Monthly Archives: July 2014

Inaugural Earle Lecture

Visioneering a Future

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

IPENZ Manawatu Branch and RSNZ Manawatu Branch

7.00 – 8.50 pm Wednesday, 23 July, PNBHS Speirs Centre, Featherson Street, Palmerston North

 Engineering and technology have shaped our society and defined who we are. In the Manawatu, our engineering past has been defined by power generation, river and flood control, technology and research.

To celebrate 100 years of engineering, the Manawatu Branch of the Institute of Professional Engineers, in conjunction with the Royal Society of New Zealand Manawatu Branch, has invited Sir Peter Gluckman to present a vision of what the future may look like and the role that engineering and technology will have to play in realising this vision. This lecture is the Inaugural Earle Lecture, which will be a biennial public lecture celebrating engineering and technology. The Earle Lecture is named after Dick and Mary Earle, in recognition of their contribution to biotechnology and food technology in this region, as well as nationally and internationally. Dick founded the first university department of biotechnology in the world at Massey University and Mary was instrumental in developing the Product Development Major at Massey University.  Mary was awarded the OBE, Officer of the Order of the British Empire, in 1993 and Dick was recognised in 2008 as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. They continue to give generously to the development of the profession through their travel and student scholarships.

Sir Peter Gluckman is one of New Zealand’s best known scientists. His research has won him numerous awards and international recognition, including Fellowship of the Commonwealth’s most prestigious scientific organisation, the Royal Society (London). In 2009 he was appointed as the first Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. In this role, he promotes the use of evidence in policy formation and advocates for the translation of scientific knowledge into better social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

 All welcome

The demise of New Zealand’s freshwaters: politics and science

Dr Mike Joy, Massey University


2014 Charles Fleming Lecture and the RSNZ Manawatu Branch July 2014 meeting

7.30 pm Tuesday, 15 July 2014, Te Manawa – Art Gallery, 326 Main Street, Palmerston North

New Zealand’s freshwaters – our lakes, rivers and groundwater outside of the conservation estate – are in a perilous state, and given the inertia from regulators their future looks bleak. The reasons for inaction in the face of this crisis are many and complex, but in this talk I will give examples of how science has been side-lined by politics and the reality obfuscated. I will describe some of the issues around the failure to measure and account for the externalities of agriculture and industry driven by political/economic ideology and how the science is misused and subverted. At the heart of the degradation is the failure to account for the loss of our natural capital, what this has cost us already and will cost future generations if we don’t change dramatically and immediately. We now have ample evidence of increasing public awareness of issues; the need is for strong leadership to move away from short-termism to acceptance of the massive ecological debt we have run up. I suggest it is past time for scientists to come out from behind their microscopes, binoculars and computer screens and make a stand on the many environmental issues facing us.

The Charles Fleming Award for Environmental Achievement is awarded every three years in honour of those who have achieved distinction in the protection, maintenance, management, improvement or understanding of the environment. Dr Mike Joy was the recipient of the award in 2013, in recognition of the key contribution he has made to the sustainable management and protection of New Zealand’s freshwater resources.

 All warmly welcome