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Dr James Watson Elected President of the RSNZ

Dr James Watson Elected President of the RSNZ

Dr James Watson Elected President of the Royal Society of New Zealand Dr James (Jim) Watson will take over from Sir Gil Simpson as President of the Royal Society, New Zealand's science academy.

Dr Watson is Chief Executive of Genesis Research and Development Corporation Limited, a New Zealand-based biotechnology company. He was research director of the company from 1994 to 1998. Dr Watson completed a PhD in Microbiology from The University of Auckland in 1967, then undertook postdoctoral work at Syntex Corporation, Palo Alto (1967-9) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla (1969-75). He was Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of California (1976-80) before returning to Auckland University as Professor of Microbiology. He founded the Department of Molecular Medicine and served as Head of Department 1983-93.

Dr Watson said, "I am honoured to serve as the President of the Royal Society. Ours is a time of great change in the way science is recognized and used in the world. I look forward to the challenges of promoting science to youth, using science and technology to help grow our economy, and achieving recognition for scientists, whose great talents and creativity have such a profound impact on the society in which we all live." Chief Executive of the Royal Society, Dr Steve Thompson, said, "Sir Gil has taken a strong lead, through his role as President of the Royal Society, in linking New Zealand's knowledge base, its industry, society, science and technology into a closer working relationship. As he reaches the end of his presidency, Sir Gil's pioneering effort will be enthusiastically taken up by another pioneer in linking science and business to the profit of both: Dr. Jim Watson."

Dr Watson will take over from Sir Gil at the 13 June meeting of the Royal Society Council in Wellington.

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