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National Science Challenge considers what’s next?

05 April 2024

University of Canterbury researchers recently joined the final celebration of the Crazy and Ambitious Biological Heritage Science Challenge.


Photo credit: Biological Heritage National Science Challenge 

Since 2014 Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) has been an active participant in New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. Last week it culminated in the fourth and final conference, held at Te Papa Wellington, titled Crazy & Ambitious 4: Building on Momentum.

Executive Dean of Science Professor Sarah Young joined the conference and addressed the group on the value and future of mission-led science, asking the question, “how much do we do for the citizens in the communities we serve?” stating, “We can not lose sight of this.”

Associate Professor Steve Pawson, an expert in invasive species and biosecurity, shared new tools in surveillance, and UC Ngāi Tahu Research Centre Fellow Izzy Busby was joined by Ally Palmer from University of Auckland to discuss how crucial community collaboration is for conservation efforts to succeed.

Dr John Reid (Ngāti Pikiao, Tainui) played a key role, co-leading the Eco-Index programme, and running multiple sessions throughout the conference. Dr Reid co-presented with Penny Payne at Protected, Restored, Connected – watch the webinar here.

UC’s long-standing involvement in the Challenge includes five programme leads and three co-leads. Dr Helen Warburton is also a Resident Scientist and a co-lead for the early careers network Ngā Pī Ka Rere, Professor Jason Tylianakis is active in BioHeritage’s Crazy & Ambitious Think Tank, and Professor Shaun Ogilvie is involved in the Māori leadership rōpu Te Aho Mātauranga to demonstrate leadership in the Aotearoa innovation system. 

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