The Royal Society of New Zealand and the National Library ran a discussion panel series to support the BIG DATA programme at the re-opened National Library. 

The panel discussion series explored the nature and implications of big data, especially in relationship to the concept of place, and how it might serve as a tool in facing the challenges of the current era.

Chaired by Kim Hill, the discussion panels took place during February-April 2013 at the Royal Society of New Zealand in front of a live audience.  Radio New Zealand recorded the series for broadcast on Sundays at 4pm from 10 March until 7 April 2013.

Download the flyer (PDF, 400 kB)


From space to place

6pm Thursday 14 February

What makes a place?  How is it imbued with personal and communal meaning. How do urbanisation and globalisation affect place and what might future places look and feel like?

Kim Hill discusses with:

  •  Kevin Sweeney, formerly New Zealand Geospatial Custodian
  •  Bill Macnaught, National Librarian of New Zealand
  • Stephen McDougall, Director, Studio Pacific Architecture; recent projects include The Meridian Building and public space on Wellington’s waterfront

Cities and sudden change

6pm Wednesday, 20 February

Change can occur gradually or it can happen rapidly, disrupting the current state of place. What are the impacts of sudden change, particularly in the urban environment? How can we plan resilient cities that can cope with sudden change?

Kim Hill discusses with:

  • Dr Mark Quigley, University of Canterbury; awarded 2011 Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize for his work with the media during the Canterbury earthquake
  • Professor Janis Birkeland, School of Architecture and Planning, The University of Auckland
  • Sir Bob Harvey, Mayor of Waitakere City from 1992-2010; Chair, Waterfront Auckland; Te Papa board member; author and historian

Broadcast 4:06pm Sunday 17 March 2013

The sentient planet – technology as a super sense

6pm Wednesday 6 March

The human body has a limited number of senses. Technology enables us to perceive and act beyond these limits and blur the boundaries between the natural and virtual worlds. We can now see what was previously invisible. What does this mean for our future?

Kim Hill discusses with:

  • Richard Simpson, Curator of BIG DATA exhibition; founder of Metabola
  • Dr Mark Sagar, Director, Laboratory for Animate Technologies, Auckland Bioengineering Institute, The University of Auckland; winner of two Academy Awards
  • Dr Cornel de Ronde, Research Geologist, GNS Science; awarded 2010 Prime Minister’s Science Communication Prize for his work on exploration of the Pink and White Terraces at Lake Rotomahana and undersea volcanoes

Broadcast 4:06pm Sunday 24 March 2013

Growing Up Digital – digital natives discuss their world

6pm Wednesday 13 March

Does the advent of the digital age change the accepted ways in which we connect and behave? Do those born into the digital world have different attitudes to intellectual property, to social connection, to future planning? Digital natives discuss their world.

Kim Hill discusses with:

  • Guy Ryan, Director, Inspiring Stories Trust; 2011 World of Difference recipient
  • Erika Pearson, Department of Film, Media and Communication, University of Otago
  • Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Director, Creative Freedom Foundation and contemporary artist

Broadcast 4:06pm Sunday 31 March 2013

Open data – letting it loose on the crowd

6pm Wednesday 3 April

There is a growing awareness that opening up access to data allows collaborative science and knowledge advancement. How far will we go in this direction and what are some implications of going there?

Kim Hill discusses with:

  • Julian Carver, founder, Seradigm; spokesperson for Open New Zealand
  • Ed Corkery, Chief Executive, Koordinates, provides online platforms to view and access geospatial datasets
  • Peter Griffin, Manager, Science Media Centre; technology commentator for Radio New Zealand and the New Zealand Listener

Broadcast: 4:06pm Sunday 7 April 2013