Royal Society of New Zealand, Canterbury Branch
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RSNZ Canterbury Branch

Managed by our council since 1862 promoting science and technology in Canterbury.

Anyone can join or post to our mailing list to keep up to date with science-related activities in Canterbury.

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Upcoming Events

How genes can help us understand mental disorders

Prof. Martin Kennedy, University of Otago Christchurch School of Medicine.

Thursday, 21 September, 6.30pm
Lecture Theatre C3, University of Canterbury

This talk will consider the genetic components of mental disorders: what that means, what methods can be used to discover genes that contribute to risk of mental disorders, and why that knowledge will help us better understand and treat these common conditions.

Martin Kennedy is a Research Professor at University of Otago, Christchurch, and Head of the Department of Pathology. He studied microbiology at Canterbury University (Christchurch, New Zealand) before undertaking PhD studies in bacterial genetics at the University of Auckland, and post-doctoral studies in leukaemia genetics at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK. He returned to Christchurch in 1991 and established a human genetics research laboratory.

RASNZ Beatrice Tinsley lecturer for 2017

A planet for Goldilocks: the search for evidence of life beyond Earth

spacescience.arc.nasa.gov/staff/natalie-batalha

Dr Natalie Batalha, NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California.

Wednesday, 11 October, 7.30pm
Lecture Theatre A1, University of Canterbury


"Not too hot, not too cold" begins the prescription for a world thatís just right for life as we know it. Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world thanks in large part to NASAís Kepler Mission. Operating since March 2009, the missionís objective is to determine the fraction of stars that harbour potentially habitable, earth size planets. Indeed, the space telescope opened our eyes to the terrestrial-sized planets that populate the galaxy as well as exotic worlds unlike anything that exists in the solar system. The mission ignited the search for life beyond earth via remote detection of atmospheric biosignatures on exoplanets. Most recently, the discovery of Goldilocks worlds orbiting some of the nearest neighbours to the Sun captured our imaginations and turned abstractions into destinations. Dr. Batalha will give an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key discoveries. Sheíll give a preview of whatís to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those that are concepts taking shape on the drawing board.

Natalie Batalha is a Kepler Mission scientist responsible for the extraordinarily successful Kepler satelliteís program to detect Earth-like exoplanets that potentially can sustain life. She is now also working on the James Webb Space Telescope, due for launch in 2018, which will largely replace Hubble, and also on WFIRST, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope (launch mid-2020s). Natalie Batalha in April 2017 was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people on Earth in 2017, for her contributions to the discovery of habitable exoplanets. See: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/kepler/kepler-scientist-on-time-magazine-most-influential-list _______________________________

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