Science and Technology Alert: Issue 38


Fellowships will be offered by the Royal Society in Engineering Sciences and Technologies and in Social Sciences, both commencing in July 1999.

Advertising and application forms will be available electronically and on the Society’s web site in mid November 1998. The closing date for applications will be 22 January 1999.

James Cook Research Fellowships are awarded to senior researchers who are recognised leaders in their fields. An applicant must be a New Zealand citizen or a permanent New Zealand resident.

A Fellowship will involve a major piece of scientific or technological research that will benefit New Zealand and further research in the particular discipline. The primary intention of the award of James Cook Research Fellowships is the recognition of sustained excellence in research.

Fellows will be appointed on the basis of their academic and research records and the scientific or technological excellence of the proposed research. They must be able to demonstrate that they have achieved national and international recognition in their area of research.

For further information please email


Funding has been provided by Government for activities which support New Zealand’s international science and technology linkages. Funding is administered by the Royal Society on behalf of the Minister of Research, Science and Technology. Three programmes are currently administered by the Society, including the

  • Bilateral Research Activities Programme (BRAP)
  • NZ/USA Cooperative Science Programme (NZ/USA CSP)
  • NZ/FRG Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STC) Agreement Programme

The Society is currently seeking applications to allocate funds for BRAP and NZ/USA CSP. The NZ/FRG STC has already had one funding round. All funded activities will have to be completed by 30 June 1999.

The Bilateral Research Activities Programme (BRAP) aims to support the development and enhancement of relationships with other economies, particularly those of the Asia-Pacific and South American regions (excluding USA and Germany), with an emphasis on supporting new activities.

The NZ/USA Cooperative Science programme (NZ/USA CSP) aims to support an agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STC) between the United States and New Zealand to establish or enhance collaborative projects with USA counterparts.

The closing date for applications is 1 September 1998. If you have any further queries please email

Application forms and further information can be obtained from the Society’s web site at


The development of the Royal Society’s Social Sciences submission continues on Tuesday 21 July with a workshop of representatives of constituent organisations, fellows, and members.

This workshop will look at the scenarios prepared by Webresearch and a number of social scientists, and develop these as a first step towards considering the contribution social sciences may make in the future.

While making progress on the Foresight project is regarded as the key objective for the day, there will also be an opportunity to raise other issues relevant to social sciences and the Royal Society.


Nominations are invited for two awards of $1200 to be given to practising scientists for communicating with the general public in any area of science through print, broadcast, public lectures, exhibitions or other media during the past two years.

The first award is given for communication of issues concerning science and society; activities and materials which clarify matters of public concern or which demonstrate applications of science and technology for the benefit of society.

The second award is given for communications which describe and clarify the principles, achievements, and methods of science. Particular attention will be accorded to communications which encourage young people to take an interest in, and participate in, science.

For both awards, the activities and materials should largely have been prepared for a general audience, but may include, for purposes of support and explanation, specialist publications or scientific papers. Entries concerned with scientific work undertaken in New Zealand and which use media accessible to a broad segment of the public are especially welcome.

Two additional merit prizes of $150 will be given with each award.

Nominations must be in writing and should be accompanied by copies or transcripts of the articles or items on which they are based. They should be forwarded to: The Secretary, New Zealand Association of Scientists, PO Box 1874, Wellington by 14 August 1998.

These awards are sponsored by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. They are made to encourage public appreciation of scientific objectives, methods, and achievements through recognition of outstanding scientific journalism.


The NZ Association of Science Educators held its biennial conference last week in Nelson. Attracting 350 science teachers, the conference offered a broad-ranging programme of over 85 presentations, field trips, workshops, and seminars from ‘Chemistry for littlies’ to ‘Corrosion-derived metals in NZ drinking waters’, ‘Stories and science’, and ‘Bandits of the Beech Forest’ for teachers at all levels of schooling over the four days of the conference.

This biennial conference is one of the most valuable opportunities for professional development and it is pleasing that it is generously supported by its major sponsor Telecom, as well as other sponsors such as BP, The British Council, The Royal Society of NZ, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.


Margaret Mills, current President of the New Zealand Association of Science Educators (NZASE) farewelled Past-President Robyn Baker and Treasurer Les Le Bas from the executive at its 1998 AGM held at Telecom Scicon98, and welcomed incoming Junior Vice-President Rosemary Hipkins and Treasurer Fay Taylor.

Tribute was paid to the outstanding contribution made to the Association by Robyn and Les in their service over the past four years. In her role as President and Senior Vice-President, Robyn provided strong leadership and oversaw the consolidation of the new structure of the Association. Her wise counsel, vision, and understanding of issues which affect science educators at all levels proved invaluable. The respect which Robyn has from the wider community of science educators was reflected in her re-election to the Council of The Royal Society this year.

Les has ably overseen the finances of the Association as shown by the greatly increased activity and services provided to members. In his time in office, the Association has carried out significant work under contract to the Ministry of Education as well as much in the area of resource support for teachers.

Incoming Junior Vice-President Rosemary Hipkins is an experienced science educator currently lecturing at the Wellington College of Education, and Treasurer Fay Taylor teaches science at Manurewa High School.


The announcement of this prestigious award for science teachers took place at the Telecom Scicon98 conference dinner last Thursday. Andi Hargreaves of the British Council announced the selection of Dr Jan Giffney, HoD Science at Northcote College, as the recipient for 1998. The award will allow Jan to travel to the Association for Science Education conference in the United Kingdom in January 1999.

The 1997 recipient, Fran Blundell of St Mary’s Primary School, Rotorua, spoke briefly at the ceremony on the value and benefits of her visit to the United Kingdom earlier this year.


The deadline for the 1998 ‘New Zealand Science Monthly’ School Science Journalism Competition is fast approaching. Your students have the chance to win $150 in cash courtesy of JADE, as well as ‘Microlife’ book prizes provided by Penguin Books. Top entries will be printed in the September issue of the ‘New Zealand Science Monthly’, and all entrants will receive a free copy of the magazine.

Please encourage your pupils to get their entries in soon, as judging will be taking place immediately after the cut-off date of 31 July. They can be posted to NZSM/J, Box 19-760, Christchurch, faxed to (03) 384-5138, or emailed to

Entries are open to any school student (so tell your English or Media Studies colleagues). Entries should be a journalistic piece of not more than 800 words dealing with any aspect of science or technology. Students should include a paragraph on themselves and their school.

Take a look at and follow the link to the Science Journalism Competition page for competition information and winning hints (or email and ask for a copy of the information poster).


A suspected outbreak of ‘Scragg’s disease’ on O L MacDonald’s farm saw the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry swing into action on the children’s television programme What Now! recently.

The story, produced with the support of the Government’s Science and Technology Promotion Fund, demonstrated the use of GPS to assist in the management of such an emergency situation and outlined the control measures and procedures involved. Evaluation of the programme showed a high level of interest from the target audience. Further information is available from Colin Taylor, MAF Quality Management, Timaru, ph 03 688 9184.


The Kakano Fund was established in 1985 by the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand to assist graduate students in Social Anthropology who are completing theses or dissertations.

Funding of up to $250 is available from the Fund to help cover the costs of thesis/dissertation presentation such as photocopying, photographic reproduction, binding, etc.

Graduate students in social anthropology are invited to apply by 31 August 1998 to: Kakano Fund, Annette Beasley, Social Anthropology Programme, School of Global Studies, Massey University – Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North.

Letters of application should include a short statement regarding the nature of the project, amount sought (up to $250), details how the grant would be used, and expected date of thesis/dissertation submission. A statement of support from the applicant’s main supervisor should also be included.

The New Zealand Association of Social Anthropologist has a WWW Home Page:


Professor Linda Holloway, the dean of Otago University’s Wellington School of Medicine, has been appointed the university’s new assistant vice-chancellor, health sciences.

Professor Holloway, 58, will move to Dunedin, and take up her position as head of the health sciences division in February next year. She succeeds Professor David Stewart, the current assistant vice-chancellor, health sciences, who retires on 31 January next year.

In announcing the appointment on Tuesday this week, the vice-chancellor, Dr Graeme Fogelberg, said Professor Holloway had been the first woman dean of a New Zealand medical school. She was also well-known to the public as a medical adviser to Judge Dame Silvia Cartwright during the cervical cancer inquiry at National Women’s Hospital.

Professor Holloway is a native of Edinburgh, and gained her doctorate from the University of Aberdeen. She worked as a rural GP in New Zealand for several years, before taking up a post as pathology registrar at Dunedin Hospital in 1975.

She was appointed to a senior lectureship at the University of Edinburgh in 1977 and joined the Wellington school in 1979. She became professor and chair of the Wellington pathology department in 1994 and dean of the Wellington school the following year.

Professor Holloway was last year made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for services to medicine.

Her research interests are mainly in respiratory pathology, where she is a recognised authority on asthma pathology.

Professor Holloway is married with three children. Her son, John Holloway, will graduate from the university with a PhD in medicine at a ceremony in Dunedin on Saturday.


‘Nova: Science in the news’, provides accurate and up-to-date information on scientific, health and environmental issues such as life on Mars, rabbit calicivirus, and cloning. Each ‘Nova’ consists of:

  • key text in non-technical language
  • glossary of scientific terms
  • student activities
  • useful Web sites with annotations
  • further reading from science magazines

‘Nova’ can be used by librarians answering reference queries, teachers planning lessons, students doing homework, parents helping their children with projects, journalists researching stories – and anyone who wants to keep up-to-date. You can register free of charge on ‘Nova’s’ home page, accessible at, to receive an email whenever a new topic is added. You can also access this service via the Royal Society home page by clicking on the ‘What’s new?’ button.


VII SCAR International Biology Symposium: ‘Antarctic Ecosystems: Models for Wider Ecological Understanding’, 31 August – 4 September 1998, Christchurch. Internet address for further information

XXVI International Conference on Animal Genetics: ‘Animal Genetics at the Threshold of the Twenty First Century’, 9 – 14 August 1998, Aotea Centre, Auckland. Further at the ISAG website



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