My Story - Helen Anderson

7 May 2024, 12pm - Zoom

My Story webinars, where you can hear New Zealand women in science speak about their roles, their personal highlights, and their tips for success in a STEM career. 

Speaker: Helen Anderson

"My career so far has been a wonderful dance through the magical world of science, technology  and research.  I began as a geophysicist with DSIR and then went on to do my PhD at Cambridge University in seismology, followed by a Fulbright scholarship.  Making sense of large earthquakes remains my passion even though I’m no longer an active researcher. 

In my early 30s I was given wise advice to pick up leadership roles so that I could help create an environment in which other scientists might thrive, and that remains my purpose. 

I have held a number of subsequent positions, including Chief Scientific Adviser and then Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.  In those roles I needed to ensure that government policy (eg GE, cloning, SKA) was evidence-based, and I was able to tap into the expertise and insights of many researchers across many disciplines, including Mātauranga Māori. That was a huge privilege.

Since leaving government in 2010 I have been involved in governance (including chairing) in the science, technology and creative sectors, for instance the boards of Scion, NIWA, Antarctica NZ, BRANZ, DairyNZ and others.  I was Patron of the NZ International Science Festival for several years and I still keep up with what’s going on through my former research colleagues in Cambridge and the US.  Science and technology continue to light my fires every day."


To join webinar:  

Subscribe for details of other seminars in the series.

Thanks to support from Plant & Food Research