New Zealand Association of Scientists Awards 2016

The New Zealand Association of Scientists has announced its annual medal winners for 2016. New Zealand Association of Scientists Awards celebrate long-term fundamental science that has had significant value for New Zealand. See links to news coverage and interviews with the medal recipients at the bottom of the page.


The Marsden Medal is awarded for a lifetime of outstanding service to the cause or profession of science, in recognition of service rendered to the cause or profession of science in the widest connotation of the phrase. This year’s Marsden Medal is awarded to Distinguished Professor Margaret Brimble CNZM FRSNZ from School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland.


The Shorland Medal is awarded in recognition of major and continued contribution to basic or applied research that has added significantly to scientific understanding or resulted in significant benefits to society. The 2016 Shorland Medal is awarded to Professor Antony Braithwaite from the Dunedin School of Medicine at the University of Otago. 


The Beatrice Hill Tinsley Medal is awarded for outstanding fundamental or applied research in the physical, natural or social sciences published by a scientist or scientists within 15 years of their PhD. The inaugural Beatrice Hill Tinsley Medal is awarded to Associate Professor Guy Jameson from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago. 


The Science Communicator Medal is made to a practising scientist for excellence in communicating science to the general public in any area of science or technology. Professor Emerita Jean Fleming, now retired from the University of Otago, is a very worthy winner of the 2016 Science Communicator Medal. 


Associate Professor Craig Stevens, President of the Association, noted that this year’s awards demonstrate the value and impact that sustained programmes of fundamental research brings to New Zealand. “In today’s funding environment, we often demand immediate, tangible outcomes,” said Stevens, “but tonight’s awardees have all taken a long term view of their work, and this has been crucial for their success.”

Stevens was also grateful to have the honour of awarding the first Beatrice Hill Tinsley Medal, which replaces the Association’s Research Medal for early career researchers. Hill Tinsley was a New Zealand astronomer and cosmologist, who made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the life-cycle of galaxies. Sadly, she passed away at the age of just 40. “Her family have agreed to lend Hill Tinsley’s name to the medal in recognition of her achievements during a tragically short, but literally stellar, career on the international science stage,” said Stevens.

The Awards were presented on Thursday evening at 6.30pm (September 8th) at the Royal Society of New Zealand in Wellington.

Full details of the Awards and biographies of the recipients are available on the Awards page.


Songs for Beatrice 

A collection of songs played at the NZAS Awards in 2016 to honour Dr Hill Tinsley are available here.

  • Ross Harris: Songs for Beatrice (composed by Ross Harris, words by Vincent O'Sullivan, performed by soprano Madeleine Pierard and pianist Terence Dennis, duration 8'21")

RNZ interviews with award recipients

Links to press coverage