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Top Science Debate Broadcast From Te Papa

National Radio To Broadcast Top Science Debate From Te Papa

National Radio’s Insight programme is to broadcast a top science debate “Where is Science Taking Us?”on Sunday 16 February at 8.15am. The programme was recorded at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre during a conference organised by Victoria University’s MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

This lively debate includes three of today’s most distinguished international scientists Professor Alan Heeger, Hideki Shirakawa and Professor Alan MacDiarmid. The triumvirate were awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Also included are three secondary school pupils from Hutt Valley High School and three from Victoria University. Master of Ceremonies is Ray Henwood.

Students will quiz the experts: What is the role of pharmacology and biotechnology in sport? What are the implications of patenting the genome? Have we become too reliant on technology? What is the the role of commerce in scientific research?

Insight producer Sue Ingram says today’s programme promises to cover some of the most pertinent issues facing us today.

“The views of the three Nobel Laureates will provide fascinating listening.” The MacDiarmid Institute, hosted by Victoria University, in major partnership with the University of Canterbury and Industrial Research Limited was selected as a Government-funded Centre of Research Excellence in March last year . It was named after Alan MacDiarmid who was born in Masterton in 1927. Educated at Hutt Valley High School and Victoria University, he completed an MSc in Chemistry and was awarded a Fullbright fellowship to study for a PhD at the University of Wisconsin. In 1999 he was awarded the American Chemical Society Award in Materials, and in 2000 the Nobel Prize.

“The fact that Alan MacDiarmid, Alan Heeger and Hideki Shirakawa want to come to New Zealand shows that investment in the the MacDiarmid Institute was a far-sighted decision. New Zealand is now firmly part of the global investigation of new materials with potentially ground-breaking applications,” Professor Paul Callaghan, Director of the MacDiarmid Institute says.

Insight, first broadcast at 8.15 on Sunday mornings is repeated on Monday nights at 8pm

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