Kia ora from Royal Society Te Apārangi | Issue #1086

Applications for 2020 Falling Walls Lab New Zealand now open!

Falling Walls Lab is an international forum for the next generation of early-career innovators, trailblazers, creators and visionaries. It is inspired by the world-changing event of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, with the question at every Falling Walls gathering: Which walls will fall next?

Falling Walls Lab New Zealand is the national competition to select a participant to represent New Zealand and the Pacific Island Forum Nations at the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin, Germany on 8 November. Participants, also known as Labsters, are given the opportunity to present their research, business model or initiative in any field to their peers, a high-calibre jury of experts and the general public – in just 3 minutes.

One Labster will be selected to travel to the Berlin Lab and join 100 finalists, who will pitch their presentations on an international stage. The top three winners of the Lab Finale 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.

Please note that due to COVID-19, Falling Walls Lab New Zealand may need to be a virtual event this year or it may be cancelled for safety. However, since Falling Walls Lab fosters effective science communication – a vital skill as we respond and unite against COVID-19 – we are opening applications with the hope it can go ahead.

Read more

Meet Pratibha Singh, a Talented School Student alum

Pratibha reflects on being selected for the Asia Science Camp in Thailand by the Society, to being elected as one of the top 100 change-makers by Future Talks Foundation. Despite being unsure of what the future holds for her, she is sure her passion for learning, change-making and global citizenship will continue. 

Read more 

New botany journal issue

A new issue of the New Zealand Journal of Botany has been published. Article topics cover bird seed dispersal, an updated classification of Asteraceae plant family and the impacts of earthquake-driven coastal uplift on bull kelp distributions.  


Deadline for Fellowship nominations extended

Fellows and Honorary Fellows are elected to the Academy of Royal Society Te Apārangi annually. Nominations are made by other Fellows or senior office-holders of our Member Organisations and each nomination can remain active for five years. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, nominations for the 2020 round have been extended to 30 June 2020.


He pitopito kōrero News bulletin

DNA discovered in 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils
Scientists made the discovery while investigating skull fragments of Hypacrosaurus nestlings. Researchers suggest that these findings could mean that DNA can exist longer than currently thought.
What's happening to New Zealand wildlife during lockdown
Scientists are expecting changes in wildlife behaviour during these extraordinary times, especially in cities and towns where humans are suddenly absent.
Will Harvie @Stuff
University lab makes, distributes 600 litres of sanitiser
A University of Otago lecturer and his students have made more than 600 litres of ethanol-based hand sanitiser in the past two weeks and cannot keep up with demand.
How I Iost my business to COVID then built a new one in 3 days
Dr Michelle Dickinson MNZM discusses how she managed to pivot her business into Nanogirl's Labs amid COVID-19, while fulfilling the role as a lead communicator on the pandemic's frontline.
Dr Michelle Dickinson
Lead scientist shares the story of changing New Zealand's apple production 
A new book Farewell Silent Spring: the New Zealand Apple Story, written by Dr Christopher Howard Wearing FRSNZ, discusses how in the course of 50+ years, highly toxic broad-spectrum pesticides were removed from the pipfruit orchards of New Zealand. 
@Nationwide Books

Ngā whiwhinga Opportunities

Apply to become a chair with the EPA

Ngā Kaihautū Tikanga Taiao is a committee under the EPA Act to provide advice and assistance to the EPA so it can take into account Māori perspectives. Applications are currently being accepted for a tumaki chair.

Closing date: 26 April 2020
Organisation: Environmental Protection Agency

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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