Tag Archives: Public lecture

Video – Rob Fyfe: dare to be different

You can now view  Icebreaker chief executive and University of Canterbury alumni and honorary doctorate recipient Rob Fyfe share his experience leading three very different companies over the last 15 years, his unique approach to change, his successes and failures, and his perspective on risk taking.

This video is from the UC Connect lecture Dare to be Different on Friday 23 September. Watch it now.

One of New Zealand’s most influential business leaders, Rob has had a varied business career over the last 40 years, both in New Zealand and internationally.  Born and raised in Christchurch, Rob left Burnside High School to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force and complete an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Canterbury.

You can see more UC Connect videos here.

Lecture on James K. Baxter’s Life, Letters and Loves

James K. Baxter was one of New Zealand’s best known and best loved poets. A hugely influential figure, Baxter was as well known for his life as for his writing.

The Annual Rochester Lecture will be given by Dr John Weir, S.M. The lecture is entitled “Walking in the Dark” – James K. Baxter’s Life, Letters and Loves. Dr Weir is not only the Editor of James K. Baxter: Complete Prose but a personal friend and the foremost scholar of his work. Dr Weir donated his large collection of Baxter’s works to the Macmillan Brown Library and Erin Kimber, the University Library Archivist, will be present at the lecture with some items of this collection. The Library has also kindly agreed to exhibit some of their more extensive collection of Baxter’s works during the week of the lecture.

Dr Weir has photocopies of some of his personal correspondence with Baxter which have never been published and these will be available for attendees to examine.

The lecture is to be held at Rochester and Rutherford Hall, 77 Ilam Road on Wednesday, 7th September at 7.30p.m.

Life, the Universe and Everything

Professor George Ellis, a renowned cosmologist visiting on an Erskine Fellowship from the University of Cape Town, will present a series of eight lectures on big questions aimed at a broad audience, including cosmology, causality, life, aliens and the physics of the mind.

The lectures are open to everyone. The first will be held as a public lecture in C1, 8pm, Monday 8 August.

George has had a remarkable career. In addition to a string of academic honours, he also played a role in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. (He was later awarded the Order of the Star of South Africa by Nelson Mandela.)

I got to know George on my first postdoc in Trieste, Italy, in 1988 at a time when things had got a bit too difficult for him in South Africa. For a few years George was based there at SISSA, an Institute directed then by Dennis Sciama, who in the 1960s had supervised George Ellis, Stephen Hawking, Martin Rees, and a whole generation of experts in general relativity.

George and Stephen co-wrote one of the classic texts of the field, published in 1973. (George appears as fellow student in the film dramatisations of Stephen’s life, including the 2014 movie “Theory of Everything”.)

George is truly a deep thinker, always tackling the most fundamental questions. His lectures (full list available here) will be a fascinating journey crossing the boundaries of physics, biology and philosophy.

The lectures are largely self-contained, so that students and staff can choose ones that interest them without worrying about missing others.

Astrobiology topics will be hosted by Biological Sciences (August 11, 18); cosmology by Philosophy (August 10) and Physics and Astronomy (August 12, 19) and causality and complex systems by Philosophy (August 15, 17). The last topics are discussed in George’s new book How Can Physics Underlie the Mind?: Top-Down Causation in the Human Context.

David Wiltshire

Antarctica: Christchurch’s opportunity to be a world leader

Public Antarctic Talk
Wed 25 May
Christchurch’s opportunity to be a world leader on Antarctica
Speaker: Eric Assendelft, Antarctic Office
Bentleys, UC, 90 Ilam Road
6.00 pm (doors open 5.30; refreshments available)

Our new “Antarctic Office” is all about Christchurch asserting its role as an Antarctic gateway city.  This encompasses us all – challenging what the city does currently and aspiring to be the partner of choice for international science, logistics, business and engagement.  In turn, this will strengthen our country’s diplomatic and geopolitical ambitions in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.