Videos of Recent Lectures

Below are links to videos of talks organised by the Wellington Branch of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

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Cheese, platinum and fundamental constants – what is the revision of the SI all about?
By Annette Koo, Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand (MSL)
Recorded on July 3rd, 6pm in LBLT118 or Laby Lecture Theatre 118, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University

Worldwide agreement on units of measurement has brought us freedom to trade and innovate, as well as supported improved wellbeing and trust. This talk will describe why are we changing things now and what the revision of the International System of Units promises for the future. In particular, the redefinition of the kelvin away from the triple of point of water will be described, including the measurements contributing to the final value of Boltzmann’s constant and the ongoing implementation of the temperature scale.

Annette completed a physics PhD through Victoria University in 2005 and then spent 3 years in Melbourne as a postdoctoral fellow at CSIRO and then at Monash University doing research into catalysts for solar hydrogen generation. In 2008 she started at Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand (MSL) as a research scientist, developing expertise in the measurement of light and human perception, including design of MSL’s robot-based goniospectrophotometer and piloting the CCPR comparison of spectral transmittance. Annette is now a Principal Research Scientist with MSL.

 

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2018 HUDSON LECTURE:  Professor Miriam Meyerhoff
“Scaling up: Getting to ‘language’ from individual differences”


16th August 2018
Professor Meyerhoff is Professor of linguistics in the VUW School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. Miriam is a leading sociolinguist, a discipline that studies the effect of any or all aspects of society on how language is used. Her research has focused on language use in New Zealand, the Pacific and the UK. Her latest research focusses on variation in the English of Auckland citizens, a richly linguistically diverse community. Miriam was made a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2017.
The Hudson lecture is the premier lecture of the Branch, commemorating George Vernon Hudson.
Linguistics studies the structure of human languages and how languages are used. Professor Meyerhoff’s particular interest lies in the field of language contact. What happens when speakers of languages (or dialects) collide? How do speakers bridge their individual differences? And how does the way they resolve those differences shape what we come to call separate ‘languages’?
She will outline partial answers for these questions drawing on data from a number of diverse fieldwork sites: urban centres in the UK and Auckland, and smaller communities in Vanuatu and the Caribbean. In the course of this, her team have developed some innovative methods for modelling the bridge between differences at the level of individuals and at the level of dialects/languages. She will also talk about how communities of speakers ‘scale up’ in order to identify their ways of talking as a distinct language by drawing on ongoing research in northern Vanuatu.
Professor Miriam Meyerhoff is with the School of Linguistics and Applied language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Miriam is a leading sociolinguist, a discipline that studies the effect of any or all aspects of society on how language is used. Her research has focused on language use in New Zealand, the Pacific and the UK. Her latest research focusses on variation in the English of Auckland citizens, a richly linguistically diverse community. Miriam was made a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in 2017.

Click here for a link to Prof. Meyerhoff’s lecture.

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PUBLIC LECTURE & BOOK LAUNCH:  Phil Lester
“The Vulgar Wasp” 

Wasps are feared and hated by many of us, with good reason—they sting. They also place massive pressure on New Zealand’s biodiversity. Though we know them as pests, wasps are also amazingly smart, efficient predators. Should we learn to live with them? Should we control their populations, or even strive to eradicate every last one from New Zealand? In this public lecture, and in his new book, Professor Phil Lester examines the many sides of wasps and the challenges we face for pest control.
Copies of this book are available here.
Click here for a link to Phil’s lecture.

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