On this page:
- 1. Sir Paul Callaghan’s work continues at the Transit of Venus Forum, Tolaga Bay and Gisborne, 5-8 June
- 2. Entries for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes close 24 July
- 3. Talented science students off to Europe
- 4. More talented students off to USA International Space Camp
- 5. Yet more talented students off to Youth ANZAAS in Dunedin
- 6. 2012 Hochstetter Lecture: Oligocene drowning of Zealandia: how wet did it get? 15 May, Palmerston North
- 7. 2012 Hochstetter Lecture: Oligocene drowning of Zealandia: how wet did it get? 24 May, Christchurch
- 8. FUSIONZ website for science, technology, humanities jobs
- 9. MSI to attend inaugural Global Research Council meeting in Washington DC
- 10. 2012 Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival 11-19 May, Palmerston North
- 11. Science communication in “Our Far South” 16 May, Wellington
- 12. 2012 Gibbons Lecture Series: The Turing Legacy, 10 & 17 May, webcast
- 13. Writing for Science Course, Victoria University of Wellington, 22–23 May – CANCELLED
- 14. Social Science Research Methods Courses – Winter Programme 9-13 July, Auckland
- 15. Our Changing World, Thursday 9.00 pm, Radio New Zealand National 101FM
1. Sir Paul Callaghan’s work continues at the Transit of Venus Forum, Tolaga Bay and Gisborne, 5-8 June
A joint announcement by partners in the Transit of Venus Project: The MacDiarmid Institute, the Royal Society of New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, and Te Aitanga a Hauiti and the people of Tolaga Bay.
This June, hundreds of scientists, iwi representatives and dignitaries will gather to celebrate the Transit of Venus, and advance Sir Paul Callaghan’s vision of making New Zealand a place where talent wants to live.
The Transit of Venus forum was founded by Professor Sir Paul Callaghan, who passed away in March this year. The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, is now taking the forum forward, together with Sir Paul’s colleagues and partners in the project.
Sir Paul’s colleagues and partners in the project, Professors Bill Manhire, Charles Daugherty, David Bibby, Lydia Wevers, Kate McGrath, Shaun Hendy and Dr Di McCarthy, say that they have come together to continue his last inspired project, one that will begin and not end with the Forum in Gisborne.
“He so hoped to be there, and worked on the Project until the end. He very nearly made it. The Forum, and what follows, will be part of Paul’s legacy.
“We look forward to celebrating our dual heritage and planning our shared future with optimism, imagination, and scientific realism.”
CALL FOR REGISTRATIONS
Sir Paul invited a number of organizations to nominate people to attend the Forum, to ensure wide and balanced representation. The final 50 or so places are now open to all-comers. If you are interested in attending, please click here.
Read our recent media releases on the Transit of Venus Forum in full at http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/news/media-releases/, and see http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/events/2012-transit-of-venus-forum-lifting-our-horizon/ for full details of the Forum, including the most recent newsletter (9 May).
New Zealand’s pre-eminent science awards, the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, are 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.
Six senior secondary school students from around New Zealand have been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to discover the excitement of fundamental science research at CERN in Geneva and then travel on to the United Kingdom to attend the London International Youth Science Forum.
The six students were selected by the Royal Society for high academic achievement and for demonstrating a passion for science. They were selected from over 300 applications.
Eighty per cent of all of the student’s costs will be supported by the Talented School Students Travel Award, which is funded by the Ministry of Science & Innovation and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Once in London, the New Zealand students will join 300 like-minded students from 60 other countries for the two-week London International Youth Science Forum. This year the forum will explore the future developments in the sciences, with lecture demonstrations, specialist seminars and debates led by a team of scientists and experts.
The six students selected to attend are:
- Andy Chen, 17, Macleans College, Howick, Auckland
- Robert Shin, 17, Macleans College, Howick, Auckland
- Gabriella Templer, 17, ACG Parnell College, Auckland
- Rachel Love, 17, Takapuna Grammar School, Auckland
- In Sung Hwang, 17, Massey High School, Auckland
- Rachael Wiltshire, 18, Samuel Marsden Collegiate, Wellington
Four senior secondary school students have been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to attend the International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in July.
Excellent academic results and involvement in local astronomy centres and clubs were the reasons these students were selected from the many who applied.
Eighty per cent of the student’s total costs will be supported by the Talented School Students Travel Award which is funded by the Ministry of Science & Innovation and administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
The students will be immersed in a programme that is designed to promote space science and exploration. Activities will include hands-on astronaut training, as well as learning about the mental, emotional and physical demands astronauts must face. Leadership training is also included and the students will experience scuba diving and four G’s of lift-off force and actual weightlessness in the space simulator.
The four students selected to attend are:
- Ashlee Parkes, 17, Westlake Girls High School, North Shore, Auckland
- Connor Hale, 16, Tawa College, Wellington
- Callum Brazier, 16, Paraparaumu College, Kapiti
- Darina Khun, 16, Wellington East Girls’ College, Wellington
Twenty-two senior secondary school students from around New Zealand have been selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to attend the Youth ANZAAS (Australia New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science) event, to be held in Dunedin from 29 June to 7 July 2012. They will be joined by 21 secondary school students from around Australia.
Over the six days the students will be immersed in many science activities and lectures that have been organised in conjunction with the University of Otago and the International Science Festival. They will visit the Anatomy Museum, Department of Zoology, New Zealand Marine Studies Centre and Invermay Agricultural Centre.
They will listen to and participate in workshops on neuroscience, genetics and food chemistry and hear international scientists such as Dr Alice Roberts and US Astronuaut, Stephanie Wilson give presentations. It will be a very full six days before the students travel back home.
Excellent academic results and a passion for science are the reasons these students were selected from over 300 who applied.
Eighty per cent of the student’s total costs will be supported by the Freemasons Charity Science Travel Award (FREESTA).
Read more about these talented students on our website: http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/programmes/competitions/international-secondary/
6. 2012 Hochstetter Lecture: Oligocene drowning of Zealandia: how wet did it get? 15 May, Palmerston North
The Royal Society of New Zealand Manawatu Branch and the Geosciences Society of New Zealand present the 2012 Hochstetter Lecture, delivered by Dr Mike Isaac: Oligocene drowning of Zealandia: how wet did it get?
The talk is about paleogeography, biostratigraphy, absolute dating, fossils, petrography and rates of change – whether Zealandia was or was not totally submerged has major implications for the origins of our native flora and fauna (Gondwana relicts or not?).
Mike Isaac is a geologist with GNS in Lower Hutt. He has extensive geological experience in New Zealand with publication covering areas from Northland to Southland. He lists his areas of expertise as geological mapping using GIS and sedimentary basin analysis.
Details: 7.30pm Tuesday 15 May, Te Manawa – Art Gallery, 326 Main Street, Palmerston North. All warmly welcome.
Dr Isaac will also deliver a Hochstetter Lecture support lecture at 1:00pm Tuesday 15 May, AH1.35c, AgHort Block, Massey University. Turitea. The talk, entitled Mission control we have a problem: New Zealand and fossil fuel use, will discuss fossil fuel resources, uses, CO2 emissions, and economic, industrial and moral choices.
7. 2012 Hochstetter Lecture: Oligocene drowning of Zealandia: how wet did it get? 24 May, Christchurch
The Royal Society of New Zealand Canterbury Branch and the Geosciences Society of New Zealand present the 2012 Hochstetter Lecture, delivered by Dr Mike Isaac: Oligocene drowning of Zealandia: how wet did it get?
Details: 7.30 p.m Thursday 24 May, Venue C3, University of Canterbury.
This week, Fusionz has no vacancies for jobs.
Fusionz, the Royal Society of New Zealand’s online service for job seekers and advertisers, advertises job vacancies within New Zealand for science, technology and the humanities.
To list your vacancy – http://fusionz.royalsociety.org.nz/
The US National Science Foundation is hosting the inaugural meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC) in Washington DC on May 14-15, 2012.
MSI’s Chief Science Advisor, Dr Prue Williams, will be participating alongside the heads of research councils from 44 research-intensive countries. The GRC aims to foster multilateral research collaboration to benefit both developing and developed nations. The goal for the inaugural meeting is to collectively develop and endorse a high level Statement of Principles on Merit Review. Further information can be found here: http://www.globalresearchcouncil.org/ or by contacting MSI’s US based Counsellor – Science & Innovation, Lesley McConnell email@example.com
The 2012 REEL EARTH Environmental Film Festival runs from Friday 11 May through Saturday 19 May in Palmerston North. During the week, 56 films from around the globe will screen at Downtown Cinemas. The festival also includes a programme of seminars, filmmaker Q&A sessions and school visits by film makers. The week is capped off with the REEL BIG NIGHT OUT at the Regent Theatre on Saturday, 19 May when the ‘best of festival’ films will be recognised and awarded. Categories include Best Feature, Best Short, Best Ultra Short, Best Science Communication, Best Film about Environmental Sustainability and Best Emerging New Zealand Talent. Juries include a film maker, a scientist and a general audience representative.
The REEL EARTH Environmental Film Festival is a competitive film festival, established in 2004 by a group of Palmerston North scientists who had a shared passion for film and a sustainable future. Now in its 8th year, the REEL EARTH Environmental Film Festival brings together filmmakers, scientists, environmentalists and film enthusiasts to view, reflect on, debate and enjoy a diverse range of films with an environmental message.
Topics in the festival range from two comedic documentaries about producing zero rubbish to rhino poaching in South Africa; from trading carbon credits for water to the relationship of the people of Sanikiluaq to the eider duck; from mono-cropping of genetically-modified soy to the story of California’s Mono Lake. Film techniques include fiction, animation, comedy and documentary.
For a complete Festival schedule, film descriptions and EF-FACTOR online entry, visit www.reelearth.org.nz
Join the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) to hear scientists and science communicators who journeyed to Antarctica on the Spirit of Enderby relate their experiences and summarise some of the major science and environment-related issues highlighted during the voyage.
- Dr Dan Zwartz, Research Fellow, Ice Sheets, Antarctic Research Centre
- John McCrystal, freelance writer, co-author of Poles Apart
- Dr Richard Levy, Paleoclimate scientist, GNS Science
- Sarah Wilcox, Science Communicator
- Dr Rob Murdoch, General Manager Research, NIWA
Discussion chaired by Science Media Centre manager and Sciblogs editor Peter Griffin.
Date: Wednesday 16 May
Time: 5.30– 8.30pm
Venue: Turnbull House, Wellington
Cost: $10 – includes drinks and finger food
The last two of four lectures in the 2012 Gibbons Lecture Series: The Turing Legacy will be delivered on 10 and 17 May in Auckland. They will be streamed live at http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/our_department/Gibbons_Lectures/video/
6pm, 10 May: Alan Turing and the Computing Engine: Turing’s achievements in practical computing – Professor Brian Carpenter & Professor Bob Doran
6 pm, 17 May: Alan Turing and the Artificial Brain: The Development of Artificial Intelligence – Assoc Prof Ian Watson
Full details, including podcasts of previous Gibbons Lectures, are available at http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/our_department/Gibbons_Lectures/
The Professional and Executive Development course previously listed has been cancelled. It is anticipated that the course will be rescheduled to run in November 2012. For all enquiries, please phone 04 463 6556, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Zealand Social Statistics Network (NZSSN, www.nzssn.org.nz) is offering 6 five-day courses, under the banner of Social Science Research Methods, 9–13 July 2012. The courses will take place at The University of Auckland Business School.
NZSSN courses are designed to serve a wide variety of needs for training and professional development within the academic, public and private sectors. Courses cater not only to researchers in the social and political sciences, but also those in areas such as the behavioural sciences, medical and health sciences, epidemiology, policy research, education, economics, law, management, marketing, public relations and human resource management. The short courses are delivered by highly qualified instructors and previous courses have received outstanding reviews.
Courses to be offered (subject to enrolments):
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS
APPLIED COMPUTER-ASSISTED QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS USING NVivo
INTRODUCTORY BAYESIAN STATISTICS
MIXED METHODS IN SOCIAL RESEARCH
FUNDAMENTALS OF SPSS
DATA ANALYSIS USING Stata
Discounts are available for multiple enrolments from a single institution/organisation.
Presented and produced by Alison Ballance, Ruth Beran and Veronika Meduna.
Shark scientists Malcolm Francis and Clinton Duffy have spent the last six years trying to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding New Zealand’s great white sharks. By using satellite and acoustic tags, along with photo identification, they are trying to answer basic questions such as how many sharks are there in New Zealand waters, and what are their movements. Their research has already revealed that New Zealand’s great white sharks migrate to the tropics each winter, making record-breaking dives to great depths along the way. Alison Ballance joins the joint NIWA-DOC annual trip to great white shark hotspot Stewart Island, to see the tagging team in action and meet some familiar ‘locals’, such as Marbletail and Horse.
Rising sea levels and greater storm surges are two consequences of climate change that are already beginning to have an effect on coastal communities around the world. The ‘Sea-level Rise – Meeting the Challenge’ conference is taking place in Wellington this week, and Alison Ballance meets with NIWA’s Doug Ramsay and Andrew Tait to find out about the latest science and a new planning tool, called the ‘climate change and urban impacts toolbox’.
Dark Sky, an exhibition exploring how photography has been used to capture the skies, opened at the Adam Art Gallery to coincide with the second and last Transit of Venus that will take place this century on 6 June. The show brings together a range of images, including observations from the transits of 1874 and 2004, as well as large-scale contemporary installations. The curators, Victoria University art historian Geoffrey Batchen and gallery director Tina Barton, take Veronika Meduna on a guided tour.
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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