The Nelson Science Society

Welcome to the webpage of the Nelson Science Society (NSS) and its constituent, the Astronomy Section. The NSS is a branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand and exists to promote science within the Nelson/Tasman region - we do this by holding regular scientific talks from a variety of experts throughout the year and by promoting science education in schools and colleges.

The Astronomy section is run as an independent constituent of the NSS and maintains its own program of events (see Astronomy Section pages for full details and newsletter). Please bookmark this website to see details of all upcoming events sponsored by the NSS and its Astronomy section (and other events of interest), and to see details of past activities etc. 


As of September 2015 we have over 170 paid up members and a mailing contact list of over 500. If you have any interest in science either give us your e-mail address so we can send you details of our events or join our growing society. Science is alive and well in Nelson!


Tuesday May 31st , 7.30pm Philip Simpson will talk on “The Natural History of Abel Tasman National Park”. NMIT, Room A211, free for NSS members, gold coin donation for all others.

The geology, landforms, climate and serendipitous events together set up the habitats of Abel Tasman National Park. The predominant granite landscape creates a unique range of forest, wetland and coastal ecosystems, with both common and rare plant species and a distinctive fauna, especially in the streams. Lowland and upland forests contrast, the former with especially well developed rata forest, the latter with unusual acid tolerant pakihi associations. The human hand has been extreme and regenerating kanuka and tree fern forests are characteristic. Orchids are a particular feature.  Philip will describe the natural history as part of Project Janszoon and a proposed book. Philip will welcome advice and information about the Park.

Nelson botanist Dr. Philip Simpson was awarded one of New Zealand’s highest conservation honours for his ongoing work with native plants, the Loder Cup, for his outstanding contribution to plant conservation. A founding member of the Project Crimson Trust, established to protect pohutukawa, Dr. Simpson is also an award-winning author and is acknowledged for his work in setting up community based planting schemes. Dr. Simpson has supported work with schools, landowners and community groups around New Zealand to protect and restore native plant life. Dr Simpson has also received Creative New Zealand’s Michael King Writers’ Fellowship.


Friday June 10th, 7:00 pm.Star Party - public astronomy. Cawthron Atkinson Observatory which is on the grounds of the Clifton Terrace School.Entry: All welcome. Gold coin donation.


For reference: Go to https://www.google.co.nz/alerts select Science. Complete the details required after this and each day you will receive items of scientific interest from Google. A brilliant free service.

A new view of the tree of life: http://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol201648