Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Science leads 'second industrial revolution'


Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Science leads 'second industrial revolution'

New Zealand must embrace science and integrate it fully into all aspects of society to be a truly innovative nation, Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey told a conference in Wellington today (Wednesday).

Mr Maharey, presenting the keynote address at the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand conference, told delegates that, despite their efforts, science is still not integrated into all aspects of society.

“We are entering the second industrial revolution,” he said. “The pace of scientific and technological change is accelerating and an increasing number of people want new goods and services to enable them to respond to the enormous and challenging problems of our age. The answers will come from work in areas such as genetics, life sciences, robotics, energy, health, education, virtual reality, nanotechnology, transport, water use, biotechnology, information technology – to name a few.”

But apart from a number of notable exceptions, New Zealand has been slow to embrace this new thinking. “I think this is our problem when it comes to achieving the goal of having science not just communicated and appreciated but embraced by all New Zealanders. We have not yet answered the question of why science is so important to all of us.”

New Zealand is a nation struggling to keep its head above water, he said. “Our economy is underperforming, social problems are mounting and New Zealanders are frustrated by their inability to build a better country. New Zealand needs to create a society in which institutions and organisations can and do respond to markets, customers, company needs and opportunities. This is the knowledge economy we have talked about but not yet realised.”

Advances in these disciplines are amazing but even more so are the connections between disciplines. “Nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences are all working together. The point I am making is that we are on the threshold of amazing times. The nations that are prepared to create the environment for people, institutions, technologies and businesses to be a part of this are going to find the future a wonderful place.

“Scientists need to be hungry to see this happen and the rest of society must be equally hungry to apply new thinking. A society that understands this point will 'get' the importance of science because they will experience it.”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

LA-London Out; Auckland-NY In: "New Era" For Air NZ International

Air New Zealand is accelerating its ambitions for North America and will launch a non-stop service between Auckland and New York using its 787-9 Dreamliner in October 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Data Investment: Govt Backs Te Reo, Environmental Data Research

The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Training: 27 Percent Increase In Trades Academy Places

Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap. More>>

ALSO:

Unsolicited Messages: NZ Company Fined $36,000

The New Zealand Trustees Association (NZTA) and founder, Errol Anderson, have been fined a total penalty of NZ$ 44,000 in the Auckland High Court for sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages. More>>

Marine And Freshwater Reports: EDS Calls For Urgent Action On Marine Management

“There are some big issues to address. These include many marine species and habitats that are in serious trouble. Of the sample investigated, the report finds that 22% of marine mammals, 90% of seabirds and 80% of shorebirds are threatened with or actually at risk of extinction..." More>>

ALSO: