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9/3/2000 - Royal Society Alert 116

9/3/2000 Royal Society Alert 116

R O Y A L S O C I E T Y O F N E W Z E A L A N D

Royal Society Alert 116 9 March 2000

1. Royal Society Council elections - reminder
2. Celebrating achievement innovation and technology
3. NERF projects
4. New appointments at FRST
5. Foundation website update
6. North Shore Branch inaugural meeting - reminder
7. Preliminary report on biodiversity launched
8. New Zealand/German coordinator required
9. Dutch TV keen to get stories of NZ science
10. What does the future hold for the education sector?
11. Government Select Committee members
12. Fisheries research plans shelved
13. NZ brand good for business
14. Auckland University sets up $15 million seed capital fund
15. International conference on public understanding of S&T
16. Disabled children association award for scientific research
17. Science education research symposium
18. Upper Hutt Science Festival
19. Singapore science research school
20. Government funding for biodiversity in UK
21. SCICON 2000 - a science odyssey
22. Eco-educator hits town
23. Book launch - "Risk and the institutions of government"
24. People
25. Radio programmes
26. Across the desk
27. Future events
28. Contributions to "Royal Society Alert"
29. Subscribing and archiving


1. ROYAL SOCIETY COUNCIL ELECTIONS - REMINDER

Elections for the nine Electoral Colleges of the Royal Society of New Zealand will be held by postal ballot in April. A reminder that nominations must be received in the Society's Wellington office by 5 pm on Wednesday, 15 March on the prescribed nomination form, copies of which are available from the Society or on its website: www.rsnz.govt.nz

Those nominated must be financial members of the Royal Society of New Zealand (as at 31 December 1999) in any of the individual membership categories (other than honorary) where a direct membership is available, e.g., Fellows, Companions, Professional Members (MRSNZ) and Ordinary members.

2. CELEBRATING ACHIEVEMENT INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

The Minister of Research, Science and Technology, the Hon. Pete Hodgson will launch new national Technology Awards in Auckland next Tuesday.

These awards, initiated by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, recognise achievements in innovation by New Zealand companies. They will congratulate companies that have grown their business and benefited the economy through the successful, commercial adoption of innovative technology.

The launch of the Technology Awards will be held in Auckland on Tuesday, 14 March at the Auckland City Art Gallery Foyer between 6.00 and 8.00pm.

For further information, contact Christine Clapcott on 04 498 7801 or Madeleine Setchell on 04 498 7806 at the Foundation.

3. NEW ECONOMY RESEARCH FUND PROJECTS

Vaccines to prevent Alzheimers disease and asthma; a new generation in communications technology; smaller, smarter electronics; and innovative electronic-based learning techniques, are just a few of the research projects to receive funding recently from the Government's New Economy Research Fund (NERF).

According to the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST), which manages NERF, these projects could generate massive returns to the country. FRST Chief Executive Dr Steve Thompson said the new fund was set up specifically to support research which underpins new high technology business opportunities.

"We hope that in four or five years, this investment will lead to start-up companies in new technologies and new industries. By targeting research in these areas, we will help develop the knowledge, skills and innovations needed to build new or emerging RS&T intensive sectors in New Zealand," Dr Thompson said.

Dr James Buwalda, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology said the new fund is giving scientists the space to be more creative.

"A key finding of the Foresight Project was that researchers needed more space to be creative if we, as a nation, are going to grow new high-value industries to drive higher economic growth," Dr Buwalda said.

"NERF unleashes the creativity of scientists to do some out-of- the box thinking about how tomorrow's wealth will be created differently from today's. It will generate new ideas as the basis for new industries and for R&D intensive industries emerging from existing sectors. The potential for creative leaps is exciting."

The Foundation received more than 200 applications for funding from NERF, requesting some $100 million. Just over $11 million was available but it is now being invested in work which should see substantial returns to our economy. NERF successful tender results are available on the FRST website at www.frst.govt.nz.

4. NEW APPOINTMENTS AT FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

We reported in Alert 112 that the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology is re-organising itself this year and streamlining its various instruments - such as the Public Good Science Fund and Technology New Zealand - in a way which it considers will enable it to operate more as an investor than a funder.

As a result of the re-structuring, two new appointments have just been announced. Mr Nick Allison has accepted the position of Group Manager, Policy, Strategy and Evaluation, and Mr. Wayne Smith has accepted the position of Group Manager, Corporate Development.

Nick comes to the Foundation from Transfund New Zealand, the national purchaser of roading and passenger transport services where he was the Transfund policy manager.

Wayne comes to the Foundation from a diverse background extending back through careers in fisheries research, international banking, public sector management and over the last five years running his own successful operation in the private sector..

Dr Colin Webb who is currently Public Good Science Fund Manager has been appointed Group Manager, Investment Operations. The appointment of a Group Manager for Investment Strategy is pending.

5. FOUNDATION WEBSITE UPDATE

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has recently updated the science pages on its website. Updates include the timeline for PGSF and NERF; and copies of the recently released Guidelines for Providers for contracting and programme-level information required from currently funded providers.

6. NORTH SHORE BRANCH OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY INAUGURAL MEETING - REMINDER

Thursday 16 March, 2000

Professor Ted Baker FRSNZ, Structural Biology Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

"Structural biology - new challenges from the revolution in genomics"

The meeting will be held at the Study Centre, Massey University, Albany Campus

Time: 5.30pm Refreshments in the Staff Lounge 6.00pm Lecture Presentation in the Auditorium 7.00pm Tea and Coffee in the Staff Lounge

7. PRELIMINARY REPORT ON BIODIVERSITY LAUNCHED

The diversity of creatures and plants with which we share our country are an important part of what makes New Zealand New Zealand, the Minister for the Environment, Hon Marian Hobbs, said today.

Announcing the launch of the preliminary report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on biodiversity and private land, Ms Hobbs said landowners have a critical role to play in maintaining New Zealand's native plants and animals.

A committee consisting of: former Federated Farmers President, John Kneebone (Chair); lawyer, Mark Christensen; ecologist, Dr Judith Roper-Lindsay; and farmer and conservationist, Kevin Prime, compiled the report.

Entitled "Bio-What?", the report recommends developing a national accord on biodiversity between key parties with a focused national policy statement under the Resource Management Act to define roles and establish a methodology for local government.

It also recommends a suite of non-statutory guidance and greater government assistance with information, research and incentive schemes to help councils apply the national policy statement and to support local measures and local communities.

"Halting the decline in New Zealand's biodiversity will not be achieved through forced compliance nor from increased public funding alone, " Ms Hobbs said.

"We need private landowners who understand and accept the importance of this issue and we need to encourage and assist them to make the right decisions."

The Advisory Committee will receive submissions on the preliminary report until 16 June 2000. For a copy of the report, phone Gerard Willis, Ministry for the Environment, (04) 9177434.

8. NEW ZEALAND/GERMAN COORDINATOR REQUIRED New Zealand/Germany science cooperation agreement

A Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STC) Agreement was signed between the Governments of New Zealand and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1978. Since then, the STC Agreement has made a substantial contribution to the broader relationship between New Zealand and Germany. The Coordinator plays an important role in maintaining and enhancing these positive linkages.

The Coordinator is appointed by the New Zealand Government to ensure New Zealand gains full benefit from the Agreement by: * maximising opportunities for New Zealand researchers to collaborate with their German counterparts; * maximising opportunities for New Zealand research and technology-based businesses to collaborate with their German counterparts; * establishing and enhancing key relationships within the New Zealand and German science and innovation sectors; and * ensuring that the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology is informed of all significant developments within the German science system.

Close contact with New Zealand's research and innovation communities and an annual visit to Germany is required. The successful applicant will be well-organised, a skilled negotiator, and have extensive knowledge of the New Zealand and German science and innovation systems, and will have strong links to the New Zealand business and research communities. An ability to write and speak German is desirable.

This part-time position may be offered for up to three years. Relevant travel and other costs will be met and an honorarium will be paid.

The current coordinator whose term of appointment has expired is Dr Andrew Matthews of NIWA.

Information may be obtained from the Ministry's website http://www.morst.govt.nz. For further information, email diane.gardiner@morst.govt.nz.

Applications close on Friday, 24 March 2000.

9. DUTCH TV KEEN TO GET STORIES OF NEW ZEALAND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The Dutch TV programme Jules Unlimited, are looking for interesting New Zealand science and technology developments to include in their popular science television series.

The series is run by the Dutch public broadcasting company VARA and is now in its 11th year. It has built up a regular audience of some 1 million viewers and in 1997 was awarded the Dutch Academy Award for the Best Informative Programme. The programme consists of 25-minute episodes which include three items fronted by the presenters.

The series gives viewers a glimpse into new developments in the world of science, technology, sport and adventure. They seem to be having no problem getting sport and adventure stories for New Zealand and now need some science and technology stories.

The producers are hoping to film in New Zealand in early April so are keen to hear of suitable programme material soon.

For further information, see their website: http://www.vara.nl/tv/jules or email the producer directly: maarten.tip@vara.nl, or contact Richard Meylan at meylan.r@rsnz.govt.nz

10. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE EDUCATION SECTOR?

An interesting question to consider as we enter a new century and a new millennium is "What does the future hold for the education sector?"

At the Auckland University of Technology's conference entitled "Seizing our future" held in Auckland last week, guest speaker Sir Christopher Ball, Chancellor of the University of Derby, explained how 8 universities operating in Britain at the turn of the 20th century had burgeoned to 94 at the end of the century and questioned whether anyone would have envisaged that in the year 1900.

So what vision do we have in 2000? One thing Sir Christopher seems sure of is that the younger generation have a better idea of what the future holds than the older generation. This is a big shift from the commonly held view in the past that the elderly were wiser as a result of their life experiences and accumulated knowledge

Sir Christopher believes that students know best about what thy want to study and that institutions should listen to their demands. If students choose to study humanities rather than sciences then make places available, he says. He quoted the fact that in the 1980s in Britain universities attempted to achieve a shift to science and closed large numbers of places in humanities to create new places in sciences. However, the plan failed because students did'nt want to do science. The impact on students was huge - many were "turned off" study. Sir Christopher believes that if universities want young people to learn, they should provide choices.

Sir Christopher presented many other interesting prophesies which are worth briefly listing for consideration:

* Student fees are here to stay (the "user-pays theory); * Early childhood and primary education should get more money than the tertiary sector; * Universities should run as "social businesses" achieving cost- effectiveness and striving for increased productivity; * Students of the future will demand bite-size education (learning in chunks) and will need qualifications that are globally transferrable; * In order to survive, institutions will have to satisfy their students first, employers second, and their peers third - not the other way round as many have tended to do. * If research doesn't provide valuable results it should not be funded; and * Institutions will have to from global alliances and mergers to survive the competitive new world.

Sir Christopher's beliefs are controversial but, according to one university head, common among New Zealand academics (especially the idea of learning before research) although many are afraid to agree publicly.

Despite his plethora of predictions however, Sir Christopher believes that just like those who couldn't have conceived a 12- fold increase in universities in the last century, we have little idea of what the future holds. "Looking forward to the 21st Century, we're almost certainly wildly wrong about what lies ahead. I guess we'll just have to wait and see."

Any comments on Sir Christopher Ball's views may be sent to alert.editor@rsnz.govt.nz

11. GOVERNMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Primary Production: Shane, Arden, Georgina Beyer, Clayton Cosgrove, Ian Ewen-Street, Martin Gallagher, Phil Heatley, Gavan Herlihy, Damien O'Connor, (Chairperson), Tariana Turia, R Doug Woolerton.

Education & Science: Donna Awatere Huata, Brian Donnelly, Helen Duncan, Liz Gordon (Chairperson), Judy Keall, Mark Peck, Nick Smith, Maurice Williamson.

Health: Phillida Bunkle, Steve Chadwick, Wyatt Creech, Paul Hutchison, Judy Keall, (Chairperson), Sue Kedgley, Damien O'Connor, Lynda Scott

Local Government & Environment: David Benson-Pope, Georgina Beyer, Jeanette Fitzsimons (Chairperson) Martin Gallagher, Ann Hartley, Owen Jennings, Murray McCully, Jill Pettis, Eric Roy, Richard Worth.

Social Services: Sue Bradford, Helen Duncan, Taito Phillip Field (Chairperson), Liz Gordon, Muriel Newman, Mahara Okeroa, Jill Pettis, Katherine Rich, Bob Simcock, Belinda Vernon.

Maori Affairs: Joe Hawke, Willie Jackson, Doug Kidd, Nanaia Mahuta, Wayne Mapp, Mahara Okeroa, Richard Prebble, Mita Ririnui, John Tamihere (Chairperson), Georgina te Heuheu

12. FISHERIES RESEARCH PLANS SHELVED

The Government has shelved plans for the fisheries industry to buy its own research. Fisheries Minister Hon Pete Hodgson said yesterday that he was putting the plan on hold for a year or more, because direct buying carried a fundamental risk: "Put simply, those who purchase research have an ability to influence it."

The previous government had put in place plans for industry to start buying its own research this year, taking it out of the hands of the Ministry of Fisheries. The plan was it have reduced the level of cost-recovery levies -paid by the industry to the Government for research - by $4.9 million a year. Mr Hodgson said the previous government had been moving too fast down the path of devolution without the necessary fisheries plans and policy framework in place.

13. NEW ZEALAND BRAND GOOD FOR BUSINESS

Being uniquely New Zealand is helping companies become globally successful, say researchers from Victoria University of Wellington.

"It appears that globally successful New Zealand firms are forced to focus on a few products, markets and technologies where their New Zealand experience has created a distinctive advantage off shore" said research leader Dr Colin Campbell- Hunt.

"Findings suggest that overseas recipes for success don't necessarily work in a New Zealand setting."

The two-year study aims to develop knowledge on the processes involved in building competitiveness in New Zealand enterprises. The research, an investment of the Public Good Science Fund, is uncovering a number of ways in which these firms have built an international advantage.

"New Zealand firms which have built extensive international businesses in over 50 countries worldwide, and command up to 30 per cent of the global market for their principal product line, have built competitive capabilities out of their distinctively New Zealand experiences."

"Typically, these firms were catapulted into positions of global leadership when a local product innovation created rapidly rising sales, periods when sales double and re-double for several years."

"These are periods of great danger as well as great opportunity. The need to support these vary rapid rates of growth has forced these firms to focus on those products, markets and value adding processes where they are truly world-class. "

A dozen companies have been the focus of the two-year study.

"The companies were selected for their exceptional record of success in both local and international markets," said Dr Campbell-Hunt.

"These firms have developed in small-scale market niches and have been protected from the full force of international competition by distance or regulation. The firms were able to develop a range of capabilities which later form the basis of their distinctive competitive appeal offshore," said Dr Campbell-Hunt.

"The work has attracted interest because the question of how competitive capabilities evolve is recognised to be an important gap in knowledge not only in New Zealand but world wide."

For further Information, email Colin.Campbell-Hunt@vuw.ac.nz

14. AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY SETS UP $15 MILLION SEED CAPITAL FUND

Auckland UniServices, the commercial arm of the University of Auckland, will start the country's first seed capital fund with about $15 million in its kitty, the Business Herald reports. UniServices planned to approach American and British investors to contribute to its New Zealand Seed Fund and was hoping it could match the sum raised locally by the end of June, the newspaper said.

The fund would invest in revolutionary research originating from local universities and Crown Research Institutes, and would also be the first New Zealand fund to invest in new research-oriented companies which had yet to develop products and markets, the newspaper said.

UniServices will earn its keep by contracting work, including research projects, and by licensing its intellectual property. The seed fund will be managed by Ulysses Group, founded by Jerry Balter, an American investment banker with experience in raising money for US healthcare and medical companies. Its advisory board will be chaired by Telecom chairman Roderick Deane.

The fund is looking at backing NeuronZ, a company set up to research the central nervous system, as one of its first investments.

Dr Kernohan said other possibilities included EPTTCO, a joint venture between UniServices and three British research companies working on cancer therapy, and a medical devices company.

15. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 2000 (PUSAT 2000)

This conference, to be held 24-27 April in Kuala Lumpur, will comprise four modules:

* Science and Technology: Achievements, Opportunities and Challenges; * Public Understanding of Science and Technology: Issues and Strategies; * Science, the Environment and Society; * Public Understanding of Science and Technology: Agenda for the New Millennium.

For further information about the conference, email malsci@tm.net.my

16. DISABLED CHILDREN ASSOCIATION AWARD FOR SCIENTIFC RESEARCH 2000

The Disabled Children Association, Saudi Arabia, invites nominations before 30 September 2000, for its 2000 Award for scienctific research.

Granting the award will be in accordance with the following conditions: 1. The Award aims at encouraging scientific research in disability and rehabilitation. 2. The Award consists of a financial award of about $US13,500) for each of its categories 3. The Award will be granted in three categories: Medicine and medical sciences; special education; and rehabilitation.

For further information, contact the Award Secretariat, Disabled Children Association, PO Box 8557, Riyadh 11492, Saudi Arabia, phone; 00966 1 4543913; fax 00966 1 4543521

17. SCIENCE EDUCATION RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

Friday, 26 May - Saturday, 27 May 2000 Theme: Research Methods in Science Education Venue: Science and Engineering Building, 24 St Paul Street, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland

This symposium will provide an opportunity for New Zealand science educators to informally meet together to present updates on current research projects and the opportunity to discuss other issues relating to science education research. The symposium will be based on a series of short presentations highlighting ways current science education research in New Zealand is being conducted.

Presentations will focus on practical and theoretical aspects of various research methods relating to current research projects, emphasising the strengths and limitations, as well as the rationale, of using a particular method. A range of methods covering both quantitative and qualitative approaches will be discussed, including the use of surveys, interviews, case studies, documentary analysis and other approaches from action research, phenomenographic, quantitative, and feminist perspectives. Presentation of work in progress is encouraged with opportunities for further discussion on methodological issues.

Sessions are allocated a particular methodological perspective with researchers invited to talk about their research using that approach. Sessions may consist of a single presentation (approximately 20 minutes) with subsequent questions and discussion or may involve a group discussion by several presenters on the same method.

Speakers to date: Professor Barry Fraser, Curtin University, Australia (Keynote speaker); Dr Jane Gilbert, Victoria University; Heather Stonyer, Auckland University of Technology; Dr Tony Wright, Massey University; Professor John Hattie, University of Auckland; Dr David Salter, University of Auckland; Rosemary Hipkins, Wellington College of Education; Brian Lewthwaite, Massey University.

Fee: $30.00 (inc GST) (includes morning and afternoon teas and lunches)

NOTE: In order to confirm timetable, please indicate if you wish to present by 21 April 2000 (preferably ASAP by email). Payment must be made by 12 May 2000. All participants are invited to submit an electronic version of their paper for inclusion in proceedings of the symposium.

For further information, email: d.salter@auckland.ac.nz Website: http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/edu/

18. UPPER HUTT SCIENCE FESTIVAL

The launch of the Upper Hutt Science Festival took place last week. The Festival itself is being held from 20 to 23 July to showcase the science and technology underpinning businesses in Upper Hutt and to celebrate the scientific involvement of the Upper Hutt community in their work and their schools.

Feature guests will be Botanist, Dr David Bellamy; Dr David Nicholson of the University of East Anglia with his presentations "Here for the Beer" and "The art of science and the science of art"; and street performer Amos from the Otago Museum Discovery World's Sciencewise. Many of the businesses in Upper Hutt will open their doors to portray the science and technology of their activities, and a range of presentations on subjects as diverse as steam engines, pickled pests, podiatry, forensic entomology and embalming make up the exciting four day programme.

The Festival is supported by the Science and Technology Promotion Fund, the British Council, the Gamekeeper Restaurant, the Upper Hutt Economic Development Agency, and the Upper Hutt City Council.

19. SINGAPORE SCIENCE RESEARCH SCHOOL

Two students have been selected to attend the Singapore Science Research School from 25 May to 17 June 2000. This is a 4-week programme of research at the National University and is supported by the Singapore Government.

The successful students are Christo Fogelberg from Mt Aspiring College, Wanaka and Jane Allison from Cashmere High School, Christchurch, both Year 13 students. They were selected from over 40 applicants throughout New Zealand.

20. GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR BIODIVERSITY IN UNITED KINGDOM

United Kingdom Environment Minister Michael Meacher has announced that the Government is to inject œ250,000 into a new National Biodiversity Network. The network will constitute a consortium of existing Government agencies and voluntary bodies engaged in the protection of biodiversity. The objective is to create new ways of sharing information between the variety of organisations and with the public at large, using the latest computer technology.

21. SCICON 2000 - A SCIENCE ODYSSEY Date: 2 - 7 July 2000 Venue: Massey University, Palmerston North

SCICON is the premier New Zealand conference for science educators. It is committed to offering a full programme that inspires early childhood, primary, secondary, and tertiary delegates in their roles as science educators. For new science educators at all levels SCICON becomes an invaluable opportunity to be introduced to the professional science education network.

Keynote speakers include: Professor Joyce van Tassel-Baska (Developing giftedness in students); Professor Allan Chalmers (Philosophy of science); Professor Terry Collins ( Environmental chemistry); and Dr Alan Cooper ( Molecular and evolutionary biology).

The conference includes full-day Odysseys (field excursions) to sites of particular interest to science educators, e.g., Kapiti Island, Volcanic Plateau. A unique inclusion in SCICON 2000 is a daily conference slot for presentations by New Zealand scientists involved in cutting edge research. Also included are assorted workshops, professional body meetings, and social events designed to inform and motivate delegates and foster the development of networks with colleagues.

Registration costs ( Full Conference including Odysseys & Conference Dinner): Early Bird : Before 7 April: $375.00 After 7 April: $430.00

Conference Information/Registration packs are available from: Bill MacIntyre Secretary, SCICON 2000 Massey University College of Education Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North Tel 06 351 3396; Fax 06 351 3383 On Line Information and Registration http://www.nzase.org.nz

22. ECO-EDUCATOR HITS TOWN

Australian eco-educator Philip Green is in New Zealand again this year to take the green message to New Zealand school children.

This is the 4th year he has been invited to work with New Zealand students, and he will spend the first term visiting 35 schools in both the North and South Islands.

His programmes this year will focus on the kiwi and other threatened New Zealand birds and he will be using motivational strategies to help spark students' interest in positively supporting initiatives to help these species.

Philip is a well-known environmental educator who has worked with over 150,000 school students face to face across New Zealand, Australia and America. Here are some of his views about the need for, and current status of, environmental education for students:

"Environmental education is about educating the whole person, not just filling their heads with facts and figures. It must include motivation that touches kids' hearts.

"Classroom environmental education programmes are totally inadequate if they do not have outdoor components where students personally and positively experience inspirational aspects of their natural heritage. This, above all else, can motivate students to care and conserve."

Philip Green is deeply concerned that students study habitats in other parts of the world, yet they are often ignorant of their native birds, trees and insects that live in their won area. "How can we possible conserve things of which we have little knowledge or contact?"

"Educating students about environmental gloom and doom often has a disempowering effect - the problems are so enormous and the students feel impotent to help. Only personal, positive experiences in natural environments will empower students to become effective environmental stewards", says Green.

Philip Green will be visiting schools in a number of centres around New Zealand until 7 April.

For details of his itinerary, contact: Pam Crisp, events coordinator, Department of Conservation, Ph. (04) 471 3116

23. BOOK LAUNCH "Risk and the institutions of government"

"Risk and the institutions of government" looks at the New Zealand state sector's handling of risk, uncertainty and dynamic change in making and implementing public policy.

The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) have worked together on this project. Edited, and with an introduction by, Alex Sundakov and John Yeabsley, the book covers risk and central government (Graham Scott), environmental risk (Peter Clough), a ministerial perspective of risk (David Caygill), risk in banking supervision (Arthur Grimes), SOEs (Ian Duncan), and the corporate sector (John Boshier).

IPS and NZIER invite Members to the launch of the book at 4.45 pm, Wednesday, 22 March, in Kimble Bent Room, ParkRoyal Wellington. The Hon Trevor Mallard, Minister of State Services, will speak at the launch.

Please email ACCEPTANCES ONLY to lizh@nzier.org.nz

Copies of the book will be available at the launch or can be ordered from NZIER at email above. Cost: $29 incl. GST (plus postage if ordered from NZIER).

24. PEOPLE

New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd manager of commercial development Dr George Hooper has been appointed new executive director of Canterbury University's Centre for Advanced Engineering (CAE). Dr Hooper will take the position from 30 April, replacing Dr John Blakeley, who is retiring after almost 12 years in the job.

25. RADIO PROGRAMMES

*Eureka! this week:

Climate and climate change, part I (from the recent IPCC meeting in Auckland) Eureka! National Radio Sunday 2pm; repeated Monday at 7pm.

Contact Eureka! science@ihug.co.nz

*Discovery programme

Scientific development and research (BBC)

This features on National Radio at 9.06 pm on Friday nights and 12.06 am on Wednesday mornings.

*One Planet: Listen to this on National Radio at 9.06 pm on Wednesday nights.

26. ACROSS THE DESK

The following publications have been received by the Royal Society this week.

*Newsletter of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and communicators, Mar 2000 *New Cabinet Office instructions for appointments to statutory boards and committees Rural Bulletin, Feb 2000

27. FUTURE EVENTS

Listed below are some conferences/events listed in the Royal Society conference database as taking place in New Zealand in the next few months. For a full list of conferences in New Zealand and overseas, access http://www.rsnz.govt.nz/forms/conferences.php

The University of Auckland, Chemical and Materials Engineering Seminar. "Suck it and see", Dr Ian Wilson, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK. 1:05pm to 1:55pm on Wednesday, 29 March 2000, School of Engineering, University of Auckland, Room 3.407. Contact email: r.nicol@auckland.ac.nz

The Second International Workshop on the Ecology, Physiology and Cultivation of Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms will be held in Christchurch from 3 to 6 July 2001. This is the week before the 3rd International Conference on Mycorrhizas, Adelaide, Australia. Information on the workshop can be found on the web page at: http://www.crop.cri.nz/whats_on/mushroom_conf/Index.htm

SPACETIME 2000, The Year 2000 Conference of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand, Central Institute of Technology, Upper Hutt, 14 - 17 April 2000. Contact email: wilmshurstg@rbnz.govt.nz

Scientists' perceptions of the ethical implications of their genetices research. Royal Society Canterbury Branch Lecture by Dr Barbara Nicholas, HFA, Christchurch. Christchurch. Starts 8 pm, 3 May 2000. Contact email: georgehook@clear.net.nz

New Zealand Archaeological Association annual conference: "New approaches and future directions for New Zealand archaeology", Wellington, 5-8 May 2000. Contact email: archaeology@historic.org.nz

The manipulation of animals by plants. Royal Society Canterbury Branch Lecture by Dr Jay Mann, Christchurch, Starts 8 pm, 7 June 2000. Contact email: georgehook@clear.net.nz

International Science Festival Theme "Global Change", Dunedin, 1-16 July 2000, Contact email:: projects@scifest.org.nz

Natural Hazards Management Conference 2000: Interpreting and applying natural hazard information, Napier,16-17 August 2000. Contact email lisa@hbrc.govt.nz

28. CONTRIBUTIONS TO "ROYAL SOCIETY ALERT"

Appropriate contributions for inclusion in "Royal Society Alert" are welcome. Please email relevant items of interest to: alert.editor@rsnz.govt.nz

29. SUBSCRIBING AND ARCHIVES

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To join, send a message to subscribe@rsnz.govt.nz and you will receive both the science news headlines (daily) and Royal Society Alert (weekly).

To unsubscribe, send an email message to: majordomo@rsnz.govt.nz Within the body of the message (not in the subject line) put: unsubscribe rsnz-list (for Royal Society Alert, and/or:) unsubscribe rsnz-dailynews (for daily news) In the next line put only the word: end (this prevents your signature lines creating error messages).

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Royal Society Alert is published by the Royal Society of New Zealand, which is a statutory body incorporated under the Royal Society of New Zealand Act, 1997: see http://www.rsnz.govt.nz/about/rsnz-act97.html


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