The New Zealand International Science Festival has launched a podcast showcasing the kaikōrero who presented in July. Included in the podcast are four talks featuring National Science Challenges, including panels with BioHeritage’s Danielle Shanahan and Tūmai Cassidy.

Since 1998, the New Zealand International Science Festival has inspired curiosity and genius in the minds of attendees. The latest was no exception. Staged in Ōtepoti Dunedin, the festival programme offered 90+ stirring events.  

With accessibility in mind, 2023’s programme was available digitality through the festival hub. And now, with July’s festival wrapped, comes the launch of an online free-to-access podcast.  

Linked below are four sessions (including Q&A panels) featuring representatives from National Science Challenges, including BioHeritage. In bringing their expertise, energy and perspective to the festival, these experts are helping shape science and science communication in Aotearoa.  

Healthier Kiwis: 

How can we improve the health and wellbeing of kiwis across all age, cultural and economic spectrums? Drawing on research from the National Science Challenges, these talks will focus on supporting and improving our collective mental and physical wellbeing. 

Note: Unfortunately part of the Q&A discussion is currently missing. If recoverable, a new version of that talk will be uploaded to the podcast. 

Liveable Cities: 

How can we adapt our cities and the way we inhabit them to make them more liveable in an era of climate change? A wide range of options will be discussed, from creating urban sponges to increasing flood resilience, encouraging food equity, changing the way we move around, and greening our cities to support mental health – all drawing upon research from the National Science Challenges. 

Danielle Shanahan, co-lead of Pathways to Ecosystem Regeneration, featured on this event’s panel. 

“It was great to have expertise from across the National Science Challenges platformed at the festival, and it was thrilling to be involved!” 

Danielle Shanahan 

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Enabling Kaitiakitanga: 

How do we remove barriers for Māori to enact kaitiakitanga and what does this look like in practice? Vision Mātauranga has been an integral part of the National Science Challenges, which has resulted in a wealth of kaupapa-based research and examples of Te Tiriti-based partnership and engagement. Hear about some of these efforts from locally- and nationally-based research. 

Tumai Cassidy represented BioHeritage on this panel. 

Feeding Aotearoa:

There’s arguably little else more important than ensuring an adequate and healthy food supply for our people, and in our changing world, food systems will need to adapt. This panel will address the question: how can New Zealand move towards a food system that contributes positively to health, wellbeing, the economy and the environment? Panellists will discuss the current state of our food systems on land and at sea, and talk about what research is being undertaken to drive positive change. 

The episodes are available in full here, and are also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and a number of other podcast outlets. 

The Science Festival currently runs on a big year/small year cycle. Next year is a NanoFest year, which has a smaller programme. The next large festival will be held in July 2025. 

Kerry Donovan Brown 

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