Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga 2010 Seminar Series
The questions through which Maori and non-Maori seek to understand our world differ as a consequence of differences in world view, language, origins, and experience of our separate and shared histories since arrival in New Zealand. Interactions of Maori and non-Maori with both research and education in science vary as a consequence. The challenge to our science community is to recognise that the scientific approach can be applied in situations that are completely foreign to our own assumptions and values. The opportunity that comes with the challenge is to recognise that Maori represent the single greatest intellectual opportunity for the nation because the questioning of assumptions that comes with Maori participation will expand the intellectual scope and strengthen the practice of science in New Zealand. Capturing the opportunity for the nation will require learning about each other anew as Treaty partners and deliberately creating the conditions for full participation by Māori in science, society and the economy.
Professor Walker is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and is best known for his research on the existence and capacities of the magnetic sense and more recently on the use of the sense in navigation over long distances. Over the last 20 years, Professor Walker has also worked to increase participation of Maori and Pacific Island people in all aspects of the sciences and research. Professor Walker was Joint Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Maori Centre of Research Excellence, from its establishment in 2002 to early 2010. His personal research and work in Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga were profiled in Science (318, 904-7) in 2007.