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Newly-appointed panel to identify NZ science challenges

A panel of researchers has been appointed by the New Zealand government to identify the country’s science priorities, it was announced on 7 February.

The 11-member panel, chaired by chief science adviser Peter Gluckman, consists of senior and early-career researchers from across the spectrum of scientific disciplines.

“This panel will identify the top science challenges New Zealand needs to solve over the next five to ten years,” said science and innovation minister Steven Joyce in a statement.

“Over the last few months we have had excellent input from both the public and the science sector, with hundreds of submissions, ideas and proposals on what these key challenges should be. The panel will take this information and recommend between six and 10 final challenges to Cabinet for approval,” he added.

The government has set aside NZ$60 million from the 2012 budget for investment in these challenges.

The panel will meet in late February to discuss the challenge proposals and make its recommendations. Cabinet is expected to make a decision on the final challenges in April.