Conflict forces trip delay

Mathew Denys.
Mathew Denys.
A Logan Park High School pupil will not travel to Jerusalem for the World Science Conference this month after its organisers advised it is too dangerous to attend.

Conflict has been raging in Israel and Gaza for the past month, and it appears to be intensifying.

Mathew Denys (17) was awarded the trip by the Royal Society of New Zealand and was due to depart for the conference next week.

However, conference organisers contacted him this week to say the event, to have been held from August 16-21, had been postponed because of the conflict, and was now pencilled in for August next year, instead.

The conference was expected to draw up to 300 young scientists from around the world to listen to 20 Nobel Laureates talk about their work on the cutting edge of science.

During the five-day conference, participants were to have had a chance to attend lectures and interact with and be inspired by the Nobel Laureates and other leading scientists from around the world.

Mathew described the Nobel Laureates as ''the top of the top'' and he was looking forward to hearing them.

While he was disappointed about the postponement, he was pleased his safety was uppermost in the minds of the organisers.

It was unclear yesterday whether he would be eligible for the 2015 conference and he was waiting to hear from the Royal Society of New Zealand, he said.

Mathew is one of Otago's top science pupils and is planning a career in physics or biochemistry.

He received excellence endorsements for five of the six subjects he studied in NCEA level 2 last year, and also received an NZQA scholarship in statistics.

Scholarship examinations are usually sat by NCEA level 3 pupils.

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