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"Cyborg Man" and deep sea doyen arrive in Dunedin

"Cyborg Man" and deep sea doyen arrive in Dunedin for Science Festival

Two high profile international scientists arrive in Dunedin this week as part of the New Zealand International Science Festival 2004 held in Dunedin from 3-11 July.

Marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle and "Cyborg Man" Professor Kevin Warwick are the two keynote speakers who define the Science Festival's twin themes of innovation and sustainability.

Professor Warwick of the Cybernetics Department of Reading University (UK) describes himself as an 'accidental human' who has had electronic communication devices surgically implanted within his body.

"I am really excited about visiting New Zealand, it will be my first trip there and a whole new thrill for me," says Professor Warwick.

"Just like in my Cyborg research when I experienced an extra (ultrasonic) sense for the first time ever, I am looking forward to being surprised and maybe even pleasantly shocked by what I find."

Professor Warwick will be giving presentations on cybernetics, the possibilities of technology extending the human lifespan, and whether the movie The Matrix is sci-fi or potential reality.

Dr Sylvia Earle (USA) is one of the world's leading oceanographers and was Time Magazine's first ever "Hero of the planet."

Her extensive experience in the deep sea realm has made her a powerful advocate for protecting the world's oceans.

She has visited and carried out marine research in New Zealand previously, but this will be her first return visit in over twenty years.

"I spent many of my childhood years in Dunedin, a small city in Florida, and I am looking forward to coming to Dunedin, New Zealand, so I can report back to friends and colleagues," says Dr Earle.

Both Professor Warwick and Dr Earle will be appearing at a number of presentations and events throughout the Science Festival, with special events included for the the general public, children, academics and teachers, and science communicators and media.

The New Zealand International Science Festival 2004 offers an action packed week of activity with something for everyone with its twin themes of innovation and sustainability.

To find out about any of the above events check out the Science Festival website at www.scifest.org.nz or freephone 0800 SCIFEST (0800 724 3378).

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