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Major world science meetings in New Zealand for first time

Major world science meetings in New Zealand for the first time

7 AUGUST 2014

2000 leading international scientists coming to Auckland
World Science Week New Zealand
24 August – 3 September 2014
Supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand
and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

AUCKLAND:More than 2,000 of the world’s leading scientists, researchers and government science advisors are coming to New Zealand for an interrelated series of international science summits in Auckland from 25 August to 3 September 2014. All these international science summits are taking place in New Zealand for the first time.

Running concurrently with the scientific meetings is a series of public events around science topics, with some of the world’s foremost experts sharing their insights.

A number of these sessions focus on climate change. At one session, five world-leading scientists will discuss the melting ice sheets and implications this has for sea level rise. An award-winning New Zealand documentary on the topic will also screen one night. How climate change can influence pandemics will be explained by one of the world’s top experts in the field. The effect climate change and other factors can have on future food for the planet will be discussed at the last session by a panel of eminent scientists.

Two other sessions focus on Antarctica from a different perspective: One will share the practical logistical issues of supporting science in Antarctica with the audience, while the other will focus on the groundbreaking astronomy conducted from the South Pole.

Sir Peter Gluckman, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, will lead a session outlining how New Zealand punches above its weight in the world of science.

Public lecture programme

Sunday 24 August, 11.00am: Wizards on Ice
How organisations supporting scientific research in Antarctica overcome the immense logistical challenges of operating in such a harsh environment.
Monday 25 August, 7.00pm: Science – New Zealand’s place in the world
New Zealand-led initiatives are now providing a blueprint for international collaboration in science.

Tuesday 26 August, 7.00pm: Melting Ice, Rising Sea
The impact melting ice caps can have on sea level rise, includes geostatic rebound and ocean currents, with specific reference to the New Zealand coastline.
Wednesday 27 August, 7.00pm: From the Big Bang to Tomorrow
Astronomical observations from the giant IceCube and other observatories in Antarctica is revealing echoes of the Big Bang and provides clues about the future of our planet.
Thursday 28 August, 7.30pm: Thin Ice – the Inside Story of Climate Science
A special screening of the internationally awarded New Zealand documentary Thin Ice, at the Victoria Theatre, Devonport. Introduced by producer Prof. Peter Barrett.
Friday 29 August, 7.00pm: Pandemics & Climate Change
Climate change can have a significant impact on the incidence and severity of pandemics in the future. The world’s foremost experts explain what might lie in store for us.
Saturday 30 August, 12.00 noon: Future Food for the Planet
The soil literally feeds the world, but is itself being depleted. Food security is essential at a time of climatic change.

Speakers include:
•Dr David Carlson, Director World Climate Research Programme, Geneva.
•Prof Nils Stenseth, global authority on pandemics and climate change.
•Prof Jonathan Bamber, geographer who discovered a mega-canyon beneath the Central Greenland ice sheet.
•Prof Bryan Storey, New Zealand geologist who researches evolution of the Earth System through time.
•Prof Rob DeConto, paleoclimatologist who applies ice sheet models in both hemispheres to future climate scenarios.
•Prof Stephen Nortcliff, soil scientist studying organic amendments in soils, including ways of using waste to feed soil.
•Dr Steve Rintoul, leading authority on the circulation of the Southern Ocean and how it affects global climate systems. Also coordinating lead author on the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The full public programme is available on

International science meetings
The international science meetings include:
•The 31st triennial General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Established in 1931 and based in Paris, ICSU represents more than 121 national science academies and 31 scientific unions. 31 August – 3 September
•The 6th biennial Open Science Conference of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), an interdisciplinary committee of the International Council for Science. With more than 1000 attendees, it is by far the largest international gathering of Antarctic scientists. 25 August – 3 September
•The 4th biennial United States - New Zealand Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation (JCM). 25 –26 August
•The Science and Diplomacy Symposium, focusing on how scientists can input into foreign affairs. 27 August
•Inaugural Science Advice to Governments conference involving the world’s most eminent science advisors. 28 – 29 August
•The 2nd APEC Chief Science Advisors and equivalents meeting, a forum for informal discussion on the science and policy interface amongst science advisors to the highest level of government within APEC economies. 30 August


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