Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1122

2020 Powering Potential

Last night in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, 40 tauira students presented their solutions to some of the world's biggest problems at Powering Potential.

This is an opportunity that brings together tauira from across Aotearoa to collaborate, research and offer solutions to significant world issues. Mentored by Rutherford Discovery Fellows (RDFs), tauira are given only two days before they have to present their findings.

Students were put into ten groups of four, based on their interests. In their groups, they worked tirelessly with guidance from their kaiārahi mentors to investigate topics ranging from nutrition to genetics, to conservation and climate change.

Kia ora! Thank you to all of the tauira and kaiārahi who participated in 2020 Powering Potential. Your innovative and engaging presentations made for an inspiring end to a challenging year! Thank you as well to everyone who came and watched the presentations. 

Watch highlights from the event

Meri Kirihimete Aotearoa

This will be our last issue of Alert for 2020. Thank you for spending another year exploring, discovering and sharing with us. Hakihea December marks the close of a challenging year and Kohi-tātea January marks the chance for new beginnings! We hope you all have the opportunity to explore your backyards this holiday season, while enjoying the season's fesitivites with your friends and whānau. 

May 2021 bring peace, joy and good health to all. Kia kaha Aotearoa. See you all in the new year after some well deserved rest and relaxation! 

Meet Emi Piuila-Afitu - the next Early Career Researcher we are featuring as part of our Tūrama series

In a video and written interview, Emi details her experience being repeatedly turned down from jobs due to a lack of experience. Now she is a Senior Analyst at the Ministry of Education and is passionate about helping people through evidence-based decision making and policy change—or what she calls "data stuff".

Learn more >

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Scientists think they may have found a completely new whale species
Researchers hoping to make the first confirmed live sighting of one species of beaked whale off western Mexico say they have instead seen what they believe to be a completely unknown species.
Michael Daly @Stuff
Top ten science stories of 2020 - the year in review
The Science Media Centre has picked some of the most significant science stories that made the headlines in 2020, both at home and abroad. 
@SMC Reflections on Science
AgScience has released a special issue on regenerative agriculture
In this special issue (which can be accessed at the link above), agricultural scientists explore what regenerative agriculture is and the research behind it while considering its place in New Zealand.
More young Kiwis snubbing drugs, smoking and booze
New research supported by the Marsden Fund is exploring the remarkable drops in rates of teen smoking and drinking over the past two decades. 
Jamie Morton @NZ Herald
COVID-19: Jacinda Ardern named as one of Nature's top 10 people who shaped science in 2020
Jacinda Ardern has been ranked among the top 10 individuals who played a pivotal role in shaping science this year, according to the editors of a leading academic journal, for her effective and swift response against COVID-19.
Lana Andelane @Newshub

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Contribute to Openness Agreement on animal research for New Zealand

The objective of this agreement is to ensure that the public are well informed about what animal research involves, the role it plays in the overall process of scientific discovery, how such research is regulated in New Zealand, and what researchers and animal care staff do to promote welfare, reduce animal usage and minimise suffering and harm to the animals.  

If you would like to comment on the draft, please email for a copy.

Closing date: 5 February 2021
Organisation: The New Zealand Board of the Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART)

Wānanga Ipurangi Webinars

17 December (NZDT)
Distinguished Professor Roy Kerr gives Black Hole lecture via Zoom

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is awarding the Oskar Klein Medal to Distinguished Professor Roy Kerr CNZM FRS FRSNZ. He will give the 2020 Oskar Klein Memorial Lecture titled 'Kerr Black Holes have no Singularities' on Friday morning (NZ time), on campus at the University of Canterbury.

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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