The most important part of our economy, the agriculture sector, and the dilemmas it faces will be the focal point of the first Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Young Science Leaders Forum.
Paul Callaghan was renowned, internationally, for his focus on the value that science and technology could deliver to transition the New Zealand economy away from traditional agriculture to something new, vibrant and exciting. He recognised that New Zealand was specially blessed by geography and climate and was therefore able to be a leading producer of high quality food products.
Much of his writing and his research prior to his death in 2012 addressed the economic, social and environmental challenges he saw coming.
Early in September Her Excellency the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General and Vice-Regal Patron of the Eureka! Trust will host students, contestants from the National Finals, members of the Alumni Group, scientists, business leaders and teachers at the Young Science Leaders Forum.
They will discuss the role of science and science leadership as we try to address the dilemmas of agriculture.
Agriculture is suffering from a growing dilemma: it needs to contribute to feeding a growing world population, and conserve biodiversity and manage natural resources of an increasingly depleted planet. In addition agriculture is the economic lifeblood for many nations.
A key question for New Zealand is:-
Have we got the balance just right and if not, what steps do we need to take to optimise the balance in the future?
At the end of the Forum the Governor-General will present the conclusions and recommendations identified by the group.