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 July 2016 we have over 150 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 30th August, 6.30pm.The Science of Sugar & Fat - Prof. Peter Shepherd from the University of Auckland will discuss the science of sugar and Prof. Dave Grattan from the University of Otago will cover the science behind obesity.Part of the Queenstown Research Week. Venue: Nelson Girls College. You must register for a ticket:

Thursday 8th September, 7.30pm. Ten Things you didn't know about Climate Change, a Royal Society talk in the 10 by 10 series. Professors Tim Naish and James Renwick. Elim Church, 625 Main Road Stoke.

Climate change is already redefining coastlines and the weather, both here in New Zealand and around the world. But will it affect me and what can I do about it?
Tim Naish and James Renwick will give their take on this biggest of issues – from the very local to the global.

Tuesday 13th September, 6pm. A Materials History of the World,  a presentation by Dr Penny Brothers (Principal Investigator with the MacDiarmid Institute and Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Auckland) and Dr Vladimir Golovko (Associate Investigator with the MacDiarmid Institute and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry). Venue: Maitai Room, Rutherford Hotel, Nelson. Sponsored by the MacDiarmid Institute, a national Centre of Research Excellence for research into nanotechnology and materials science. No registration required.
We define civilisation by the dominant material of the age: stone, bronze, iron.These days cities rise to astounding heights with steel and reinforced concrete. We communicate between these cities at the speed of light, thanks to silicon – the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. And our consumer world is throw-away plastic.

Nanotechnologists now create new materials from the atoms up, often copying nature’s ability to self-assemble. Are we entering The Great Graphene Age?We are ourselves walking miracles of carbon construction.

Wednesday 28th September, 6.00pm. Big Steps Forward: Osteoporosis and bone disease. A talk by: Professor Ian Reid MD FRSNZ. 2016 New Zealand Rutherford Lecture. Venue: Annesbrook Church, 40 Saxton Road West, Stoke.

This talk is free and is open to the general public. However, to ensure a seat, please register at Enquiries to: or 04 472 7421

Keeping bones strong over a lifetime is a longstanding challenge for medical health research and treatment. Distinguished Professor Ian Reid’s research career has lasted over 30 years and led to discoveries and new treatments that can improve bone health. In this talk, he will discuss the impact and treatment of bone diseases, including osteoporosis and Paget’s disease.

Ian Reid is a Distinguished Professor in Medicine at the University of Auckland, where he is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. His research interests include calcium metabolism and osteoporosis. He is a past-president of the International Bone and Mineral Society and a recipient of the Bartter Award award from the American Society of Bone & Mineral Research and the Haddad Award from the European Calcified Tissue Society. His research is supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand. In 2015 he was awarded the Liley Medal and the 2015 Rutherford Medal and together with his research group received the 2015 Prime Minister’s Science Prize.