The New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS) is pleased to announce its annual medal winners for 2023. The NZAS medals have a long history and are among the most prestigious awarded across all fields of research in New Zealand.
Pacific Scientists are amongst the 2023 medal winners for their contribution in New Zealand. The awards were presented at a special ceremony held at the University of Auckland earlier this week.
There were four medals awarded, The Marsden Medal, The Shorland Medal, The Hill Tinsley Medal and The Cranwell Medal. The Cranwell Medal is made to a practising scientist for excellence in communicating science to the general public in any area of science or technology.
The 2023 Cranwell Medal has been jointly awarded to Chris Puli’uvea and Dr. Natalie Netzler both from the University of Auckland. The career researchers were recognised for working towards providing clear, culturally appropriate communication to support Māori and Pacific communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They showed impressive initiative and dedication to their kaupapa by undertaking this work alongside their regular duties.
By making themselves available to speak directly with their communities and answer questions through a kōrero/talanoa approach they have likely formed lasting and meaningful connections and will be well placed to continue this important work as their careers progress.
Dr Lucy Stewart, co-President of the Association, noted that this year’s awards demonstrate the value and impact that individual scientists bring to science in Aotearoa New Zealand, which has direct impacts on our communities. “Over the last few years we have focused on assessing whether our system and institutions are fit for purpose,” she says, “but it’s vital to remember that systems are made up of people.
It is only by recruiting and retaining scientists who represent our whole community, and recognising and supporting them throughout their careers, that our research system can produce meaningful, relevant, clearly communicated results to benefit all of us.”