The trio of scientists who have been virtually the face of New Zealand’s Covid-19 research and response were delighted after winning awards at the Prime Minister's Science Prizes yesterday.
Auckland University's Te Pūnaha Matatini, which Shaun Hendy set up and Siouxsie Wiles is a part of, won the premier award at the Prime Minister's Science Awards for its Covid-19 response.
Michael Baker also came away with the science communication prize after doing over 2000 interviews since the start of the pandemic.
“I think one of the things that happened was the sheer scale of the threat and also the realisation that some countries in the world had, I think, the wrong science assessment and headed off a cliff, essentially,” Baker said of scientists in New Zealand being more willing to talk to the media.
“This was an opportunity for science to chart a different direction and fortunately our leaders listened and we have a courageous Government that acted on the advice.”
Yesterday's honours come two weeks after Wiles was also named New Zealander of the Year.