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Inspiring the next generation of women in science

Inspiring the next generation of women in science – thinking beyond the lab coat

‘On the edge – inspirational women in science’ breakfast event in Dunedin as part of the 2010 New Zealand International Science Festival

Wondering where a career in science could take you? A breakfast event to inspire the next generation of young women contemplating science-related careers will be held in Dunedin on Friday 9 July, 2010 as part of the New Zealand International Science Festival. The ‘On the edge – inspirational women in science’ breakfast will feature guest speakers from a number of relevant fields including Dr Helen Anderson, Dr Liz Carpenter, Nikki Hart and Karen Olsen.

Key points
• The four special guests will talk about their careers in science and highlight some of the opportunities available to young women today. The breakfast event will be hosted by popular TVNZ media personality Megan Martin and features an informative and lively programme.
Dr Helen Anderson was until recently the chief executive of MoRST (Ministry of Research, Science and Technology) after working as MoRST’s chief scientific adviser for over five years. In 2009 Helen was inducted into Columba College’s Business Hall of Fame in recognition of her achievements. Helen was recently made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order.
Dr Liz Carpenter (PhD) is an immunologist at AgResearch. She leads a research group working on the development of hyper-immune milk through vaccination of dairy cows. Liz is encouraging women to use and develop their scientific abilities to achieve their full potential.
Nikki Hart has been practising nutrition from 1995, since receiving her postgraduate diploma in dietetics from the University of Otago. She now runs a busy nutrition clinic, ‘Nikki Hart Nutrition Ltd’. Nikki is also the secretary for the NZ Nutrition Foundation; a nutrition advisor for the Australasian Low Calorie Sweetener Advisory Board; and an independent nutrition consultant for many New Zealand companies. She features regularly in the media.
Karen Olsen is a well-known “weather guru” with Television New Zealand and is a qualified meteorologist. Karen left Metservice, where she previously worked, and moved to Auckland in 1994 where she joined the One Network News weather team.
Futureintech, a government-funded initiative of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ), have made available six young female ambassadors to facilitate discussion during the event. They are Selai Letica and Natalie Pickering, both working with AgResearch as PhD students; Stephanie Goff and Jude Weggery, both environmental scientists at GPG NZ Ltd; Lucy White, a product evaluator from Fisher & Paykel Appliances; and Kelly Briggs, a civil engineering cadet from MWH Global in Dunedin.

This event is exclusively sponsored by the Association for Women in the Sciences. Tickets cost $35 (double) and $20 (single); booking is essential as numbers are limited. The breakfast will start at 8.00am and finish at 10.00am, and will be held at the Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin Town Hall, Harrop Street, Dunedin. Tickets are available online on

Dr Helen Anderson
“If we are going to grow our economy and manage a healthy environment then we are going to need all the sources of innovation we can get. Women who understand science will lead many of the successful organisations of the future so we need to identify them early and help them to become real change leaders for NZ.”

Sue Clarke, New Zealand International Festival director,
“This is a breakfast date for anyone considering a future career in science. This event will help illustrate exciting career options for students or graduates considering their next steps. We are very fortunate to have such a high calibre of professional women as guest speakers, sharing their invaluable insights and own experiences. Our aim is to showcase science-related career opportunities – which offer exciting, rewarding and challenging futures.”

Emma Timewell, national convenor of the Association for Women in the Sciences,
“AWIS was formed to help women and girls interested in science to maximise their potential. Women have choices to make in balancing their personal and scientific careers, and AWIS provides a network through which women can learn from each other to achieve this. We feel it's important for any woman in, or starting, her science career to have access to people who have faced similar issues and can share their experiences. We are pleased to sponsor the breakfast at the New Zealand International Science Festival, and hope the women attending will find inspiration from the experiences of the presenters to help further their own careers."


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