Held Thursday 1 June at Holt Planetarium, Napier
The 142nd Annual General Meeting of the Branch was well attended and members afterwards enjoyed a wonderful presentation of the night sky by Gary Sparks in the Planetarium itself.
Lynne Trafford’s President’s Report was delivered and unanimously approved. Lynne thanked the year’s speakers, financial supporters, venue providers and council members and highlighted the Branch’s contribution to science promotion through the EIT Hawke’s Bay Regional Science and Technology Fair, Curious Minds Science Camp, school visits by speakers and HB Scientists on Air. She also noted the growth in membership over the past year and encouraged the recruitment of new members as well as continued support by current members.
Jenny Dee reported on the 2017 Curious Minds Science Camp. 161 students attended the three workshops run by GNS Science/East Coast Labs, Plant and Food Research and Murray Gosling (supported by Opus). Feedback has been very positive. Jenny acknowledged the speakers who gave talks at local schools. Professor Chris Battershill visited Napier Boys High School, Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger went to three schools and Professor Peter Dearden spoke at Taradale Intermediate School.
The Financial Report which had been circulated prior to the meeting was presented and unanimously approved. The meeting resolved to keep Annual Subscriptions at their current level. This is a very affordable amount and potential members are reminded to consider joining to receive direct newsletters and to show their support of Branch and Society activities.
Election of Council and Officers
The following were elected or re-elected:
Special Item – Honorary Life Member
Michael Broadbent was elected an Honorary Life Member of the Branch as recommended by the Council. Lynne described Michael’s service to the Branch over the years. The motion was seconded by Jeff Reid and approved with widespread applause.
To secure your place, please send an email to email@example.com
Throughout history, the changing yet cyclical patterns of stars in the night sky have been used to record the passage of time. Cultures around the world also used the patterns of stars to act as a library of sorts to help pass along myths and legends. For ocean going groups like the Polynesians, navigation stars were critical for their survival as they traversed the southern ocean.
Using our Zeiss ZKP-1planetarium projector, I will show you how the Polynesian cultures perceived the end of one year and the beginning of the next, the time of Matariki.
Matariki in the night sky. Image courtesy of pbkwee, flickr.com
This meeting will take place after the AGM of the HB Branch of the Royal Society which starts at 7.00pm.
Honeybees are a vital part of our agricultural production, but also a remarkable example of the product of evolution. Bees have their own social system, symbolic language, produce different castes and build extravagant structures. Bees are also under threat from insecticides, pests and diseases.
In this talk Peter will discuss both his fundamental research into how the honeybee social system evolved, but also what we need to do to save the honeybees of the world. He might even tell how honeybees might save us!
In 2014, Peter was the recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Callaghan medal for science communication.
Our thanks to the University of Otago for their support.
The Hawke’s Bay Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand has, once again, received funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund, to run a Science and Technology Camp for Year 7 and 8 students and their teachers, during Primary Science Week in May 2017.
Over the four days, approximately 170 Year 7 and 8 students, accompanied by teachers and parents, from 11 schools in Napier, Hastings and Central Hawke’s Bay, will attend one or two-day hands-on workshops on a variety of science and technology subjects, related to the world around them. They will return to school with a better understanding of maths, science and technology, and its relevance to their everyday lives.
The following three workshops will be on offer:
Geology workshop (2 days)
Venue: National Aquarium of New Zealand
Run by: Julian Thomson from GNS Science, assisted by Carol Larson from the Aquarium, and Kate Boersen from East Coast LAB.
Topic: The students will spend the first day at the Aquarium, investigating the geology of New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay, and its consequences. The students will use resources from all three organisations, to study sedimentary rocks and fossils, and volcanic rocks and faults / earthquakes. On the second day they will take a field trip to a local site with varied geology, and use their new knowledge in inquiry-style investigations.
Bridge Science workshop (1 day)
Run by: Murray Gosling, a teacher at Hastings Intermediate School, who was on the 2015 Science Teaching Leadership Programme, assisted by land surveyors and bridge engineers from local companies.
Topic: The students will learn about land surveying and how it is involved in bridge design, use a theodolite to survey a location for a hypothetical bridge, visit a bridge, investigate why bridges are not all the same design, and how their design and construction is based on maths and science. They will design, build and test their own bridges. Land surveyors and bridge engineers from local companies will be involved in the workshop.
Horticultural science workshop (1 day)
Venue: Plant & Food Research, Crosses Road, Havelock North
Run by: Scientists from Plant & Food Research, including Dr Jeff Reid, for many years Chief Judge of the Hawke’s Bay Science & Technology Fair, assisted by Sarah Hope, a teacher from Hastings Intermediate School, who worked at Plant & Food Research last year whilst on the 2016 Science Teaching Leadership Programme.
Topics: The workshop will comprise 3 activities, which will introduce students to some of the maths and science that underpins horticulture in Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand. The 3 groups will rotate around the 3 activities during the day. They will:
We thank the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for their support
Single-handedness is present in everything, down to the tiniest molecule. This was startling to 20th Century scientists, who until then presumed the world was symmetrical. We now know right-handed sugars and left-handed amino acids completely dominate the biochemistry of living organisms.
The story of drug discovery from marine sources is not well known. The important and successful role of New Zealand science coupled with our marine biodiversity, is even less well understood. By far the most common source of biomedicinal leads comes from nature and until recently much of this has been from plants and terrestrial organisms. Aspirin from Willow being one of the most famous discoveries. In the anti-cancer drug space however, extracts from marine organisms, like sponges, produce two orders of magnitude more leads than terrestrial species.
This presentation will showcase a number of successful New Zealand drug and drug lead compounds derived from marine sources. It will explain why these leads work, and demonstrate the enormous and urgent importance of conserving our marine biodiversity for future generations.
Chris Battershill became the inaugural Professor and Chair of Coastal Science with the University of Waikato, in January 2011. Prior to that, he was Leader of the Marine Resources and Biodiversity Teams at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) for twelve years, focusing on conservation, new species aquaculture and biodiscovery.
He completed his PhD at Auckland University in 1986 then undertook a 3 year Research Fellowship funded through the National Cancer Institute (US) based at the University of Canterbury, where he led the biological program associated discovery of anti-cancer active chemicals from the sea. He did Post Doctoral work in Australia and then worked at DoC and NIWA for 11 years focusing on sustainability of marine resource use, again building capacity in research associated with drug discovery from marine sources
Thanks to the President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Richard Bedford, for his illuminating lecture on 31 January 2017 to our branch, and for supplying us with his slides:
Dr Lamarche will speak on the topic of marine sciences and their relevance to understanding natural hazards in Hawke’s Bay, in particular with regard to offshore earthquakes, tsunamis and submarine landslides.
Geoffroy obtained a PhD in geology and geophysics from the university of Grenoble in 1987. He has since focussed his research on the geological processes that affect the ocean floor around New Zealand and in the South West Pacific region, with the aim to improve the understanding of natural geological hazards and develop predictive geophysical methods to map submarine substrate and habitats. He has led many oceanographic voyages and international research projects with France, the UK, Australia and the USA.
Presented in conjunction with Hawke’s Bay French Association