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Nobel Prize winner queries NZ's position

New Zealand in the Technological Age of the 21st Century - Leader or Follower? Professor Alan MacDiarmid, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, will discuss this question in a free public lecture, hosted by Victoria University in the Wellington Town Hall from 6pm on Wednesday, 4 July.

An innovator of the technological age himself, the impact of Professor MacDiarmid's discovery of electricity conducting, high-tech plastics touches our everyday lives.

His work has led to the development of new materials with important applications in electronics, imaging and information technology, including advances in small television screens and molecular electronics.

A graduate of Victoria University, Professor MacDiarmid will discuss the role of science and technology in supporting new and existing niche industries in New Zealand. He will also share his thoughts on the idea of an Australasian science and technology union.

Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, says the public lecture is the culmination of two days of activities involving Professor MacDiarmid at his alma mater.

"We are welcoming him back with a number of events," says Professor McCutcheon.

"On 27 June he will participate in a powhiri, discussion and lunch on Te Herenga Waka Marae and lead a materials science symposium.

"On 4 July he will visit his former accommodation at Weir House where he will meet up with other alumni and some of his former running mates from the Victoria Harriers Club."

His public lecture on 4 July will include announcing the first appointee to the Alan MacDiarmid Chair in Physical Sciences.

Professor McCutcheon says he is delighted to have such an eminent alumnus retain active links with Victoria University.

"Professor MacDiarmid continues to work with our School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and industry partners, Industrial Research Limited.

"His achievements recognise the success of science teaching and research at Victoria University and help pave the way for ongoing excellence.

"He is an inspiration to students, staff, New Zealanders and the global scientific community, as well as being a thoroughly nice person."

The public lecture is supported by Industrial Research Limited and the Royal Society of New Zealand.


Professor Alan MacDiarmid's Free Public Lecture
6pm Wednesday 4 July, 2001
Wellington Town Hall
All welcome.

Admission is free of charge but tickets are required. Tickets available from:

· The Information Desk, Hunter Building, Victoria University of Wellington,
Gate 2, Kelburn Parade, Wellington, Phone: 04 463 5283.

· The Wellington Visitor Centre, 101 Wakefield Street.

· The Royal Society of New Zealand, 4 Halswell St, Thorndon.

Visit www.vuw.ac.nz/home/news/macdiarmid/index.html for further details.

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