The honour was bestowed on her at last night’s function celebrating the opening of the Society’s new building in Wellington.
The title of Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand recognises outstanding leadership in science, and contributions to the promotion and advancement of science and technology in New Zealand.
Glenda Lewis holds a BA in English and a BSc in Physics from the Victoria University of Wellington, and served as Communications Officer and Communications Manager for the Royal Society of New Zealand from 2001 to 2009. Since then she has worked as an independent contractor. In both roles she has proven extraordinarily effective as an organiser of large promotional events. These events have included visits from overseas lecturers, Radio New Zealand lectures, student awards, collaborations between writers and scientists, the Science Book Award, and the Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing.
Glenda’s most recent achievement was the organisation of the forum to mark the Transit of Venus, held in Gisborne and Tolaga Bay from 5-8 June, 2012. The forum was inspired by the late Sir Paul Callaghan and, with his untimely death before the forum, the organisation fell largely to Glenda. By all accounts it was a huge success, and will have a lasting impact on New Zealand science.
Her enthusiasm, her understanding of both science and the humanities, and her promotional flair have done much to enhance the visibility and effectiveness of the Royal Society of New Zealand and to raise the profile of science and scholarship in New Zealand.
The Award of the Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand was introduced in 1999 and there are now 35 Companions.