User login

2013 General

  • Tue 27 Nov, 2012 (All day) - Tue 30 Apr, 2013 (All day)

    What is Big Data?

    Big Data is the new National Library's inaugural programme of exhibitions, seminars, and workshops. Humanity has developed powerful tools to sense and depict our planet – the creation and use of data. How do we use these tools to find sustainability? In the era of big data and rapid change, where are the places and sites that hold personal and community meaning?

    The consistency of change

    • Fly through Thorndon's past, present, and future
    • See the world through new eyes - and things that are more than eyes
    • Explore the technologies that are changing how we live, from the electronic to the galactic
    • Blur your digital and physical self and learn how far you stretch out into the world

    8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday


    Find out more about Big Data

  • Fri 8 Feb, 2013 (All day) - Wed 20 Feb, 2013 (All day)

    Art of the Invisible - Poster.


    Download Poster as PDF

    This collection of incredible of images is already getting media attention:


  • Wed 13 Feb, 2013 - 6:00pm

    On the 13th February 2013, The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, in association with the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Auckland Museum Institute provided a special opportunity to hear Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann at a Public Lecture as part of the AMN-6 conference.

    Roald Hoffmann is a theoretical chemist and writer at Cornell University in the USA. Born in Poland, he survived the Holocaust thanks to the bravery of his parents and the kindness of a Ukrainian teacher and his family who hid him and his mother in a schoolroom attic.

    Roald Hoffmann has taught generations of chemists how to think with orbitals. He has also published acclaimed poetry, plays and nonfiction, and built his own land twixt poetry, philosophy, and chemistry.

    If you missed this lecture, listen here, thanks to the University of Waikato and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

    Interview with Kim Hill
    Public Talk
    Download PDF flyer
    Speak, Memory





  • Mon 18 Feb, 2013 (All day) - Tue 19 Feb, 2013 (All day)


    A two-day symposium celebrating the life and work of the late Professor Sir Paul Callaghan was held in Wellington on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 February 2013. Organised by Victoria University and the MacDiarmid Institute, the Professor Sir Paul Callaghan Symposium  provided participants with an insight into Sir Paul’s life and career, and highlighted the progress made and plans for the future of the work he started. A number of Sir Paul’s friends and colleagues from New Zealand and abroad spoke at the Symposium, including Emeritus Professor Nick Stone, Sir Paul’s PhD supervisor.

    Day one of the symposium featured nine speakers and focussed on Sir Paul’s most significant work, his international collaborations and scientific advances. Day two, Beyond the Science, consisted of a series of 15 minute presentations, based on Sir Paul’s areas of work and interest outside of science.

    View more photos from the event

    DAY 1 - Paul’s Science

    Day 1 Speakers Biographies

    DAY 2 - Beyond the Science

    Day 2 Speaker Biographies

    Topic 1 - Who was Paul?

    Topic 2 – Economic Prosperity including Pest Free New Zealand

    Topic 3 - Smart Tech/Commercialisation

    Topic 4 – Science communication/Outreach



  • Wed 17 Apr, 2013 - 9:52am

    The Royal Society of New Zealand has named 2013 The Year of Mathematics in New Zealand; it is also the International Year of The Mathematics of Planet Earth and the International Year Of Statistics. In celebration,  The New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers is holding a Maths Quest poster design competition for year 7-11 High School students.

    The MacDiarmid Institute is a proud sponsor of the years 9 & 10 theme "Mathematics - The Language of Science." The theme requires students to demonstrate a level of understanding regarding the underlying mathematics related to the following questions:

    • Nanotechnologists use mathematics to invent the technologies of the future. By simulating atoms on computers they can design new devices and other technologies, including solar cells and carbon nanotubes. What types of equations do computational nanotechnologists solve?
    • Materials scientists can make new materials by combing the atomic elements in new ways. How do they know what properties the materials will have before they make them? What equations do they use to understand how atoms interact?
    • Superconductors are really cool! No, really – superconductors need to be cooled down to 200 degrees below zero to work! What is superconductivity, and how is it used in levitated trains and MRI machines. What mathematics can be used to describe it?

    Prizes include iPad minis for students and teachers and a trip Wellington to attend a prize giving and visit Weta Digital, Te Papa and Parliament. Entries close on June 7. We wish all the contestants the best of luck.


  • Tue 7 May, 2013 - 11:50am

    The Government released its decisions regarding the National Science Challenges on 1 May 2013. This is a very important step forward in reshaping New Zealand’s public science system.

    Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, who chaired the panel that made recommendations to Government following the consultation exercise will present the Challenges as agreed to by the Government, review the process and criteria used in reaching these decisions and outline the next steps in operationalizing the Challenges.

    Sir Peter Gluckman and accompanying Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment staff will answer questions arising following the presentation.


    Responses From the Science Community to the National Science Challenges

    MacDiarmid Institute Director, Professor Kate McGrath expressed concern that the Challenges focus solely on areas of research New Zealand has always excelled in, without addressing the need to improve areas of weakness. 

    “If you look at the ten challenges that have been put forward, they come from a very historical basis, so, what is it that we’re already good at? What have we been doing for a really long time? As opposed to, in my opinion, having a vision of what the future can be. I was hoping that this amazing opportunity that had been afforded this panel and the country as a whole would be taken seriously in terms of a future direction, and I don’t see that as having happened.”

    Listen to Prof. McGrath's interview with Radio New Zealand's "Our Changing World."

    MacDiarmid Institute Principle Investigator Professor Shaun Hendy responded to the announcement with some disappointment, stating the challenges fail to "throw up anything that is really new or innovative... Of the 10 science challenges selected, only one really addresses one of the key economic challenges our country faces: namely the over-dependence of our economy on the primary sector." Source

    Listen to Prof. Hendy's interview with Radio New Zealand's "Morning Report" 

  • Tue 11 Jun, 2013 - 6:00pm

    Miracle materials and mystery particles

    High-energy physics uses accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider to study elementary particles in our universe. In contrast, materials science creates matter where unusual particles can live. Professor Zuelicke will discuss his research into exotic elementary particles that appear in semiconductors. He will show some of the counter-intuitive properties these particles possess, and how newly discovered materials like graphene could revolutionise electronic devices in the future.
    Refreshments will be served following the lecture.
    RSVP by Friday 7 June. Phone: 04-472 1000 or email: with ‘Zuelicke’ in the subject line.
  • Fri 12 Jul, 2013 - 12:30pm - 6:00pm

    The Rotary Club of Wellington invites you to Eureka! to hear the finalists in the Sir Paul Callaghan Awards for Young Science Orators.

    During the afternoon our 12 finalists will each deliver an exciting proposition to change our country for the better as a result of scientific endeavour. Their efforts will be judged by a panel of expert judges led by the Chancellor of Massey University, Dr Russ Ballard.

    Nine finalists will each receive a Sir Paul Callaghan Merit Award.

    The student performance judged the most meritorious will receive the prestigious Sir Paul Callaghan Premier Award and the winner’s Trophy. The two runners-up will each receive a Sir Paul Callaghan Highly Commended Award. As well as certificates recording their accomplishments each finalist will receive a cash grant towards their study costs. The judges decisions will be announced at an Awards Dinner being hosted by the Governor-General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine Mateparae at Government House.

    Registration is free but there are only 200 seats available so it's essential to register to guarantee a seat. 

    Register at or

    For further infomation please download the flyer and invitation

  • Sun 11 Aug, 2013 - 1:00pm - 2:30pm

    The astronomer in the story is Jeremiah Horrocks (1619–41). His observation of the transit of Venus across the sun in 1639 established the method of interplanetary measurement that prompted Cook’s scientific expedition to the Pacific in 1768. The ramifications for Aotearoa are well known, but the ramifications for the Horrocks family in 21st-century Auckland take a little more investigation. Is Dylan related to Jeremiah? He knows he’d like to be, and like many Pākehā he needs DNA analysis and a trip to the old country to clarify his whakapapa. Meanwhile, Sir Paul Callaghan and other scientists prepare to celebrate the 2012 transit with a congress at Tolaga Bay. Dedicated to Callaghan, who did not live to see this congress, Horrocks’ engaging ramble ultimately makes a tidy case for the meaningful intersection of the personal, the historical and the cosmic in scientific enquiry.

    For our full programme and ticketing visit our website,

    Download the flyer here