2013 August

Welcome to the August 2013 Newsletter of the Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society. This newletter is the first sent from our new website. It collates recent postings of coming and recent lectures and other events, and notices to Branch members. Please let us know if you strike any glitches!

If you are not subscribed to personally receive these newsletters, you can do so for free on our Newsletters webpage. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you would like to join the Branch as a member, you can download the application form here. The annual subscription for the current year is $20.


Dan Bloomer
Branch President

Lectures and events


Plants that changed history

Dr Ross Ferguson ONZM FRSNZ. 7:30pm Tuesday 27 August 2013  at the Hawke’s Bay Holt Planetarium, Chambers St Napier.

Rather than study only the actions of individual men and women, of governments or of economic forces, we should also look at plants because it is plants that ultimately determine the quality and course of human life. Most of the foods that form part of our normal diet, we would not think of as exotic.  And this shows just how blasé we have become.

What we have is really a remarkable range of food – truly exotic food in the sense that it is alien: introduced from abroad: brought in from outside. The movement of plants and foodstuffs from one country to another has had many consequences. The talk will consider the implications of the pursuit of some addictive plants and is illustrated by many paintings and engravings. The socially accepted addictions discussed include tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate. Opium, potatoes and breadfruit will also be mentioned.

Dr Ross Ferguson, FRSNZ has worked  with DSIR and then Plant & Food Research mainly on the biology of kiwifruit and related species.  He made a detailed study of kiwifruit, their origin in China and the process of domestication leading to them becoming New Zealand’s most important horticultural export Admission: Free


Switch: The Movie. What is the future of Energy?

5:30 PM, Thursday 26 September, Lecture Theatre 1, Eastern Institute of Technology, Taradale.

The Hawke’s Bay Branches of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand are combining with the Eastern Institute of Technology to present a special screeing of the film, “Switch”.

Following the screening, there will be a short break for a drink and nibbles, before an invited panel of energy experts lead a discussion of the meaning and implications for New Zealand. The event is anticipated to finish by 8:15 PM.

What does the future of energy really hold? Join energy visionary Dr. Scott Tinker on a spectacular global adventure to find out.

Energy is the foundation of modern life. Our transportation, global commerce, food and water, housing, medicine, communications and computing all depend on it. Yet energy is in a sweeping period of transition. Renewables are entering the landscape. Unconventional gas and oil are changing our ideas of supply. Opinions on nuclear are shifting. Carbon concerns may, or may not, affect global production and consumption.

Dr. Tinker explores the world’s leading energy sites, from coal to solar, oil to biofuels, many highly restricted and never before seen on film. He gets straight answers from the people driving energy today, international leaders of government, industry and academia. In the end, he cuts through the confusion to discover a path to our future that is surprising and remarkably pragmatic.

Switch is part of the Switch Energy Project, a film, web, and educational effort designed to build a balanced understanding of energy.

Contacting Us

You can contact us via our Branch email, hawkesbay.rsnz@gmail.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *