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Volume 72, 1942-43

Report of Sub-committee on the T. K. Sidey Summer-time Award.

Following the directions of the 1941 Annual Meeting, the Sub-committee has reconsidered its first report “with a view to ascertaining what amendments are necessary.” It has made certain changes in the wording of the amendments as originally proposed by it, but leaving intact the principles involved in its first report. These principles are:—

  • (1) That consideration shall be given primarily to New Zealand research workers, and

  • (2) That the award shall not be restricted to completed work, but may be used also to stimulate valuable work still in progress. The Sub-committee considers that the detailed incorporation of these and certain other points in the rules as now proposed would make for greater clearness, and would serve to increase the interest of New Zealand research workers in the Award.

The Sub-committee has endeavoured to frame the amendments in such a way as to avoid any clash with the provisions in the Declaration of Trust. It therefore recommends that the Standing Committee accept the amendments with the revised wording and take any necessary action with respect to them.

Amendment to Rule 1. The wording as it now stands, with the addition of the following: “copies of the notice shall be distributed at intervals of two years to societies, institutions, and persons whose names appear on a list approved by the Council. This notice shall also give information about the subject matter of the research, the qualifications of applicants, and the probable date of the next award.”

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Amendment to Rule 2. The present Rule 2 to stand and to be numbered 2A.

The following to be added and to be numbered 2B, thus:—

  • “2B. Until such time as the Council shall decide otherwise, the following directions shall apply to the subject matter of the research and the qualifications of the applicants.

  • “(a) The subject matter of the research must fall under either or both of the following heads: (i) the study of light, visible and invisible, and other solar radiations, in relation to human welfare; (ii) the study of radiations of any kind.

  • “(b) The award shall be made to some person who has in the opinion of the Council made a valuable contribution to human knowledge by original scientific research in the study aforesaid, or who is engaged in work of this nature which he has advanced to a stage that merits encouragement and is a valuable contribution to knowledge.

  • “(c) It is emphasised that consideration shall be given primarily to applicants whose researches have been carried out mainly in New Zealand, provided that if the Council considers that no contribution from such applicants is of sufficient merit to justify an award, then the award may be made to some person who was born in New Zealand, or has received the greater part of his or her education in New Zealand, but has not carried out his or her research mainly in New Zealand.

  • “(d) If the Council considers that there are no candidates of sufficient merit fulfilling the conditions as laid down in clause (c) above, it may, pursuant to clause 4 of the Declaration of Trust make an award under circumstances not complying with those conditions.”

A new Rule, to be numbered 7, as follows: “If no award be made on any given occasion, the next award shall be considered after an interval of two years.”

The Sub-committee desires to add to its Report the following point which it hopes will be considered and noted in the Minutes of the next Annual Meeting: “That, in the event of any change being contemplated in the future in the Declaration of Trust, consideration be given to the advisability of reducing the minimum value of the Award from £100 to £50.”

[See Minutes of Annual Meeting, 1932, Vol. 63, pp. xi–xv; Declaration of Trust and Rules, Vol. 65, pp. 486–490; Minutes of Annual Meeting, 1941, circulated.—Secretary, R.S.N.Z.]

Consideration was given to the proposed amendments to the T. K. Sidey Summer-Time Rules. On the motion of Dr. Allan, seconded by Dr. Oliver, it was resolved that the following amendment to Rule 1, recommended by the Standing Committee, be adopted:—

  • Add the words “Copies of the Notice shall be distributed to Societies and Institutions the names of which appear on a list approved by the Council.”

  • It was resolved that no amendment be made to Rule 2.

  • It was resolved to add a new rule as follows:—

  • Rule 7. If no award be made on any given occasion, a general notice shall immediately be distributed in the same manner as in Rule 1. This notice shall indicate the purposes of the award, the subject matter of the research, the qualifications required of applicants, and the probable date of the next award. The date of such award shall be considered within a period not exceeding two years of such notice.

On the motion of Professor Evans, seconded by Dr. Turner, it was resolved that the Council extend the scope of scientific research

for which the award shall be made so as to include the general study of radiations of every kind.

Science Teaching in Schools: The President read a letter from the Hon. Minister of Education which stated that the Education Department is proposing certain amendments to the School Certificate prescription in order to make it more suitable to the needs of pupils. The prescriptions in science subjects are being widened so as to meet the needs of those who will receive no further teaching of formal science and a syllabus in General Science (including biological sciences) is proposed. Dr. Allan reported that he had obtained a copy of the proposed syllabus and an assurance from the Director of Education that the Society's advice on the various points would be welcome. After some discussion, the proposed syllabus was read and it was then referred to the Standing Committee for early consideration.

Proposed Trust: The President explained how the fund (approximately £530) which it was proposed should be administered by the Royal Society originated.

The donor had given it towards the building and equipment of the Plant Diseases Division of the Plant Research Bureau at Auckland, but as it was not needed for that purpose, it was now proposed that it should be utilised in providing grants-in-aid for botanists and zoologists not on the staff of the Bureau to carry out study at the Bureau or to enable members of the staff to do extra-mural work. On the motion of Dr. Allan, seconded by Mr. Pycroft, it was resolved that the Society accept the Trust.

It was further resolved “That the Council empower the Standing Committee to make grants under the regulations of this Trust Fund.”

The President undertook to thank the donor and also Mr Rennie, a solicitor on the Council of the Auckland Institute, who had drawn up the proposed Deed of Trust.

Notices of Motion: Fellowship: On the motion of Dr. Turner, seconded by Dr. Falla, the following motion was carried:—

“That the Council recommend Member Bodies, Fellows, and the Fellowship Selection Committee to take into account whether the research work of the nominee for Fellowship is done in professional or amateur capacity.”

Wild Life Control: On the motion of Dr. Falla, seconded by Mr. Pycroft, the following resolution was carried:—

“That the Royal Society considers that improvement in administration of Wild Life matters is still as necessary as when its last recommendations were made to the Government, and views with concern the evidence, submitted by a Member Body, of uninformed policy pursued by the Department of Internal Affairs in matters falling within its jurisdiction.”

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In support of his resolution, Dr. Falla made a statement regarding the destruction of birds caused by cats on Herekopere Island. A Member Body had approached the Department of Internal Affairs in the matter, but was informed that owing to war conditions and shortage of staff it was impossible to take any action. This attitude was contrasted with that taken by the Department in its conduct of the case of a man who, fearing the extermination of the Southern Robin, had taken it into captivity for breeding purposes.

Mr. Pycroft supported Dr. Falla in his statement of the case. After some discussion, it was decided that Dr. Falla and Dr. Turner should convey the above resolution to the Prime Minister in person.

National Patriotic Fund: A letter requesting gifts of rare books, etc., for an auction sale in aid of the National Patriotic Fund was read. It was decided to contribute a set of “Maori Art” and as complete a set of the Transactions as possible.

Hamilton Award: It was resolved that the Hamilton Prize be awarded next year, the Standing Committee to elect the Committee to recommend the award.

Election of Officers: President, Lieutenant-Colonel G. Archey (re-elected); Vice-president, Dr. H. H. Allan (re-elected); Hon. Treasurer, Mr. M. A. Eliott (re-elected); Hon. Editor, Dr. J. Marwick (re-elected); Hon. Librarian: Professor W. P. Evans (re-elected); Co-opted Member: Dr. P. Marshall (re-elected); Managers of Trust. Accounts: Messrs. M. A. Eliott and B. C. Aston; Representative-Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, Dr. W. R. B. Oliver; Representative Great Barrier Reef Committee: Dr. W. R. B. Oliver; Representatives Observatories' Committee, Professor D. C. H. Florance and Professor P. W. Burbidge.

Election of Committees: Hector Award Committee: Professor Robertson (Convener), Professor Evans, Sir Thomas Easterfield, Mr. B. C. Aston, and Professor A. K. Macbeth (Adelaide).

Library Committee: Professor Evans, Dr. Allan, and Professor Cotton.

Fellowship Selection Committee: Lieutenant-Colonel Archey, Professor Segar, Dr. Allan, Dr. Marwick, and Mr. Aston.

Wild Life Control Committee: Dr. Oliver (Convener), Dr. Allan, Lieutenant-Colonel Archey, Mr. Stead, Dr. Falla, Mr. L. E. Richdale, and Rev. Dr. J. E. Holloway.

Votes of Thanks: On the motion of the President, votes of thanks were accorded to Victoria University College for the use of the Council Room for the meeting and for courtesies extended during the year; also to the press and to Dr. L. Bastings, who represented the Wellington Branch for some months.

On the motion of Mr. Aston, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the President, the Vice-president (Dr. Allan), and the Secretary (Miss Wood) for their work during the year.

Next Annual Meeting: The date and place of the next Annual Meeting were left to the Standing Committee to arrange.