The transit of Venus was not visible from New Zealand eight years ago, but neither was it ignored. The Royal Society of New Zealand, in association with Radio New Zealand, staged six lectures ” covering the broad themes related to the transit of Venus”.
Instead of the usual roundup of the week’s broadcasting highlights, here are those very lectures, generously made available to us all by the public-minded RNZ.
And a couple of bonuses – historian Andrea Wulf talking to Jim Mora early this week about the 18th-century transiteers, and Paul Callaghan talking to Kim Hill in October last year.
1 Dr Hamish Campbell How the Land Got Here
The split from Gondwanaland and the development of our unique flora and fauna.
Introduced by poet Chris Orsman.
2 Richard Hall The Ancients and the Stars
How the ancients, from Babylonians to Polynesians, interpreted and used the stars. Stonehenge in Britain and the construction of Stonehenge Aotearoa in the Wairarapa.
Introduced by Dr Grant Christie.
3 Dr Peter Adds Pacific Voyaging and Navigation
The use of the stars by Pacific navigators.
Introduced by Dr John Stenhouse.
4 Dr Duncan Steel Science in Cook’s Time
Science in the age of enlightenment, the quest to find the distance to the Sun.
Introduced by John Hisco.
5 Dame Anne Salmond Cook’s First Voyage
First encounters between Maori and Europeans.
Introduced by David Mackay.
6 Paul Callaghan Voyages in Time and Space
What are the challenges now? The search for dark matter, other life and other universes.
Introduced by Alan MacDiarmid.
And if you’ve got this far, here’s Sir Paul again: