Welcome to The Wanaka Branch of the
Royal Society of New Zealand.

The Wanaka group was formed in February 2013, becoming the 9th Regional branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand which is based in Wellington. Consistent with the aims of the central organisation, the main objective of the Wanaka Branch is to advance and promote science, technology and humanities in Wanaka and the Wanaka region.

The Branch seeks to achieve this by offering a series of 6 to 10 lectures each year. It aims to bring speakers who are highly regarded in their field of knowledge and expertise, as well as good communicators. Each year a number of eminent national and international speakers, who tour New Zealand under the umbrella of the Royal Society Wellington are included in the programme.

The Wanaka Branch is constituted as an unincorporated society and comprises a membership who appoint an executive committee at an AGM held in May each year. Members receive advance notices of lectures and other communications by email. Lectures are open to the public, and usually held at 6pm on a Friday in the Presbyterian Community Centre, 91 Tenby St, Wanaka.

Becoming a Member

Anyone is welcome to become a member of the Wanaka Branch. For information about types of memberships, subscriptions/fees, how to apply, and Rules of the Society, please click on the link below.

Upcoming Talks


Women in Nanoscience: little materials, big stories

Friday 6 Oct 2017, 6.00pm, Presbyterian Church Hall, 91 Tenby St, Wanaka.
The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

Speakers: Professor Cather Simpson, Dr. Michelle Dickinson and Professor Penny Brothers.

The MacDiarmid Institute is delighted to bring its regional lecture series to Wanaka again. In this year’s talk ‘Women in Nanoscience; Little Materials, Big Stories’, Professor Penny Brothers, Professor Cather Simpson and Dr Michelle Dickinson will each tell their personal story about how they came to be a nanoscientist, as well as explain some of their research.

MacDiarmid Deputy Director for Engagement, Associate Professor Nicola Gaston, said the talks would give some context to what it is like being a woman in the physical sciences (physics, chemistry or engineering) – an area of science largely populated by males.

“These are personal stories, told by women scientists from the MacDiarmid Institute. Each talk will take you on a tour of the realities of life as a scientist and the research in the MacDiarmid Institute.”

Associate Professor Gaston said there had been considerable interest in the lectures.

“Despite decades of government effort aimed at getting girls into science, the stats show that women are still significantly under-represented in the academic career structure, not only in more senior ranks but also at the research student level. I’m happy to be able to say that a third of MacDiarmid Institute researchers are women – even at the most senior levels – but while that’s better than usual in these disciplines, it demonstrates the persistent representation gap.

“We know that having positive female scientist role models helps younger women see a future career for themselves as scientists, so we’re extremely pleased to be able to bring some of our female scientists to speak in Wanaka.”

The talk is part of a wider MacDiarmid regional lecture series, which this year sees 15 MacDiarmid Institute women nanoscientists talk at six centres around the country.



Follow the “Grebes of Wanaka” with committee member John Darby


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