Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1219

Artificial intelligence special issue

A new special issue about artificial intelligence in New Zealand has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand with guest editors Bing Xue (VUW), Richard Green (Canterbury) and Mengjie Zhang FRSNZ (VUW).

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly significant role in various scientific research areas and real-world applications, ranging from AlphaGo design through medical imaging analysis, earthquake prediction to fish species classification, and fruit maturity estimation to online product recommendation. With world-leading researchers and practitioners, Aotearoa New Zealand is playing an important role in the global AI community. There have been significant achievements in AI in recent years. This special issue aims to highlight recent advances in AI research and developments from the New Zealand community in terms of theory and applications of AI. View editorial. 

You may publish your next paper Open Access in the Royal Society Te Apārangi journals at no cost to your research budget. Find out if you’re eligible.

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New special issue on South American spider fauna

A special issue entitled "A first synthesis of South America spider (Araneae) fauna: endemism, diversity and taxonomy" has been published in the New Zealand Journal of Zoology

In the foreword Martin Ramirez says: "Describing and understanding the diversity of South American spiders is a huge challenge in many aspects, starting with the sheer number of species of a megadiverse group, and the geographic span and variety of habitats, from tropical rainforests, deserts, Pampas, to Valdivian temperate forests. Where do we stand in this titanic task? Nadine Dupérré’s synopsis in this special issue provides a much-needed pause to examine the previous work and extract some conclusions and projections and provides a one-stop summary that will be useful for decades." 

2023 Call for Ngā Takahoa a Te Apārangi Companion nominations

Companionship was introduced in 1997 and is an honour conferred by the Council of Royal Society Te Apārangi for outstanding leadership or eminent contributions to promoting and advancing science, technology or the humanities in New Zealand. View current Companions. 
To be considered for nomination, nominees will have demonstrated leadership, or a wider contribution, in relation to the research, scholarly and innovation communities that is both nationally significant and beyond what could reasonably have occurred simply through their employment role.  
View details of the application process and nomination form. The closing date for nominations is 30 April 2023.
Please note that the Academy is focused on increasing the diversity of nominations from under-represented groups, particularly with respect to gender, ethnicity, and employment context.

New agricultural research journal issue

A new regular issue of the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research has just been published. It includes articles on cumulative effects of fragmentation and development on highly productive land in New Zealand, measuring nitrate losses after conversion to dairy from forestry, and effects of plantain in pasture for nitrous oxide emissions from cow urine patches. 

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Cyclone Gabrielle: The science behind its power

It has been a soggy few weeks for the upper North Island, with late January's Auckland downpour and now, Cyclone Gabrielle. States of emergency have been declared across Ikaroa-a-Māui, schools and non-essential services shut and public transport in the country's biggest city running at a minimum. Forecasters knew early on Gabrielle would be serious..

Disaster blueprint: The NZ city that can help us prepare for future crises

Other cities around the world could learn a lot from Christchurch’s decade of disaster, says sociologist Steve Matthewman. As someone who lives in Auckland, Professor Steve Matthewman hasn’t personally experienced too many natural disasters - until last month’s floods.
Paul Gorman @New Zealand Listener

Michael Baker launching new public health communication project

Epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker, who was a leading voice during New Zealand's Covid-19 response, is launching a new project aimed at strengthening communication between researchers and the wider community. He'll be the Director of the Public Health Communication Centre, an independent organisation funded by the Gama Foundation. 
Morning Report @RNZ

Why we need to reframe the conversation on ‘Asian’ mental health in Aotearoa

People of Asian heritages face many well-documented obstacles to their mental and physical wellbeing in Aotearoa. This video is the second in a six-part series for the Asian Mental Health project. Hear from several knowledge holders working in the Asian mental health space as they outline the key issues we need to tackle to open the door to positive change.
@Te Papa

Forestry slash to be reviewed after repeated flood destruction – Expert Reaction

Cyclone Gabrielle washed out woody debris on the east coast, which has piled up against bridges and across roads. The Forestry Owners Association today said it would welcome a inquiry into forestry and land use generally in the region, and the Minister of Forestry reportedly has some work underway. Earlier this month there was a collective decision to hold a major independent land use review in Tairāwhiti.

Ngā take o te wā Events

21 Pēpuere February, Palmerston North
Wildbase Recovery Centre: What’s behind the Wall?
Wildbase Recovery provides shelter and world-class care for native wildlife to rehabilitate from illness and injury after treatment at Massey University's Wildbase Hospital. Join the Royal Society Te Apārangi Manawatū Branch for a tour of Wildbase Recovery and presentation by Centre Manager Chris Smith.

23 Pēpuere February, Dunedin
2023 Quantum Shorts Film Festival

The famous Quantum Shorts Film Festival is on again at Otago Museum! Come view the best of the festival in the planetarium, plus fun science demos, delicious (and free) platters from Precinct Foods, and a cash bar.

22 Pēpuere February, Wellington and online
Why do cities really matter?
A public talk on energy, transport, smart districts, innovation and urban revitalization that will challenge the way we design our urban spaces. Hear from guest lecturer Dr Jonathan Reichental about his work history and current thinking on smarter cities and challenging urban design methodologies with innovation and revitalization. 

30 Maehe March, Lincoln

Kim Hill Hot Topic: Tourism Reset
Kim Hill CRSNZ will lead a panel of experts who will discuss the issues relating to New Zealand’s tourism model. Problems were manifesting themselves well before the Covid pause: freedom campers, overused walking tracks, and pressure on infrastructure. Even in the short time since “re-opening”, problems relating to cruise ships and a possible new airport in Tarras are causing concern.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ South Georgia 2023

The Antarctic Heritage Trust are seeking 22 Kiwis aged 18-30 to join them on their Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ from 28 September – 17 October 2023.

  • Do you have a strong curiosity to go out and explore the world and share your stories with others?
  • Do you want to get out of your comfort zone on an expedition to one of the world’s most incredible islands?
  • Are you interested in learning about polar history, the environment, climate change, science and wildlife?
  • Do you want to develop your leadership and positive risk taking skills in a supportive environment?
  • Do you have special skills so you can share your experience with other young people in New Zealand and around the world?
  • Are you a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident aged between 18-30 years?
If this sounds like you, apply by 19 March 2023.

Nominate experts to UNEP-ISC Foresight Expert Panel

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the ISC are partnering on an initiative to publish a Global Report in 2024 to inform the deliberations of the sixth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6). UNEP and the ISC are seeking experts to be part of an independent Expert Panel who will provide insights and recommendations to the report to guide this critical work on environmental horizon scanning and strategic foresight.

There are two ways to be nominated:

  1.  Nomination endorsed by Royal Society Te Apārangi as the ISC member OR
  2.  Nominated by your employer. 
Please note that self-nominations are not accepted. Experts seeking an endorsement from Royal Society Te Apārangi, please complete and return your nomination form for ratification by the Academy Executive Committee (AEC) by 5PM Friday 24 February 2023.

View more information on the role of the expert panel, timeline, ISC selection criteria and the online nomination form (for Employers only). 

Global Core Biodata Resource Selection 

The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) is pleased to announce a second round of selection of Global Core Biodata Resources, that will run throughout 2023.

Global Core Biodata Resources (GCBRs) are deposition databases and knowledgebases of fundamental importance to the broad life science community and the long-term preservation of biological data. The first GCBR selection round, in 2022, resulted in 37 biodata resources being included in the initial GCBR list.

The purpose of this round of selection is to provide an opportunity for biodata resources which meet the GCBR criteria, but were not able to engage for the initial 2022 process, to participate during the early establishment of the GCBR list.

Background information and instructions for applicants can be found on the Global Core Biodata Resource Selection 2023 web page and in the paper “Global Core Biodata Resources: Concept and Selection Process”.

Expressions of interest will be accepted via an online submission system from 11 April – 10 May 2023.

Questions can be addressed to

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