Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1211

Rutherford Medal and other Research Honours Aotearoa awards presented in Ōtepoti Dunedin

The team behind the 50-year-old Dunedin Study, led by Professor Richie Poulton FRSNZ, University of Otago Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou, was awarded the Rutherford Medal at a celebratory Research Honours Aotearoa event held by Royal Society Te Apārangi at Glenroy Auditorium in Ōtepoti Dunedin last night.

The Rutherford Medal was presented for insights into the human condition and the resulting global impact on scientific theory, research, policy, and best-practice from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study. 

The other medals and awards presented were:
Thomson Medal: Professor David Hutchinson
Hercus Medal: Professor Stephen Robertson FRSNZ
Jones Medal: Dr Kenneth Dodds
Hatherton Award: Dr Lena Collienne
ECR Research Excellence Award for Social Sciences: Dr Christina Ergler
ECR Research Excellence Award for Humanities: Dr Anna High

Read more

Highly sought-after Postdoctoral fellowships and PhD scholarship awarded

Royal Society Te Apārangi has awarded six Rutherford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships and one Cambridge-Rutherford Memorial PhD Scholarship to excellent and passionate early career researchers.

The 2022 recipients will be exploring a diverse range of research topics spanning from research aiming to speed up carbon capture in weathering silicate rocks; investigating slope stability in a changing climate; and linking up Mount John observatory with international telescopes to study exploding supernovas and learn about the history of the universe.

New issue of crop and horticultural science journal

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science has been published. It contains articles on seedling rootstocks for apple cultivars, GRAS protein in Rosaceae species, antioxidant and antibacterial activity of peony cultivars, effect of crop load on greenhouse tomato, treatments for hydroponic lettuce, and first red clover cultivar from southern Brazil. 

Reminder: NZCHS call for papers: Special issue on plant science research in the Pacific

This special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science on plant science research in the Pacific, invites expressions of interest for a wide range of topics of interest to small island nations in the Pacific.

EOI deadline: 23 Hakihea December 2022

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

Blake Medal winner: Why Sir David Skegg is ‘cautiously optimistic’ worst of Covid-19 is over

Professor Sir David Skegg FRSNZ  is “cautiously optimistic” the worst of the coronavirus crisis is behind us – but warns we should remain ready for some nasty twists.

Our pre-eminent epidemiologist, recently honoured with this year's Blake Medal, has reflected on a pandemic that's now killed more than 6.5 million people globally - and just driven our third Omicron wave.

Jamie Morton @NZHerald

'Blue space' may improve human well-being more than green space

Spending time in high-quality outdoor places is better for human well-being than spending time in lower-quality outdoor places, according to Dr Essie Rodgers. These ideas recently won Rodgers, a conservation biologist at the University of Canterbury, the 2022 L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science New Zealand fellowship​ worth $25,000.
Will Harvie @Stuff

Research partnership to help prepare for future infectious disease threats officially launched

A new $36 million research platform aimed at preparing for future infectious disease threats was launched today. Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall officially launched Te Niwha (Infectious Diseases Research Platform) at Tūrangawaewae Marae this morning.

Free to Think 2022 report

International Science Council (ISC) partner and recipient of the ISC’s 2021 Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award, Scholars at Risk (SAR), has published the latest Free to Think 2022 report, which analyses attacks on academic freedom around the world. The report covers 391 attacks, highlighting concerning developments and trends in 24 countries and territories. It emphasises the devastating impact of attacks against higher education communities and calls on readers to take a range of actions that can help protect scholars and students, and safeguard academic freedom.

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.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Applications to the James G. Hay Travel Award are now open

The objective of the James G. Hay Travel Award is to enable New Zealand university staff or post-graduate students engaged in research or study in the field of biomechanics to attend and present a paper at the biennial Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) being held 30 July - 3 August 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan. 

Named after James G. Hay, a pioneer in the discipline of biomechanics in New Zealand, this award has been endowed by the International Society for Biomechanics (ISB) and is managed by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

  • Abstracts to the ISB are due on Tuesday 31 January 2023
  • Applications to the Travel Award close on Friday 3 March 2023, 5.00 pm (NZDT). Once completed, submit your application to: 

Otago PSP funding round opening 21 November

Otago Science Into Action is pleased to invite applications for the 2023 Participatory Science Platform (PSP). The PSP supports Otago based, community-driven research projects in which citizens and scientists join forces to tackle a shared problem or opportunity. They welcome projects covering any topic. There is more than $150,000 available in this funding round. The deadline for this round is noon, Friday 10 March, 2023. For more information, visit or contact

$50,000 Critic and Conscience of Society Award 2023 opens for applications

New Zealand university academics who excel at keeping the public informed with their expert commentary could receive a $50,000 grant as the 2023 Critic and Conscience of Society Award opens for applications.

The 2023 winner of the award will be following in the footsteps of this year’s winner, Janet Hoek, a Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, and co-director of the university’s ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre, which conducts research to support the Government’s smokefree 2025 goal.

The award is administered by Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara. It is not necessary to be nominated and academics can apply via an online form.
The closing date for applications is 28 February 2023.
Applicants’ queries should be emailed to

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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