New science webcast series has southern hemisphere focus

SND18-wk4-Science webcast1A new science webcast series unveiled at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) on Friday puts the spotlight on life-changing science developments of the 21st century.

The brainchild of Professor Steve Pointing, Sci21 has a southern hemisphere focus, and brings together distinguished scientists from across the region to share their views on revolutionary science. Professor Pointing says his Sci21 collaborators offer a unique view.

“Popular science material on the web is overwhelmingly American and European, and based on American and European issues,” he says. “We face unique challenges in this part of the world, and southern hemisphere scientists bring a different perspective to international scientific issues.”

The short talks tackle serious science questions in a light-hearted, entertaining style, and are for anyone curious about how science will impact their life in the future.

Professor Pointing was inspired to develop Sci21 by his son, Alvin.

“As a father, with a 10-year-old son doing science projects, I found there was a complete lack of material for people who aren’t scientists.

“I wanted to create something without the jargon and that looked to the future, to give people of all ages a more visionary take on science and to make learning about science fun,” he says.

Sci21 builds on the success of Professor Pointing’s 2014 video, The Science of Christmas, which was released last December and drew praise from adults and children around the world.

Sci21 launched with the release of its first video on astrobiology. It will be followed soon by videos from Dr Michelle Dickinson on nanotechnology, AUT Associate Professor Duncan Babbage on eHealth, and a wave of international speakers on topics ranging from beating antibiotic resistance to the potential of photonic laser and sensor technology.

“Sci21 isn’t a bunch of dry scientists talking about what they have done, but a collection of experts conveying their vision for science and how it’s shaping our lives,” Professor Pointing says.

Viewers can watch the first video by visiting In it, Professor Pointing gives a glimpse into the emerging discipline of astrobiology, and addresses the thought-provoking question of whether life exists on other planets.


Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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