On this page:
- 1. News Release: Monarch butterflies the subject of nationwide experiment for Primary Science Week, 7-11 May
- 2. Entries for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes now open, close 24 July
- 3. DARK SKY exhibition open at Adam Art Gallery, 1 May – 8 July
- 4. Places still available for Transit of Venus Forum, Gisborne 5-8 June
- 5. In the news: “Science in The New Zealand Curriculum – Years 5 to 8″, Education Review Office
- 6. Branch event: “The Bionic Ear: Cochlear Implantation”, 9 May, Christchurch
- 7. Branch event: “The 3rd Geological Expedition to Solander Island, February 2010″, 15 May, Nelson
- 8. Branch event:”Investigating the intangible: the skull chamber in the Chauvet cave”, 22 May, Nelson
- 9. Joint New Zealand and Australian marine science conference, Hobart, 1-5 July
- 10. Applications and nominations open for NAEAC Three Rs Award, closes 20 July
- 11. Call for nominations for L’Oréal-UNESCO Award in the Physical Science 2013, closes 18 May
- 12. New book: “A second life – Aprica to salvation in Switzerland 1943”
- 13. Book release: “The Transit of Venus – How a Rare Astronomical Alignment Changed the World”
- 14. “Sea-Level Rise: Meeting the Challenge” – New Zealand Climate Change Centre Conference 10-11 May, Wellington
- 15. Our Changing World, Thursday 9.00 pm, Radio New Zealand National 101FM
- 16. Follow the Royal Society of New Zealand on Facebook and Twitter
1. News Release: Monarch butterflies the subject of nationwide experiment for Primary Science Week, 7-11 May
Joint release from the NZ Association of Science Educators and the Royal Society of New Zealand.
New Zealand primary school students will be encouraged to tag. Butterflies that is. From 7-11 May, the annual Primary Science Week gets underway, which includes a nationwide experiment to tag and survey Monarch butterflies.
The Monarch experiment is just one part of the planned activities for the week, which aims to enhance science teaching in schools and support primary school teachers.
The week is being organised by the New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators (NZAPSE) – a specialty association of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZASE), and the Royal Society of New Zealand. It is the second time such a week has been held in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s pre-eminent science awards, the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, are now open for entries.
The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes recognise the impact of science on New Zealanders’ lives. They are an opportunity for the people of New Zealand to celebrate the contribution of our current scientists and to encourage those of the future.
Each year five prizes are awarded, with prize money totalling $1 million.
- Prime Minister’s Science Prize
- Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize
- Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize
- Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize
- Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize
Please visit www.pmscienceprizes.org.nz to find out more. Entries close 24 July.
DARK SKY, an exhibition timed to coincide with the 2012 Transit of Venus, has opened at the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington.
Curated by Geoffrey Batchen with Christina Barton, the exhibition explores how photography has been deployed to capture the skies. Delving into the intersections between science, art and commerce, the exhibition brings together a range of images and artworks from 1874 to the present.
A public programme of events is running throughout the exhibition on Wednesday lunchtimes at Adam Art Gallery, 12 noon-1pm, free entry.
Next event: Heaven is a place on earth, 16 May
Chris Marshall (theologian and Associate Professor, School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies) and Michael Hannah (scientist and Associate Professor, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences) depart from Colin McCahon’s Venus and Re-entry: The Bleeding Heart of Jesus is Seen above Ahipara to discuss why we consider heaven to be above us.
See complete public programme at www.adamartgallery.org.nz/calendar.
Register today to attend this national forum on New Zealand’s future and the wider project on science and the economy. Join delegates from the science, business, iwi and government communities to hear some of New Zealand’s leading thinkers advance Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision for New Zealand – a place where talent wants to live – a community that is prosperous and inclusive.
The line-up of over 30 speakers includes: Dr Craig Nevill-Manning, Derek Handley, Sir Ray Avery, Dame Anne Salmond, Dr Gareth Morgan, Ian McCrae, Professor Shaun Hendy, Ian Taylor, Dr David Skilling, Dr Caroline Saunders, Dr Apirana Mahuika, Al Morrison, Don Huse, Chris Mace, Dr Stephen Goldson and Rick Boven.
The full programme is available at www.royalsociety.org.nz/events/2012-transit-of-venus-forum-lifting-our-horizon/forum-programme/
The partners in the Transit of Venus Project are the MacDiarmid Institute, the Royal Society of New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, and Te Aitanga a Hauiti and the people of Tolaga Bay.
A report released by the Education Review Office shows that only 27 per cent of schools have effective or generally effective science programmes for Years 5 to 8 students. The findings of the report are based on 100 schools reviewed in 2011.
- Read full media release by the Education Review Office.
- Download full report.
- See summary of issue and media coverage put together by the Science Media Centre.
- Watch TV1 Breakfast clip featuring Richard Meylan, Manager – Education at the Royal Society of New Zealand speaking about the importance of science education in schools.
The Royal Society of New Zealand Canterbury Branch presents a talk on cochlear implantation.
Philip Bird will give an overview of the technology and developments in cochlear implants and he will also be talking about the role of the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme. The Southern Cochlear Implant Programme was established in 2003 to give local support for South Island cochlear implant patients and their families. Team members include a spcecialist surgeon, audiologists, and paediatric and adult habilitationists.
Philip Bird is an Otolaryngologist at Christchurch Public Hospital and a Clinical Professor a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Otago, Christchurch.
Details: Wednesday 9 May, 7.30 pm, C3 Lecture Theatre, University of Canterbury, all welcome.
Nelson Science Society, a branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand, presents a talk on the third geological expedition to Solander Island.
Solander Island is a little-visited extinct volcano, 60 km west of Stewart Island. It is of interest to geologists because it is the only known volcano associated with subduction of the Australian plate beneath the Pacific Plate.
This illustrated talk by Nick Mortimer, GNS Science, will describe the activities of the joint GNS Science-Macquarie University expedition while on Solander Island including aspects of the geology, archaeology and wildlife. Radiometric dating of samples collected in 2010 confirm that Solander volcano is much younger than previously thought, and perhaps erupted as recently as 22,000 years ago.
Details: Tuesday 15 May, 7.30 pm, Room A211, NMIT, entrance through the Alton St carpark, all welcome, non-members $2.00 please.
8. Branch event:”Investigating the intangible: the skull chamber in the Chauvet cave”, 22 May, Nelson
Nelson Science Society, a branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand, presents a talk from Dr Yann-Pierre Montelle, a speleoarchaeologist and member of the international scientific team for the Chauvet cave.
The tangible object — the product of an operational sequence but equally important is the intangible dimension of the object. Intangible is here defined as the conceptual backbone of any cultural remains. The aim is to discuss some of the problems inherent to investigating these conceptual layers in prehistory.
The Skull Chamber in the Chauvet cave will be the case study and data gathered in the speaker’s last archaeological campaign in Chauvet (March 2012) will be presented.
Details: Tuesday 22 May, 7.30 pm, Room A211, NMIT, entrance through the Alton St carpark, all welcome, non-members $2.00 please.
“AMSA-NZMSS 2012”, the joint conference of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society and the Australian Marine Sciences Association, will be held in Hobart, Tasmania during 1-5 July, 2012. This will be only the fourth time that the two societies have come together for their annual conference, but the theme of the meeting, “Marine Extremes – and Everything in Between”, has attracted over 400 abstracts for oral and poster presentations.
This will be an interesting, lively and important gathering of Australasian marine scientists, together with delegates from further afield, to discuss current marine science issues in 18 symposia and 12 themed sessions.
Details of the programme, the keynote speakers, and how to register for the conference can be found on the conference website at www.amsa-nzmss2012.com.au, or you can contact the New Zealand representative on the organising committee, Bob Hickman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) invites applications or nominations for the Three Rs Award 2012.
The Three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) are the cornerstone of the ethical use of animals in research, testing and teaching. This award celebrates achievements in the implementation of the Three Rs and promotes the concept within the scientific community and to the wider public.
The award is co-ordinated by NAEAC and sponsored by the Royal New Zealand SPCA and is made to an individual, group or institution within New Zealand that shows great commitment to, or innovative implementation of, the Three Rs, or whose work will help to promote awareness of Three Rs principles.
The prize will consist of a certificate and a financial award of $2,000, which will be presented at the NAEAC AEC workshop on Friday 16 November 2012. Receipt of the award will be publicised in selected media, although specific details of the work involved can be restricted if appropriate.
There is no application form but you must provide:
- evidence of how the applicant or nominated individual, group or institution qualifies for the award (maximum of three pages)
- curriculum vitae of the applicant(s) or nominee(s)
- the names and contact details of up to two potential referees (who may, at the committee’s discretion, be approached for comment).
Applications or nominations (with knowledge of nominee) should be sent to: NAEAC Secretariat, c/- Ministry for Primary Industries, PO Box 2526, Wellington 6140
Applications close on Friday 20 July, 2012. Please direct enquiries to the NAEAC Secretariat, email email@example.com.
Exceptional women scientists from all continents are being sought for the 2013 L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards “For Women in Science” dedicated to the Physical Sciences.
In 2013, five eminent researchers, who have made an outstanding contribution to scientific advancement in the Physical Sciences, will be awarded one of five US$100,000 awards, presented in March 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
- be recognised for their personal scientific excellence
- be actively involved in scientific research
- be involved in any field of the physical sciences.
New Zealander Professor Margaret Brimble won this prestigious award in 2007.
The deadline for submitting nominations to the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is 18 May 2012. Selection of final nominees for New Zealand will be made by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and then submitted to UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
Royal Society of New Zealand Fellow, Alan Poletti, a New Zealand physicist, has written a book about an amazing event that happened in Italy during the Second World War. Over 200 foreign Jews interned in a small town near the Swiss border cheated the gas chambers of Auschwitz by fleeing to Switzerland over a few days in September 1943.
Research has been able to rescue this amazing story from oblivion. The author found many relevant documents in archives in Italy, Switzerland, Israel and, surprisingly, the British National Archives. More than that, he has investigated the many paths used by these people to climb to the border in the high mountains. He has met several of those who did escape and, greatly helped by one of them, has obtained their own first hand accounts.
The book is written in an informal style for the lay reader and describes the author’s own journey of discovery, but more importantly it is also a thoroughly referenced historical treatise. It has already been translated into Italian. The translator commented that it has “the fascination of a novel but the rigour of a scientific paper”. It is available from www.tolepress.com or directly from the author, price $35.
No one alive today has seen a Transit of Venus from New Zealand but from around 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on Wednesday June 6, viewers around the country will be able to see Venus move across the face of the Sun.
To honour this historic event, Awa Press are making a special release of their book The Transit of Venus: How a Rare Astronomical Alignment Changed the World. Each copy will bear this special sticker: “COMING SOON TO A SKY NEAR YOU”.
This book – a finalist in the New Zealand Book awards – contains essays by Paul Callaghan, Anne Salmond, Hamish Campbell, Peter Adds, Richard Hall and Marilyn Head on the impact of past transits of Venus on the course of human history – including the European settlement of New Zealand.
It is a great background read for all watchers of Transit of Venus.
14. “Sea-Level Rise: Meeting the Challenge” – New Zealand Climate Change Centre Conference 10-11 May, Wellington
Register now – only a week to go!
Demand for science-based advice to assist coastal planning for sea-level rise due to climate change is growing. In light of this the New Zealand Climate Change Centre (NZCCC) invites you to attend a conference focussing on sea-level rise and addressing associated coastal planning challenges.
The conference will include keynote speakers from overseas and New Zealand as well as case study examples illustrating how sea-level rise projections have been incorporated into coastal planning. The conference will provide ample opportunity for interaction between attendees through panel and breakout group discussions.
Please visit the dedicated conference website for further information and to register for the conference: www.confer.co.nz/nzccc2012
Contact: Richard Nottage (NZCCC), firstname.lastname@example.org, 04 386 0327
Presented and produced by Alison Ballance, Ruth Beran and Veronika Meduna.
Marine ecologist Candida Savage from the University of Otago tells Alison Ballance how she is using isotope analysis to investigate nutrients in estuaries, and they check in on an experiment testing how Ulva, or sea lettuce, takes up nutrients and how much is then consumed by cockles and clams.
In the last of the BBC Discovery Global Body series, Lynne Malcolm is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the future of the health of the human body.
Arvind Varsani describes himself as a global virus hunter. The University of Canterbury virologist talks with Veronika Meduna about his exploration of the diversity of plant-infecting viruses in Africa, South America, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands.
Two science and environment stories air during the week on Afternoons with Jim Mora at 3:35pm, Monday and Thursday. The complete programme is repeated at 1:10am on Sunday mornings.
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