Professor Juliet Gerrard


Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor
Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaiao Matua ki te Pirimia

Professor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ, FHonFRSC trained at Oxford University and moved to Aotearoa in 1993 where her career has included roles in both Crown Research Institutes and universities. Juliet’s research background is broad and interdisciplinary, with particular interests in fundamental and applied protein science. She has held an Industry and Outreach Fellowship with Callaghan Innovation, founded a start-up company, chaired the Marsden Council, and served on the Board of Directors of Plant and Food Research.

Since Juliet’s appointment in 2018 as the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaiao Matua ki te Pirimia, she has worked from a base of four founding principles: rigour, inclusivity, transparency, and accessibility. She has supported the science and science advisor community to provide advice to the PM, ministers, and the public on a wide range of topics, including advice on the Christchurch mosque shootings, the response to the Whakaari | White Island eruption, and the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, the Office released a major report, Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand, which created a vision for a new relationship with plastic.

Plenary Speaker: How Science Leads to Policy in a Pandemic

Wednesday, 18 November 11.45am

Juliet will build on the presentation given by Prof Michael Baker and put Aotearoa New Zealand’s response into a wider global context.  In particular, she will discuss the link between the science advice and policy settings, the vital role of the Chief Science Advisor for Health, Ian Town, and how science advice complemented the official advice provided by the Director General.

She will discuss the formation of evidence-based policy in a situation of imperfect knowledge and unpack the reasons why different countries produced very different policy settings, despite a shared evolving knowledge of the characteristics of the virus.  These different policy settings produced very different results – especially for those in aged care.

Juliet Gerrard 60x60 Square