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 June 2017 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!


We're getting a new telescope!
The 135 year old, historic Cooke telescope, which is housed in the Cawthron Atkinson Observatory at Clifton Terrace School, is coming to the end of its useful life. Sadly, when parts now fail, they can’t be replaced. The telescope is being given back at the end of the year to the Cawthron Institute Trust Board who will put it on permanent display in a new wing which is soon to be built at the Cawthron.

Fundraising for the new telescope:

Fundraising has been going well and we have already raised, or been promised, just over $12,000.

We only have $3000 - $5000 to go before we have enough money to buy a new 21st century telescope. If you wish to donate you can:

1. Go to our Givealittle page at Please don't be put off by the box that says we are not a charity and aren't eligible for tax credit. We are and I expect those boxes to be ticked within the next few days. Also, we are aiming for $5000, not the $10,000 as shown on the Givealittle site. 

2. If you'd rather send us a donation directly, email me at and I'll send you the banking details.

Jenny Pollock

President Nelson Science Society

+64211293174 (mobile)

035483070 (home)


PLEASE NOTE: The Nelson Science Society has changed its email address. It is now This email address can be used now to email the president, treasurer or to gain information.

Tuesday, October 17th, 7.30pm. NSS Annual General Meeting. Venue: NMIT Room G14. PLEASE ATTEND!
Andy Hamilton will be resigning his position as treasurer, and also as a committee member. 
So we will be looking for:
- a new treasurer
- a secretary
- two to three committee members.

The duties of the treasurer are to:
- Keep the accounts of the NSS, and possibly the Astronomy Section, by paying invoices, travel claims, banking koha/donations etc. We use internet banking and try to keep things paperless.
- Present the accounts annually at the AGM and prepare the accounts for the annual Charities Commission report.
- Receive and process subscriptions when annual memberships are collected in February/March
- Assist the president and other committee members by attending meetings, helping at the door etc.

The duties of the secretary will be to work closely with the president on jobs such as bookings for talks, maintaining the database, attending meetings and taking minutes, helping run talks and updating Facebook and the website. 
Both positions would probably take about two hours a week with down times in December and January. 
Committee members would be expected to attend a meeting four times a year and to assist with special projects as required.

Draft Agenda:
 1. Minutes of the previous meeting - Jenny
 2. President’s report – Jenny
 3. The new website - Jenny
 4. Science bus - Jenny
 5. Treasurer’s report – Andy
 6. Astronomy section report
     -  handover of the Cooke telescope to the Cawthron -
     -  fundraising for the new telescope to date - Jenny
     -  general AS report - Dennis?
 7. Update on the Dark Sky initiative - Ralph
 8. Election of Officers – Jenny
 9. Other business – Jenny
 10. Close – Jenny

Friday, October 27th, 8:30 pm. Star Party. Cawthron Atkinson Observatory which is on the grounds of the Clifton Terrace School. All welcome. Gold coin donation for EVERYONE please.