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

 


North Korea opens its doors to UC scientist


North Korea opens its doors to UC scientist

A University of Canterbury scientist has become the first Western astronomer to visit the politically isolated state of North Korea in more than 60 years.

Professor John Hearnshaw (Physics and Astronomy) recently returned from a week-long visit to North Korea where he lectured at the Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang and met with astronomers from the Pyongyang Astronomical Observatory and officials from the Academy of Sciences. He was also taken on 19 cultural visits to sites in and around Pyongyang, and visited two local schools.

Professor Hearnshaw said apart from a visit by a group of Chinese astronomers about 10 years ago, as far as he was aware he was the first astronomer, and one of the few scientists from another country to visit North Korea.

“It was an incredible, stimulating experience for me and one which I would love to repeat in the future. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done,” he said.

Professor Hearnshaw’s visit was organised by the Korea-New Zealand Friendship Society which operates inside the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Professor Hearnshaw has spent a decade working for the International Astronomical Union on promoting astronomy in developing countries.

“My impression is that they want to open the country up to the rest of the world but they don’t know how to do this, and they perceive the countries around them as being hostile,” he said.

“But their new leader was educated in Europe so he has experienced the West and may see a better way for his country that includes opening it up.”

The lectures Professor Hearnshaw delivered at the Kim Il Sung University were on topical aspects of modern astronomy and cosmology – measuring the age of objects in the universe, techniques for finding planets and nuclear astrophysics.

He also took a small library of 109 astronomical books with him as a gift to the students and scientists he met. The books were donated by friends and colleagues who attended the International Astronomical Union’s General Assembly in Beijing, which Professor Hearnshaw attended before travelling to North Korea.

He also visited two schools in Pyongyang, the Korea-New Zealand Friendship School and Kumsong College. The latter offers intensive education to gifted children.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

It's Spark Now:
Why Telecom Wanted To Change

New Zealand led the world when Chorus demerged from Telecom. It gave us a telecommunications industry structure where the network is completely separated from the products and services it delivers. The changes brought about a new market dynamic and it dramatically changed Telecom’s role. More>>

ALSO:

Glass Half Empty: Dairy Prices Fall To Lowest Since 2012

Dairy product prices slumped to the lowest level since October 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, paced by whole milk powder and cheddar. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news