Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1226

Rutherford Lecture: From Zero to Fifty - celebrating 50 years of global research impact

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study (The Dunedin Study for short) – touted as the world’s most successful longitudinal study of a general community was awarded the prestigious Royal Society Te Apārangi Rutherford Medal in 2022.

The Dunedin Study has followed a cohort of over 1,000 people born in New Zealand during 1972-1973 for 50 years since birth, making them arguably the most studied group of human beings in history.

Distinguished Professor Richie Poulton FRSNZ and Professor Murray Thomson FRSNZ from the University of Otago will speak on how the Study began, the assessments they have conducted, and the fascinating and important findings which have emerged.

Book now for Auckland and Napier, with Wellington and Dunedin talk details to be confirmed soon. 

Read more

Cyclones, land use and forestry – how do we adapt?

Royal Society Te Apārangi Wellington Branch and Royal Society Te Apārangi are holding a joint public lecture on 3 May with guest speaker Dr Tim Payn, Principal Scientist, Forest Ecology and Management, Scion Research. 

This talk will focus on the history of production forestry in New Zealand, how forests are managed today, and what changes could be made to reduce impacts from these extreme events in the future.

Meeting with Human Frontier Science Program Organisation

Recently we had a visit from the Secretary-General Professor Pavel Kabat of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organisation (HFSP). New Zealand’s membership to the programme was established in 2004, one of 17 member countries.

The mission of the HSFP is to support basic research at the frontiers of the life sciences in the form of research grants for collaborations between laboratories in difference countries and postdoctoral fellowships for scientists wishing to extend their expertise in a laboratory abroad. 

Kaimanaaki Pāpāho | Media Advisor - Science Media Centre

Royal Society Te Apārangi is seeking an experienced journalist or exceptional science communicator to join our small, dedicated team at the New Zealand Science Media Centre. The SMC is an independent, trusted source of resources that reporters and newsrooms rely on, improving the reach and relevance of media coverage of science, health, environment, technology, social and related issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.

You’ll ideally bring established networks of contacts in the New Zealand media and/or research sectors to support the work we do. Networks in te ao Māori or among Pacific communities are highly desirable, as is experience of building trusted relationships across different cultural contexts.

Apply by 23 Paenga-whāwhā April  2023. 

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Scientists stay current to make power measurements accurate

New technology being tested by Callaghan Innovation scientists has the potential to more accurately ensure New Zealanders are getting the power they are paying for.

@Callaghan Innovation

Te Pukenga survey reveals staff fear, anxiety and frustration

A newly released survey of staff at Te Pukenga finds one in three staff do not believe they have a future with the new mega polytech, and the vast majority would not recommend working there to family or friends. 

Nine to Noon @RNZ

NZ’s famously shaky earthquake environment - now mapped in 3D

Scientists have assembled a three-dimensional picture of New Zealand’s famously shaky earthquake environment, with one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated fault models in the world.
Jamie Morton @NZHerald

Sobering stats on the state of our freshwater – Expert Reaction

The Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ have released the latest national report on the state of our freshwater. Our Freshwater 2023 details the key pressures on New Zealand’s lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and aquifers, and the impact of declining water quality on the economy, the environment, and our physical and cultural health. An interactive webpage also explores the state of the environment through the eyes of a tuna (longfin eel).

Don’t fret about students using ChatGPT to cheat – AI is a bigger threat to educational equality
Schools and universities are panicking about artificial intelligence (AI) and cheating. But AI presents far more significant threats to equity in education.    
Collin Bjork @The Conversation

Ngā take o te wā Events

20 Āperira April, Wellington and online
Porirua to Antarctica and beyond - a 50 year drilling journey

In this Sir Holmes Miller Memorial Lecture, Jeff Ashby will illustrate Webster Drilling’s journey, from the formative years, through advances in Antarctic drilling technology, to its drilling activities around the globe, where Antarctic experience has helped their expansion into niche remote locations.

13 Āperira April, Napier
Managing TB outbreak in cattle and deer across northern Hawke’s Bay

TONIGHT: The Hawke’s Bay area northwest of Napier has seen a significant increase in tuberculosis-infected herds since April 2019. In this lecture, Rhea McColl will describe the outbreak and how OSPRI (a partnership between primary industries and government) has been – and still are – dealing with it.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Human Frontier Science Program 2024 Post-Doctoral Fellowships: Open call for applications 

The HFSP fellowships support proposals for frontier, potentially transformative research in the life sciences. Applications for high-risk projects are encouraged. Projects should be interdisciplinary in nature and should challenge existing paradigms by using novel approaches and techniques. Scientifically, they should address an important problem or a barrier to progress in the field. HFSP postdoctoral fellowships encourage early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study while working in a new country. Two types of fellowships are offered: Long Term Fellowships and Cross-disciplinary Fellowships.  

Deadline for statement of intent: 11 Mei May
Organisation: Human Frontier Science Program


Kaiwhakahaere Tautuhi Rangahau Programme Manager – Insights & Evaluation

Royal Society Te Apārangi is seeking a programme manager to develop new ways of analysis and insights to report back on activities across our programmes.

What you’ll bring:

  • Ability to think critically and translate this thinking effectively into practice.
  • Ability to deliver complex, large, and enduring work programme(s) at pace.
  • Considerable experience of research data insights and/or evaluation.

Apply by Rāpere Thursday 11 Haratua May 2023


Global Biodata Coalition: call for second group of resources to support

The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) is comprised of a group of international research funders. The group works to identify key biodata depositories and resources essential to the research ecosystem with a view to ensure that these resources continue to be supported and accessible. The Coalition identified a first group of resources in 2022.

The Coalition is now calling for Expressions of Interest for a second call closing 10 May 2023.

The call is relevant for organisations hosting biodata repositories/resources of significant value to the research ecosystem – in particular where the long-term support for these resources is uncertain.

Enter Falling Walls Lab New Zealand

Falling Walls Lab New Zealand is the national competition to select a participant to represent Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Island Forum Nations at the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Germany. Finalists are given the opportunity to present their innovative breakthrough idea in any field - in just 3 minutes.

The top three winners of the Lab Finale in Germany are awarded prize money, the title of “Falling Walls Young Innovator of the Year”, and the opportunity to present their idea once again on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference.

The deadline for applications is Rāpare Thursday 1 June 2023, 5.00 pm NZST

Ngā hui | Conferences

28 Nov- 1 Dec Tihema, Auckland
AGCNZHS Joint Conference

This year’s conference is organised by the New Zealand and Australian Chapters of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and the NZ Hydrological Society (NZHS). Delegates are invited to join us at AUT for an interesting week of presentations, plenary speakers, networking functions and field trips.

The conference theme is “Manaaki Wai (caring for our water): learning from the past, adapting for the future”. It captures the idea that water is a living entity, with its own mauri (life force) that needs to be respected and cared for, which is central to te ao Māori (Māori worldview). It is up to communities, scientists, engineers and policy makers, to think about our past experiences, learn from our successes and failures, and adapt our thinking and priorities. These steps are necessary to prepare for and design a resilient future, at a critical turning point for our environment. 
Registrations are set to open on 28 April. Visit the website for more details:

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
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