Chair: Dr Clive Howard-Williams FRSNZ, NIWA
The Committee was established in 1985 to provide advice to the Royal Society on Antarctic Science matters. It also promotes scientific understanding of the Antarctic region by representing the interests of the New Zealand Antarctic science community to the international science community and New Zealand national agencies, and by providing scientific advice to New Zealand agencies with Antarctic interests and activities.
The Committee formally meet once yearly or otherwise as required with other regular contact through telephone conference calls and email, etc. The committee met in Christchurch on 19 May 2006.
The primary aim of the committee in 2006 year was to raise the awareness of Antarctica activities with special emphasis being on the development of International Polar Year (IPY) initiatives. This extraordinary 25-year event follows on from the International Geophysical Year in 1958 and will run from March 2007 to March 2009 across both polar regions with approximately 50 nations already indicating participation. To this end the Royal Society and Antarctic New Zealand have formed a joint conference committee to oversee a major international conference to be held in Wellington in July 2007.
The committee has also made representations to Government Officials in the last few months of 2006 to increase Government interest in IPY. The committee chair has also made a presentation to the Officials Committee on Antarctica and currently a budget bid led by Antarctica New Zealand is being prepared for a special allocation of funds for Antarctic research during IPY.
The Royal Society President is a Trustee of the Antarctic Heritage Trust (AHT). The Trust’s primary focus lies in the protection and restoration of the historic huts and contents left by the first adventurers. These are the jewels in the crown of human heritage in Antarctica and are designated as Specially Protected Areas within the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty System. The Trust works to conserve this important heritage so that people may continue to appreciate, learn and draw inspiration from the legacies of the ‘heroic age’ explorers for generations to come.
Chair: Dr David Wratt, NIWA, Wellington
The Committee held one formal face-to-face meeting in Wellington on 19 April 2006 to discuss committee membership and the 2005/6 workplan and budget, and a teleconference on 7 September 2006. Three members retired from the Committee at the end of April 2006, and were replaced by three new members.
Committee activities in 2006 included:
Drought workshop: This workshop, organised by the Committee, was held in Christchurch on 10 April 2006. It was well attended by agricultural sector representatives, central and local government staff, and farmers. Abstracts and pdfs of workshop presentations were placed on the Committee’s web pages.
Climate Change and Governance Conference: The Committee co-sponsored this conference, held in Wellington on 28 – 29 March. Three of the Committee members were conference speakers, and we assisted with travel costs for one of the Australian speakers.
Speaker’s Science Forum: The Committee chair gave a presentation on “Water in a Changing Climate – Too Little or Too Much” to about 35 MPs at a “Speakers Science Forum” at Parliament, organised by the Society in early May.
Maori Climate Forum: The Committee provided travel support for one of its members to attend this forum at Hongoeka Marae, Plimmerton .
Outreach and Media: The Committee Chair wrote an editorial for the Royal Society Alert, and an invited article to the Christchurch Press, responding to letters or articles about climate change. Several of the Committee members gave talks or participated in panels at symposiums or workshops, including a workshop “Climate Change and You” at Parnell Cathedral, and the WWF 30th Anniversary Lecture Series in Wellington, both co-sponsored by the Committee.
Liaison with Other RSNZ Committees: We provided feedback to the Energy Committee on the draft of its “2020: Energy Opportunities” report. The Committee Chair attended meetings of the IGBP Committee.
Input to Research Strategy and Priority Documents: Committee members provided input to MoRST during the development of its Environmental Roadmap, and commented on drafts of the FRST investment signals for the Understanding and Adapting to Global Environmental Change (GLO) investment process.
International: The Committee maintained New Zealand liaison with World Climate Research Programme (including CLIVAR) and with International Association for Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics (IAMAS).
Chair: Professor Gaven Martin, Massey University–Albany
The Committee held one meeting during the year at the Royal Society in Wellington to develop the annual workplan and budget.
Activities this year included discussions with the President and meeting with representatives of the Computer Society with a view to having their representation on the RSNZ panel. This is seen as a large (2000+ members) possible constituent group. These discussions are ongoing. Further, we a held meeting with the President of the Statistics Society, the Board of the NZMRI and director of the CoRE NZIMA as well as correspondence with the CEO RSNZ about setting up and funding a “Lifetime achievement” award in the Mathematical Sciences tentatively titled the Jones Medal.
The Committee was also represented at the International Mathematical Union held in Santiago de Compostela where Professor Martin was elected to the Nominations Committee.
Representatives from the Committee were also involved in the selection of the NZ Mathematical Societies’ Research Medal, this year awarded jointly to Professor Mike Roberts and Associate Professor Robert Aldred.
We also note that the Campbell Award and Honorary Life Membership of NZSA was awarded to Professor Jeff Hunter, former Chair of the RSNZ Mathematical and Information Sciences Committee and a former Royal Society councillor, at the Science Honours Dinner.
The Hon Margaret Austin succeeded Prof Alister Jones as Science and Technology Education Councillor on the RSNZ Council. 2006 saw the departure of Dr Liz McKinley and Prof Michael Walker (The University of Auckland) and Prof Richard Price (University of Waikato) from the committee and the addition of Prof Ian Shaw, Canterbury University and Dr Suzanne Boniface, Queen Margaret’s College.
Council commissioned a review of the education activities of RSNZ; initial findings indicate that the programmes undertaken fit well with the Act and are carried out in exemplary fashion.
The Education committee continued its work on investigating mechanisms to support and encourage Māori and Pasifika into sciences, health and technology leading to a report outlining current models http://www.rsnz.org/advisory/education/MaoriPIcasestudy.doc It also prepared submissions to TEC on the Tertiary Education Strategy and the MoE on the draft NZ Curriculum. http://www.rsnz.org/advisory/education/
Chair: Mr James Battye
During 2006, ANZCCART New Zealand progressed several activities.
A subcommittee of the ANZCCART Board liaised with representatives from the National Animal Ethics Advisory Council (NAEAC) and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology to progress the recommendations arising from the 2003 and 2005 conferences, particularly the publication of lay summaries of research involving animals. The ANZCCART Board agreed after discussion at the NAEAC Workshop on 14 November and after listening to feedback, that lay summaries should be offered on a voluntary basis to see how they go.
Good news stories on the uses of animals in research were obtained for the production of a DVD for schools. The project has been scoped to link in with the national school curriculum. A producer has been sought to manage the project and it is hoped that the DVD will be published by mid 2007. Supporting written material will be produced to accompany the DVD.
ANZCCART has established a national award, ANZCCART New Zealand Animal Care Technician’s Award, to be awarded for the first time in 2007, to recognise the significant contribution made by an individual New Zealand-based technician, particularly in regard to the welfare of the animals.
During the year, ANZCCART awarded five regional prizes to school Science Fair participants. ANZCCART Board members acted as judges where possible.
Chair: Dr Neville Jopson, AbacusBio Ltd, Dunedin
The Committee held one formal face-to-face meeting in March 2006 to decide on its workplan and budget for the 2006/07 year.
A highly successful primary resources forum was held in Napier on 5 September 2006. The Forum entitled “Good for growing” was hosted by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences with financial support from the Royal Society, and discussed issues raised in the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report “Growing for good” which was released a year earlier. Presentations covered a wide range of viewpoints, including political view, those of farmer and research groups, and environmental organisations such as Fish & Game and Forest & Bird. The forum attendees were equally diverse in their viewpoints. While the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report had been debated previously in other fora, this forum was able to discuss the topic from a “solutions” point of view and the excellent level of attendance at the forum gave an indication of the timeliness and relevance of the debate to the Primary Industries.
The committee is currently in the early stages of planning another forum to be held in May 2007 on the sustainability of the high level of productivity in the agricultural and horticultural industries.
Chair: Professor John Hearnshaw, University of Canterbury
Professor Hearnshaw was funded by the committee to attend the International Astronomical Union General Meeting in Prague in August 2006. He presented a report to committee members and to the Council of the Royal Society. The Committee did not meet in 2006 but they approved sponsorship of $1500 to support the printing of the 2004 Transit of Venus Lectures, broadcast in that year by Radio New Zealand and to be published by Awa Press.
Chair: Dr Julie Hall, NIWA
The Committee was established in 1989 to participate in the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme’s comprehensive international scientific programme to study human impacts on the earth’s natural, physical and biological environment and to advise the Royal Society on matters of concern.
The Committee formally meet once yearly or otherwise as required with other regular contact through telephone conference calls and email, etc. The committee met in Wellington on 5 May 2006.
The primary aim for the Committee for 2006 was to continue to raise the awareness of IGBP, its projects and science within the NZ scientific and wider community and to promote NZ scientific achievements by having public lectures on IGBP science. Two lectures took place and a number of other initiatives have been carried out such as attendance at a meeting co-ordinated by Dr David Wratt, Chairman of the NZ Climate Committee to discuss NZ activities building on the release of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report.
Another initiative was the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research funded project on community relocation as a response to climate change and variability. One of the activities was a workshop held at the University of Waikato, Hamilton in November 2006. The purpose of the workshop was not to promote relocation as an adaptation option but to examine through experiences in Pacific Island communities what are the positive and negative effects (personal, social, economic, cultural and environmental) of relocation and what can be learnt from relocated communities.
2006 continued to be an active year for the committee. Three full day meetings and a special workshop” A Conversation with Freda Briggs” were held; two committee members participated in the International Social Sciences-Policy Nexus conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina; another very successful School Leaders Symposium entitled “Making the Difference” was held, in Wellington as was a Maori Researchers Forum .Feedback from these events was overwhelmingly positive.
During the year the Committee continued to contribute advice to the development and format of the Royal Society’s open access Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online published for social scientists in tertiary and research institutions and other organisations worldwide. The committee celebrated its first issue in May.
Work is continuing in the establishment of a new Social Science medal to recognise “connections into the community”, establishing emerging and private researcher forums is ongoing as is the dialogue with Maori and Pacifica, and, in conjunction with the Council for the Humanities Te Whainga Aronui, planning has begun on an international conference “Fast Forward New Zealand – Making the Future”.
2006 saw the departure of three members from the committee:Tania Rangiheuea, Nofo Falealili, and Jonathan Boston. Each made invaluable contributions to the committee.
The committee welcomed three new members: Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop (Victoria University), Kathy Irwin (Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi), and Chris Cunningham (Massey University).
Mr John Blackham succeeded Mr George Jones as the Technology Electoral College member of Council, Prof Roy Crawford (University of Waikato) joined the committee and Messrs Gowan Pickering and Denis Packer departed from the committee In 2006, the Technology Committee supported and organized a speaking tour of New Nealand by NASA’s Jack Bacon. Jack spoke to over 4000 school students on a nation-wide tour. He also spoke to public audiences in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Stonehenge, Wellington, Nelson, Greymouth, Invercargill, and Dunedin.
The committee continued RSNZ support for the SmartNet workshops in 2006, and maintained an overview on the Once upon a Leader project led by Dr Stuart Corson. This project is enabling successful business entrepreneurs through engagement with the tacit knowledge of earlier successful entrepreneurs which provides inspiration, experience and confidence.
The Biodiversity Committee is concerned with advising on issues pertaining to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and science issues relating to the research required to underpin New Zealand’s conservation and biosecurity efforts. It met twice in 2006, in March and October.
In February the Committee wrote to the Minister of Conservation regarding the native snail, Powelliphanta augustus. The Committee encouraged the Minister to consider all available scientific evidence and to make a decision on the fate of the snail species that supports the position of New Zealand as a party to the CBD.
The meeting in March included a eulogy for Dr David Given, who passed away in November 2005. There was an update on the Oceans Policy from the Ministry for the Environment, and the Marine Protected Areas from the Department of Conservation. The Committee discussed the Review of the Biodiversity Strategy, to which it contributed in 2005. The Committee agreed to apply for protection under the Wildlife Act for the Pink Bubblegum Coral, Paragorgia arborea, the largest coral found in New Zealand waters.
The October meeting involved three main discussions, the Review of the Wildlife Act for the protection of species, MoRST’s environmental research roadmap and the proposed global index of biocultural diversity (a paper submitted for discussion by a committee member). The Committee made a submission to MoRST regarding the Environmental Research Roadmap, summarised in the Policy Papers section.
Details of the Committee meetings are available in the minutes on the website below. www.rsnz.org/advisory/biodiversity
An online, self-learning platform of the tacit knowledge of New Zealand’s successful business leaders in innovation is now being prepared from the video material of the Once Upon a Leader study. This platform will inspire and provide support to future leaders when completed later in 2007. Common influences nourishing leadership are identified. Experiences faced along individual pathways will be presented. This NZ Leadership Pathway project has been performed jointly with NZ Trade and Enterprise. AGMARDT are sponsoring an additional, specific focus on agribusiness leaders.