The Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences


Nurturing curiosity and engagement in the advancement of science and arts in Otago and Southland.

The Otago Institute is a Regional Constituent Organisation of the Royal Society of New Zealand. In many ways our activities reflect the values of the RSNZ, but more importantly a firm commitment by our members to community outreach and engagement. It is our goal to provide timely, relevant, and qualified expert information to people in regional communities in order to enhance their understanding of research, give them the tools that they can bring to bear on issues that impact their lives, and thereby improve their awareness of the importance of research to their happiness and well-being as well as that of their community and country.


Upcoming Events

2019 Postgraduate Travel Award

Applications are invited for the Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award 2019

The Otago Institute for the Arts and Sciences offers travel scholarships to assist Otago/Southland-based postgraduate students to travel as part of their postgraduate study. The winner will receive $1000 for the purpose of conference attendance and/or other project-related travel.

Key dates:

  • NEW application deadline: midnight, Sunday 12 May 2019
  • Notification of finalists: Wednesday 29 May 2019
  • Oral presentations by finalists: noon, Wednesday 12 June 2019

For more information see our Postgraduate Student Travel Award page.

What's Hot! Four speakers, presented by the Otago Institute of Arts and Sciences

Four speakers take ten minutes each to describe the big breakthroughs or events in their research and practice during the last year.

  • What's hot in Animal Law? Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere, Faculty of Law, U. Otago
  • What's hot in Nanotechnology? Carla Meledandri, Department of Chemistry, U. Otago
  • What's hot in Anatomical Knitting? Michele Beevors, Sculpture and Ceramics, Otago Polytechnic
  • What's hot in Otago's Whale and Dolphin Fossils? Ewan Fordyce, Department of Geology, U. Otago

WHEN: 5.30pm, Wednesday 1st August

WHERE: Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum


2018 Postgraduate Student Travel Award finals

The winner of the 2018 Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award is Manon Knapen (Centre for Science Communication, University of Otago), The value of evidence in health decision-making.

Lecture: Digital breaths: The benefits of bioengineering

Professor Merryn Tawhai:Digital breaths: The benefits of bioengineering

Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum, 5:30pm Thu 28 June, 2018

For more information, see here.

2018 Postgraduate Student Travel Awards finalists

The finalists for the 2018 Otago Institute Postgraduate Student Travel Award have been selected! More information here.

2017 President's report

The 2017 report by Otago Institute President James Scott can be downloaded here.

Otago Institute 2018 Postgraduate Student Travel Award -- Applications open!

Please see the page dedicated to the travel award for information on how to apply. Deadline: 6 May.

Hubble Space Telescope: Our window to an amazing universe

3 April | DUNEDIN. Hubble Chief Scientist Dr Jennifer Wiseman will give a public talk, launching the 2018 Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference. For more details, see

Download this file (2017-PresidentReport.pdf)2017-PresidentReport.pdf328 kB