AgResearch man becomes vice-president as three Royal Society Council posts are filled

AgResearch’s Dr Tony Conner FRSNZ CRSNZ has been elected vice President (Biological and Life Sciences) of Royal Society Te Apārangi, one of three positions on the society’s governing body announced this week.

Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles MRSNZ was re-elected a general councillor and Associate Professor Melinda Webber MRSNZ was elected a general councillor.

It’s worth knowing who’s who among the bigwigs of The Royal Society Te Apārangi (its legal name remains the Royal Society of New Zealand), because it provides funding and policy advice to the Government in the fields of sciences and the humanities and serves as a distribution agency for government funding, particularly in science research and science education

Constituted under the Royal Society of New Zealand Act 1997 (amended in 2012), the Society exists to:

  1. Foster in the New Zealand community a culture that supports science and technology, including the promotion of public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of science and technology and the advancement of science and technology education,
  2. Encourage, promote, and recognise excellence in science and technology,
  3. Provide an infrastructure and other support for the professional needs and development of scientists and technologists,
  4. Provide expert advice on important public issues to the Government and the community,
  5. Do anything else the council considers conducive to the advancement and promotion of science and technology in New Zealand.

It is a federation of 49 scientific and technological organisations and several affiliate organisations (including the NZIAHS) and has some individual members.

The new members of its governing council are –

Dr Tony Conner FRSNZ CRSNZ, AgResearch, elected unapposed for a three year term as Vice President (Biological and Life Sciences). Dr Conner has held executive roles in several national and international scientific societies, editorial roles in six international journals, and several governance roles that currently include being a director of Grasslands Innovation Ltd, member of the Forage Strategy Governance Group, and member of the Better Border Biosecurity Collaboration Council.

Associate Professor Siouxsie WilesBioluminescent Superbugs Lab, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, at the University of Auckland, has been re-elected as a general Councillor for a three year term. Associate Professor Wiles is a microbiologist and science communicator, her significant contributions to science and the nation were recently recognised by her selection as a finalist for the New Zealander of the Year award in 2018.

Associate Professor Melinda Webber, Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, has been elected as a general Councillor for a two year term. Associate Professor Webber is a Rutherford Discovery Fellow and a member of the Royal Society Te Apārangi Gender Diversity Steering Group. She presently works with a wide range of international Indigenous communities as an education and tribal researcher.

Source:  Royal Society Te Apārangi

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