Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1229

Ko Ngā Puipuiaki Pūtaiao a Te Pirimia
Prime Minister's Science Prize winners

The latest Ko Ngā Puipuiaki Pūtaiao a Te Pirimia Prime Minister’s Science Prize winners have been announced at an event in Te Whanganui-a-tara Wellington this week.

Te Pūiaki Putaiao Matua a te Pirimia Science Prize was awarded to the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences (NISAN), led by Professor Valery Feigin FRSNZ, Professor of Epidemiology and Neurology at Auckland University of Technology with co-investigators Professor Rita Krishnamurthi, Dr Alexander Merkin and Balakrishnan Nair. Valery and his team have spent more than 40 years uncovering the epidemiology of stroke and associated conditions and developing digital tools for patients and clinicians to reduce stroke risk worldwide.

Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Maea MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize was awarded to Associate Professor Jonathan Tonkin, University of Canterbury, for his work developing new ways to forecast how biodiversity might respond to environmental threats, including the rapid changes occurring due to climate change.  

Te Puiaki Whakapā Pūtaiao Science Communicator was awarded to Associate Professor Dianne Sika-Paotonu, University of Otago, for being a leading voice during the Covid-19 pandemic and for communicating with the Pacific community on better treatments for  rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

Te Puiaki Kaiwhakaako Pūtaiao Science Teacher was awarded to Doug Walker, Head of Science, St Patrick’s College, Wellington for engaging students in science, and supporting science teachers with digital resources and more. Through his initiatives, 60% more senior students at his school are taking science.

Te Puiaki Kaipūtaiao Ānamata Future Scientist  was awarded to Benjamin Smith, formerly of Onslow College, now studying at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington, for his research into mathematically modelling the behaviour of twisted elastic bands, knowledge that can be applied to many types of structural engineering.

See photos from the event >

Read more

JRSNZ special issue call for papers: Renewable energy: Enabling a just transition in Aotearoa New Zealand

Royal Society Te Apārangi recognises the need to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest advancements in renewable energy technologies and systems, with a focus on their integration into modern energy systems, which this special issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand  focusses on – to be published in late 2024. 

Submissions are invited with original contributions to fundamental and applied research related to renewable energy. The special issue will be compiled into the following themes:

  • Technological innovations.
  • Systems modelling and analyses.
  • Social and economic implications.
This call for papers closes 30 Pipiri June 2023. Read more >

Kaitohutohu Pāpāho Communications Advisor

Are you motivated to help New Zealanders have the evidenced-based information they need to make good decisions about a range of topical issues?

Do you value research and scholarship and want to raise the profile of researchers and mātauranga practitioners in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Royal Society Te Apārangi is seeking a Kaitohutohu Pāpāho Communications Advisor to provide communications and public relations support.

Applications close 22 Mei May.

He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

Special edition: Prime Minister's Science Prizes 2022

It’s time for the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes!  

Every year, five prizes are awarded to emerging and established researchers, science communicators and educators at the top of their game.  
@Our Changing World, RNZ

Prime Minister’s Science Prize: Fathers’ untimely death catalyst for ground-breaking stroke research

When his father died from a stroke, a grieving young Valery Feigin FRSNZ was left searching for answers.

A productive and talented professor at Russia’s Novosibirsk Medical School, enjoying the height of his career, Feigin’s father Lev happened to have few obvious risk factors.
Jamie Morton @NZ Herald

New ISC podcast with Nature on scientific freedom and responsibility
What do freedom and responsibility mean today, and why do they matter for the scientific community? A new ISC podcast series, in partnership with Nature, explores the 21st-century issues tied to freedom and responsibility in science. Out weekly for the next six weeks. Listen to the first episode and place in your bookmarks for future episodes. Society kaimahi staff member Gustav Kessel has contributed to the development of this podcast series.
@International Science Council

New fund for Māori research

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has called for proposals for a new fund to advance Māori-led research programmes. He Tipu Ka Hua will invest up to $6 million in total a year in Māori-led programmes or platforms with terms of up to five years. Dr Willy-John Martin, the ministry’s director for Māori research, science and innovation, says it’s in response to criticism that the research system needs to do better to respond to the needs and interests of Māori communities and organisations.

NAEAC/NAWAC appointments

The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee has recently welcomed two new members: Dr Jessica Walker and Dr Joanne Holter. Additionally,  Dr Angenita Harding, Dr Jacquie Harper and Dr Mike King have all been reappointed.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee has recently welcomed a new Chair, Dr Matthew Stone, and a new committee member, Ms Tracy Brown. Additionally, Prof Craig Johnson, Mr Peter Mason and Mrs Sandra Faulkner have all been reappointed.
@Ministry for Primary Industries

Australia bans non-prescription vaping – Expert Reaction

Vapes with flavours and bright colours will be restricted, and non-prescription vape imports will be more tightly controlled in Australia. The changes come as part of a host of new measures aimed at restricting the use of vapes in Australia. In March the New Zealand government finished consultation on proposed measures to crack down on youth vaping. The SMC gathered expert comment. 

NZ industry burns the equivalent of 108 litres of petrol every second 
To meet New Zealand’s target of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, industrial heat process will have to change. Here are the four main options.
Timothy Gordon Walmsley and James K Carson @The Conversation

Ngā take o te wā Events

31 Mei May, Wellington
The Survival of our Coral Reefs

Dr Christopher Cornwall, the recipient of the 2022 Hamilton Award, will talk on the threats and future growth of coral reefs. Ocean warming and acidification threaten the future growth of coral reefs. Ocean warming causes marine heatwaves which in turn cause mortality to resident corals, and alters the growth rates of reefs.
6 June, 20 June, 12 July
From Zero to Fifty - Rutherford Lecture

The Dunedin Study has followed a cohort of over 1,000 people born in New Zealand during 1972-1973 for 50 years since birth, making them arguably the most studied group of human beings in history. The study won the prestigious 2022 Rutherford Medal. 

Book now for Auckland and Napier and Wellington with Dunedin talk details to be confirmed soon. 

27 Hune June, Nelson
Ice and us - Adapting to rising sea levels
In the 80th Annual Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture, Professor Tim Naish FRSNZ and Professor Richard Levy will give the keynote address on how climate change is driving sea level rise and how their science is helping communities throughout Aotearoa respond to the challenges we face now and into the future. Dr Anna Berthelsen and Jacqui Stuart from Cawthron Institute will also share some of the science Cawthron is doing to understand and find solutions for climate change.
31 Mei May, Christchurch and online
Biosecurity Lures

In this UC Biosecurity Innovations seminar, Dan Tompkins, Science Director of Predator Free 2050 Ltd will outline the science strategy. Then Ben McEwen, University of Canterbury and Brittany Graham, Lincoln University will showcase their PhD's into the use of sight, sound and scent to lure or repel stoats, possums and rats. 

4 Thursdays 11 May - 1 June, Auckland and livestream
2023 Gibbons Lectures: Generative AI
2022 was the year of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), and it looks like it will continue to pick up steam into 2023 and beyond. Generative AI systems are built on massive datasets and produce fresh material comparable to the training examples using machine learning techniques. They have the ability to generate new material, such as prose, images and music.
9-14 Mei May, Auckland
Bioengineering for the future

Get a glimpse into tomorrow with more than 40 fun, interactive demos, giving a behind-the scenes look at what the Auckland Bioengineering Institute does. Printed bones, an inflatable brain, a walk-through colon, and a haptic hongi (a virtual experience of touch through vibration) represent serious fun —and complex engineering. 

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

FINAL CALL: Human Frontier Science Program 2024 Post-Doctoral Fellowships

The HFSP fellowships support proposals for frontier, potentially transformative research in the life sciences. Applications for high-risk projects are encouraged. Projects should be interdisciplinary in nature and should challenge existing paradigms by using novel approaches and techniques. Scientifically, they should address an important problem or a barrier to progress in the field. HFSP postdoctoral fellowships encourage early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study while working in a new country. Two types of fellowships are offered: Long Term Fellowships and Cross-disciplinary Fellowships.  

Deadline for statement of intent: 11 Mei May
Organisation: Human Frontier Science Program

SCANZ 2023 awards submission now open!

Submissions are now open for the biennial Science Communicators Association of New Zealand Excellence in Science Communication Award. This award - which has been increased this year to include a $1500 cash prize - recognises outstanding communication of science to a non-scientific audience.

In addition, the new SCANZ Emerging Science Communicator Prize aims to recognise those science communicators near the beginning of their sci-com journey. 

Submission for both awards closes 31 Hūrae July.

Enter Falling Walls Lab New Zealand

Falling Walls Lab New Zealand is the national competition to select a participant to represent Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Island Forum Nations at the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Germany. Finalists are given the opportunity to present their innovative breakthrough idea in any field - in just 3 minutes.

The top three winners of the Lab Finale in Germany are awarded prize money, the title of “Falling Walls Young Innovator of the Year”, and the opportunity to present their idea once again on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference.

The deadline for applications is Rāpare Thursday 1 June 2023, 5.00 pm NZST

Catalyst Leaders – Paenga-Whāwhā April 2023 open call

On behalf of MBIE Hīkina Whakatutuki, Royal Society Te Apārangi has opened the April 2023 Call for Catalyst: Leaders.

Catalyst: Leaders supports incoming and outgoing targeted international fellowships for exceptional individuals that cannot be supported through other means. For detailed information please refer to the Catalyst: Leaders Guidelines.

Closing Date: 20 Hōngongoi July 2023

Catalyst Seeding – Paenga-Whāwhā April 2023 open call

On behalf of the MBIE Hīkina Whakatutuki, Royal Society Te Apārangi has opened the April 2023 Call for Catalyst: Seeding. 

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 that could be supported through Catalyst: Strategic over time. For detailed information please refer to the Catalyst: Seeding Guidelines.

Closing Date: 20 Hōngongoi July 2023


Kaiwhakahaere Tautuhi Rangahau Programme Manager – Insights & Evaluation

Royal Society Te Apārangi is seeking a programme manager to develop new ways of analysis and insights to report back on activities across our programmes.

What you’ll bring:

  • Ability to think critically and translate this thinking effectively into practice.
  • Ability to deliver complex, large, and enduring work programme(s) at pace.
  • Considerable experience of research data insights and/or evaluation.

Apply by Rāpere Thursday 11 Haratua May 2023

Hui ā-Ipurangi Webinars

11am Tues 9 Mei May
Moving the middle: Empowering land managers to act in complex rural landscapes

In this webinar, Suzie Greenhalgh and Fraser Morgan, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, will outline the research and share early insights about what influences rural land managers ability to proactively improve their environmental performance.

4pm Thurs 25 Mei May
Picturebooks for Matariki

In this free online professional development webinar for teachers, Greta Dromgool will be joined by picture book expert Associate Professor Nicola Daly (University of Waikato) to discuss some of her research into bilingual picture books and to share the rich opportunities picturebooks offer our teaching and learning around Matariki.

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
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Wellington 6011
Aotearoa New Zealand.

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