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The Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch AGM 2016
is on Thursday, 20th October at the Thistle Inn, Thorndon.
Meeting at 6:00pm, followed by the traditional dinner for those who want to stay.
The AGM document is available from this link: Annual Report 2016
Note: If you would like to save a copy, click on print button when the file opens,
then, save it as pdf into your computer.
RSNZ Wellington Branch Council
Dr Valerie Soo
Possible origins of antibiotic resistance:
A biochemistry perspective
Enzymes are the protein molecules that accelerate chemical reactions in all types of cells. Most enzymes are designed for specific functions, for example certain enzymes will break down antibiotics resulting in antibiotic resistance. This specialisation suggests a lack of flexibility but we know that enzymes do develop novel functions, so how does this happen? If enzymes are designed for one role, how do they develop novel functions?
Whilst doing her PhD, Valerie Soo discovered that many enzymes in the laboratory bacterium, Escherichia coli, have weak secondary functions. When placed in environments where toxins or antibiotics were present, these secondary functions enabled the bacteria to grow in almost one third of these environments. The unexpected development of antibiotic resistance shows the possible role of weak secondary functions and how they help to evolve new functions in proteins.
Time: 6pm Thursday 18 August
Venue: Royal Society of New Zealand, 11 Turnbull Street, Thorndon
About Dr Valerie Soo
Dr Valerie Soo hails from Malaysia, and completed her undergraduate degree at Monash University Malaysia. Fascinated by molecular evolution, she undertook her PhD at Massey University and graduated in 2013. Valerie’s doctoral research on ‘promiscuous proteins’ changed the way that many of us think about enzyme evolution and her paper has been highly cited since its publication in 2011. Valerie is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Pennsylvania State University, USA but will move to London, UK in mid-2016.
The annual scientific public lecture held by the Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Dr Jan Wright: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
Reflections on a decade as Parliament’s environmental advisor
Dr Jan Wright was sworn in as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for a five-year term on 5 March 2007 and reappointed for a second term in 2012.
Jan has a multidisciplinary background with a BSc(Hons) in Physics from Canterbury, a Masters degree in Energy and Resources from Berkeley in California, and a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard. Last year she was made a Companion of the Royal Society.
During her time as Commissioner, Jan has investigated a wide range of environmental issues. She became world-famous in New Zealand when she said we were lucky to have 1080 and should use more of it.
In this lecture, Jan will share her approach to the role and how this has developed over time. She will explain, inter alia, how she prioritises the work of her office, how she values information, and what she has learned about dealing with the media.
When & Where
Wednesday, 27 July 2016
GBLT2, Old Government Building,
Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
Where to next? Human spaceflight at the crossroads.
Presentation by David MacLennan
Where: National Library, 70 Molesworth Street
When: 19 April 2016, 5:30 PM to 6:30PM
Attendance is free but please register at Eventbrite:
NASA’s long-term vision is for a human mission to Mars, but
its strategy for getting there is flawed, as it does not include
the most logical intermediate step: a return to the Moon.
Instead, NASA’s proposed intermediate step is to retrieve a
large boulder from an asteroid and send an astronaut crew
out to investigate it – a plan that is not getting much support
from either Congress or the scientfi c community. A return to
the Moon would be a better way to prepare for a journey to
Mars, as much of the technology needed for a Mars mission,
such as habitats, life-support systems, rovers, tools and
instruments, could be fi rst proven under real off -world
conditions on the Moon. In addition, recent robotic missions
have shown the Moon to be a worthwhile scientific target in
its own right.
About the speaker:
David MacLennan has been lecturing and writing about
space exploration for over four decades. A founder and
former President of the NZ Spacefl ight Association, he
also edited the Association’s journal
Liftoff for many years.
The Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch AGM 2015
Time: 6:00pm, Monday, 19 October
Venue: Level 6, the Wellington Club, 88 The Terrace, Wellington
You are welcomed to attend our AGM and gain a chance to visit the oldest Wellington business club and listen to its history. Gentlemen please wear jacket or suit due to the club requirements.
The AGM is free, but if you wish to stay for refreshments, the catering per person is $30. For catering purposes we need to know numbers so please deposit your payment to the RSNZ branch’s bank account by 14 October.
To complete the registration, please send an email to
telling us your name and organization.
The Annual Report 2015 AGM are available for down .
Bank account: 06-0501-0074841-00
Please put reference as bellow
Particular: Your name
Analysis Code: Your title
Reference: AGM 2015
Looking forward to seeing you in our AGM
|Royal Society of New Zealand
Wellington Branch Conference
This year the Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch is pleased to offer financial assistance for up to four post-graduate students who:
1. Are studying towards Masters degrees and PhDs at a University within Wellington
2. Wish to attend a relevant conference within her/his own field of research
3. Are members of the Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch.
Our financial assistance will take the form of scholarships up to the value of $500, specifically to assist students to meet the travel and other costs of attending conferences, preferably to international conferences, either within New Zealand or overseas. Our scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis.
Applying for Financial Assistance
Your application should include:
1. A brief outline of your research topic and the degree for which you are enrolled
2. The university and department in which you are currently enrolled, and the identity of your supervisor(s). A brief supporting statement from you supervisor(s) would assist your application.
3. Details relating to the conference (e.g. the conference topic; when and where), including an abstract, and an indication as to whether or not your proposed conference presentation has been accepted.
4. Information on your academic and research performance (e.g. a brief transcript).
5. A brief justification for financial assistance from the Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch
Applications for awards close on 14 July, 2015. Please send your application to Bradley.Williams@vuw.ac.nz
Successful applicants will be notified by 31 July 2015 and the names, abstracts and conference details of the successful applicants will be published in the Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch Newsletter once the presentation has been delivered. The Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch reserves the right to make no awards.
Dr David Lillis (Council Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch) will present one or more workshops on statistical modelling during July. These workshops are intended primarily for students working towards Masters or PhD degrees in the bio-medical sciences, social sciences, education, psychology and other fields. However, everyone is welcome. The workshops will be conducted using R, a free, open-source statistics and graphics environment that originated in New Zealand and that has become very popular around the world in recent years.
Organiser: Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch
Where: Victoria University, Kelburn Campus. New Kirk Room 216 (KK216).
When: 10:00am – 3:00pm, Saturday 4 July and Saturday 11 July 2015
Fee: $10 per person per session
Please see the registration form for more details.
Registration Form: StatWorkshopRegistrationForm_PDF.pdf
RSVP is essential.
2015 is a significant year for New Zealand science history. It is 150 years since James Hector arrived in Wellington to set up many of our national organisations, and also 100 years since Ernest Marsden first arrived in Wellington.
Victoria University of Wellington is hosting a science history conference on 23-24 November 2015 on the theme “Finding New Zealand’s Scientific Heritage”. The conference organising committee is now seeking proposals for papers, posters and discussion topics on their website, with a closing date of 30 June: https://sciencernr.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/call-for-papers-finding-new-zealands-scientific-heritage/
It is planned that a selection of papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
More information on the conference will be posted in Alert once the programme has been finalised.
Flashes, bangs and shampoo’s secrets are coming to New Zealand in July with demonstration lectures and talks by UK chemist and educator Dr Peter Wothers.
This action-packed, family-friendly demonstration lecture explores the chemistry used over the centuries in our quest to find light. There’ll be plenty of flashes and bangs to keep you on the edge of your seat. Read more on Chemistry of Light show.
After this lively talk, you’ll never look at a bottle of shampoo in quite the same way again! From Fooles Bolloxe and beaver testicles to urinating camels and spiral fossils, the chemistry of everyday shampoo reveals a fascinating insight into ideas and achievements through the ages, from astrology to zoology. Read more on Secret Life of Shampoo talk.
- Thank you to the members who came out on an otherwise distracting evening last Thursday, 19th October, for our... https://t.co/p7mqD5HioP, 22 hours ago
- The Discovery of Science, a blog by Brian Jones. Check out https://t.co/LPz9jldK2I, Oct 16
- Another interesting blog, this time from our Vice-President and former President of the Wellington Branch, Brian... https://t.co/CDBOPCW1De, Oct 15
- Science Express @ Te Papa https://t.co/lpO2oXUSh7 https://t.co/ElK20XHJ3l, Oct 05
- RT @royalsocietynz: Editing them out, panel discussion on using gene editing to eliminate pests... #genetalk https://t.co/kxIqTXWoda, Sep 28
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