Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1215

Powering Potential 2022

The 58 senior secondary school students selected from Kerikeri to Invercargill for Powering Potential are now travelling back home today after spending an intense three days in Wellington getting a taste of what it might be like to be a researcher this week.  The students have had the opportunity to be mentored by an academic and were tasked with researching a question posed by their mentor. The students worked extremely hard over the three days, which culminated in each of the teams making a presentation based around their own research on the topic.  It was not an easy task for the students to reduce three days of research into a six-minute presentation but they did themselves proud with even some teams managing to incorporate dance moves and skits into their presentations.   
Feedback from the participants has been amazing. Not only did they have the opportunity to make new friends but they have also learnt skills such as collaboration, listening to their peers, time management and learning to present their research in a succinct and effective way.  In addition to hard work, they also got to enjoy plenty of social activities in the evenings. 
A special thank you to Freemasons New Zealand, Marsden Fund and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for their support of Powering Potential.

Read more

New agricultural research journal issue

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research has been published. It includes articles on the impact of cattle grazing and treading on soil properties, consideration of indigenous biodiversity in farm planning processes and nitrate leaching mitigation treatments. 

He Āpiti Supplement: He Pito Mata – Awakening the Potential

He Āpiti Supplement: He Pito Mata – Awakening the Potential has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand with guest editors Sarah Moss, Sereana Naepi, Darren Powell and Wendy Larner.  This supplement has come out of He Pito Mata, an event hosted by the Early Career Researcher Forum of Royal Society Te Apārangi in mid-2021. It brought over 300 early career researchers together with research sector leaders and media for two days of connecting, sharing, networking and amplifying the kōrero of early career researchers in Aotearoa.

Ngā mihi o te wā me te arohanui

Season's greetings from Royal Society Te Apārangi. Please note our office will be closed from the afternoon of Friday 23 December until reopening on Monday 9 January 2023. 

The next issue of the Alert Newsletter will be Thursday 26 January.

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Nuclear fusion breakthrough is a milestone for climate, clean energy

Scientists have announced that they have for the first time produced more energy in a nuclear fusion reaction than was used to ignite it – a major breakthrough in the decades-long quest to harness the process that powers the sun.

Airborne plastic: Equivalent of three million bottles dropping into Auckland each year

Scientists are concerned Aucklanders may be exposed to high levels of broken-down plastics floating in the air, after revealing the equivalent of three million bottles are dropping out of the atmosphere and into the city every year. In a just-published study, scientists have calculated that 74 metric tonnes of airborne microplastics are annually flowing into our largest city, with wind and waves helping send them from ocean to atmosphere.
Jamie Morton @NZ Herald

Extinct 'monkey lemur' shows similarities to fossil humans

Analysis of teeth of extinct lemurs has revealed fascinating clues to the evolution of humans, a University of Otago study has found. Lead author Dr Ian Towle  says the “surprisingly large” monkey lemur, Archaeolemur, had novel anatomical features not seen in living lemurs, such as lacking a 'tooth comb’ in the front of the mouth for grooming.
@University of Otago

Scientists propose system redesign to improve access to clinical trials

A new system for managing clinical trials in Aotearoa would improve participation across all regions and cultural groups, a new report says. Ensuring that the latest clinical research opportunities, and the healthcare benefits that flow from them, are available to all New Zealanders is at the heart of a new report. Enhancing Aotearoa New Zealand Clinical Trials is the result of 18 months of work by a team of researchers funded by the Ministry of Health and Health Research Council of New Zealand.
@Liggins Institute

Rangiānehu Mātāmua, the man behind the stars

Rangiānehu ‘Rangi’ Mātāmua FRSNZ reckons no-one fully comprehended how widely Aotearoa would have embraced the first national official Matariki observance day. This year, for the first time, Matariki was celebrated as a national public holiday – and it will be held each year on a Friday, with dates already set for the next 30 years.

André Chumko @Stuff

How to avoid spreading Covid this Christmas – Expert Reaction

Covid-19 cases continue to rise as we head into the first summer holiday period with widespread community transmission. With end-of-year parties and family gatherings being planned, Te Pūnaha Matatini have put together a guide on how to have a Covid-safe event. The SMC asked experts what people should be aware of as they plan events this summer.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Call for nominations for GEO-7 authors, reviewers, fellows and collaborating centres

There is a call for nominations from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for preparation of the seventh edition of the Global Environment Outlook (GEO-7) assessment and its accompanying Summary for Policymakers. UNEP is seeking nominations of experts from a broad range of expertise – from natural sciences to policy, economics and social sciences, as well as expertise in outlooks and scenarios – to act as authors, review editors or fellows. Experts will be working closely with the co-chairs of the assessment and the GEO Secretariat to ensure a solutions-focused, policy relevant and scientifically credible GEO-7 is produced by 2026.

  • The deadline for nominations to become a GEO-7 author, review editor or fellow is 5 January 2023
  • The deadline for nominations to become a collaborating centre to provide support to the GEO-7 is 15 January 2023

Please consider sharing this call widely with your members and wider networks and encourage nominations of relevant experts. Young Academies are particularly encouraged to share the call with their members since selected fellows of the GEO-7 will benefit from an 11-week training course on global science to policy.

2023 Cancer Society National Research Grant Round

Expressions of Interest have just opened for the 2023 Cancer Society National Research Grant Round. The aim of the grant round is to fund high-quality research across the cancer continuum (including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care). In 2023 Research Grants, Post-Doctoral Fellowships and PhD Scholarships will be offered. PhD Scholarship application documents will be available in early 2023.

Expressions of Interest close at 12 noon on Wednesday 1 March 2023.

2023 Discovery Scholarship programme for Māori and Pacific Island students

The MacDiarmid Institute is delighted to announce the continued funding of its Discovery Scholarship Programme, to support Māori and Pacific Island students studying in the physical sciences, chemical/materials engineering, Māori sciences or sciences related to sustainable innovation. The scholarships will pay university fees up to $8,000 for the 2023 academic year, and a one-off cash award of up to $3,000. The Institute welcomes applications from all Māori and Pacific Island students from all backgrounds and abilities, and will award a number of scholarships at each year of undergraduate study, Honours/PgDipSci, and Masters study.
Applications close 5pm 18 December 2022.

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 

Follow us         
Copyright © Royal Society Te Apārangi