Since July 2011 the Institute has engaged in discussions with some of New Zealand’s deepest thinkers on how best to propel New Zealand forward. Think Piece 15: The Magical place where Science and Humanities meet reflects these discussions. The Think Piece identifies ways we might best make New Zealand, as the late Sir Paul Callaghan said, ‘a place where talent wants to live.’ Sir Paul was a great fan of Steve Jobs, who said, ‘… the intersection of humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place.’

For the McGuinness Institute, this means running a special scholarship work programme. Initially we were thinking of a three week standardised work programme but, in discussion with others, we have recognised that the key gap in the market is to provide young people with practical research experience. To this end, we are going to work with project sponsors and develop four to eight week projects that include publishing a working paper on a specific topic of interest. To date we have two scholarship programmes; one in honour Jan Lee Martin and another for Sir Paul Callaghan.

The Jan Lee Martin Science meets Humanities Scholarship

Jan Lee Martin

Jan Lee Martin

About Jan Lee Martin: Jan was a professional member of the World Future Society and a member of the World Futures Studies Federation. She contributed to many publications, including the standard text in futures studies degree courses entitled The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies. She was also a member of the editorial board of the international Journal of Futures Studies. Jan was born in New Zealand and lived in Australia. In March 2011 she was one of the speakers at the McGuinness Institute’s StrategyNZ workshop held in Wellington. It was Jan’s wish that bright young people with big ideas and a passion for New Zealand’s long term future are given the opportunity to carry out independent research in an area of interest to them and of potential benefit to all.

The purpose of the 2013 scholarship: The purpose is to publish a working paper that investigates the potential for constructing an extended version of the GAPI Index that can measure and compare the environmental performance of the major animal protein sources produced in New Zealand. This is a scoping exercise to see if such a project would be possible based on publicly available information.

The Project Manager: Dr John Volpe spoke at the Christmas Drinks evening held by the Institute on 13 December 2012. Dr Volpe is a Canadian scientist from the Seafood Ecology Research Group, who spoke about the framework he has developed to compare the ecological sustainability of farming various species of fish in different countries: The Global Aquaculture Performance Index. Such an index would increase consumer awareness of the environmental impacts of their foods as well as providing a useful tool for the respective industries and relevant policy makers to know where the greatest opportunities for increased sustainability lie.

The recipient in 2013: The recipient is Ashleigh Cox. Ashleigh was a participant of the McGuinness Institute LongtermNZ workshop in December last year. She is an economics student completing her honours degree for a Bachelor of Social Sciences at Waikato University.

The Sir Paul Callaghan Science meets Humanities Scholarship

Sir Paul Callaghan

Sir Paul Callaghan

About Sir Paul Callaghan: The late Professor Sir Paul Callaghan is one of New Zealand’s most respected scientists. He was one of the world’s leading scientist in the fields of nanotechnology and magnetic resonance. His work has put him and New Zealand on the international stage; he received a knighthood for services to science and New Zealand’s highest scientific honour, the Rutherford Medal. From the Institute’s perspective, his work exploring New Zealand’s long-term future was exemplary. His book Wool to Weta and his keynote talk at StrategyNZ continue to inspire our work programme. Most importantly, he believed in investing in young people and we want to continue his commitment to the youth in this country.

The purpose of the 2013 scholarship: The chosen recipient of this Scholarship will research how New Zealanders could implement Sir Paul Callaghan’s dream of making New Zealand ‘a place where talent wants to live’. The scholar will interview a diverse range of New Zealanders on this topic and prepare a written working paper on the results.

The project manager: The late Sir Paul Callaghan founded Magritek in 2004 as an advanced technology company. John Trail, Head of Sales and Marketing at Magritek and one of Sir Paul Callaghan’s friends, will help the Institute choose the young scholar for the Sir Paul Callaghan Science meets Humanities Scholarship. Also, he will project manage the resulting working paper, giving the recipient the opportunity to spend a day at Magritek.

To apply: The scholarship will be offered to the participants of the EmpowerNZ and LongTermNZ workshops held by the Institute in 2012. To express your interest for this scholarship please email me by the 20th of February stating in 150 words why you would like to receive this scholarship. The results will be announced at the end of March 2013.