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South Island Scientists Win National Awards

Exploring the impacts made by climate change, and helping our lambs survive harsh South Island winters has resulted in two young Christchurch scientists being awarded the prestigious FiRST Awards for 2000.

Fiona Carswell and Rachel Forrest are among five national winners of the FiRST Awards 2000. These awards were initiated last year by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to recognise excellence among young researchers.

Foundation CEO Steve Thompson said the calibre of these winning projects is indicative of the very high standard of work done by all the FoundationÆs research Fellows.

ôOur scientists and technologists underpin this countryÆs drive towards a knowledge economy. The research by todayÆs winners is a powerful illustration of how bright people are using their bright ideas for the good of New Zealand.

ôNever before has the impact of science and technology on society been so visible, so all pervasive and so exciting . Our challenge now is to encourage more young people to pursue careers in science and technology. These FiRST Awards are helping to achieve that,ö Dr Thompson said.

The Awards were presented by the Minister for Research, Science and Technology, the Hon Pete Hodgson at a function in Christchurch this evening. Some 120 representatives from Christchurch business and academic communities joined the Minister to celebrate the winnersÆ achievements. A second ceremony for North Island winners will be held in Auckland on Wednesday.

ôThe Foundation has funded more than 600 Fellows during the past seven years. This represents an investment of more than $27 million in research projects,ö said Dr Thompson.

ôOur investment is building New ZealandÆs human capital and the benefits of this will flow through the whole economy. By investing in skills up front, early on, we are creating a resource that will go on adding value for the next 20 û 30 years.ö

For further information: Beverly Martens 025 444 788 Patricia Donovan, Communications Manager at FRST on DDI (04) 498 7809 or mobile 025 226 4136


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