L to R: Prof. Jean Fleming, Dame Elizabeth Hanan
Dame Elizabeth Hanan
Dame Elizabeth Hanan was awarded the first ever Life Membership at the New Zealand International Science Festival Annual General Meeting, which took place in Dunedin on Thursday 21 January 2010.
Dame Elizabeth was nominated for the award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the New Zealand International Science Festival, since its inception as an incorporated society in 1997.
Mike Harte, New Zealand International Science Festival President, believes Dame Elizabeth’s ability to influence, negotiate, and her amazing leadership were the key factors in awarding her as the Society’s very first Life Member.
The initial 1998 festival was a huge success, largely due to Elizabeth being the driving force behind it and the concept of having a biennial New Zealand International Science Festival. With her continued commitment and support, we are now getting ready to celebrate the seventh festival. If anyone should be a Life Member she should!”
Dame Elizabeth said she was absolutely blown away by the award. “I had no idea it was in the pipeline and am thrilled to be the first recipient. The New Zealand International Science Festival showcases science excellence and is successful because of the close relationship we have with the University of Otago and our overseas connections. I’m extremely proud to be a part of it”.
In addition to her Life Membership award, Dame Elizabeth holds a number of prestigious awards. She was awarded Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2003 for her contribution to science communication. Dame Elizabeth is also a longstanding member of the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (Otago) and was awarded her damehood in 1998 for her services to the community.
Professor Jean Fleming
Prof Jean Fleming was awarded a life membership at the festival's annual general meeting on Thursday 26 January 2012. She was nominated for the award in recognition of her outstanding services to the NZ International Science Festival since it's inception as an incorporated society in 1997,
Science Festival president Mike Harte said that Prof Fleming's drive and determination to see the festival succeed were key factors in the sociaety's award to her of it's second life membership:
"Jean was the first programme committee chair when the concept was launched in 1998. Jean has remained on the committee ever since and we are now well underway planning our eighth festival. Jean's energy, her constant stream of fresh ideas, outstanding international contacts and her own reputation as a scientist and science communicator has made a huge contribution to the success of the NZ International Science Festival."
In addition to this recognition by the festival, Prof Fleming holds a number of prestigious awards and honours. Her commitment to taking science to the community led to the award of a Suffrage medal in 1993, a siiver Science and Technology medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1998 and an ONZM for services to science in 2002
Prof Fleming convened the first New Zealand conference for women in science in 1993 and developed a mentoring programme for non-academic staff at the Univeristy of Otago which has now been extended to academic staff. In 2000 she was appointed as a commissioner to the NZ Royal Commission on Genetic Modification. In 2011, Jean was elected as a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand.