The word “scientist” is curiously missing from the introductory paragraph in a news release from the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Instead, the society reports that
“… contributions of innovators, kairangahau Māori, researchers and scholars throughout Aotearoa New Zealand are having their achievements and national and international impact recognised.”
Elsewhere in the press release, the word “scientist” can be found once, in reference to the award made to soil scientist Professor Rich McDowell.
The headline says: 2021 Research Honours Aotearoa Celebrates Achievements By Researchers, Scholars And Innovators
For the 2021 Research Honours Aotearoa, the society has announced the winners of 18 medals and awards and the Health Research Council of New Zealand has announced three award winners.
Winners will receive their awards at regional ceremonies in early 2022.
Among them are –
Professor Rich McDowell, from AgResearch and Our Land and Water, National Science Challenge. He received the Hutton Medal for outstanding contributions to the knowledge of nutrient flows in soils and water, and informing farm management and environmental policy.
Rich, a soil scientist, is best known firstly for showing how contaminants move across land and into water, and secondly how to manage land to mitigate losses. He has used this knowledge to inform policy and has made an immense contribution to the strategies available in New Zealand and overseas for mitigation of nutrient losses to water.
The Pickering Medal has been awarded to Professor Keith Cameron and Professor Hong Di from Lincoln University for inventing new technology to treat dairy farm effluent to recycle water and reduce phosphate and E coli leaching into water.
ClearTech® is a fully-automatic treatment system that uses a coagulant to produce ‘clarified water’ and ‘treated effluent’. It reduces the volume of effluent that needs to be irrigated or stored; clarifies and recycles more than 50% of the water that can be used to wash the farmyard; and reduces the risk of contamination of rivers, lakes and groundwater, reducing phosphate and E coli leaching by over 90%.