win the award.