Twelve months after taking over as acting chair of the Science Board, Professor Aidan Byrne has been appointed chair at the same time as two new board members – Dr Jessica Hutchings and Ms Elizabeth Hopkins – have been appointed.
Professor Byrne has a PhD in Nuclear Physics from Australian National University, where he also served as Director of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and as Dean of Science.
Dr Hutchings (Ngāi Tahu, Ngati Huirapa, Gujurati) is a research strategist, leader and manager with 25 years of experience in the development and implementation of Māori science strategy.
Mrs Hopkins trained as a research biologist at Oxford University where she investigated the role of genetic inheritance in breast cancer. She has held several Director and Chairperson roles on biotechs and state-owned enterprises, and served as CEO of Wool Equities, a NZX listed company.
Professor Byrne, Dr Hutchings and Mrs Hopkins will serve terms of three years from July 2019.
The Science Board is the statutory body responsible for making independent investment decisions for the Endeavour Fund and National Science Challenges.
Its investments are intended to enable New Zealand research organisations to conduct high-quality research that creates economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand.
The board was established by the Minister of Science and Innovation under the Research, Science and Technology Act 2010 on February 1 2011.
The Minister of Research, Science and Innovation is responsible for the appointment of the board’s chair and members.
The Minister also sets the criteria against which the board makes funding decisions. The criteria are published in the New Zealand Gazette.
Board members are
- Professor Aidan Byrne (Chair)
- Professor Parry Guilford
- Dr David Wratt QSO
- Dr Jill Vintiner
- Dr Andrew McLeod
- Dr Liz Wedderburn
- Dr Jessica Hutchings
- Mrs Elizabeth Hopkins
Sources: Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment