Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1108

Royal Society Te Apārangi remembers celebrated mathematician Sir Vaughan Jones

It is with sadness we share news of the passing of Sir Vaughan Jones FRS Hon FRSNZ, aged 67, due to complications from an ear infection. Sir Vaughan will be remembered as a brilliant mathematician who made outstanding contributions to the field of mathematics, scientific research and higher education.

He is the only New Zealander to have won the Fields Medal, widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize of Mathematics", for advancing knot theory. His discoveries in theoretic mathematics have been applied in entirely different fields.

Although Sir Vaughan moved overseas after graduating, he has worked hard throughout his career to promote mathematics of the highest quality in Aotearoa and has made key contributions to scientific research and post graduate education here in New Zealand and across the globe.

In 1991, he was the first winner of the Society’s prestigious Rutherford Medal and in 2012 the Society established the Jones Medal in his honour, for lifetime achievement in pure or applied mathematics or statistics. 

Our deepest condolences go out to the whānau and friends of Sir Vaughan Jones - he has left a prominent mark on the academic community, one that will not be forgotten.

Image credit: NZ Herald

Learn more

Work with Royal Society Te Apārangi as a Kaiārahi Hapori Outreach Programme Advisor!

Are you a network navigator, an activator and collaborator? We are looking for a person with wide experiences in an outreach and programme delivery environment. This role is to grow our outreach programmes, build positive and mutually beneficial relationships, widen our networks and communities and raise the awareness of our brand. The role has a national schools, kura, rangatahi youth, tauira student focus. 

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Where wine wētā wander

A new paper titled ‘Ecology and systematics of the wine wētā and allied species, with description of four new Hemiandrus species', published in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology features research on the identification of the wine wētā, an examination of its ecology in vineyards, and a description of four new species. 

Read more >

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Outstanding systematic scientist receives Australasian award
The Australasian Systematic Botany Society has awarded botanist Wendy Nelson FRSNZ its highest honour, the Nancy Burbidge Medal for her invaluable contributions to the classification and conservation of marine macro-algae.
@Te Papa
Racism within New Zealand health system
A new study in the New Zealand Medical Journal, shows Māori are 50 per cent more likely to die from COVID-19 than non-Māori.
Emma Russell @NZ Herald
Former Cook Islands Prime Minister Joe Williams has passed away
The former Cook Islands Prime Minister and prominent doctor passed away in Auckland after contracting COVID-19. He is remembered as a passionate and dedicated man, who will be deeply missed in both the Cook Islands and in Aotearoa.
Panel wants more research funding for tertiary institutions and to end research league table
An expert panel wants a $100 million boost to the government's $315m fund for research in tertiary institutions and a lot more money for Māori and Pasifika researchers.
John Gerritsen @RNZ
Time travelling with a climate scientist
Supported by a Marsden Fund grant, NIWA climate scientist Andrew Lorrey and his colleagues study how ancient fossiled coral skeletons store past climate records and how they can shed light on future climate changes. 
@RNZ Our Changing World
Cannabis referendum: Juliet Gerrard explains
In a bid to make those voting in September as informed as possible - the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ has released information on the possible impacts of legalising cannabis. 
@RNZ Nine To Noon

To learn more, see this expert summary from the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor on the possible impacts of recreational cannabis use. (For an evidence summary on the potential risks and benefits to health from the use of both recreational and medicinal cannabis see our full report.)

Ngā take o te wā Events

1-30 September, Nationwide

Bee Aware Month

September is Bee Aware Month.  Bees keep our planet growing by pollinating native plants, our gardens and our food crops but they need our help. They face many challenges: habitat loss, diseases, parasites, pesticide poisoning and the effects of climate change. Check out the Bee Aware Month website for various events, resources and opportunities to learn more about bees and how to help by growing bee-friendly plants, supporting beekeepers and spraying safely.
16 September, Online

What have we learnt from COVID-19?

As part of the 'Art + Climate Innovation: Livestream kōrero' series, join Professor Shaun Hendy FRSNZ, director/producer Noma Sio-Faiumu, director/producer Matthew Faiumu Salapu, writer Jo Randerson and artist Lisa Reihana MNZM as they discuss lessons learnt from Aotearoa's COVID-19 response, how the creative sector is working hard to re-connect with audiences and what this means for shaping a better future.
26 September, Wellington

Waitohu: Wāhine reclaiming the ink

This event at the National Library will explore the significance of waitohu important inscriptions, from and about wāhine who have boldly reclaimed the ink. Discussions will include moko kauae, signatures, literature, and activism that embodies and acknowledges mana wāhine.
27 September, Auckland

Shaking it up with earthquakes and volanoes 

Have you ever seen an erupting volcano? Felt an earthquake? As part of the 'Auckland Heritage Festival', you can participate in fun volcano and earthquake related experiments while talking to volcanologists, seismologists, and engineers from the University of Auckland at this natural hazards lab! All ages are welcome.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Be assigned a mentor for the 'Days of Ice: Antarctica Through Fresh Eyes Tauira Film Competition'!

Students (Years 1 to 13) who are thinking of entering this ataata video competition can fill out the following application to be assigned an Antarctic or technical mentor (or both) who will help ensure you have the resources and guidance available to produce a submission.

Mentors include leading Antarctic filmmakers, producers, explorers, researchers and authors.

Closing date: 25 September 2020
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi, Marsden Fund and the International Antarctic Centre

Nominations open for Powering Potential

Powering Potential allows Year 12-13 students who are nominated by their school to work together and enhance their passion for science and technology. This opportunity brings together Aotearoa New Zealand’s most promising young students to seek answers to some of today's big problems with support from mentors.

Closing date: 7 October 2020
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Apply now for the 2020 round of the Prime Minister's Science Prizes

With a combined value of $1,000,000, these prizes acknowledge and raise the profile and prestige of science in Aotearoa, and celebrate those endeavouring across our research and education hapori communities.

Closing date: 9 October 2020
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Catalyst: Seeding -  call open

Catalyst: Seeding facilitates new small and medium pre-research strategic partnerships with international collaborators that cannot be supported through other means, and with a view to developing full collaborations.

Closing date: 15 October 2020
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi 

Catalyst: Leaders - call open

Catalyst: Leaders supports incoming and outgoing targeted international fellowships for exceptional individuals that cannot be supported through other means.

Closing date: 15 October 2020
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi 

Wānanga ipurangi | Webinars

15 September
Cannabis legislation and euthanasia
What are the issues that matter to you this election? Should cannabis be legalised? What are your views on euthanasia? As part of the 'Election Spotlight' lecture series, join a panel of experts who will debate and discuss these important topics while answering any questions you may have.

Ngā hui Conferences

21 October, Lincoln & Online
NZIAHS Canterbury Forum - Gene Editing
The Society's expert report on Gene Editing recommended that there was an urgent need for wide and well-informed discussion and debate about gene editing. This forum will consider how to start thinking about the use of this technology in the future and how and why we might use gene editing technology in plants, animals and pests. 

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.

Contact us
+64 4 472 7421 

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