Fascination Science

A free lecture series

Reserve the last Tuesday of each month to hear from some of the leading minds in science today. Massey University Auckland scientists take you into the fascinating world of scientific discoveries.

Most lectures are held on the Massey Auckland campus in the Sir Neil Waters lecture theatre. See map on the right.

Lectures start at 7pm.

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Upcoming events

Student using oculus rift

Virtual reality: how does it work and what does it mean?

Tuesday 26 June, 2018
Dr Daniel Playne

Dr Daniel Playne The main ideas behind Virtual Reality and the modern advancements in technology will be discussed, along with the major challenges still facing developers.

Warning: may include interactive demos!

Can you trust what you see?  The magic of visual perception

Tuesday 17 July, 2018
Prof Oge Marques, Florida Atlantic University


Prof Oge Marques This lecture presents and explains a diverse collection of visual perception phenomena. This will challenge your common knowledge of how well we detect, recognize, compare, measure, interpret, and make decisions upon the information that arrives at our brain through our eyes.

It also explains the relationships between the latest developments in human vision research and emerging technologies, such as: self-driving cars, face recognition and other forms of biometrics, and virtual reality.

Galapagos snake

Snake conservation in the Galapagos Islands

Tuesday 31 July, 2018
dr luis ortiz-catedral


The Galapagos Islands hold a special place in the history of science thanks to their role in helping Charles Darwin formulate his ideas about evolution. More recently, these remote islands have taken centre stage in ecological research and conservation. In this lecture, Luis will talk about his research on Galapagos snakes, how a single 182-year old museum specimen holds the key to guide the largest ecological restoration project on these islands, and his mentorship programme to stimulate young Ecuadorians to pursue a career in conservation science.

Six brightly coloured birds

Fifty shades of display: solving the bird colour problem

Tuesday 28 August, 2018
Professor james dale


Professor James Dale Birds display an astonishing diversity of plumage colours.  The brilliant and striking coloration of their feathers have inspired and fascinated us, and to this day continue to puzzle us. Indeed, even measuring how colourful birds are is challenging because colour is a complex, multi-dimensional trait that is seen differently by the birds compared to us. In this talk Jim will describe the problem of colourfulness in birds - how to measure it and why both males and females have it in so many different species.

Evolution of life's complexity

Tuesday 25 september, 2018
DISTINGUISHED PROF Paul rainey


Paul Rainey There is a common misconception that humans are the pinnacle of evolution and life’s complexity, that we are somehow the natural destination of the evolutionary process. However, Charles Darwin came up with the idea that life can be explained by a simple algorithmic process - natural selection. Natural selection is the most important idea the world has ever been presented with. In this talk, Paul will discuss how natural selection helps to explain biological complexities of the evolutionary process and life as we know it.

Hand of cards

Games everywhere

Tuesday 30 OCTOBER, 2018
Prof Thomas Pfeiffer


Thomas Pfeiffer Game theory is the science of strategic decision-making. Having its roots in the analysis of parlour games like poker, it developed in the 1940’s into a full-fetched mathematical framework that proved extremely prolific in a number of scientific disciplines. Today, game theory is applied to everything from political problems, economics and human behaviour to the evolution of animals and the biochemistry of microbes. Even popular culture is full of references to game theory – just think of game shows like Golden Balls, or what The Joker does with the two ferries in The Dark Knight.  In his lecture, Thomas will introduce you to this fascinating research field. Let the games begin! 

Putting on the Squeeze: High-Pressure Physics and Chemistry Putting on the Squeeze: High-Pressure Physics and Chemistry

TUESDAY 30 NOVEMBER 2018
DR ELKE PAHL

We are put under pressure all the time - if not by us or others - our atmosphere does the job! All the air above us weighs us down. What happens to matter if we increase this pressure further? At pressures in the inner core of the earth where we find about 300 million times the atmospheric pressure, or at even higher pressures found inside stars? Gases like oxygen and hydrogen eventually become metallic - conducting electric current. Come and see experiments to understand what pressure is, how it influences our life and get an insight into current research on materials under ultra-high pressure.

Previous Fascination Science lectures

Find out more about previous speakers and their topics.

Previous lectures

Study sciences at Massey

Massey University offers study programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Sciences research at Massey

Massey University demands excellence in our research.We bring together world-leading experts from several disciplines to further knowledge and make a difference in New Zealand and the world.

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Time

All lectures take place from 7–8.30pm unless noted otherwise.

Venue

Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre
Massey University Auckland, Albany

Maps of campus

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey