Garth Cooper’s reasons for resigning from the Royal Society – they include his stance on science education for Māori

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Māori are good students when they are afforded the proper opportunity to learn and their right to unbiased access to optimal education should be protected vigorously.

This firm belief is among the reasons why Professor Garth Cooper, DPhil (Oxon) DSc (Oxon) FRCPA FMedSci, joined six other University of Auckland professors and signed a letter, “In defence of science”, published in July last year by the New Zealand Listener.  The signatories questioned proposals to include mātauranga Māori in the school science curriculum and to give it equal standing with Western/ Pakeha subjects such as physics, biology and chemistry.

The professors do not oppose the teaching of mātauranga Māori in anthropology, Māori studies, cultural studies, or similar social studies. They do challenge its being taught in the science curriculum.

Cooper and Professor Robert Nola have resigned both as members and as fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand (as Point of Order reported on March 18) following the society’s decision not to formally proceed with a complaint against them as Fellows of the Society.

The complaint was laid after the publication of the letter In defence of science.  

Robert Nola has explained why he resigned from the society.

Garth Cooper – who has Māori heritage and is described on the University of Auckland website as one of New Zealand’s foremost biological scientists and biotechnology entrepreneurs – explains here why he resigned …  

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Why did I resign from the Royal Society of New Zealand?

Garth J S Cooper DPhil (Oxon) DSc (Oxon) FRCPA FMedSci

My reasons for resigning from the Royal Society of New Zealand relate to its loss of understanding of its raison d’être; suppression of free speech; failure to properly support science and science education; untoward political focus of management and governance processes; and prolonged defamation of myself and Professors Michael Corballis (now sadly deceased) and Robert Nola, by certain of its authorities. Continue reading “Garth Cooper’s reasons for resigning from the Royal Society – they include his stance on science education for Māori”

Here’s a worthy challenge for Judith Collins – asking why our Royal Society is investigating two defenders of science

Soon after the latest National Party line-up was announced this afternoon, Newshub was reporting who had finished up with higher rankings than before and who had slipped.

Chris Luxon’s election as leader last week obviously led to his being catapulted from number 29 to number one. Nicola Willis, his deputy, jumped from 16 to two, while Simon Bridges was up from seven to three, two places below where he was this time two years ago.

And former leader Judith Collins?

With Luxon ascending to the leadership, Collins has taken a big tumble. She has fallen from one to 19, so just inside Luxon’s shadow Cabinet.

But Point of Order was less interested in who has been placed where in the party pecking order than in who will be handling which shadow portfolios.

In the case of Judith Collins, she has been given a portfolio – research, science , innovation and technology – that should present a worthy challenge to someone who relishes being known as “Crusher”.

It also happens to be a more politically fraught domain than perhaps she imagines because it will require her to decide if she should publicly declare she is a champion of science and of scientists. Continue reading “Here’s a worthy challenge for Judith Collins – asking why our Royal Society is investigating two defenders of science”