News release from the Royal Society of New Zealand
16 March 2011
Professor Jean Fleming elected as a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand
The Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand has elected Professor Jean Fleming, from the University of Otago, as a
Professor Fleming had the honour bestowed on her at a function in Dunedin on Tuesday night.
Jean Fleming is Professor of Science Communication at the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago.
The title of Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand recognises outstanding leadership in science, and
contributions to the promotion and advancement of science and technology in New Zealand.
The President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Dr Garth Carnaby, said Jean Fleming was a dedicated science
communicator who had led numerous organisations focused on increasing public understanding about science.
"Jean has a wonderful reputation for her work as a science communicator. Her commitment to taking science to the
community is well-known both in New Zealand and internationally.
"She has also devoted an enormous amount of energy to popularising science, at the same time as pursing a biology
research career. She is a very worthy recipient of the Companion award."
Professor Fleming was a founding member of the New Zealand International Science Festival held every two years in
Dunedin, and she is currently an executive member. She has been involved for over 16 years in the very successful
science summer camp for high school students from around New Zealand, called Hands-on Science, which has encouraged
young people into science over the past 22 years. She was on the advisory board of the Science Media Centre from
She is one of Radio New Zealand National's Thursday night scientists, interviewed by Bryan Crump on 'Body Parts' and has
been doing this since early 2008.
In 2000 Professor Fleming was a commissioner on the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification which travelled throughout
New Zealand holding public meetings.
The Award of the Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand was introduced in 1999 and there are now 35 Companions.