As part of the Society’s role in providing public information on key issues, the Society organises workshops to bring together researchers and policy-makers. These often follow the release of our information and advice papers to provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss issues with the experts. Previous workshops have included:

  • Languages and super diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand Workshop – May 2015
    This workshop was held to discuss a national approach to diversity and languages, informed by Statistics New Zealand’s National Ethnic Projections. The workshop followed on from the 2013 paper Languages in Aotearoa/New Zealand, produced by the Society, which called for a comprehensive, across-government languages policy to be developed, given that New Zealand has one of the most diverse populations in the world. Speaking at the event, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy discussed the strategic implications of New Zealand’s linguistic and cultural diversity.                                                                                                 
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Stakeholder Workshop – April 2014
    This workshop provided an opportunity to hear key findings from Working Group II – “Impacts, Adaptation, & Vulnerability” and Working Group III – “Mitigation” reports.
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Stakeholder Workshop – October 2013
    At the invitation of New Zealand Climate Change Centre (NZCCC), Director Dr David Wratt, WGI Co-chair Dr Thomas Stocker, together with other New Zealand lead WGI authors provide an opportunity to hear from key IPCC figures regarding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment (AR5) Working Group I (WGI) Report “The Physical Science Basis” report.
  • Population and Consumption – findings of the People and the Planet report – October 2013
    A seminar for policy makers by Sir John Sulston FRS. From 2010 to 2012, Sir John Sulston led the Royal Society of London’s international working group People and the Planet. The report looks at the links between global population, consumption and the environment, and the implications for sustainable development, and was intended to provide a springboard for further discussion and action by national and international governments, scientific bodies, non-governmental organisations, the media and many others. This seminar highlights some of the issues around population and consumption at a time when policy and decision makers have important roles to play in discussions around the post-2015 framework.
  • The Sustainable Carrying Capacity of New Zealand papers launch – March 2013
    The Society’s two Emerging Issues papers on The Sustainable Carrying Capacity of New Zealand (PDF, 709 kB) and Constraints to New Zealand’s Sustainable Well-being (PDF, 807 kB) address the question of how many people, and to what standard of living, can New Zealand support sustainably? This simple question opens up a range of complex issues about well-being, living standards, thresholds, limits, and vulnerabilities.
  • Languages in Aotearoa paper launch – March 2013
    New Zealand is superdiverse, having seen unprecedented increases in the ethnic, cultural, social and linguistic diversity of the New Zealand population embedded in a rapidly developing bicultural legislative system. There are now 160 different languages spoken in New Zealand, and Auckland is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. This paper presents a broad view of languages use in New Zealand using international and national research. The research outlined explores the case for a national languages policy in order to unify disparate policies and areas of practice. View Languages in Aotearoa New Zealand (PDF, 770 kB).
  • Unquenchable – February 2012
    Acclaimed author and expert Professor Robert Glennon discussed the tragedy and irony of water drawing from his acclaimed book “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It”, revealing the heady extravagances and everyday waste that are sucking nations dry. Robert Glennon is the Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public policy in the Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. He is the author of many articles and books, also including the best selling Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters.
  • Land use Competition – December 2011
    This workshop explored how we currently frame land and land use issues, what understandings we have of the mixture of local and global actors that propel the dynamics of land use and land competition, what we need to know better, and how we might build new policy frameworks to mediate investment processes in the conditions of an open economy.
  • Ecosystem Services in Policy – August 2011
    Building on the Society’s Ecosystem Services Emerging Issues paper, this workshop explored how to implement ecosystem services in a policy context. 
  • Carbon – the science and the sense – June 2011
    A one-day forum hosted at Massey University on Palmerston North aimed at clarifying some issues regarding ‘carbon’ and carbon equivalence (for example in greenhouse gas, soil organic matter or trees) that have led to confusion and lack of buy-in by the public and primary industries to the intentions of an emission trading scheme (ETS). The goal of the carbon day was to build on the basis of better public understanding of ‘carbon’ (and carbon equivalence), to identify how New Zealand can advocate a strategy to manage ‘carbon’, to assist in sectors’ decision-making around the effective management of carbon and all its implications to encourage NZ industry and public to ensure that resources are used more efficiently.
  • Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food – March 2011
    Pamela Ronald, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, presented a seminar in Wellington on this challenging topic. Professor Ronald studies the role that genes play in a plant’s response to its environment. Her laboratory has genetically engineered rice for resistance to diseases and flooding, both of which are serious problems of rice crops in Asia and Africa. Professor Ronald is co-author with her husband (an organic farmer) of the book “Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food”.
  • Geo-engineering: An Interactive Workshop – March 2011
    The Royal Society of New Zealand hosted a workshop exploring how geo-engineering proposals could be assessed.
  • Ocean Acidification Workshop – September 2009
    The Society organised a combined science-policy workshop to explore ocean acidification. This event followed on from the Society’s Emerging Issues paper on ocean acidification and brought together scientists and policy-makers to share knowledge of this issue.