Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.
Look: All Yours Free!
Look: All Yours Free!
With Science Congress fast approaching we thought it a good idea for our Science page in this issue to give a general survey of all the science clubs at present operating around the university. This is to enable students with a special interest to get in touch with a particular club and find whether Congress will be dealing with their special interest, and if so give them sufficient notice to enrol for Congress.
The date and times for Congress are advertised around all the noticeboards, and all further details can be obtained from Science Clubs Committee.
The Biological Society
President: Mr. S. Sampson
Secretary: Mr. D. Knox
The Biological Society states its aims as being: To foster biological relations, to provide students with a background to biology and to give them an insight into subjects they will not encounter in lectures. This is done by talks on varied subjects by outside speakers, and by field trips.
About six weekend trips are held during the year, and three week-long trips are taken—during Study Week, in the August holidays, and after finals. Although some attempt is made at serious work, these excursions are mainly social, and are very popular with both graduates and undergraduates. In the past the Society has travelled to Cass Mountain Station. Arthur's Pass; to Tarewa Field Station National Park; and to Mydia Bay in the Sounds. Accommodation is in houses or in good tramping huts, and it costs about £6 per person for the week's trip.
The Biological Society's main highlight is its journal Tuatara, which is published three times a year and has a world-wide subscription of over 1000. Tuatara, which was started in 1942 as a record of the field excursions organised by the Society in that year, has now grown to a leading publication on the fauna and flora of New Zealand. Most leading New Zealand scientists have, at some time, contributed to Tuatara and it is now well-known for its high standard.
Meetings of the Society are held monthly on a Thursday at 7.30 p.m. in a Kirk lecture-hall. After a talk by a visiting speaker supper is provided for a small fee. There is no set membership, but the meetings are attended by 40-50 people. The Society hopes that a large number of Freshers will attend its meetings and go on some of the field trips.
The Geological Society
President: Mr. R. A. Henderson
Secretary: Miss A. Cameron
The Geological Society, which is affiliated to the New Zealand Geological Society, caters for those who wish to extend their knowledge and experience of geology. It organises field trips to places of geological interest and arranges lectures by outside speakers at its monthly meetings. These meetings are held at 7.30pm on Thursdays in Easterfield 511. About 40 people attend the meetings although the Society's membership is over 90.
The Society hopes to take about 20 people to Kawhia this year to spend a week studying the Jurassic section of New Zealand. They expect to camp in tents and the trip will cost each person about £6 for the trip. In addition to the Study Week trip, there may be several weekend trips organised to the Wairarapa to inspect the thesis work which is being done there by five geology students.
The field trips are taken seriously and a paper has been published on the work undertaken in the past few years. On one field trip a new fossil bed was discovered, and another long trip was spent geologically mapping an area in the Wairarapa. The accommodation on these trips is in tents or in shearers' quarters on farms.
Although few Stage I students have gone on the field trips in the past, the Society welcomes any who wish to go because it feels it is good practice in field-work, especially for those who are going to take their geology to higher levels.
The Maths And Physics Society
President: Mr. M. Boldt
Secretary: Mr. T. Waghorn
The highlight of the Maths and Physics Society's activities this year will be the visit to the University by a space mobile from the United States. It contains scale models of launch vehicles and space craft, and mechanical and electronic devices, which are used in a lecture-demonstration on space science. This space mobile will be shown in E 006 one evening early in the second term.
At its meetings held fortnightly on Thursdays in Hunter D1, the Society discusses topics of interest. There is usually a lecture, followed by questions and general discussion, and supper is served free. Lectures so far this year have included a talk on the Cook Strait Cable by an Electricity Department official, a lecture by Professor J. T. Campbell on the shape of mathematics, and talks by three graduate students who had been engaged in the Summer Research Programme in Antarctica. It is hoped to have a speaker on computers at a meeting in the near future.
In an effort to encourage Stage I students, who have regrettably not been well represented at past meetings, the Society's committee has decided to foster an undergraduates' society which will hold a special meeting once a term. Despite the fact that the majority of people at the meetings are graduates, the president of the Society, feels that many Stage I students would find the lectures interesting, and he hopes to see more undergraduates attending this year's meetings.
The meetings are usually well attended and there were 80 present at the first meeting for 1965. The Society is very strongly supported by the staff members, who take a keen and active interest in its affairs.
Afternoon trips are sometimes organised to places of interest such as the television studios or to see the computers at Ibm. There have been no other social functions in the past, but this year's committee is investigating the possibility of having more social activities.
The Radio Club
President: Mr. M. A. G. Burch
Secretary: Mr. D. W. Brown
Since its formation in the second term of last year, the radio club has provided a common meeting ground for electronics enthusiasts to swap ideas There is usually a guest speaker at the monthly meetings, although every third meeting is an open forum for members to exchange ideas and discuss each other's projects, Many of its members are actively engaged in building projects. One member has built himself a complete hi-fi system, personally making everything but the turntable.
Other members have built Very High Frequency transmitters and receivers, a tv set with a round screen and green and white pictures, and a portable transmitter and receiver for search and rescue work. At present work is under way on a receiver for satellite tracking. Several members are interested in radiocontrolled model aircraft, and many are radio hams. The club itself has the Call-sign ZL2AZX, although this cannot be used until sufficient funds are raised to build a transmitter.
Despite its recent formation the club has ambitious plans for the future. It hopes eventually to get a room in the University to house the Official Civil Defence transceiver which is to be used only in a national emergency such as an earthquake. It is written into the club's constitution that it is to set up and maintain an on-campus broadcasting station.
Pending approval from the University, the Club also hopes to assemble and install an intercom system for the Little Theatre. If it finds that sufficient people are interested, the Club proposes to run a course on amateur radio. At the end of the course successful students will have their Amateur Radio Certificate enabling them to be official radio hams.
Although this is a moderately specialised club, its members are always willing to help those who have an interest in electronics but little knowledge of the subject, and new members are very welcome.
The Chemical Society
President: Mr. J. Baillie
Secretary: Mr. A. Langdon
The appeal of the Chemical Society is not limited to pure chemistry students. The demonstration of glassblowing several weeks ago was a fitting start to a year's programme of informative and entertaining activities.
Although no set time has been arranged, the Society hopes to hold meetings every three weeks, and for these panel discussions, debates and lectures are being planned. Supper is served at the conclusion of the evening's business. Several lectures were organised during 1964 and in one of these professor Wilson spoke on "Applications of Chemistry to Geological problems in Antarctica" —a lecture which had many entertaining asides on life in Antarctica; in others Professor Noyes, a visiting Fulbright scholar, spoke on "University Education in America." and Dr. M. D. Carr gave his "Attitudes to the Philosophy of Science."
During Study Week the Society expects to take a field trip to centres of chemical interest, such as the Kawerau paper mills. This trip should be both interesting and informative. It will run from Sunday night to the next Thursday morning, with the place to place travelling being done at night. It is regarded as a social event as well as an opportunity to learn something.
The Chemical Society started in 1965 with a shortage of funds, which Its president is now trying to remedy, while still presenting a wide variety of activities for its members.
It is hoped soon to hold a debate on the fluoridation of water, a subject which should be of interest to every Wellingtonian at present.
Because of the wide range of topics it deals with, the Chemical Society appeals to almost every student, and all students who wish to attend the meetings are welcomed.
Science Clubs Committee
Sci-Com, as it is called, was formed at the end of 1903, as a liaison between the various science societies mentioned above. The committee comprises two members from each society, an Executive member, and an observer from the Radio Club.
One of Sci-com's main purposes is to organise the science functions such as the science welcome to freshers, the Science Faculty Ball, to be held in June, and the first New Zealand Science Students' Conference, to be held in the second week of the May holidays. This will be attended by about 100 New Zealand and Australian graduate and senior undergraduate students. The Conference will centre around the position of science in the community and a full week of activities is planned. Full details can be obtained from the poster on the University notice boards.
Professor N. F. Barber, professor of Theoretical Physics at Victoria will discuss. "Where is Science Going?" He will talk about the unlimited scope of scientific enquiry. He recently said. "We might reflect that the object of scientific enquiry is to allow us to make happen whatever we wish."
He will also point out the place that the imagination has in scientific research. "An idea has to be imagined before it can be done." He will draw an analogy between scientific imagination and poetical imagination.
Other lectures will be given by Dr. C. A. Fleming, President of the Royal Society in New Zealand and Dr. Probine, a biophysicist with the D.S.I.R. He will lecture on the growth of plants and the effects that the strength of cell walls has on plant growth. Professor Lilburn of the Victoria Music department will lecture on "Electronic Music," and the National Aeronautics and Space Agency will have a lecture and display on "Space Research."
Dr. Northcote lecturing on "Computers" will discuss the basic ideas behind them. His talk includes the way in which data is stored, how information is fed into and obtained from a computer and a discussion of some of the applications of computers including their use in the translation of languages.
The discussions in which (he students are expected to participate include topics as diverse as "Science and Religion" and "Government versus University Research." Dean Hurst and Professor Lauden will be discussing "Science and Religion" and Dr. Llewellyn of the University Grants Committee and Dr. Hamilton of D.S.I.R. in "Government versus University Resrarch" will discuss the division of research between Government Departments and the Universities. Other discussions to take place are "Opportunities for Science Graduates in N. Z." and "What emphases on pure and applied research."
Visits will be made to parts of D.S.I.R., Broadcasting House, and New Zealand Breweries Ltd.
The social side of the conference includes a picnic lunch, a wine and cheese tasting evening, a buffet tea and the conference dinner.