Tuesday, April 1st, 6pm (NOTE EARLY START). ''Did eugenics rest on an early mistake? Lessons from History for today's geneticists'', A talk by Professor Hamish Spencer, Principal Investigator Allan Wilson Centre. An Alan Wilson Centre
Venue: Old St Johns Church, 320 Hardy St. No booking for this - first in first served.
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 programme 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.
Next events (please also refer to calendar of events page):
Summary: Mental deficiency was the target of eugenicists early last century.
They took action to segregate or sterilize affected individuals. But,
apparently, they made an astoundingly simple mistake: a basic
understanding of genetics seemingly suggests that this approach could
never be successful.I will discuss the origin of this
argument against the segregation and sterilization policies, and show
that it was first proposed in an effort to expand the scope of eugenics,
rather than to discredit it. I will suggest other reasons why the
eugenics movement really failed, and argue that some current debates in
medical genetics would be enlightened if participants knew more about
the history of eugenics.
Biography: Hamish Spencer is Professor of Zoology at the
University of Otago, previously the Head of Department. He is now
Director of the Allan Wilson Centre, one of the New Zealand government’s
Centres of Research Excellence. Hamish studied for his undergraduate
and master’s degree at Auckland before obtaining a PhD from Harvard
University in 1988.
STOP THE PRESS!! Tuesday, April 22nd, 8.00pm. Nelson Science Society Inaugrial Pecha Kucha Night.
Come and join Nelson's first quickfire Science presentation bonanza! If
you have a Science topic and have been itching to bring it to the
attention of the public, now is your chance! Each speaker is allowed 20
slides, and each slide must take only 20 seconds to present - so talks
last only approximately 6 minutes. We will be aiming at hosting 15 of
these mini-talks on as many different topics as there are aspects to
science. Interested in presenting? See our mailshot for details. Venue: Old St John’s Church, 320 Hardy St. Free entry.
Monday, April 28th, 6pm. "The Evolution of Goodness" by Professor
Lee Dugatkin, Professor of Biology, University of Louisville, USA. An Alan Wilson Centre
Venue: Old St John’s Church, 320 Hardy St. ( NOTE 6pm start.) Summary: We humans display acts of kindness
and generosity all the time. As it turns out, nonhumans are also good to
another, sacrificing to help others of their kind. But why? Why do
both humans and animals show such altruistic, self-sacrificial, behaviour?
Scientists and philosophers have long pondered these questions. This talk
will bring us up to date on what we know and what we don’t know about the roots
Biography: Lee Dugatkin is a Professor of Biology and
a Distinguished University Scholar at the University of Louisville. Professor
Dugatkin is one of the world’s leading experts on the subject of the evolution
of behaviour. In addition to publishing over 150 papers in journals like Nature
and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Professor
Dugatkin has written many articles in more popular magazines such as Scientific
American, The New Scientist, and Slate.