October 26, 2016
Respected waahine Maori professors join Royal Society of New Zealand fellows
Top Maori researchers Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Jacinta Ruru are among the 19 top scholars named as this year’s fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Society vice chair Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin says the criteria was changed because of concerns that up to now university academics, men and people of European descent have been over-represented in fellowship selections.
The result was a more diverse group of new fellows selected entirely on merit, including 10 women, two fellows from Crown Research Institutes, one fellow from a private research organisation, two fellows with Maori ethnicity and one Asian.
Professor Ruru from the University of Otago is working on how the legal system of former colonies ought to recognise Indigenous peoples’ interests in land and water.
Professor Smith from the University of Waikato is a social scientists whose research on decolonising research methodologies has reshaped inquiry across many domains in the sciences and humanities.
Other new fellows include Otago University Professor Tony Merriman, who has worked extensively on the science of autoimmune diseases and gout in New Zealand, particularly in Maori and Pacific people, and Professor Stephen May of Auckland University’s Te Puna Wananga, an expert on language rights and indigenous language education.
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