Desperately Seeking Scientists
By David Pine
The number of new science graduates - particularly PhDs emerging from our universities - is critically low, according to Science NZ CEO Anthony Scott.
Speaking at Plimmerton Rotary on 12th August, Mr Scott explained that his role gave him oversight of the seven Crown Research Institutes in NZ. “Our export earnings are critical to our future prosperity and I would argue that a vastly increased number of science graduates will be needed in future to ensure we are able to provide all the good things a modern economy requires, such as roads, bridges, airports, schools, universities, and IT infrastructure.
“The number of PhD students is especially critical, because these students make the greatest impact on the sectors they choose to work in.”
Noting that 70% of NZ’s export earnings were derived from the primary sector, Mr Scott believed it was imperative that the NZ Government did all it could to promote the idea of students studying agricultural and environmental sciences. As time went by the primary sector was becoming more and more high tech, requiring an ever more highly skilled workforce. “Turning out large numbers of accounting, law and arts students is all very well, but science students will have a far more positive impact on our country going forward.”
“In the next eleven years to 2025, we estimate that to keep up with demand NZ’s private sector will need to treble the number of graduates it employs, from the current 8,200 to 22,700.
“It has been shown that around the board table, science graduates will ask quite different questions from those asked by graduates from other fields. This is because of their different training and thought processes. This has to be extremely positive for NZ business going forward.”
Ministerial Pathway Visit
We were very fortunate to have a visit from two Ministers of the Crown to share morning tea with us at the Pauatahanui Cinema Café on Tuesday morning.
Hon Hekia Parata and Hon Amy Adams came to check progress on the Te Ara Piko Pathway and Hon Amy addressed us on Environmental issues. Read more here
RYPEN, RYLA & NZ National Science and Technology Forum - Bill McAulay is looking for candidates for the above. High schools in the area have been approached but if you know of anyone who may be interested please contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotary Youth Exchange
Jessica Nüssel is our exchange student who has recently arrived from Switzerland. Please take time to get to know Jessica and be sure to include her in one of your family activities during the year.
We look forward to hearing from Jessica soon when we will learn more about her.
Next week - Committee Night
Next week is Committee Night but there will be a short report from Student Colin McLean whom we sponsored to attend the last NZ National Science and Technological Forum in Auckland.
Christmas Function - Date to Diary
Our Rotary Christmas Function has been booked. Please put this date in your diary now!
Saturday 13 December 2014
We are going to Rydges Hotel at 75, Featherston Street, Wellington.
Rotary Institute/District 9940 Conference
From 5-7 December 2014 Wellington will host the Rotary Institute/ District 9940 Conference. There will be no Conference for District 9940 in 2015. This is it! The 2015 Conference has actually been brought forward December 2014 to merge with the South Pacific Institute and it is all happening here in Wellington. This is a wonderful opportunity to be involved with Rotarians from all over the world.
Check out this event and register here now.