ScienceTeller 2013 and Genetics Week 2013

By Grant Jacobs 13/09/2013

Block out some time in your diaries, ScienceTeller and Genetics Week are coming to town.


ScienceTeller 2013

Over October 25th – 27th Dunedin’s Regent Theatre* and the Otago Museum will host the second ScienceTeller Festival.

The programme includes films, talks, workshops, dinner and, of course, a pub session (Literature and Lager).

Presenters are both local and international.

International presenters include Hazel Marshall, story consultant for the BBC Academy, Canadian rap artist Baba Brinkman, Naomi Oreskes, Professor at the Department of History of Science at Harvard University, Robyn Williiams from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Robin Moore and his excellent photography among others.

Local contributions include films by students of the University of Otago’s Centre for Science Communication, presentations by those working on creative non-fiction writing and others.

Registration details are online: $150, students and University of Otago  alumni $115.

More on ScienceTeller can be found on their Facebook page; they can also be followed on twitter.

The event is supported by the University of Otago, Otago Museum, renown film makers Natural History New Zealand along with sponsors the Stuart Residence Halls Council, Molecular Ecology and Evolution centre the Allan Wilson Centre, Cyclone Computers and popular science magazine, Cosmos.

Genetics Week 2013

Events for Genetics Otago’s Genetics Week are being held in Auckland (Monday 23rd September), Wanaka (Friday 27th September) and Dunedin (September 26th – 29th).

All events are free to attend and have complimentary pre-event drinks and nibbles.

Aside from talks there is DNA Day at the Otago Museum and a workshop for (senior) science teachers (two half-days).

DNA Day includes DIY DNA extraction, Build Your Own Helix and Find the Glitch in the Genome competitions for kids. You can also contribute your DNA to the National Geographic Genographic Project.

For talks there are:

Auckland, Monday 23rd:

Jessica Wapner, author of The Philadelphia ChromosomeThe Quest to Cure Cancer at a Genetic Level

Professor Martin Kennedy  Understanding the Genome to Improve Medicine

Wanaka, Friday 27th:

Jessica Wapner, author of The Philadelphia ChromosomeThe Quest to Cure Cancer at a Genetic Level

Dunedin, Tuesday 24rd:

Jessica Wapner, author of The Philadelphia ChromosomeThe Quest to Cure Cancer at a Genetic Level

Professor Ian MorisonBeyond the human genome: cutting-edge developments in leukaemia treatment

Dunedin, Wednesday 25rd:

Professor Julian SavulescuDealing Ethically with Genes for Criminality

Associate Professor Colin Gavaghan, Not guilty by reason of genetics: New Zealand law and genetic defenses

Dunedin, Thursday 26rd:

Associate Professor Peter Dearden Living Longer Through Cake

Professor Jon WatersAncient DNA Reveals Prehistoric New Zealand

Dr Bruce RobertsonWhen rediscovery is not enough: the New Zealand storm-petrel

Stefanie Grosser, PhD candidate, Population structure of prehistoric and contemporary little blue penguins: A trans-Tasman fairy (penguin) tale

Dunedin, Friday 27th (shorter talks featuring University of Otago researchers):

Associate Professor Peter Dearden How honey bees can improve our health and save the world

Professor Parry Guilford: Cancer: the problem and the promise

Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith: Africa to Aotearoa – understanding the genetic history of New Zealand

Professor Jon WatersDiscovering Prehistoric New Zealand

Dr Christine Jasoni Mum’s the word: How a mother’s body weight during pregnancy can elevate her baby’s later life risk of metabolic disease

Dr Julia HorsfieldFishing for a cure: how zebrafish can help understand human disease

Dr Mik BlackBig data: genomic number crunching

Times and locations of the events are on the Genetics Week page, as well as email addresses to reserve your place.


* For those not familiar with Dunedin, the Regent Theatre is one of the grand old dames of theatres in New Zealand. You can see a photo of it in my post about the science of titles of book spines, book rotation and the annual 24-hour book sale that is held there, Book sales, frumpy readers, and mental rotation of book titles.

Other articles on Code for life:

Book sales, frumpy readers, and mental rotation of book titles

Writing a popular science book; links and writers’ warnings

Eye sci with my little eye

The bosom serpent

Aww, crap

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