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Science and the Arts: Creating futures | Wellington

Nov 2 | Wellington

Great Kiwi Research: Sharing women's discoveries

Amazing research is going on in Aotearoa New Zealand. As part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Royal Society Te Apārangi, we are providing an opportunity to showcase women’s research, across a broad range of disciplines.


Creative activism: Young people and our future

Young people are often advised to choose between a ‘sensible career’ and the arts. In these post-normal times, at what cost do we keep giving them ‘old’ advice? Artists are at the forefront of imagining new ways to configure society to replace our failing global systems – and our young people are hungry to make a difference. This talk describes and evaluates a series of creative research projects that have connected young people with artists and communities in Aotearoa and globally to help support a next generation with the skills and the confidence to creatively tackle the big issues.

Associate Professor Elspeth Tilley teaches theatre and writes plays at Massey University Wellington. Her plays are usually about climate change, or feminism, or both. Which they get away with by pretending to be about traffic jams, or penguins, or both. Her plays mostly go travelling without her, including to New York, Chicago, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Manila, Dubai, Christchurch, and a few more. Her short play ‘Waiting for Go’ was a winner of the British Theatre Challenge 2017. ‘Flotsam’ and ‘The Penguins’ were Climate Change Theatre Action official selections in 2015 and 2017. Elspeth is avid about humanity’s urgent need to change our future. She figures only young people have the audacity and lack of learned dogmatism to do so. So she devotes a fair chunk of her research time to working with young people to help them feel confident that their off-the-wall creative thinking is not a waste of time, but in fact is the only way we are going to save the planet.


Mānuka - a new weapon in our battle for clean waterways?

Water pollution in NZ is an increasing concern for regulatory bodies and environmentalists. Nutrient loss from agricultural areas and the discharge of wastewater effluent is a major source of pollution for freshwater and coastal systems and the three main water pollutants of greatest concern (the big three) are:

  • pathogens, (measured by E. coli)
  • sediment, and
  • nutrients (N and P)

Reduction of the big three is part of Iwi and Council environmental plans and policy in many regions. Installing riparian plantings and wetlands have demonstrable benefits on water quality. New science discovered by ESR and Lincoln University shows that the Mānuka root system has some unique properties, and that incorporating such plants into bio-diverse riparian planting schemes has the potential to both filter and inactivate pollutants from intensive agriculture leading to improvements in water quality. In this talk we will describe newly discovered properties of this amazing New Zealand native and the next steps of the project where we go from ‘proof of concept’ to large scale field trials.


Dr Jacqui Horswell has undertaken research into sustainable management of organic wastes for the past 20 years, working at The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) Ltd. At ESR she works as an Environmental Microbiologist leading the Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research (CIBR).

She has a wealth of experience of the New Zealand waste and land management sectors, she is one of New Zealand’s leading experts on microbial contaminants (e.g. pathogens) in human waste.

Jacqui has a wide range of skills and experience relating to sustainable waste management, particularly in the assessment of potential environmental and human health impacts of microbial and chemical contaminants in wastes.



Presented in partnership with Massey University

FREE PUBLIC EVENT - register to gaurantee your seat

Views expressed at this event may not reflect those of Royal Society Te Apārangi






Royal Society Te Apārangi


Massey University Wellington Theatrette 10A02 200, Wellington

6:00pm Thu 2 November, 2017 - 7:00pm Thu 2 November, 2017