Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1077

Health impacts of cannabis – benefits, harms and many unknowns

A new report by Royal Society Te Apārangi summarises what is known about the potential risks and benefits to health from the use of recreational and medicinal cannabis.

It finds evidence that cannabis-based medicines have some therapeutic effect in specific clinical situations and that recreational cannabis use can have some negative health outcomes. The report finds large knowledge gaps in understanding the health effects of both recreational cannabis and cannabis-based medicines, particularly in specific groups of the population, and this lack of knowledge poses a public health risk.

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Apply for the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)

Are you interested in expanding fundamental knowledge about biological life by being part of an innovative, multi-disciplinary, international research collaboration? Or are you an early career scientist seeking to change your field of research? This could be made possible by applying for an HFSP grant or fellowship.

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New issue of Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand

A new issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand has been published. It includes articles on childhood obesity, the tectonic activity and history of Wairau Bar, and a comparison of fossil and living beetles of central North Island forests.


New issue of New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research has been published. It includes articles on leopard seals in New Zealand waters, estuary health indicators and comparing traditional and modern methods for translocating kākahi freshwater mussels. 


Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship for Innovation in Science

Shannon Bentley (Ngāti Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Hapu: Mureti) has been awarded the Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship for Innovation in Science. Shannon is embarking on her thesis year as part of her MSc majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity at Victoria University of Wellington, during which she will be measuring how microbial and plant diversity link to ecosystem function. 

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He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

New Zealanders unclear on the health effects associated with cannabis use, new report says
Ahead of next year’s cannabis referendum, a new report has highlighted the many unknowns New Zealanders face ahead of making an informed decision regarding cannabis use. 
Rethinking plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand
A new report that sets out the vision for tackling the problem of plastic waste in Aotearoa New Zealand has been published this week, including a documentary video 'Science and the Plastics Problem' by Shirley Horrocks. 
@Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor
Indigenous forestry renewed
Indigenous trees were believed to be unsuited to planted forestry, being too slow growing and no match for the impressive growth that can be achieved with radiata pine. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Scion’s Greg Steward has spent more than four decades researching New Zealand’s indigenous trees.

Water Services Regulator Bill Taumata Arowai - a critical step to drinking water safety
Water New Zealand has welcomed the introduction of the long-awaited legislation to establish a new drinking water regulator, Taumata Arowai.

@Water New Zealand
COP25: Effects of climate change in Pacific worse than predicted
The effects of climate change in the Pacific have happened a lot sooner, and are a lot worse, than had been predicted, a leading oceans scientist warns.
Jamie Tahana @RNZ Pacific

Ngā take o te wā Events

12 December, Palmerston North
Classifying soil for sustainability
Professor Marta Camps-Arbestain, Massey University, gives the New Zealand Society of Soil Science's Norman Taylor Memorial Lecture on a new framework for soil classification to gain an holistic understanding of soil for sustainable management. 5pm Thursday 12 December, AH1, AgHort Lecture Block, Massey University. 
18 December, Wellington
Powering Potential 2019 
40 talented secondary students who are tasked with discovering innovative solutions to big questions facing both science and technology industries, will present their findings in a public event.
23 January, Tauranga
Anticancer gene therapy: when good genes turn bad and bad turn good
Hear about leading New Zealand research to advance a new form of gene therapy that's exclusively targeting cancer cells, from Professor David Ackerley, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington. He will be giving a talk as part of the Marsden Fund 25 Series.
22 February, Auckland
Our Preposterous Universe with Sean Carroll
Theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, Sean Carroll seeks to answer fundamental questions about our existence and the nature of reality itself. He's coming to New Zealand for the first time to break down quantum mechanics, and explain why there are ‘many worlds’ and an infinite number of parallel universes.

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Nominations for potential Marsden Fund Panellists for 2020
The Marsden Fund secretariat at Royal Society Te Apārangi maintains a list of potential panellists. If individuals wish to signal their availability to serve on a Marsden Fund Panel in 2020 or beyond, they should contact Dr Rachel Averill with their contact details, affiliation, a clear preference for which panel they would be suitable for, and ideally a link to their institutional web page.

Organisation: Marsden Fund 
Nomination call for IPCC's Emission Factor Database editorial board
The International Science Council has been invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to nominate experts to serve on the editorial board of the IPCC Emission Factor Database, coordinated by the IPCC Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

Closing date: 20 January 2020
Organisation: International Science Council
Scholarships for Māori and Pasifika students
An extension of the long running DiscoveryCamp programme for school students, the inaugural tertiary scholarships will support students studying in the physical sciences, Māori sciences or sciences related to sustainable innovation. The scholarships will pay university fees up to $8,000 for the 2020 academic year, and a one-off cash award of up to $5,000.

Closing date: 30 January 2020
Organisation: MacDiarmid Institute
Bob Kerridge Animal Welfare Fellowships
Applications are being called from people who are passionate about improving the lives of animals. The fellowship is awarded to projects that aim to create change, ultimately benefitting animals, people and the environment. The fellowship is an endowment of $10,000, awarded to a committed animal welfarist to fully explore their areas of interest. This may include an existing project or an opportunity to investigate, learn, network or develop leadership skills.

Closing date: 31 January 2020
Organisation: The Bob Kerridge Animal Welfare Fellowship

Ngā mihi o te wā me te arohanui nā te whānau o Te Apārangi

This is the last Alert newsletter for the year. We wish you a wonderful relaxing break with friends and whānau. 

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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Wellington 6011
Aotearoa New Zealand.

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