Royal Society of New Zealand

Royal Society of New Zealand
RSNZ logo 2010.jpg

The Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ), known as the New Zealand Institute before 1933, was established in 1867 to co-ordinate and assist the activities of a number of regional research societies including the Auckland Institute, the Wellington Philosophical Society, the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, and the Otago Institute. These societies often did not have the means to publish the papers that were presented to them or maintain a written record of their activities. The New Zealand Institute was set up to remedy this through the publication of a single volume of transactions and proceedings on their behalf.[1]

Currently constituted under the Royal Society of New Zealand Act 1997, the RSNZ exists:

  1. To foster in the New Zealand community a culture that supports science and technology, including (without limitation)
(i) The promotion of public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of science and technology; and
(ii) The advancement of science and technology education,
  1. To encourage, promote, and recognise excellence in science and technology,
  2. To provide an infrastructure and other support for the professional needs and development of scientists and technologists,
  3. To provide expert advice on important public issues to the Government and the community,
  4. To do all other lawful things which the Council considers conducive to the advancement and promotion of science and technology in New Zealand.

It is a federation of 49 constituent scientific and technological organisations, and also several affiliate organisations, and it has individual members.

The RSNZ's activities encompass:

  1. Science Funding As a non-political funding distribution agency for government funding, particularly in science research and science education
  2. Publishing The RSNZ publishes such peer-reviewed journals as NZ Journal of Botany and NZ Journal of Zoology
  3. Meetings and Seminars Most local branches and constituent scientific and technological organisations run seminar series of some descriptions, and the RSNZ promotes these and coordinates touring international lecturers.
  4. Awards and Medals The RSNZ awards the Rutherford Medal (formerly the Gold Medal) and the Pickering Medal annually to recognise people who have made outstanding contributions to New Zealand society and culture in science, mathematics, social science, and technology. Silver and Bronze medals are also awarded.
  5. Science Education The RSNZ promotes quality science education and plays a role in setting the national science curriculum.

The New Zealand Association of Scientists is similar body, constituted as a independent non-profit incorporated society and registered charity,[2][3] rather than being constituted by an Act of Parliament.


Presidents of the Royal Society of New Zealand

The current President is Garth Carnaby, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Lincoln University on 14 April 2010

Past presidents include:

  • Captain Frederick Wollaston Hutton 1903–04
  • Sir James Hector 1905–06
  • Hon. George Malcolm Thomson 1907–08
  • Augustus Hamilton 1909–10
  • Thomas Frederic Cheeseman 1911–12
  • Charles Chilton 1913–14
  • Donald Petrie 1915
  • Sir William Blaxland Benham 1916–17
  • Leonard Cockayne 1918–19
  • Sir Thomas Hill, Easterfield 1920–21
  • Harry Borrer Kirk 1922–23
  • Patrick Marshall 1924–25
  • Bernard Cracroft Aston 1926–27
  • J Allan Thomson (Mr B. C. Aston reappointed May 1928, vice Dr J. Allan Thomson deceased.) 1928
  • Clinton Coleridge Farr 1929–30
  • Hugh William Segar 1931–32
  • Robert Speight 1933–34
  • Right Rev. Bishop Williams 1935–36
  • William Percival Evans 1937–38
  • Rev. John Ernest, Holloway 1939–40
  • Sir Gilbert Archey 1941–42
  • Harry Howard Allan 1943–45
  • William Noel Benson 1946–47
  • Sir Ernest Marsden 1947
  • Sir Robert Alexander Falla 1948–50
  • Francis Raymond Callaghan 1950–52
  • Walter Reginald Brook Oliver 1952–54
  • David Miller 1954–56
  • Lindsay Heathcote Briggs 1956–58
  • Robin Sutcliffe Allan 1958–60
  • Joseph Keith Dixon 1960–62
  • Sir Charles Alexander Fleming 1962–64
  • Miles Aylmer Fulton Barnett 1964
  • Sir Charles Alexander Fleming 1964–66
  • John Arthur Reginald Miles 1966–70
  • Richard Wright Willett 1970–74
  • Sir Malcolm McRae Burns 1974–77
  • Richard Kenneth Dell 1977–81
  • Edward George Bollard 1981–85
  • Trevor Hatherton 1985–89
  • John Newton Dodd 1989–93
  • Philippa Margaret Black 1993–97
  • Sir John Scott 1997–2000
  • Sir Gil Simpson 2000–2003
  • Jim Watson 2004–2006
  • Neville Jordan 2006
  • Dr Garth Carnaby

Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand

The Academy Council of the society from time to time elects as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand any person who in its opinion "has achieved distinction in research or the advancement of science or technology". The number of Fellows is limited to such number as is agreed from time to time between the Academy Council and the Council of the society. A Fellow is entitled to use, in connection with his or her name, either the letters FRSNZ, which stand for Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, or such other letters or title as is agreed from time to time between the Academy Council and the Council.[4]

Constituent organisations

The society has relatively few direct members, with most membership being via constituent organisations. The constituent organisations of RSNZ are:

  • Agronomy Society of New Zealand
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA)
  • Association of Social Science Researchers
  • Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (NZ Section)(ASCEPT)
  • Geological Society of New Zealand
  • Meteorological Society of New Zealand
  • New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
  • The Nutrition Society of New Zealand
  • New Zealand Archaeological Association
  • New Zealand Association for Research in Education
  • New Zealand Association of Clinical Research
  • NZ Association of Mathematics Teachers
  • New Zealand Association of Science Educators
  • New Zealand Association of Scientists
  • New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • New Zealand Dietetic Association
  • New Zealand Ecological Society
  • New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society
  • New Zealand Geographical Society
  • New Zealand Geophysical Society
  • NZ Geothermal Association
  • New Zealand Grassland Association
  • New Zealand Hydrological Society
  • NZ Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science
  • The New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology
  • New Zealand Institute of Economic Research
  • The New Zealand Institute of Chemistry
  • New Zealand Institute of Forestry
  • New Zealand Institute of Physics
  • New Zealand Marine Sciences Society
  • New Zealand Mathematical Society Inc.
  • New Zealand Microbiological Society
  • New Zealand Plant Protection Society
  • New Zealand Psychological Society Incorporated
  • New Zealand Society of Animal Production
  • New Zealand Society of Endocrinology
  • New Zealand Society for Oncology
  • The New Zealand Society for Parasitology
  • New Zealand Society of Plant Biologists (NZSPB)
  • New Zealand Society of Soil Science
  • New Zealand Statistical Association
  • New Zealand Veterinary Association
  • Operational Research Society of New Zealand
  • The Physiological Society of New Zealand Incorporated
  • Population Association of New Zealand
  • Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand
  • Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Sociological Association of Aotearoa NZ
  • Technology Education New Zealand (TENZ)

Statement on Global Warming

On 10 July 2008, the Royal Society of New Zealand released a statement, which said in summary:

The globe is warming because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements show that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are well above levels seen for many thousands of years. Further global climate changes are predicted, with impacts expected to become more costly as time progresses. Reducing future impacts of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.[5]


  1. ^ A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966., ed (23 April 2009). "Royal Society: Foundation". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatu- Taonga. ISBN 978-0-478-18451-8. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  2. ^ "About |". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 27 July 2011. "New Zealand Association of Scientists" 
  3. ^ "New Zealand Association Of Scientists Incorporated". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Royal Society of New Zealand Act 1997, Section 10.
  5. ^ Climate change statement from the Royal Society of New Zealand, Press Release, 2008-07-01, retrieved 2009-10-10, The Royal Society of New Zealand.

External links

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