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Scifest unveils future opportunities for women

MEDIA RELEASE Saturday 30 June 2012
Scifest unveils future opportunities for women in science

Want to discover opportunities opening up for young women in science? Hear from three inspirational women in science at a breakfast event in Dunedin on Tuesday 3 July, 2012 as part of the 2012 New Zealand International Science Festival.

Sponsored by the British High Commission, speakers at the breakfast include Professor Christine Winterbourn, Professor Helen Nicholson and Angela Clark who will be discussing their careers and opportunities today for young women in science. The event will be hosted by British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell and the event will feature an informative and lively programme.

“The British High Commission is delighted to support the New Zealand International Science Festival in Dunedin.”

“For centuries, Great Britain has been a world leader in innovation. Britain has won 76 Nobel prizes in science and technology. Britain is home to 4 of the world's top 10 Universities. And London 2012 will be the world’s first truly sustainable Olympics and Paralympics, featuring iconic sports venues that have set new standards in sustainable engineering, construction and design. So there is no better time than now for Great Britain to promote the wonders of science,” says Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner.

Festival director Chris Green says the breakfast will showcase exciting opportunities for young women interested in pursuing science-related careers:

“Thanks to the British High Commission we have been able to secure some truly inspirational speakers for this event – they will give attendees an invaluable insight into their own experiences and help young students or graduates in considering the next steps in their careers.”

Prof Christine Winterbourn is a biochemist who holds a personal chair in the Pathology Department at the Christchurch School of Medicine, where she has worked since 1971. She directs the Free Radical Research Group, which is supported by a programme grant from the Health Research Council. She was born in Auckland, has an MSc in chemistry from the University of Auckland and a PhD in biochemistry from Massey University. She has a distinguished record of achievement in her field. In 2011 she received New Zealand’s highest scientific award, the Royal Society of NZ’s Rutherford Medal. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ in 1988, won the New Zealand Association of Scientists Marsden Medal in 1996, was awarded a Massey University 75th Anniversary Medal in 2002, received the University of Otago Distinguished Research Medal in 2004 and the Society for Free Radical Research (International) Trevor Slater Award for lifetime achievement in 2008. In 1997 she became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. She was a member of the Biomedical Research Committee of the Health Research Council when it was established in 1991, and served a term as chair of the committee and a member of the council. Prof Winterbourn was recently awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Prof Helen Nicholson was appointed to a chair in anatomy in 2000 at the University of Otago and served as head of the Department of Anatomy from 2003 to 2007, when she became the second dean of the Otago School of Medical Sciences. In 2011 Helen was seconded as the acting DVC Research from June-December. In 2012 she was appointed as deputy PVC Health Sciences in addition to her role as dean. Helen continues to be an active researcher who also has strong interests in medical teaching and curriculum development. Helen was a founding member, and founding president, of ANZACA (Australian and NZ Association of Clinical Anatomists). She is on the board of NZGL (NZ Genomics Ltd), is an executive member of the NZISF (NZ International Science Festival), and serves on the executive of the International Federation of Associated Anatomical Societies. She is a member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Board, is on the editorial board of 4 international anatomy journals and was the co-producer of the critically acclaimed television documentary “Donated to Science”.

Angela Clarke is a British graduate from the University of Bradford and is currently enrolled in a PhD program with the University of Otago. She is working on a thesis entitled: ‘An Investigation of Sexual Dimorphism at the Intensification of Agriculture in Prehistoric Thailand’. Angela Clark is an experienced bioarchaeologist examining changes in the health of prehistoric people living nearly 4000 years ago in Thailand through skeletal and archaeological analysis. She has many hours of experience in teaching, demonstrating and tutoring small groups in biological anthropological techniques and human evolutionary theory. Angela has been involved in archaeological excavations in the UK, Thailand and Peru and moved to Dunedin in June 2009 to undertake her current PhD research.

This event is exclusively sponsored by the British High Commission. Tickets cost $20 (single); booking is essential as numbers are limited. The breakfast will take place on Tuesday 3 July, starting at 8.30am to finish at 9.30am, and will be held at Technique Restaurant, Otago Polytechnic, Harbour Terrace, Dunedin. Booking details are available online at www.scifest.org.nz

ENDS

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