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Those end-of-year lists keep coming… Emerging are a number of lists representing “New Zealanders of the Year”. Not all have announced their nominees, but two of those that have started to announce them include scientists amongst their number.

The New Zealand Herald New Zealanders of the Year for 2009 recognises two scientists, Dame Anne Salmond and Al Rowland from a list of nominations submitted by staff.

Associate Professor Al Rowland (Massey University, now retired) was nominated for this pivotal role enabling military veterans to seek compensation for exposure to nuclear tests through demonstrating that military personnel exposed to nuclear testing had substantially more chromosomal damage than age-matched men who had not been exposed to nuclear tests.

Dame Anne Salmond (Professor, University of Auckland) is both a distinguished anthropologist and a historical non-fiction writer. Over and above many recognitions within NZ for her work, she has been honoured internationally. For anthropology she is a foreign associate in the National Academy of Sciences for her long services to anthropology of Maori and Pacific Islanders. She is also a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy humanities and social sciences. Her work includes studies of the history of exploration of the Pacific; her books have won numerous awards.

The last scientist recognised as the NZer of the year by the NZ Herald was Sir Peter Gluckman in 2004.

TV3 opens its list today with an account of nominee Peter Beck’s recent rocket exploits.  (They start at “10″, so I presume they are counting down to “1″.)


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