CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio

 
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
T HE U NI V ER S I T Y O F AU CK L A ND A LU MNI M AG A Z INE | AU T U MN 2 0 17

VISION
FOR
CHANGE
GRAFFITI CRIMES
Creativity with street cred
HAPPINESS
How can we have more of it?
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
ALUMNI PROFILE

Ingenio
The University of Auckland
Alumni magazine

Autumn 2017

                                                  IN THIS ISSUE
ISSN 1176-211X

Editor: Judy Wilford
Contributing editor: Helen Borne
Art Direction and Design: Mike Crozier
Advertising manager: Don Wilson
Proofreading: Rupert Alchin, Tess Redgrave,
Julianne Evans                                    Editorial                       3
Writers: Tess Redgrave, Julianne Evans,
Margo White, Judy Wilford, Suzi Phillips,         Letters                         4
                                                                                        8
Vaughan Yarwood
                                                  University news                 4
Editorial contact details
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www.auckland.ac.nz/ingenio                        Creating new realities         28
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                                                  Poem by an alumnus              6
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                                                  Around the globe               26
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                                                  Alumni networks                34
Articles reflect personal opinions and are not
those of the University of Auckland. No parts
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of this publication may be reproduced without
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©The University of Auckland 2017

Cover image
Erna Takazawa. Photo: Dean Carruthers

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2 | Ingenio | Autumn 2016
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
EDITORIAL

TRANSFORMATION
THROUGH
EDUCATION
The University is committed to               two of our largest degrees that provide
delivering high impact learning              the foundations of a liberal education.
experiences that prepare students to         We are in the process of implementing
face the challenges of working and           significant changes to the structure of
contributing to an uncertain world, in       these degrees, and programmes within
which they are likely to change careers      them, to embed clearly-defined, highly
more than five times.                        marketable skill sets that provide

I
                                             enhanced career and postgraduate study
   n 2016, as an expression of this          outcomes for students.
   commitment, the University renewed           Our profile also frames the
   what is known as its graduate             development of new types of active and
profile, which defines aspirations           learning experiences (internships and
for all Auckland graduates and the           work placements, for example) that          areas (e.g. introductory data analysis,
developmental opportunities that             are being embedded in programmes            academic integrity, and logical and
every student will have access to while      and courses, as part of the University’s    critical thinking). The development of
completing a University of Auckland          student employability strategy. These       a MOOC based on our Logical and
degree. From 2017 our academic               opportunities are increasingly being        Critical Thinking course has led to the
community is working to embed this           made available to students within their     enhancement of our face-to-face course
framework to ensure that all students        programmes of study and are designed        as well as the development of an online
are aware of and have access to the          to support them to develop forms of         for-credit version for University of
significant personal development             knowledge that are acquired in context      Auckland students. This option provides
opportunities available to them.             and thus increase their professional        flexible access for students.
   The overarching aspiration shared         as well as academic capabilities. The          Finally, the University is exploring
by our academic community is that            emphasis of these experiences is on         the introduction of micro-credentials
a University of Auckland degree will         problem-solving, critical thinking and      – a type of alternative credential that
transform graduates into independent         collaboration.                              provides students and alumni with
and critical thinkers able to apply their       In addition to renewing its graduate     opportunities to develop knowledge in
disciplinary expertise in all spheres of     profile, the University has harnessed new   niche areas relevant to their professional
their lives. Our vision is that University   learning technologies and pedagogies        goals. These credentials are typically
of Auckland alumni exhibit a number          to support student learning. In 2016        modular and delivered in short time
of trademark qualities that set them         it invested heavily in a state-of-the-art   frames in a range of flexible formats –
apart from other graduates in the            learning management system (Canvas)         online, blended and face-to-face.
marketplace. These include the ability       and technology suite. Our teachers             These significant developments in
to develop unique and sustainable            and students now have access to a wide      the University’s teaching and learning,
solutions to real world problems, and to     range of new and exciting technology        combined with our ranking as the most
lead and influence others with integrity     (including lecture recording tools) to      innovative university in Australasia
and fluency across global cultures and       support learning within lecture contexts    (excelling in knowledge discovery
perspectives.                                and extend opportunities for engagement     and application) will ensure that our
   The new graduate profile is central to    beyond the classroom.                       graduates have the best chance possible
the University’s long-term academic plan.       We are using our increased capacity      of enjoying fulfilling careers in which
It provides academic staff and student       for blended and online teaching to          they make significant contributions to
support services with a shared framework     increase educational opportunities          the quality of material and cultural life
for designing and delivering high impact     for distinct constituencies of learners,    of all New Zealanders.
educational experiences to our students.     including off-campus learners. The
For instance, it provides the frame          University has expanded its Massive
for a major reconceptualisation of the       Open Online Course (MOOC) offerings          Professor John Morrow
structure and content of our Bachelor of     to provide global access to University of    Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees –       Auckland staff in popular curriculum

                                                                                                           Autumn 2017 | Ingenio | 3
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

                                                                                            health while reversing malignancy.             CREATIVITY AND
          T HE U NI V ER S I T Y O F AU CK L A ND A LU MNI M AG A Z INE | S PRIN G 2 0 16
                                                                                              At the very least, broadening the scope
                                                                                            of research might help to address the          THE FUTURE
                                                                                            unwanted production of reactive species        A two-day summit is being held to highlight
                                                                                            resulting from cancer treatment protocols,     the significance of creativity for the future
                                                                                            these species invariably thwarting long        of business and enterprise. This inaugural
                                                                                            term survival.                                 event, which aims to create engagement
                                                                                                                                           and collaboration between researchers,
                                                                                            Best regards,                                  business leaders, social entrepreneurs,
                                                                                            Stephen Butcher                                educators, and artists, is co-hosted by the
                                                                                                                                           Creative Thinking Project, the University
  GEORGE                                                                                                                                   of Auckland Business School and the
  MASON                                                                                                                                    New Zealand Leadership Institute. The
  A life of many layers

  FOR ALL
                                                                                                                                           “Creativity: The HeART of Business”
  OUR FUTURES                                                                               Reponse from Distinguished Professor           summit will take place on 5-6 September
  Can we do it together?
                                                                                            Bill Denny, Director, Auckland                 2017. Find out more at:
  LIGHT FORCE
  Driving scientific advances                                                               Cancer Society Research Centre,                www.business.auckland.ac.nz/creativity-
                                                                                            University of Auckland                         the-heart-of-business

                                                                                            The writer asks whether the aim of the
                                                                                                                                           RANKINGS LEAD
RISKS AND                                                                                   Campaign to "dramatically improve
                                                                                            cancer survival rates" is too narrow, by       REINFORCED
OPPORTUNITIES                                                                               focusing on the development of new
                                                                                            treatments. That would be true if it was
                                                                                            all that was going on in the University,
                                                                                                                                           The University of Auckland’s standing
                                                                                                                                           as the country’s leading university was
Dear Judy,                                                                                  but there is much complementary                reinforced in the latest QS World University
                                                                                            research in better nutrition, lifestyle,       Rankings by Subject, with the University
May I comment on the "For All Our                                                           screening and diagnostic technologies;         judged best in New Zealand in 37 of the 40
Futures" campaign? I wonder if the                                                          not all can be featured specifically in the    subjects for which it is ranked.
partnership between philanthropy and                                                        Campaign.                                         It was rated best in New Zealand in each
increased capacity can really focus on the                                                     The writer notes that “for most solid       of the broad subject rankings, including
needs of society and not be limited by its                                                  cancers the prerequisite oxidation of          25th in the world in Arts and Humanities.
own funding model, in one of its aims in                                                    DNA should be regarded as cancer               It featured in the top 50 in the world in 16
particular.                                                                                 causing”. In the vast majority of cases this   subjects (up from 15 last year), with two of
   That aim is to "dramatically improve                                                     is not correct. The ultimate cause of all      those in the top 20.
cancer survival rates”. The risk is that the                                                cancers is changes in the sequence of a
funding model is a preconception which                                                      cell’s DNA (genome), which gives rise to
prefers the development of new treatments                                                   altered proteins (enzymes) that, in certain    NEW CHANCELLOR
which demonstrate a productive business
outcome rather than a broader approach
                                                                                            combinations, result in uncontrolled cell
                                                                                            growth and replication (cancer). Most
                                                                                                                                           AND PRO CHANCELLOR
to include prevention and a reduction in                                                    of these DNA changes occur during              Scott St John became Chancellor of the
the demand for services, including new                                                      the normal process of cell division,           University of Auckland on 1 January 2017.
cancer treatments.                                                                          where the cell has to replicate its entire     Scott was first appointed to the University
   Cancer treatments almost always have                                                     genome and the wrong unit (base) is            Council in 2009. Since then he has served
side effects because they invariably are                                                    occasionally inserted in the new chain.        on the Capital Expenditure Committee, the
at least partly indiscriminate in their                                                     A small proportion of cancers are caused       VC Review Committee and the Finance
destruction of cells or the inhibition of                                                   by carcinogens (radiation and some             Committee which he chaired. In 2014,
DNA replication. At the risk of attracting                                                  chemicals). These alter DNA by either          Scott was appointed Pro-Chancellor. This
criticism, I suggest that the jargon used                                                   attaching themselves to it or causing          year also marks the appointment of a new
by the industry is slightly misleading.                                                     oxidative damage to it; both processes         Pro Chancellor, Jan Dawson. Jan also served
The reference to “carcinogen” implies a                                                     change the structure of the DNA units.         as a member of the University Council
causal relationship which does not exist:                                                      Whether the individual units of DNA         before becoming Pro Chancellor.
for most solid cancers the prerequisite                                                     are wrongly inserted during replication
oxidation of DNA should be regarded as                                                      or are altered by carcinogens, the end
cancer causing and I suggest the addition                                                   result is changes in the sequence of a
of a carcinogen to oxidised DNA should                                                      cell’s DNA (genome), which gives rise to
be regarded as consequential. If the scope                                                  altered proteins in the cell. The former
of cancer research is expanded to look                                                      (majority) process cannot be controlled,
at the causal process prior to carcinogen                                                   but much work goes into controlling the
attachment then I suggest there is a much                                                   latter: minimising exposure to radiation
bigger opportunity for both prevention                                                      (including sunlight), smoking and
and treatments which support good                                                           workplace carcinogens.

4 | Ingenio | Autumn 2017
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
NEWS

                                                                                          ALUMNI POEM
                                                                                          Elegy again

                                                                                          You are on a railway station
                                                                                          in the driest country we had ever seen.
                                                                                          We stand in the heat by a row of shagged
                                                                                          pot plants and I think how green

                                                                                          was always the colour as you came to mind,
                                                                                          a green coat once by a corner in Florence
                                                                                          when you didn’t see me, leaning towards a match.
                                                                                          You are ten yards away and ah, the distance,

                                                                                          even then; or our lying side by side,
                                                                                          your hair that I joked was like a fire
AN EXTRA FRISSON FOR A                                                                    stalking a step behind you, a smoky

GLITTERING EVENT
                                                                                          brilliance even now, when words like ‘desire’

T
                                                                                          are husks, shells, dead tongues,
                                                                                          as once we reached them down from the living
       he wild burst of torrential rain on       The impressive new pavilion which
                                                                                          tree, the green sky, and our hands
       the evening of the Distinguished       housed the event (seen from the inside
                                                                                          brushing like something scorched, loving
       Alumni Awards Dinner only              above) is built from a combination
served to add to the feeling of warmth        of safety glass and sandwich walls,
                                                                                          without the palaver of having to say.
and conviviality for the guests inside the    with a floor area of 110 square metres
                                                                                          And the utter ashes of it now, the same
new pavilion and to make it even more         and a capacity to hold 1,420 people.
                                                                                          as if I’d read about someone else, un-
memorable for all who attended.               Dismantled after the dinner to allow
                                                                                          moved. And you, caged in freedoms beyond flame.
   Members of the University community        the lawn and tree roots to recover in the
and of the University of Auckland             historic garden, it was rebuilt for the
                                                                                          Vincent O’Sullivan
Society were gathered to honour               University’s Autumn Graduation and
our five Distinguished Alumni for             for other occasions that will follow. It
2017: Carol Hirschfeld, one of New            replaces the former Alumni Marquee
Zealand’s best-known and most popular         which has hosted many events over the
broadcasters; Ian Hunter, Professor of        last 20 years.
Mechanical Engineering at MIT; Dr                For more information about our
Lance O’Sullivan, GP and public health        Distinguished Alumni see the stories on
champion; Lisa Reihana, an acclaimed          pages 8, 14 and 30. To see the photos
artist who is representing New Zealand        taken at the dinner and at the Bright
at the 2017 Venice Biennale; and Erna         Lights event held the night before see:
Takazawa, the first and only fully-           www.alumni.auckland.ac.nz.
qualified optometrist in Samoa, our 2017         The Bright Lights event, always a
Young Alumna of the Year.                     hit with the audience, features lively,
   Each was presented with the                intelligent, amusing and occasionally
traditional medallion to mark the             irreverent conversations between Finlay
occasion, and gave a speech that offered      Macdonald and the Distinguished
fascinating insights into their lives.        Alumni.

                                                                                          Vincent O’Sullivan, DCNZM (BA 1959; MA
                                                                                          1960; D Litt 2008) is one of our foremost

NOMINATIONS FOR 2018
                                                                                          writers: a poet, short story writer, novelist,
                                                                                          playwright and editor. He was New Zealand’s
                                                                                          Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015 and was
Nominations are now open for the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards. The                    honoured writer at the 2016 Auckland Writers
University of Auckland and the University of Auckland Society bestow the annual           Festival. A profile of Vincent, written by Tess
Distinguished Alumni Awards to honour alumni who have made outstanding                    Redgrave, appeared in the Autumn 2014
contributions, through their different achievements, to their professions, to their       issue of Ingenio. “Elegy again” was published
communities and globally. To discover more about previous winners, see photos             in Being Here: Selected Poems (Victoria
and videos from past events. To submit nominations, visit                                 University Press, 2015). It is reprinted with
www.auckland.ac.nz/daa. Nominations close 30 June 2017.                                   permission.

                                                                                                           Autumn 2017 | Ingenio | 5
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
NEWS

                                           A PROMISE                                    but to create new ways of thriving
                                                                                        together.”

                                           KEPT                                            Alumna Courtney Sina Meredith,
                                                                                        also a writer, describes Max’s book as a

                                           A
                                                                                        “poignant reminder that New Zealand is
                                                    longside a “Letter from Oxford”,    a journey we are all on together.”
                                                    written by alumnus Max Harris          Max completed a Master of Public
                                                    for the Autumn 2015 issue of        Policy and Bachelor of Civil Law at
                                           Ingenio, was a note that said: “Max          Oxford University while on a New
                                           hopes to spend the first two years of his    Zealand Rhodes Scholarship from 2012

DOWN TO                                    fellowship writing a book on progressive
                                           politics in New Zealand…”
                                                                                        to 2014, and a Law/Arts conjoint degree
                                                                                        (with Honours in Law) at the University

BUSINESS                                      The fellowship to which it referred was
                                           an Examination Fellowship at All Souls
                                                                                        of Auckland from 2006 to 2010. Not
                                                                                        yet 30, he is already acknowledged as a

P
                                           College at Oxford, which is awarded to       brilliant New Zealander with singular
       rofessor Jayne Godfrey is the       up to two exceptional scholars each year     talents.
       new dean of the Business            and qualifies the scholar for seven years
       School and the first woman          of funding to pursue an approved course
to hold the post, taking over from         of study of their own choice.
the previous dean, Professor Greg             Right on time, just two years later
Whittred, who held the position for        (and about a week ago) Max was
eight years and has left a strong legacy   back in New Zealand to speak at the
of achievement.                            Auckland Writers’ Festival about the
  Jayne has a Master of Economics          promised book, The New Zealand Project,
from the University of Sydney              published by Bridget Williams Books in
and a PhD from the University of           April, 2017.
Queensland. Her past academic                 “This work” writes Max in the
roles include two years as President       introduction, “was born out of an
of the Academic Board of Monash            instinct that something was not quite
University and three years as Dean         right in New Zealand society, that
and Director at the College of             politics is partly to blame for this, and
Business and Economics at the              that collective political action might be
Australian National University.            able not only to address these challenges

FAREWELL
TO DOUGLAS                                 L      ast month we lost a highly-
                                                  respected member of our University
                                                  community when Sir Douglas
                                           Myers died in London, aged 78.
                                                                                        funds for the construction of the
                                                                                        University’s Business School and his
                                                                                        personal gift of $1 million for this
                                                                                        purpose in 2002 was noteworthy for more

MYERS                                         Sir Douglas was best-known to
                                           most New Zealanders as a successful
                                           businessman, and a member and former
                                                                                        than its magnitude. It took the funds
                                                                                        over the $25 million mark and allowed
                                                                                        the University to draw down the full $25
                                           chair of the Business Round Table. To        million pledged by the government to
                                           the University he will be remembered as a    match private sector donations.
                                           generous friend and benefactor who had a       He encouraged young New Zealanders
                                           deep belief in the value of education and    to focus on offshore opportunities
                                           in the young people who will lead this       through the Douglas Myers Scholarships,
                                           country in the future.                       which offer outstanding year 13 Kiwis
                                              In 2000 Sir Douglas was principal         the chance to study at Gonville and Caius
                                           donor to the University’s visual and         College at Cambridge University, where
                                           performing arts centre (named the            he himself read history.
                                           Kenneth Myers Centre in memory of              “When you meet young people, they
                                           his father) – which he saw as helping to     think the world’s their oyster,” he said at
                                           create a partnership between the business    the time the scholarship was established.
                                           community and the University. He             “They don’t yet know any better than
                                           felt that the building at 74 Shortland       to think they can have extraordinarily
                                           Street, bridging the past and present in     wonderful lives. What I want is to assist
                                           performing arts, placed halfway between      them with those dreams.”
                                           the campus and the CBD, offered a              Sir Douglas Myers was conferred with
                                           physical symbol of the new link.             an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in
                                              He played a leading role in raising       2005.

6 | Ingenio | Autumn 2017
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
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DLR0051
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
COVER STORY

                          BECAUSE
                           OF WHO
                          THEY ARE
 This year, for the first time, the majority of the University’s Distinguished Alumni are from
 Polynesian backgrounds. They are all high achievers who are having a signficant impact on
                                       their communities.

                                 Tess Redgrave met the three female winners.

B      ring together broadcaster Carol
       Hirschfeld (54), Head of Content
       at Radio New Zealand, with artist
Lisa Reihana (52), who is representing
New Zealand at the 2017 Venice
                                            encouraged to learn Te Reo when I was
                                            young.”
                                               For Erna, whose father came to Samoa
                                            from Japan, the word she knows is not
                                            “half caste” but “afakasi”. “I didn’t feel
                                                                                            Lisa, from a young age, decided she
                                                                                         wasn’t going to be pigeon-holed. “My
                                                                                         mother is English/Welsh, my father is
                                                                                         Māori. I am an in-between person. That
                                                                                         is my gift and I like to investigate being
Biennale, and Erna Takazawa (28),           like a typical Samoan. I stood out as        this dual hybrid in my art.”
Samoa’s first optometrist, and there is     different – an Asian-looking slit-eyed          For Carol, who readily admits she had
one thing they all quickly identify in      afakasi.”                                    to take beta blockers for her nerves when
common: Each knows what it is like             But the minute you learn about these      she first fronted our television screens,
to be a “half-caste” or as Lisa jokes “a    three women you realise that no matter       her mother’s courageous journey to the
hybrid or bitzer”.                          what life has thrown at them, they           city is something she holds close. “I
   “I was always aware of the word when     have stood firm and met the challenge.       think it’s given me the courage to be in a
I was young and it was derogatory,” says    Ironically growing up a “hybrid” has         difficult place.”
Carol, whose Māori mother left her home     been part of the crucible on which their        Significantly too, each is a member of
at Rangitukia near East Cape in the early   careers have flourished.                     the first generation in their families to
1950s to make her luck in the city.            “Being an afakasi pushed me to be         go to university. They take nothing for
   “I was aware of a sense of unfairness    stronger,” says Erna, who in 2015 was        granted and I sense they are having an
as a child,” says Lisa. “My father was      one of nine young people from the            impact on their communities, not just
the first of his whānau to come down to     Pacific to win a Queen’s Medal. “I found     because of their work, but also because
the city from up north. He was caned at     ways to blend in. That’s why I put my        of who they are and where they have
school for speaking Māori so I was never    energy into sports and academics.”           come from.

8 | Ingenio | Autumn 2017
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
COVER STORY

Left to right: Carol Hirschfeld, Erna Takazawa
and Lisa Reihana. Photo: Dean Carruthers

                                                 Autumn 2017 | Ingenio | 9
CHANGE VISION FOR GRAFFITI CRIMES - Ingenio
COVER STORY

 TRAILBLAZER
                                               a Japanese technician, when he worked as
                                               a volunteer at a Post Office and Telephone

Young Alumna of the Year:
Erna Takazawa, BOptom 2012 School
                                               Communication Company in Samoa.
                                               They married and returned to Japan,
                                               where I was born.”
                                                                                            “beenMoney has never
                                                                                                   the driver for
of Optometry and Vision Science,                  But Erna’s mother was one of 16           me. I wanted to go
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.        children and missed island life.
                                                  “So we returned to Samoa and I grew       back to Samoa and
                                               up there.”                                   make a difference.
                                                                                                                                  ”
I
                                                  Erna’s parents stressed the importance
   n June 2015, Erna Takazawa did              of education to their three daughters.
   something that most of us can only          At 15 Erna found her vocation when
   dream about. She stood in Buckingham        her older sister Melissa began having
Palace and shook Queen Elizabeth II’s          vision problems. At that time there was      “Money has never been the driver for me,”
hand.                                          only one optical shop in Samoa, run by       she says. “I wanted to go back to Samoa
   “The Queen looked at me and said in         an American. Melissa was fitted with         and make a difference and do something
her British accent: ‘so Erna are you really    distance glasses costing $700.               I was passionate about.” She hopes her
from Samoa?’ And I said ‘yes I am but I           “I wondered why it was so expensive,”     choice inspires other young people to
am part Japanese, you are very good to         recalls Erna. “Most people in Samoa          return to work in their communities.
notice your Majesty’.”                         couldn’t pay that much. It also made            Erna began working with a few eye
   Erna was in London because she had          me aware that we lacked any eye care         nurses before moving to the newly
won the Queen’s Young Leader Medal             specialists in our country.”                 established Samoa Vision Centre. “I am
(the first Samoan to do so), a top honour         She became determined to study            still the only optometrist on the island;
awarded to 60 young people across the          optometry. Her parents couldn’t afford       however we now have an ophthalmologist
Commonwealth each year.                        to send her overseas to university but       and nine eye nurses to look after things
   “It was one of the most memorable           in Form 7 she won a New Zealand Aid          while I am out of the country so we have a
experiences of my life.”                       Scholarship for developing countries:        very good eye team.”
   Erna is poised, gently-spoken, and often    one of only five science scholarships and       Erna goes on community outreaches to
wears a frangipani flower in her hair.         the only to the University of Auckland’s     rural areas of Samoa and the other island
There is nothing “unmemorable” about           School of Optometry and Vision Science.      Savaii, taking eye care (free glasses and
her and her remarkable achievements. At        There she flourished, taking part in the     medication) to the people who cannot
just 28 years old, she is the first and only   Tuākana programme and benefiting from        come to the main hospital in town where
optometrist in Samoa and the country’s         the support of older Pacific mentors.        her clinic is based.
National Eye Co-ordinator. Since 2012             In 2012 Erna graduated with First Class      In a more recent development she has
she has been single-handedly instrumental      Honors, having twice won a New Zealand       become a workforce support consultant
in improving access to free eyecare for        Association of Optometrists’ award.          for the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ and
Samoan children, people with disabilities         But despite lucrative offers of work      lectures regularly in Fiji, training nurses
and over-65s.                                  in New Zealand and Australia, Erna           to take up eye care.
   “My Mum was a Samoan cultural               returned to Samoa, where she became             “This work is really important to
dancer,” she explains. “She met my father,     Samoa’s first fully qualified optometrist.   me,” she says. “My students come from
                                                                                            all around the Pacific including from
                                                                                            Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga,
                                                                                            Kiribati, Nauru, and Samoa.”
                                                                                               Erna has also worked as a vision trainer
                                                                                            with the non-government organisation
                                                                                            SENESE, training teachers in primary
                                                                                            and secondary schools to detect vision
                                                                                            problems in their students.
                                                                                               “But currently this initiative is not
                                                                                            active due to funding issues. Without
                                                                                            national vision screening for children we
                                                                                            are not able to properly identify if the
                                                                                            reason a child is not learning is because of
                                                                                            their vision or hearing.
                                                                                               “Funding is a big issue for eye care in
                                                                                            Samoa,” she stresses. “My next challenge
                                                                                            is to connect with more funding and find
                                                                                            ways to make eye care initiatives more
                                                                                            sustainable.”
                                                                                                “I want to end avoidable blindness in
                                                                                            Samoa and have the best eye care possible.
                                                                                               “As good as New Zealand.”

10 | Ingenio | Autumn 2017
dress maker. She made all our clothes.”
 FACE TO FACE                                    Her grandmother was a wardrobe
                                              mistress for the New Zealand Opera
Lisa Reihana (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Hine            Company and owned a haberdashery
and Ngāi Tu) Bachelor of Fine Arts 1988,      in New Lynn, where Lisa and her three
Creative Arts and Industries                  sisters were models.
                                                 “I grew up around people fixing and

L
                                              making things.
       isa Reihana is one of New Zealand’s       “Going to the theatre all the time with
       most important contemporary            Mum opened my eyes to a community
       artists. Right now her work is         and how it takes a whole lot of people to
wowing the world as New Zealand’s 2017        create a live event.”
entry to the Venice Art Biennale. She            A self-proclaimed “social butterfly”, Lisa
has exhibited in New York, Liverpool,         was in the top class at Lynfield College,
Brisbane and many cities around the           where her teacher Beverley Austin
world. In 2014 she was a New Zealand          encouraged her to go to Art School.
Arts Foundation Laureate. Her works              But it was a whole different world from
feature in NZ collections at Te Papa,         the Blockhouse Bay cul de sac. “There                                         Portrait of the artist
Auckland Art Gallery, New Plymouth’s          were very few students of Māori descent
Govett-Brewser; and the University owns       at Elam [and no marae on campus at the          and original, the work spans 26 metres, is
three.                                        time]. I felt singled out sometimes. This       four metres high and 64 minutes long. It
   But just as Lisa doesn’t like to be        makes you super aware of yourself and           foregrounds the complexities of cultural
pigeon-holed in life, neither is it easy to   that’s where a knowledge of biculturalism       identity and colonisation, re-envisioning
pigeon hole her art. It has encompassed       came in; I became hyper-sensitised to           scenes of encounter between Europeans
video, animation, story-telling,              cultural politics.”                             and Polynesians set against a utopian
sculpture, textiles, performance, sound          Soon after Lisa started at Elam,             Tahitian landscape. Famous figures such
and photography. She is described as          musician/artist Phil Dadson of From             as botanist Joseph Bank, navigator Tupaia
a filmmaker who makes art, has been           Scratch fame, set up the Intermedia             and Captain Cook feature.
coupled with Michael Parekowhai as            department. Lisa, “cresting the new                Last year the work brought viewers
a maker of “ethno pop”, and has been          wave”, left her sculpture class and             into the Auckland Art Gallery again and
hailed “as a New Zealand pioneer of           specialised in film-making. Her first short     again. It broke records, with more visits
media art, utilising technology to create     experimental films developed her interest       than any exhibition by a living New
new ways to explore Māori culture”.           in animation and she began tackling             Zealand artist.
   Meet Lisa with her cheeky grin,            subjects of Māori culture and politics.             Lisa recalls being in the lift at the
and you quickly sense she is a natural        One music video Wog Features reflects           gallery with a group of senior viewers
“disrupter”.                                  the rising politicisation of indigenous art     excitedly going up to see her work again!
   “I have always been on the crest of        practice.                                       She didn’t reveal who she was but their
something new.”                                  In 1991 she was showcased as one             enthusiasm made her aware of how her
   This may have started when she             of eight “exciting younger artists” by          work was creating “a safe space for people
was growing up in a no-exit street in         the Moet & Chandon New Zealand                  to look at our history”.
Blockhouse Bay, where the neighbouring        Arts Foundation. Then in 1997                      “Lisa creates an immersive environment
children ganged together to rescue            she created Native Portraits, a large           with digital media,” says Linda Tyler,
native frogs and to barricade the street’s    gateway comprising 11 video monitors            Director of the University’s Centre for Art
entrance, making their parents pay a toll     commissioned for the opening of Te Papa         Studies. “You’re plunged into the thick of
to enter.                                     Tongarewa Museum and forming part               it and engaged emotionally.”
   Her father worked as “a lineman for the    of her ongoing Digital Marae project –             All Lisa’s recent art has involved
county” with the Auckland Electric Power      which recreates mythological ancestral          working with big teams of people just like
Board while her mother was an amateur         figures in digital format from carvings         those she watched her mother work with
actress with Little Dolphin Theatre in        historically found on a marae.                  in the theatre. An art teacher in schools
Onehunga. “Mum was a maker and a                 In 2007 Lisa took part in Global             and at Unitec for many years, Lisa calls
                                              Feminisms at Brooklyn Museum, New               this collaborative way of working kanohi
                                              York.                                           ki te kanohi (face to face).

“pioneer
    A New Zealand                                 In 2008 Lisa completed another major           “The art I do is really just an artifact of
                                              commission for Te Papa Mai i te aroha,          the relationships I make,” she says. “They
         of media art,                        ko te aroha (From love comes love). “Art        create more opportunities for me to meet
utilising technology                          has allowed me to examine who I am, my
                                              identity.”
                                                                                              new people and learn more.”

to create new ways                               By far Lisa’s greatest triumph to date
to explore Māori                              has been In Pursuit of Venus (Infected)          See Lisa Reihana: Emissaries featuring In

                ”
                                              a cinematic re-imagining of the neo-             Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17), alongside
culture.                                      classical French wallpaper Les Sauvages de       new photo-based and sculptural works, in
                                              la Mer Pacifique (1804–05). Challenging          Venice at: www.artprojects.net.nz

                                                                                                                  Autumn 2017 | Ingenio | 11
COVER STORY

                                               news with John Campbell. Since then            up to Auckland Technical Institute
 CONTINUING                                    she has been in the public eye as head of
                                               production at Māori TV for five years,
                                                                                              (ATI)’s journalism course and didn’t get
                                                                                              in, she decided to enrol for a Bachelor of
                                               and now as Radio New Zealand’s head of         Arts at Auckland the following year.
 THE JOURNEY                                   content, responsible primarily for news.
                                               She's also been in the public domain as an
                                                                                                 She took the advice of her older brother
                                                                                              and chose subjects that really engaged her:
                                               MC and speaker, and as an ambassador           a major in English literature and minors
Carol Hirschfeld                               for the Breast Cancer Cure Trust.              in history, art history and Bhasa (the
(Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata),                     “I have always just got on with what        native language of Indonesia).
Bachelor of Arts 1984, Faculty of Arts.        was in front me,” says Carol, of her              “University was an essential bridge to
                                               success. Yet she is also very aware of what    adulthood. It helped me learn to set goals,

O
                                               is behind her.                                 develop the capacity for critical thought
          ne day during the years when            Carol’s father Charl is an Australian       and gave me insights into many different
          Carol Hirschfeld was fronting        engineer who came to New Zealand in            worlds.”
          TV3 News, she popped into            the mid-1950s. Her mother, Ngawiki,               There were also many hours spent at the
a bank to get some money. “A young             was a “Ngati Porou princess” who left          student café with her sister and various
Samoan teller leaned over the counter and      Rangitukia, a small town about two             friends “drinking too much coffee,
said: ‘it's so good to see another brown       kilometres from Tikitiki out on the North      smoking furiously (we didn’t know the
person on TV’.                                 Island’s East Cape, when she was 15.           dangers back then) and dreaming of what
  “It’s that simple,” says Carol, using this      “Mum was eldest of her family and           our lives might become”.
anecdote to reflect on her impact in the       was kept home from school to look after           From the outside Carol’s career
community. “I hope I show others you can       the younger ones. So she had no formal         does seem like the stuff of dreams.
have a prominent role despite there not        education. It must have taken enormous         After University she got into the ATI
being many people who look like you.”          courage to leave her small Māori-speaking      journalism course, became a cadet
  Most Ingenio readers will know Carol’s       community to work in the city.”                reporter for Radio New Zealand and a
face from our television screens. For 12          Ngawiki moved to Wellington and             sub-editor, first at the Auckland Star and
years she worked as a reporter, director,      then eventually Auckland, where she was        then at TVNZ. The rest is history. Her
presenter and producer on programmes           a nurse aid and met Charl Hirschfeld in        career has kept growing and changing. A
such as Frontline, Assignment, One News,       Otahuhu. They were married for 17 years        one-time television director of long-form
Holmes, Fair Go and Crimewatch. In 1998        until Ngawiki died prematurely at the age      current affairs programmes, she is now
she moved to TV3, where she read the           of 36 of a cerebral haemorrhage. Carol         steeped in management.
                                               was 10. “You learn that life means you’ll         “I miss deeply the creative side of being
                                               lose somebody you love,” she told E_           someone who produces stories directly
                                               Tangata magazine in a candid interview.        and I miss being involved in the hurly

“
                                                  But her mother’s story remains warm.        burly of the newsroom.”
   I feel very strongly                        When I ask Carol what Ngawiki would               But innovation excites her and is part of
that I want to be a                            think of her Distinguished Alumni
                                               Award, there is a poignant moment as she
                                                                                              her role at Radio New Zealand.
                                                                                                 “I am a decision maker and one of the
guardian of credible                           says: “I hope she’d be proud. She started      truly innovative things is to be able to
journalism.
                           ”
                                               this journey.”                                 open your mind and allow diverse input
                                                  Carol’s father is now 85 and she is quick   into how you make those decisions, and
                                               to assert that he has been her greatest        allow others to be part of those decisions.
                                               teacher. “All roads lead to dad. He is the     It’s exciting to allow the younger
                                               fairest person I have ever met and that        generation to inform the decisions you
                                               sense of fairness has carried over to every    make. I want to be a conduit for that.
                                               aspect of my life.”                            That is how sustainability is achieved.”
                                                  Education was “a non-negotiable”                Making Radio New Zealand a
                                               in her family. “For dad it wasn’t about        sustainable organisation is key. “I want it
                                               whether we could go to university; it was      to be recognised by New Zealanders as a
                                               about what we would do there. There was        taonga that needs to be cared for and also
                                               an absolute belief in us.”                     as the ‘go to’ in terms of connecting and
                                                  When Carol was 14 she spent a year on       informing them. We are involved in story-
                                               Sulawesi in Indonesia where her father         telling and hopefully we are truth tellers.
                                               was posted as an electrical engineer.          It’s very difficult to know in today’s world.
                                               She looks back on that as “liberating             “I feel very strongly that I want to be a
                                               and eye-opening”. She then spent a year        guardian of credible journalism.”
                                               with relatives in Bendigo, Australia, and
                                               worked on the local newspaper getting her
                                                                                              CAN WE END INCREASE THE CONTRIBUTION
                                               first taste of journalism.                      OUR COMMUNITY MAKES TO THE WORLD?
                                                  Back in New Zealand she passed
                                               up a 7th form year to work on a trade
                                               magazine Hospitality. When she rocked

12 | Ingenio | Autumn 2017
OPINION

VITAL TO
                                                                                           Journalists themselves can band together
                                                                                           and create a non-profit cooperative media
                                                                                           where their salaries and production
                                                                                           become the primary expenses. Without

SAVE OUR
                                                                                           the added pressure of generating greater
                                                                                           and greater profit for shareholders, they
                                                                                           can refocus their resources into great
                                                                                           journalism.
                                                                                              Another alternative is for universities

NEWS
                                                                                           to continue expanding their roles beyond
                                                                                           their own campuses and collectively
                                                                                           build a strong media together—a
                                                                                           media that offers breadth and depth of
                                                                                           knowledge, society-wide. And while
                                                                                           universities too are being squeezed so
                                                                                           tightly that they can barely breathe, they
When the AP wire service’s Twitter feed was compromised                                    must push back, so they can continue to
                                                                                           stand for an educated society, a public
by a hacking group, there were serious, though short-lived                                 interest that benefits all of us. Better
consequences arising from the resulting misinformation.                                    education and better civic knowledge
                                                                                           mean better problem solving for the big
                                                                                           problems that beset us all.

T
                                                                                              Whether we get one or all of these
       he hacked tweet falsely declared      about the public interest role that an        options will be a public service to New
       that the White House had been         institution, such as the press, provides.     Zealand, and maybe, if wildly successful,
       bombed. Within seconds the               The “fake news” industry is the            offer a model for others in the world who
market plunged. During the US election,      economic model gone wild. Enabled by          are struggling with similar issues.
conspiracy theories, preposterous ones,      a free and open internet, the very system
also spread via the internet. In one false   that was once thought to spread the           Maria Armoudian is lecturer in Politics
claim, the Clintons were running an          ideas of democracy and human rights           and International Relations at the
illegal trafficking, child-sex ring. One     throughout the world has simultaneously       University of Auckland.
believer of the falsehood showed up at       given us a new creature with which to
the pizza place mentioned, armed with        grapple. The young men (in Macedonia)
an assault rifle ready to defend and         were just one example of what “news”
rescue the children.                         gets created when money is what matters
   Mass-mediated lies can have real          most. They spread fabricated pro-Trump
consequences when they are believed.         stories that were then shared through
Sometimes such consequences mean             social media, for one primary reason – it
the fabric of society can be torn apart,     was how they made the most money.
as in the case of Chile before, during          As imperfect as any human institution
and after the coup in 1973. Sometimes        is, our news media have been a vital
they can mean life and death: the worst      source of information from which
kinds of lies have been used to eliminate    we learn about our community, our
entire races of people in the Holocaust,     government, our world. What will
the Rwandan, Armenian and Bosnian            we, as societies, do in the face of these
genocides.                                   challenges? How will we understand the
   But even seemingly innocuous lies         policies, the representatives, the systems
make it extremely hard to sustain            that either better or worsen our collective
democratic societies, which rely upon        lives? Will we be forced to rely upon
accurate, reliable, fact-checked, rational   fabrications, insulting tweets and blame-
information from which we – as citizens      framing blog posts that give us no true
– can understand government policy           understanding of the real factors that got
and decide what is best for us. Bad          us to our current situation or where we
information can logically lead to bad        should go?
decisions. It’s true of any system.             New Zealand is exploring new media
   In the political economy of media         projects, which as a whole, are hopeful
as a business, where is the line? Which      in the quest for building a model. A
value takes precedence? Is it the finances   government interested in an informed
that keep profits growing? Or is it the      society might shore up its support for its
                                                                                             Dr Maria Armoudian receives her University of
existence of a public service or the very    holdings such as Radio New Zealand
                                                                                             Auckland Early Career Excellence Award for 2017.
function of society? When money is           and by taking commercial pressure off           Photo Sampford Cathie
the bottom line, it is difficult to think    TVNZ. But there are other models.

                                                                                                              Autumn 2017 | Ingenio | 13
ALUMNI PROFILE

The
FABULOUS
HUNTER
BROTHERS
Ian and Peter Hunter talk with Margo White.

14 | Ingenio | Autumn 2017                Photo: Dean Carruthers
ALUMNI PROFILE

                           P      rofessor Ian Hunter identifies his
                                  first invention as a device he called
                                  the ‘smell-o-meter’, constructed
                           when he was six from an old meter
                           thrown out by his father.
                                                                          the development of the Physiome Project,
                                                                          an international consortium involving
                                                                          dozens of research institutions around
                                                                          the world, of which he is co-director.
                                                                          The collective aim of the Project is to
                              He opened it up, wrote “nice” at one        build a computational model of a virtual
                           end and “smelly” at the other. He’d hold       human, one that integrates mathematical
                           the device in front of his classmates and,     and physiological information about
                           in a way that wasn’t visible to them, use      organs, tissues, cells, proteins and genes,
                           his finger to move the dial to one end or      ultimately to guide interventions and
                           the other.                                     treatments in human health.
                              The Hatsopoulos Professor of                   Both Hunter brothers have received
                           Mechanical Engineering at the                  too many accolades and awards to list
                           Massachusetts Institute of Technology          here. Evidently something runs in the
                           (MIT) was in Auckland recently                 family. Is there something in the genes?
                           to receive a University of Auckland            “I don’t think so,” says Ian. “But we had
                           Distinguished Alumni Award for                 a father who, whenever we showed an
                           science, one of five graduates to receive      interest in an area, he’d turn up with the
                           the honour. I caught up with him               relevant goodies. If we had an interest in
                           on the sixth floor of the Auckland             optics, lenses would appear. If we had an
                           Bioengineering Institute, in the office        interest in mechanics, mechanical things
                           of his brother, Distinguished Professor        would appear, normally with very little

“who,Wewhenever
                           Peter Hunter.                                  explanation.” Both Ian and Peter had
        had a father          “Everyone was fooled, including             electronic workshops in their bedrooms.
                 we        the teacher,” he recalls. “I remember
                           thinking, ‘Wow, the power of
                                                                          “And then when I had an interest in
                                                                          chemistry, chemicals and beakers would
showed an interest in      instruments’. I had the whole class under      appear,” adds Ian. “When the passion
an area, he’d turn up      my spell; they were terrified of being
                           smelly. That was an early foray into
                                                                          became even greater, my father set up a
                                                                          chemistry lab in the house.”
with relevant goodies.     instrumentation.”                                 Their father, Les, was an electrical
If we had an interest in      He laughs. His brother laughs. “And
                           deception,” adds Peter.
                                                                          engineer and an inventor who, in
                                                                          1950, constructed New Zealand’s first
optics, lenses would          Let’s begin with a few truncated            experimental closed circuit television
appear. If we had an       biographical details. Ian describes
                           himself primarily as an inventor, whose
                                                                          station in his backyard. This was ten
                                                                          years before television was introduced in
interest in mechanics,     interests include micro-instrumentation,       New Zealand. There’s archive footage on
mechanical things          micro-fabrication, micro-robotics and          YouTube, a short film made by the New

               ”
                           medical devices. As well as being the          Zealand National Film Unit capturing
would appear.              Professor of Mechanical Engineering            their father’s “experiment in television”.
                           at MIT, he’s director of the Institute’s       Their mother Mary is featured talking
                           BioInstrumentation Lab. Over the years         to the camera and Peter, a pre-schooler
                           he and his students have developed             in short pants, comes briefly into view
                           a number of innovative instruments,            along with his two elder brothers.
                           including needle-free drug delivery               Ian hadn’t been born then, and who
                           technologies, confocal laser microscopes,      knows if it was nature or nurture, but he
                           scanning tunneling electron microscopes        began following in his father’s footsteps
                           and a miniature mass spectrometer. The         when, aged nine, he built a miniaturised
                           latter is an instrument used for chemical      transistor radio. He then started building
                           analysis, to characterise smells, detect       and selling transistor radios to other kids
                           undesirable chemicals such as lead or          in the neighbourhood. The radio waves
                           pesticides and possibly assess health          were weak back then so he’d rig up an
                           status by analysing a person’s breath.         antenna as part of the service. “Usually
                           He has more than 100 patents and has           a wire that I’d run from a kid’s bedroom
                           founded or co-founded 25 companies.            out to some adjacent tree, and then I’d
                              Peter Hunter is the Director of the         climb under the house and connect it
                           Auckland Bioengineering Institute              to the plumbing, to get a good earth
                           (ABI), whose pioneering research               connection”.
                           is based on the premise that the                  Ian recalls getting his first business
                           physiological function of the human            lesson from the mother of one of his
                           body can be analysed and modeled in            young customers, who quizzed him on
                           the same way a complex engineering             his profit margins. “Being nine I didn’t
                           system can be. His research has led to         have a clue, so she said: 'If you add

                                                                                           Autumn 2017 | Ingenio | 15
ALUMNI PROFILE

                                 up the cost of your components, the              Peter also spent a lot of his childhood
                                 profit margin is when you add on some         in his father’s workshop, he says. “It was
                                 additional charge.' I remember thinking       more often to help him, rather than to
                                 this was immoral, the notion of charging      build my own things. I was there more
                                 more.” He laughs. “But she said you have      for company.” He has a vivid memory
                                 to take your time into account. And she       of finding a ten-shilling note when he
                                 paid me three times my asking price, so       was on holiday in Taupo and, after he
                                 I learned that profit margins could be        handed it in to the police station and it
                                 quite significant.”                           wasn’t claimed, he used the proceeds to
                                    There were other instances of              start building his own tool set. His first
                                 precociousness. He was ten when he            purchase was a drill and a vice.
                                 published his first journal paper (in the        “Oh, I remember that!” says Ian. “You
                                 Australian and New Zealand Electronic         coming into great wealth, and buying
                                 Review) in which he detailed the design       that beautiful die cast enclosed drill. You
                                 and cost of his single transistor radio. At   couldn’t even see the gear, it was hidden
                                 14 he built a gas liquid chromatograph        in that grey case.”
                                 (an instrument used for chemical                 There was also music. Their eldest
                                 analysis). This was after visiting the        brother Terry was the most talented, says
                                 University of Auckland and meeting            Peter, playing the violin in the national
                                 a chemistry professor who had a PhD           youth orchestra. The second brother,

“  It involves a
personal vehicle, one
                                 student who was building one. The
                                 race was on. “My challenge was to see
                                 if I could build one at home before this
                                                                               Bruce, played clarinet. (Both elder
                                                                               brothers have passed away.) Ian played
                                                                               the piano and clarinet, but now plays
that is light, powerful          PhD student could. And I did. And it          the drums. Peter played the piano as a
and sustainable. It's            worked.”
                                    That was the sort of thing the Hunter
                                                                               child but never really liked it, and took
                                                                               up classical guitar in his teens – “which I
a vehicle so light its           brothers did. Peter, before Ian started       still love to play but don’t play very well”.
development depends              building and selling transistor radios,
                                 had a repair service in his bedroom,
                                                                                  There were, of course, differences.
                                                                               Ian, says Peter, was the rebellious one,
on a model of the                repairing valve radios for people in the      standing up to a sometimes overbearing
human being who is               neighbourhood. “It brought in a bit of
                                 pocket money,” says Peter. “But it was a
                                                                               father. “Partly because of his position in
                                                                               the family, the youngest, partly because
likely to drive it. What         pretty natural thing to do in our family      of who he was. He was a very robust
will it look like? Like          because our father did a lot of electronics
                                 and all sorts of engineering, so we grew
                                                                               character when he was little. Still is.” (“I
                                                                               just didn’t care,” says Ian.) What was
nothing you've ever              up expecting to do those sorts of things.     Peter then, the diplomatic one? “Maybe

seen before.
                            ”
                                 We’d all built our own radios and             the introvert,” says Peter.
                                 gramophones. I think Ian was probably            Peter enjoyed school, at least well
                                 a bit more entrepreneurial, so he made a      enough. Ian couldn’t abide it. “I hated
                                 better business of it.”                       it,” he says, going on to say that it was
                                                                               time away from his workshop and he
                                                                               resented it. School, as far as he was
                                                                               concerned, was a waste of time. “It
                                                                               wasn’t the way I would learn anything. I
                                                                               was used to learning by doing.” Possibly
                                                                               because he was the youngest, his mother
                                                                               let him dodge school on “the flimsiest of
                                                                               excuses” and he could stay at home and
                                                                               work on his projects.
                                                                                  Ian remains skeptical about traditional
                                                                               approaches to education. He has also
                                                                               received several teaching awards at
                                                                               MIT, which he suspects is because he
                                                                               recognises that people learn in different
                                                                               ways. He’s still a staunch advocate of
                                                                               learning by “doing” and from your
                                                                               mistakes, rather than by “sitting and
                                                                               listening”.
                                                                                  He feels strongly about this, citing
                                                                               Richard Feynman, the American
                                                                               theoretical physicist and outspoken
                                                                               critic of the way science was often

16 | Ingenio | Autumn 2017
ALUMNI PROFILE

taught, and who coined the term “robust
knowledge”.
   “Which is acquired after you struggle
to build something, or to understand
something, and then get it to work.
That turmoil is what results in robust
knowledge. He would also say that
‘fragile knowledge’ is the knowledge
acquired when you cram for an exam,
and it drains out of your brain in the
days afterward. So I try my best when I
lecture to use an experiential approach,
and I think students appreciate that ...
learning about an area by getting in and
feeling it and smelling it and touching
it.”
   He always was something of an
autodidact, says Peter, although not
in those words. “He didn’t do an
engineering degree, but he’s become
the most talented engineer I know. He
was self-taught really. He came into the
whole engineering and physics world
slightly later, but with a vengeance.”
Peter could also be described as an
autodidact. He studied engineering
at University, but later gravitated
toward biology and did his PhD in the
physiology department at Oxford where
he taught himself physiology.
   They have collaborated and worked
together often; Peter pitching in with the
mathematics, and Ian with his expertise
in instrumentation. More recently
they’ve been collaborating on a project
that actually depends on bringing their
two areas of expertise together. They         things take a long time to mature, and a
won’t divulge any details, other than to      lot of work.”
say it involves a personal vehicle, one
that is light, powerful and (using electric
and solar technologies) sustainable. It’s
                                                Peter agrees – persistence is
                                              paramount. “The ability to keep going,
                                              to not give up, is crucial. You go through
                                                                                           “  Anything I've done
                                                                                           that is any good has
a vehicle that is so light its development    long periods of drudgery ... the creative    taken me ten years.
depends on a model of the human being
who is likely to drive it. What will it
                                              process is mysterious.”
                                                They probably wouldn’t be where they       But Peter and I have a
look like? “Like nothing you’ve ever seen     were if they weren’t competitive, which      tremendous interest
before,” says Ian. Watch this space.
   Were there any moments, in either
                                              makes you wonder if there have ever
                                              been instances of sibling rivalry. Or, to    in history so we know
of their disciplines, that they would         put things more bluntly, were they ever      that historically
describe as particularly significant, as
breakthrough moments? Ian waves his
                                              jealous of each other?
                                                “That’s one of the bizarre things,”        things take a long
arm up and down, tracing one bell curve       says Ian. “I think Peter is absolutely       time to mature, and a
                                                                                           lot of work.
                                                                                                              ”
after another, depicting the way things       wonderful, but even as a kid I never felt
are in the world of scientific innovation.    jealous. My wife has asked me that on a
“Struggling to solve something, getting       number of occasions, but I never have.”
downhearted about it, and then,                 Peter shakes his head. “No, never.
suddenly the solution hits, and you           My only regret is that we haven’t been
become ecstatic. In my case it’s 99           able to spend more time together. There
percent perspiration and one percent          are a number of moments in my career          CAN WE DEVELOP THE GO-TO PRODUCTS
inspiration. Anything I’ve done that is       when Ian’s influence has been absolutely         AND SERVICES OF TOMORROW?
any good has taken me ten years. But          critical.”
Peter and I have a tremendous interest          Says Ian: “And vice versa, over and
in history, so we know that historically      over again.”

                                                                                                        Autumn 2017 | Ingenio | 17
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