Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1210

First 2022 Research Honours Aotearoa winners announced

Ten medals and awards were presented in Kirikiriroa Hamilton yesterday evening by Royal Society Te Apārangi and the Health Research Council of New Zealand to recognise researchers in New Zealand who have achieved excellence in scholarship, innovation or who have made a significant contribution to Aotearoa through their research and career. This was the first of three 2022 Research Honours Aotearoa events to be held around the country. The winners were:

  • MacDiarmid Medal: AgResearch Plant Biotechnology Team
  • Humanities Aronui Medal: Timothy Mulgan FRSNZ
  • Te Puāwaitanga Research Excellence Award: Waikaremoana Waitoki
  • Hutton Medal: Murray Cox FRSNZ
  • Metge Medal: Yvonne Underhill-Sem
  • Te Kōpūnui Māori Research Award: Melissa Derby
  • Cooper Award: Hamid Abbasi
  • HRC Te Tohu Rapuora Medal: Tess Moeke-Maxwell & Te Ārai Palliative Care and End of Life Research Group
  • HRC Liley Medal: Valery Feigin FRSNZ
  • HRC Beaven Medal: Nigel Wilson
Read more

Today is World Science Day for Peace and Development

Celebrated every 10 November, today is World Science Day for Peace and Development. It highlights the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

This year's focus is on "Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development”. Follow  updates and events on #scienceday

Kaitohutohu Kaupapa Hapori / Pae Tukutuku | Outreach and Web Advisor

Be part of a strong, successful Communications & Outreach Team.  This role aligns with the Government’s "A Nation of Curious Minds – A National Strategic Plan for Science in Society" by supporting young people into careers in science, research and technology through experience.

The role will need you to develop and implement rangatahi youth strategies and programmes across the organisation, driving new innovation in outreach programme opportunities for the Society.  The role also requires the candidate to maintain, expand and enhance our communications web and portal environments.

Closing date: 12 noon 21 Whiringa-ā-rangi November 2022  

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

COP27: What you need to know about UN climate summit

World leaders have gathered in Egypt to bring to the forefront global climate-related issues at the UN climate summit in Egypt. The two-week 27th United Nations Conference of Parties, or COP27, will host discussions for commitments by governments to tackle climate change.The Pacific Islands Forum has declared a climate emergency and demand real action from world leaders.
Rachael Nath @RNZ

Vanishing taonga: How climate change is melting our glaciers

Dr Lauren Vargo, Te Herenaga Waka Victoria University of Wellington has just awarded a three-year grant through the Marsden Fund to apply modelling methods to around 230 glaciers.
Jamie Morton @NZHerald

Brushtail possum prostates helping with cancer research

The prostate of a Brushtail possum is surprisingly similar to a humans. But because possums are seasonal breeders, the size of their prostate changes dramatically which could help researchers understand prostate cancer. Dr Melanie Laird from University of Otago has just received a Marsden Fast-Start grant, to research this further. She talks to Jesse about how the possum is the unlikely hero in the fight against prostate cancer.
@RNZ Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

Whitebait patties' popularity could be keeping eels small

New research suggests an age-old assumption that long-fin eels are naturally slow-growing animals could be out the window, with the real reason being a lack of food thanks to low īnanga (whitebait) levels. Freshwater scientist Dr Simon Stewart said it was a “eureka moment” when he and his research team first made the connection, and a recent announcement of $360,000 in this year’s Te Apārangi Royal Society’s Marsden Fund awards means more research can be done to look closer into the connection between whitebait population levels and tuna (eel) growth.

Skara Bohny @Stuff

Ngā take o te wā Events

29 Whiringa-ā-rangi November, Palmerston North
GSNZ Public Lecture

A Geoscience Society of New Zealand talk with two speakers:

  • Warning! Natural hazard forecasts and why people respond in different ways, with Dr Sally Potter, Senior Social Scientist, GNS Science.
  • Past coastal earthquakes and tsunamis of Aotearoa/New Zealand, and preparing for our shaky future, with Dr Kate Clark, Paleoecologist / Earthquake Geologist, GNS Science.
21 Whiringa-ā-rangi November, Tauranga
MacDiarmid Institute Regional Lecture Series: To Industry and Beyond

How do you go from a research lab to a new start-up company? In association with Cafe Scientifique, Researchers Prof Shane Telfer and Dr Anna Farquhar will talk about the way that materials science spins into the hi-tech sector, as well as show careers for science students outside of the traditional university pathways. They will also talk about the role of technology in sustainability and how we are trying to encourage greater participation by young people in science and science-led careers.

15 Whiringa-ā-rangi November, Wellington
Antarctic Ice: Ancient, Beautiful and Unforgiving

Professor Robin Bell from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, USA, will give the 2022 S.T Lee Lecture in Antarctic Studies. Most of the Antarctic ice sheet is older than human civilization. This continental blanket, over 4 km thick, has persisted for 34 million years.  Professor Robin Bell has spent much of her career uncovering the secrets within and beneath Antarctica’s featureless surface,  including hidden mountains, volcanoes, and giant lakes. Register. 

16 Whiringa-ā-rangi November, Online
Impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce: Americas and Oceania thinktank
Virtual workshop on the impact of COVID19 on women working in STEM. In 2021, the Australian Academy of Science published a snapshot of the dynamic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce throughout the Asia-Pacific region. One year on, it is timely to explore how these impacts have developed and how we can collaborate to create greater opportunities for Women in STEM across the region.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Donate and support the Butterfly Discovery Project

Many New Zealand butterflies exist nowhere else in the world and yet they have still not been accurately identified. If they become extinct, we will never be able to re-introduce them. That’s prompted the Moths and Butterflies of New Zealand Trust to undertake a DNA science research journey to reliably discover each individual species, supported by crowdfunding. The Butterfly Discovery Project will start by investigating NZ’s largest group of butterflies, the copper butterflies (Lycaena species). Currently four species have been identified, when in fact there could be more than 20.
Find out more how to donate and help

Mō Te Apārangi | About Us

Royal Society Te Apārangi supports New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge. Our varied programmes provide support and opportunities for researchers, teachers and school students, together with those who are simply curious about the world. To learn more visit
Royal Society Te Apārangi
11 Turnbull Street, Thorndon,
Wellington 6011
Aotearoa New Zealand.

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