Members' Discussion

Posts and discussion by NZAS members. The NZAS aims to provide a forum for discussion on issues relevant to the New Zealand science. The views expressed in this forum are not necessarily the views of NZAS.

Final programme for the April 3 conference available now!

Confirmed speakers for the 3 April conference on the value of science in New Zealand - including Minister Steven Joyce, David Shearer, Dr Russel Norman and Sir Peter Gluckman - are profiled, and more precise timings are available for the individual sessions in the updated programme.  Register now - numbers are limited.

Science vs 'developing technology'

A good op-ed piece appeared in the latest issue of Physics Today, the journal of the American Institute of Physics, discussing the distinction between science and what the NZ government would call 'innovation', i.e. applied research, technology development, short-term results.

Haskins Lecture on Science Policy

The audio podcast of the recent Haskins Lecture on Science Policy, featuring Subra Suresh (director, US National Science Foundation) is now available online.

circa 58 minutes

Budget 2012: Young scientists will be booking their tickets

The NZAS welcomes funding for the Advanced Technology Institute, which will help build closer links between science and industry, and the new National Science Challenges. “The contestable funding system had largely eliminated the type of research and development that gave us companies like Fisher and Paykel Healthcare”, said NZAS President, Professor Shaun Hendy. “The Advanced Technology Institute should help rebuild this capability in New Zealand.”

Does NZ have a 'PhD student problem'?

Several NZ PhD students are keen to take some action on addressing the problems faced by NZ graduate science students. We're looking for collaborators to assist us with this and to help us network with the wider commmunity. Some of the topics we wish to specifically address are:

NZAS conference 2012: speaker presentations

Speakers from the NZAS conference have made their slides freely available here.


Session one: The State of the Nation; Government, Universities and CRIs

● Hon. David Carter (on behalf of Hon. Steven Joyce), Minister for Primary Industries, Minister of Local Government.

● David Shearer, Leader of the Labour Party, Spokesperson for Science and Innovation

Want New Zealand to be Prosperous? Build Pathways for Emerging Scientists!

What will it take for the Government, the Private Sector, the Universities and National Laboratories to stop saying that they know there is a problem with the system for emerging scientist and actually start to build profession training pathways post PhD that will give our emerging scientists the environment needed to allow them to fully participate in the future development of New Zealand?

How do we turn the chatter into action? 

Peter Griffin sums up for the 2012 NZAS conference

Peter Griffin sums up the issues discussed at the 2012 NZAS Conference "Do emerging scientists have a future in New Zealand" on his blog at sciblogs.

President's address to the 2012 NZAS conference

Welcome to this year’s New Zealand Association of Scientists conference.   I’m Shaun Hendy, President of the Association.  We are an independent body that aims to give scientists a voice on issues that affect the practise and application of science in this country. 

This year we have come together to discuss whether emerging scientists have a future in New Zealand. 

President’s column: 2012 stability or continued upheaval?


Will 2012 be the year in which recent changes in the science and innovation system are allowed to bed in, or will we see further upheaval?  The signs are not good.  The Prime Minister announced on March 15 that the Ministry of Science and Innovation will be subsumed into a new super ministry on July 1 that includes Economic Development, Labour, and that odd bedfellow, Building and Housing.