Harkness Fellows – insights from the USA

A report-back session live via Zoom

The Harkness Fellowships Trust and Fulbright New Zealand invite you to tune in for a Zoom webstream featuring insightful presentations from our three most recent Fellows, who spent time in the US, pre Covid-19, researching some of the biggest issues facing society.

In this report back session you’ll find out about the research our Fellows undertook in the US and how the insights they gained could inform policy and practice here in New Zealand.
Where: Via this Zoom link 

When:Thursday 18 June at 4pm – 5.15pmWhat: Three brief video presentations followed by Q&A.

This Harkness report back session features…

Joe Beaglehole Senior Analyst at the Ministry for the Environment, spent three months at the Marron Institute at New York University researching tools and institutions to better accommodate rapid urban growth. He’ll discuss the insights he gained into land use regulation and urban policy and what they mean for New Zealand.

Donna Provoost, Director – Strategy, Rights & Advice at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, was hosted by the Harvard University (Center for the Developing Child) and the University of Oregon (Center for Translational Neuroscience). She explored approaches to improving child wellbeing, particularly related to their sense of belonging, identity and agency.  and met with over 150 people in university and research organisations, NGO think tanks and service providers, community leaders, and yes, even young people.

Doug Jones, former Manahautū (General Manager Māori) at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and current Chief Executive of Ngāi Tāmanuhiri Iwi, was based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology exploring the environmental trade-offs, and costs that need to be considered when introducing new technologies (such as gene editing) to protect native species. He’ll outline lessons from the US experience for New Zealand’s own approach to emerging technologies.

Remembering Royce Elliott

Royce Elliott, a 1968 Harkness fellow, died 0n 19 September 2019.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 11.29.42 AMRoyce was a veterinary scientist who had a distinguished career in the Ministry of Agriculture.  He was a visionary leader who transformed the state veterinary service, modernised the regulation of dairy processing and integrated the Ministry’s food safety and agricultural biosecurity systems.

He held a series of senior management positions including eight years as Assistant Director-General of Agriculture.   In 1990, he was appointed Group Director, Policy and retired in 1993 as Deputy Director- General MAF.

Following retirement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Royce became Executive Director of the Institute of Public Administration NZ (IPANZ) for several years in the mid to late 1990s.

He is well known in the New Zealand Harkness family because he was the Harkness Fellowships representative of the Commonwealth Fund of New York for New Zealand from 1984 to 1992.  He chaired the selection panels for those years.

In 2015 , Royce published “The Glass Jar” about his childhood in an orphanage.  He was a devoted family man and a kind and generous manager with the highest ethical standards.

He was qualified as BVSc (Hons), MRCVS, DIP BACT (MANCH) and was awarded an OBE and the NZ 1990 Medal.  He was a Harkness Fellow from 1968-70 at the Trudeau Medical Research Institute in New York.

Māori @ MIT – Doug Jones on gene editing, research collaboration and life in the US

doug jonesHarkness Fellow Doug Jones is coming to the end of his time in the US, where he has been based at MIT and travelling around the US to undertake research.

He has been blogging along the way about genetics, emerging technologies and how the public receives them. All the way his wife and children have been by his side.

Here are links to Doug’s posts from the road…

You’re never too old to learn new tricks

“The weather and temperature has dropped and we were in the depths of autumn or ‘fall’ here in Boston – lovely and orange but getting cold. We are currently in transit in San Francisco and Honolulu to meet with US Fish and Wildlife staff, native Hawaiian representatives and University of Hawaii lecturers to gather their perspectives of my research and gene editing.”

Read the post in full here.

Snakes and ladders

“In educating the public or looking for consent it’s important to note the role of the media, the government, the scientists or community leaders. Words and the links people make with words really matter. Edy MacDonald’s work at DOC has picked up on this, and I’ve found similar evidence here in the US on their perceptions of gene editing.”

Read the post in full here.

Mother, Martha, and mahi in Nantucket

“New England province (the North East of the US which includes Boston and the Islands) has the highest incidents of Lyme disease in the world, and is of huge concern to the people of this area. The conversation includes discussions on genetic tools to make mice resistant to Lyme and/or ticks, and minimise the transfer of this disease. It’s an open conversation, where the technology hasn’t yet been created, but the conversations are guiding the design of options known as open science.”

Read the post in full here.

Gene editing in Aotearoa

“Gene editing – anything with the word gene or genetic can freak people out! It means different things to different people, and that is part of the problem…that there is no shared understanding of what it is. Or, you don’t really know what it is, you don’t really care, and you’re not so worried about it.”

Read the post in full here.

Maori @ MIT part 1

“Our manu and native species are losing to the possums, rats, mice and stoats. Trapping and hunting will only do so much. 1080 – people love it or hate it and no one is willing to listen to anyone or look at the facts without some emotion for or against. Meanwhile, approximately 25 Million native chicks and eggs are killed by invasive predators.”

Read the post in full here.

Up, up and away

“What I’ve observed is a MIT culture of collaboration, hard work, ambition, very smart people with a side of fun. I have already been invited to present to a class from Harvard University next week, and have a number of engagements planned while I’m here for the next 3 months. So it will be a busy few months.”

Read the post in full here.