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Innovation and Inspiration: In this issue of Interface we celebrate just some of the high–impact science being generated across The MacDiarmid Institute.

We explore how our science is impacting (or has the potential to impact) areas of national and international significance including health, technology, energy & sustainability and also take a look at some of the exciting education and outreach initiatives undertaken by The Institute. We also catch up with some of our Alumni changing the world with their expertise and leadership.

Table of contents

  • One person tells one person and so on and so on…
  • Biominerals to bones
  • When smaller is better
  • Powering up
  • From trash to treasure
  • Speeding up science
  • Focused on the human equation
  • Water for the world
  • Earth by numbers
  • Inspired by science
  • OPINION: A small, advanced economy?
  • One person tells one person and so on and so on…

    What starts a trend? What creates a habit? What defines a culture? What delivers more than at one time would have even been imagined? Our culture of excellence is driven by individuals who deliver outcomes beyond expectations. This, in turn, drives the desire to do even more, expect even more and ask others to do […]

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    Dec
    03

    Biominerals to bones

    Anybody in need of joint replacement surgery will appreciate the options modern medicine provides, but if Kate McGrath has her way, future patients won’t require any screws or other metal parts in their new hips or knees. The director of the MacDiarmid Institute and her research team are borrowing ideas from nature to develop innovative […]

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    When smaller is better

    SINCE THE BIRTH of the Silicon Age in the late 1950s, chips have gone from having two transistors to tens of billions in an area smaller than a fingernail. The conducting lines have become narrower, dropping from the micrometer range of the first microprocessor CPUs of the ‘70s down 1,000-times smaller to the nanometre level. […]

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    Powering up

    A SURPRISING DISCOVERY is set to accelerate the global search for better solar materials. Total darkness. A large black table sprouts mirrors like some kind of extra-terrestrial mushroom farm. Orange laser light bounces from one mirror to the next, hits a small square of plastic and disappears into a black box. The laser has just […]

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    From trash to treasure

    There are thousands of different types of proteins— probably millions—collectively capable of carrying out a huge number of complex processes, and yet they are all made out of just 20 building blocks.    ANTONY said it of Cleopatra—but the same could be said of proteins—‘custom cannot stale their infinite variety’. There are thousands of different […]

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    Dec
    03

    Speeding up science

    WELLINGTON-based startup Publons took its name from a nerdy physics joke about the academic publishing industry. According to the joke, the elusive ‘publon’ is the elementary particle of scientific publication, but the academic publishing business is no laughing matter. Co-founder of Publons, Andrew Preston, says the industry is big. “Last year 1.6 million journal articles […]

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    Dec
    03

    Focused on the human equation

    As a PhD Student, David Melville worked at The MacDiarmid Institute with Professor Richard Blaikie investigating photolithography. He has recently shifted into the field of what IBM call Cognitive Computing.   AS A PhD STUDENT, David Melville worked at The MacDiarmid Institute with Professor Richard Blaikie investigating photolithography—the process by which computer chips are made. […]

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    Dec
    03

    Water for the world

    Keoni Mahelona wants to ‘provide water for the world’. “If water is the next commodity, I don’t want greedy companies owning it in the future,” he says. Mahelona has experienced firsthand what water scarcity is like. “I’ve lived in the Far North and I know that families do run out of water, every summer for […]

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    Earth by numbers

    Gillian Turner – Author of North Pole, South Pole (Awa Press) one of six books “infused with science” that the Wellington publishing house has released since the Masterclasses began. FOR THE LAST eight years, The MacDiarmid Institute has run a science class for invited journalists, radio producers, and people from the publishing and creative industries. […]

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    Inspired by science

      In collaboration with educators from across the sector TheWaterGenie, a water management system that will allow households using rainwater tanks to better manage their use, has been working on a range of resources and projects that will further encourage an understanding of, and passion for science in the wider community.  THE LEARNING HUB on The MacDiarmid […]

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    OPINION: A small, advanced economy?

      I BORROW this title from a Statistics New Zealand commentary, which points out that in terms of the title we are probably not so advanced, despite a regular programme of government-to-government meetings with these economies with which we might like to be compared. As Shaun Hendy and Paul Callaghan’s 2013 book Get off the […]

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