Media Advisory February 10

This year, the University of Waikato turns 50. The official launch of the University 50th year celebrations is on February 14 with an afternoon tea for staff at the Gallagher Academy for Performing Arts on campus. At this event, the University’s history book, Ko Te Tangata, by Emeritus Professor Noeline Alcorn, will be launched and a commemorative DVD will be premiered. That evening, the University is sponsoring the opening night of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, including the Symphony in the Gardens concert at which James Judd, who has an Honorary Doctorate from the University, will be conducting the Opus Orchestra. For more information on the University’s history, 50th anniversary events, to view a timeline of the University’s development, or alumni or former staff wanting to take part in anniversary celebrations should register their interest at

A group of Waikato University researchers is looking at ways to take science and technology out of the “too hard basket” and get people talking and more engaged. Management communication Professor Debashish Munshi and political science Associate Professor Priya Kurian are hosting an international symposium later this month which they hope will help to re-shape public engagement on potentially controversial new and emerging technologies, such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and assisted reproductive technologies. The symposium will bring together people researching in various disciplines, including science and technology, social sciences, the arts, humanities, public policy and communication. The symposium is on February 17 and 18 is funded by a Marsden grant. Speakers include award-winning physics professor Shaun Hendy from the University of Auckland, eminent indigenous scholar Dr Kim Tallbear from the University of Texas and Professor John Dryzek from Australian National University who’s an expert on democratic governance. Topics will cover energy and environmental science, reproductive technologies, laws and ethics around new science, communicating science, indigenous views on new technologies, and citizen and stakeholder engagement.

Tauranga’s first Café Scientifique for 2014 will focus on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Kaituna River Re-Diversion and Wetland Creation project. Project Manager Pim de Monchy will present the proposal for re-diversion, and the associated assessment of environmental effects. The Regional Council project team will take any feedback provided by Café Scientifique attendees and include it as part of the pre-consent consultation process. Supported by the University of Waikato, Café Scientifique is a forum for discussing science issues, where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The next Café will take place tonight (February 10) at 6.30pm for 7pm start at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Sulphur Point, Tauranga. Entry is $5 and refreshments are provided. For more information please visit: or email

The University of Waikato is partnering with local running club Hamilton City Hawks to host a series of 5km run and walk events on campus. The University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says with the University celebrating its 50th anniversary, the run/walk series is another way to engage with the local community, and to show how the University is a vibrant part of the community. The event starts on Monday, February 17 and runs through to April 7. The 5km course is on and around the University’s campus, starting and finishing near the Village Green. Hamilton runners and walkers will be familiar with other Hawks runs. During daylight saving the club organises the Eastside Tavern 5k along the Waikato River on Tuesdays and the Smith and McKenzie run in Chartwell on Wednesdays. Registration for each campus event is from 5pm each Monday from February 17 to April 7, with a race start time of 6pm for runners, and walkers starting any time after they’ve registered. A $5 entry fee gains entrance to the event and a glass of beer, cider, house wine or a non-alcoholic drink at Momento Lakes at the end. Spot prizes are awarded each evening. For more information contact

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