New Zealand Association of Scientists Awards 2017

At our joint Awards/AGM night, held on Wednesday 1 November, the New Zealand Association of Scientists announced its annual medal winners for 2017.

In addition, this year our Communicators Medal was renamed to honour the botanist Dr Lucy Cranwell, a remarkable communicator of science – in a time when this was essentially unheard of.

Associate Professor Craig Stevens, President of the Association, noted that the awards seek to recognise and promote both the recent past of New Zealand science and scientists.  It also looks to recognise and support future science leaders, as well as the importance of communicating what science is and does, now and in the future, to a range of audiences.

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 Emeritus Professor Carolyn Burns CBE FRSNZ from the Department of Zoology at the University of Otago.


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 2017 Shorland Medal is awarded to the Fetal Physiology and Neuroscience Team at the University of Auckland, led by Professor Alistair Jan Gunn (Physiology and Paediatrics) (pictured) and Professor Laura Bennet (Physiology). The team includes Dr Joanne Davidson and Dr Justin Dean (Physiology), and Professor Colin Green (Ophthalmology) 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 2017 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Medal is awarded to Professor Christian Hartinger from the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland. 


The Cranwell Medal (formerly the Science Communicators' Medal) is made to a practising scientist for excellence in communicating science to the general public in any area of science or technology. The winner of the inaugural Cranwell Medal is Dr Ocean Ripeka Mercier (Ngāti Porou) of Victoria University of Wellington. 


The Awards were presented on Thursday evening at 6.30pm (November 1st) at Caroline in Wellington.

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


RNZ Our Changing World articles and interviews with award recipients

Links to press and online coverage