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


Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing Announced

News release from the Royal Society of New Zealand

For immediate release

22 November 2012

Winners of the 2012 Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing announced

The two winning entries in the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing were announced on Wednesday night with Brian Langham from Wellington being awarded the fiction prize and Dr Renee Liang from Auckland winning the non-fiction category.

They were each presented with $2500 at the New Zealand Research Honours event on Wednesday night hosted by the Royal Society of New Zealand at the Event Centre at the Auckland Museum.

Their winning entries will be broadcast on Radio New Zealand National.

The theme for the 2012 competition was inspired by the late Sir Paul Callaghan who saw the transit of Venus in June as symbolising a new chapter in New Zealand’s history. Entrants were asked to consider what future is on the horizon now.

Brian Langham’s winning fiction piece Fourteen starts “I heard that my father died on the same day Frank Zappa died”.

Judge Steve Braunias said, “it’s a great opening line, and great narrative – a father and son go to the Gold Coast during the Transit of Venus, which becomes a kind of metaphor for distances and also connections.

“It’s funny, gentle, superbly paced, under-stated, perfectly formed, good with science, always believable, and, winningly, very charming.”

Renee Liang’s winning non-fiction piece is entitled Epigenetics: navigating our inner seas.

“Science is universal, science is social – and science is also thrillingly personal”, says Braunias.
“This terrific essay personalises science right from the start, when the author writes about breastfeeding her two-month-old daughter. It soon widens to a thoughtful and inquiring discussion about epigenetics.”
Braunius complimented the “the narrative pacing, the easy intelligence and the engagement with the subject”.

Steve Braunias is an author of books and TV series, columnist, journalist and an editor.

The Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing is an annual competition organised by the Royal Society of New Zealand. It has been running since 2007 and aims to encourage exciting science writing. Entries are judged on their literary merits and how accessible they are to the general public.

The two winning entries and 20 shortlisted entries are online at


About the Royal Society of New Zealand

The Royal Society of New Zealand promotes science, technology and humanities in schools, in industry and in society. We administer funds for research, publish peer-reviewed journals, offer advice to government, and foster international scientific contact and co-operation.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news