THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2019
The University of Auckland is once again hosting the popular Spring Week lecture series which gives the public access to
talks by our leading researchers.
Topics on offer this year canvas the gender pay gap in retirement; new advances in heart health; and the science of
medical compassion, to name a few.
The series highlights how the work of University of Auckland academics directly affects people’s lives. It is also a
space to hear informed perspectives on topical issues, and fascinating insights into our histories and futures.
Each of the 15 lectures is presented by a distinguished faculty member, chosen for both their subject expertise and
their passion for teaching adult students.
Morning and afternoon lectures will be held every day between November 25 and 29. A range of attendance options are
available and a small fee is required to secure a place starting from $35.
This year’s lectures include:
Ten weeks extra life every year. The history and future of mortality decline
Prof. Alistair Woodward (Medical and Health Sciences)
The increase in life expectancy continues in New Zealand, unabated. Why is this happening? Are we seeing a similar
increase in health span, or does mortality decline mean more years spent in poor health?
Gender penalty and retirement
Dr Claire Dale (Business and Economics)
Why retirement savings are consistently smaller for women than for men and how the potential benefit for women of, on
average, living longer than men is undercut by having to stretch their smaller retirement savings over a longer period.
The rise and demise of the social robot: Why don’t humans want what robots have?
Dr Craig Sutherland (Faculty of Engineering)
Robots are becoming better and better: every year we hear about the new feats that robots are able to achieve. So why
have they failed to move from laboratory into our homes and hearts?
Atrial fibrillation: The “cancer” of the heart?
Jichao Zhao (Auckland Bioengineering Institute)
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm condition and impacts one in four New Zealanders over the age of 40.
This talk will give an overview of atrial fibrillation, ongoing controversies in approach and treatment, and new
emerging technologies to treat and manage the disease.
Uncovering historic ‘whisper’ networks: Women’s friendships in mid-twentieth century New Zealand science
Kate Hannah (Faculty of Science)
Hear about the women scientists in mid-twentieth century New Zealand who maintained lifelong friendships over long
distances, despite not having studied or worked together, and how these networks offered safety and support within a
paternalistic and discriminatory national scientific community.
Before the Treaty of Waitangi: The first New Zealand school
Prof. Alison Jones (Faculty of Education)
This lecture gives insight into the fascinating 50 years of pre-Treaty Māori-Pākehā relationships in Aotearoa-New
Zealand, England and Australia that led to the establishment of New Zealand’s first school in the Bay of Islands, 20
years before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and with 24 Māori pupils on its roll.
Together we can end the HIV epidemic
Dr Peter Saxton (Medical and Health Sciences)
Why are HIV infections now at record levels, and what will it take to eliminate transmission? The new science of HIV
prevention, the exciting new tools we have to fight the disease, and the important role the public must play.
Do natural resources such as oil and gold bring prosperity?
Prof. Steven Poelhekke (Business and Economics)
The last two decades have witnessed an extraordinary expansion in global mining activity. Why is it that countries rich
in natural resources varying from gold, silver, copper, and diamonds to oil and gas often have poor growth and
Is the price right? Fairness and economics
Ananish Chaudhuri (Business and Economics)
Are humans fair by nature? Does this natural inclination towards fairness have implications for the marketplace?
Traditional economic theory would perhaps think not, perceiving human interaction as self-interested at heart.
Do doctors really stop caring? The science of medical compassion
Prof. Nathan Consedine (Medical and Health Sciences)
Compassion – the desire to alleviate suffering – is central to medicine. Research (and opinion) tends to treat the
physician as the sole source of compassion, but New Zealand-based studies reflect a different view, suggesting the
patient, the clinical picture, and the work environment are also critical.
Eviction from paradise: tourism, land grabs and displacement
Prof. Andreas Neef (Faculty of Arts)
While there is no doubt that tourism has been an engine of economic growth for many so-called developing countries, this
talk explores how this has often come at the cost of widespread dispossession and displacement of indigenous and
Of treadmills and tick boxes: The difficult art of resourcing youth arts for wellbeing and social justice
Dr Molly Mullen (Faculty of Education and Social Work)
Learn about the Creating Change research project - stories of three organisations working with youth to make exceptional
art in unassuming places across Auckland.
Water treatment: next-generation, fast-throughput solutions
Dr Lokesh Padhye (Auckland Bioengineering Institute)
Hear how the Auckland Bioengineering Institute is collaborating with MIT in the USA on the latest generation water
treatment advances. Dr Padhye will be joined by Distinguished Visitor Professor T. Alan Hatton from MIT.
Tales of war and wonder and the breadcrumb trails between
Dr Sara Buttsworth (Faculty of Arts)
What does a story about two children lost in the woods, a house made of gingerbread, and a witch with a large oven have
to do with war? The overlap between fairy tales and war stories is undeniable. How might the intertwining of these two
stories provide commentary on war and society?
For more information on the full programme, enrolment options and registration fees visit Spring Week on Campus