Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1130

First Speaker's Science Forum event for 2021

Last Wednesday evening, we held our first Speaker’s Science Forum event for 2021 at Parliament. Our theme was Covid Recovery in Aotearoa New Zealand and we had two excellent presenters speaking to Members of Parliament.

Helen Petousis-Harris from the University of Auckland spoke on COVID-19 vaccines and what we might expect to see as these are rolled out; John McDermott from Motu Economic and Public Policy Research spoke on the economic effects of the pandemic, including comparisons with the 1918 flu pandemic.
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New issue of Kōtuitui

Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online has released a new issue with articles on cannabis effects on Māori youth, policies for healthy neighbourhoods and challenges on the path to Treaty-based local government relationships.

Read more >

Seeking new Editor-in-Chief for the JRSNZ

Royal Society Te Apārangi is currently seeking a new Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand (JRSNZ), the Society’s flagship multidisciplinary title, as well as New Zealand's oldest learned periodical, continuing from the Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. The journal's content spans science, mātauranga, technology and the humanities.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 2 April 2021.

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Taonga: Ngā Kete Mātauranga

"While there are many similarities between mātauranga and science, it is important that the tools of one are not used to analyse and understand the foundations of the other." 

Dan (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui) is an established world expert on weaving Indigenous knowledge and science, and is a senior lecturer at Te Wānanga o Waipapa, University of Auckland. He has key roles within New Zealand’s National Centres of Research Excellence and Science Challenges, and has been spearheading alternative ways of assessing sustainability.

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He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

COVID-19 vaccine media hub opens 
Journalists and fact-checkers have a new tool in the fight against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, with a dedicated support service thanks to a global alliance of Science Media Centres and public health experts.
@Science Media Centre
Virtual marae bringing te ao Māori into the digital age
It's taken hours of recording and laboriously stitching images together, but the result is a digital marae with far-reaching implications for the future of te ao Māori in the tech sector.
Louisa Steyl @Stuff
Mathematician wins international prize
Distinguished Professor Marston Conder ONZM FRSNZ has been awarded the prestigious Euler Medal for a distinguished lifetime career in an area of mathematics known as combinatorics.
@University of Auckland
New mapping shows likely location of Pink and White Terrace remnants
New mapping of the floor of Lake Rotomahana, produced by GNS Science, includes the likely site of the remnants of the famed Pink and White Terraces, largely destroyed in the massive 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera.
Michael Daly @Stuff
COVID-19 threatens to lead to a "lost generation" of researchers
The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the Global Young Academy (GYA) have laid out recommendations to mitigate the harms of COVID-19 and seize the opportunities to improve higher education systems around the world.
Wellingtonian of the Year supreme award taken out by epidemiologist Michael Baker
One of the country’s top epidemiologists, Professor Michael Baker, who became a household name amid the COVID-19 pandemic, has taken home the supreme award at the annual Wellingtonian of the Year Awards.
Sophie Cornish @Stuff

Ngā take o te wā Events

31 March, Auckland
Cafe Scientifique: Its dark materials
Professor Richard Easther will discuss what dark matter is, while proving that gravitational forces in galaxies work differently from those in the solar system and on Earth.
28 April, Dunedin
Cafe Scientifique: Virtual Reality, the 30-year-old emerging technology
Virtual Reality has been around a while in different guises, and is now heralded as an emerging technology with a great future. In this talk, Dr Roy Davies will explore the origins of VR, and associated technologies Augmented and Mixed Reality.
6 February - 11 April, Dunedin
Glow with the flow
This free science demonstration explores all different kinds of light - from lightsabres, to glowing money, to rainbow vision. Learn how light can reveal the secrets of our past, including important information about how the Universe formed, and discover how it is taking us into the future, as scientists use it to make amazing technological advances.
22 April, Dunedin
Professor Richard Jackson: Responding to Christchurch
Richard Jackson, a Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Otago, will examine what lessons, if any, can be taken from two decades of the war on terror, what research evidence can guide the government as it seeks to put the recommendations into effect, and what challenges there are in responding to the threat of terrorist actors.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Catalyst: Seeding -  call reminder

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 April
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
Catalyst: Leaders -  call reminder

Catalyst: Leaders supports incoming and outgoing targeted international fellowships for exceptional individuals that cannot be supported through other means.
Closing date: 15 April
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi
2021 Rutherford Discovery Fellowships 

The 2021 Rutherford Discovery Fellowships application portal is open. The Rutherford Discovery Fellowship supports recipients for a five-year term with total funding of $800,000 (excl. GST). With this scheme, the New Zealand Government is supporting the development of future research leaders and assisting with the retention and repatriation of New Zealand’s talented early- to mid-career researchers.

Rutherford Discovery Fellowship Roadshow
A recorded roadshow and information on virtual FAQ sessions for the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships is now available.

Closing date: 29 April at 5pm (NZST)
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi 
Apply for MBIE's Science Whitinga Fellowship

Applications for the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship are now open. This fellowship aims to support excellent early career researchers who may otherwise be lost from the system due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their career path. The fellowship supports research in any field, including the humanities, mātauranga and social science at an eligible New Zealand research institution. 

Roadshow for MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship
A recorded roadshow and information on virtual FAQ sessions for the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship is now available.

Closing date: 20 April at 5pm (NZST)
Organisation: Royal Society Te Apārangi and MBIE
Applications open for the International Science Council governing board

The ISC Elections Committee has now opened a call for nominations to the ISC Governing Board 2021-2024. The following positions are open for nominations:
  • President-elect
  • Vice-President for Outreach and Engagement
  • Vice-President for Freedom and Responsibility in Science
  • Vice-President for Finance
  • 10 Ordinary Members
Please email your expression of interest to for full documentation.

Closing date: 10 May
Organisation: International Science Council
NZ Science Review call for papers

The New Zealand Science Review provides a forum for the discussion of science policy and covers science and technology in their broadest sense. It also covers science education, science planning and freedom of information.

Manuscripts on the above are welcome and should be emailed to the Editor of the NZ Association of Scientists.

Organisation: New Zealand Association of Scientists

Wānanga Ipurangi Webinars

23 March
Tropical forest under threat - finding our way out of the woods
While efforts for tropical forest recovery have centered on forest restoration, efforts to protect existing natural forests and develop sustainable funding mechanisms are arguably vital as well. This webinar will showcase efforts around the world that support both tropical forest protection and restoration.
23 March
Honey bees, parasites, pathogens and pesticides
What hurts honey bees in New Zealand? In this talk Professor Phil Lester will review the health of our honey bee populations while discussing invasive species that are appearing on the horizon.

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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Aotearoa New Zealand.

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