Scientists leading the way

 

In the final presentation to the Student Symposium Paul Callaghan reminded those present that our namesake, Alan MacDiarmid, began his career in New Zealand at Victoria College, as it was then. His inspirational qualities of greatness in science combined with a genuine interest in people, particularly young people at the beginning of a scientific career, and his natural high spirits made Alan MacDiarmid a beacon for science.

Paul emphasised the importance of science based technological innovation to the future prosperity of NZ and made the following points regarding the value of scientists taking a leadership role in society.

Science as leadership:

• Evidence-based decisions

• Peer review as a way of life

• A view that nature is rational, if not benign

• Scepticism as a virtue

• What numbers mean and what they do not mean

• Expressing complex ideas with simple clarity

• Knowledge is not to be feared

Paul Callaghan has taken up the position of Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the MacDiarmid Institute.