Nature of Science – Scientist Profiles
Chemist – Alan MacDiarmid
The best mistake ever: Alan MacDiarmid is a big part of the reason your cell phone screen works. He is also the second New Zealander to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry – the first, of course, was Ernest Rutherford who is on the $100 note.
“The real creative scientist is as much an artist as the painter, as the poet, as the creator of a symphony. You love what you do, you sleep and you eat it and dream it.” – Alan MacDiarmid
Experimental Physicist – Sir Paul Callaghan
At the heart of matter: Look around you. Inside every object you can see lie hidden worlds as detailed and busy as the one we live in and as unfamiliar as outer space. Zoom in a thousand times and a piece of paper would transform into a tangled network of fibres. A thousand times further and the fibres would open up to reveal long molecules twisted together like the wires in an electric cable. Zoom inside a molecule and you would find yourself in a vast expanse of empty space. Shimmering clouds of electrons would form intricate patterns around you. Dotted throughout space, almost invisibly small, you might spot an atomic nucleus – a tiny solid clump at the centre of the atom. Download PDF Hot Science, presented by Sir Paul Callaghan profiles New Zealand scientists and researchers active in a wide range of cutting edge technologies and innovative endeavours.
Engineering Scientist – Professor Richard Blaikie
If you talk to a scientist about their work, you might be surprised how often you hear the word passion. Scientists are often passionate about the work they do. Some scientists are driven by a fascination to learn about how the world works. Others delight in discovery. For applied scientists, like engineers, seeing a simple idea grow into a product that makes an impact on people’s lives can be the most satisfying part of the job. Download PDF