Associated Events

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will be held on Monday 23rd November at the Royal Society of New Zealand. The menu is available here. Drinks will be from 6.30 pm. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

Panel Discussion: “The lessons of history for the future of science”

There will be a Panel Discussion held after lunch on Tuesday 24th November at the conference, in room AM102. Start time: 13:30.

The event will be chaired by Kim Hill and panellists include Prof. David Frame (Victoria University of Wellington), Dr. Dan Hikuroa (Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Te Pūnaha Matatini), Dr. Jim McAloon (Victoria University of Wellington) and Prof. Naomi Oreskes (Harvard University).

The discussion is supported by the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute.

Should We Trust Science? Perspectives From the History and Philosophy of Science

Royal Society of New Zealand 'At Six' Lecture

Professor Naomi Oreskes
Harvard University

6 pm Tuesday 24 November 2015
Paramount Theatre – 25 Courtenay Place, Wellington

Issues such as the safety of vaccines, or the reality of climate change, can be confusing for many people. Doctors tell us that vaccines are safe, and scientists that climate change is real – but how do they know that? And how are we to make sense of competing claims?

Consider just one example: in a recent US Presidential Debate, candidate Donald Trump rejected the position of fellow candidate – and medical doctor – Ben Carson, and insisted that vaccines should be more widely spaced.

In this talk offering perspectives from the history and philosophy of science, Professor Naomi Oreskes argues that we should trust science, and she explains why.

Click here for more information and to book tickets.

2016: The NZ Polymath – Colenso and His Contemporaries

The Colenso Society and Victoria University of Wellington announce this upcoming conference. Potential speakers would survey Colenso in his relationships with Māori leaders, with family, with fellow scientists, politicians, churchman and explorers – and thus enquire into the nature of biography itself. For more information please contact Sydney Shep at

2017: JRSNZ Special Issues

In 2017 the Royal Society of New Zealand will celebrate its 150th anniversary. In 2017 a special issue, or issues, of the Journal will be dedicated to publishing papers from this conference with guest editors Simon Nathan and Rebecca Priestley. A Call for Papers, with more detailed information about timing and specifications, will be posted shortly.

2017: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

A Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is being planned for 2017, following the publication of the JRSNZ Special Issue. Over the course of a day, we will update or create Wikipedia entries for key figures in New Zealand's science history.

If you would like to be involved in the event, or have information to contribute, please email Kate Bazeley ( who will ensure that you are kept up-to-date with further notifications about the event.

2019: First Contact Commemorations

In 2019 New Zealanders will celebrate the 250th anniversary of first contact between Māori and pākehā, including the first contact between Mātauranga Māori and European scientists. We'll keep you posted as to any science-related events here.