What's On @ Otago Museum | Week of 9 September 2019



Extreme Science II in Stewart Island

How do we really know that the moon landings happened? How long would it take to get to Mars? And the ever popular, how to you go to the toilet in space? Just some of the tough questions that the senior class of Halfmoon Bay school in Oban, Stewart Island, had for Museum Director Dr Ian Griffin.


Dr Griffin was visiting the school, along with two Science Communicators, as part of Otago Museum’s Extreme Science II, a project that aims to take hands-on science to Aotearoa’s most remote communities. During their visit, the science team explored the science of light with the students and teachers. Experiments with diffraction glasses, spectroscopes, infrared cameras, and a solar telescope helped with learning about both visible and invisible light.  


But the science fun didn’t stop there! In the evening, the team set up a StarLab – the Museum’s portable planetarium – to provide the Stewart Island community with the southern-most planetarium experience in New Zealand. More than 60 people attended the StarLab session about constellations and the life cycle of stars, and listened to a talk by Dr Griffin about his passion for aurora hunting.


The Extreme Science II project is funded by Unlocking Curious Minds, a Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment fund, and supported by the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies. The aim is to excite those New Zealanders who might not normally get the opportunity engage in science. The project has already visited Fiordland and the East Cape, and the next stops will be in Northland, Great Barrier Island, and the West Coast. Keep an eye out for events happening near you!

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What do 2019’s mayoral candidates think about Dunedin’s arts and culture sector?

Find out, raise your concerns, understand their positions, and be heard. Candidates will speak, and then the floor will be open to the public for questions.

Free | 5pm for a prompt 5.30pm start, Tuesday 17 September | Hutton Theatre
More information here




Cairo-based expert Elhamy Elzayat, MNZM, will give an outline of the significant rulers and events of Ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty to the Eighteenth.

The talk will be broad in range and will cover among other things: an overview of the First Dynasty as well as Snefru, who was the founding monarch of the Fourth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom; Mereruka, vizier to King Teti and the first pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty will also be discussed, and along with four of Egypt's female pharaohs.

His presentation will conclude with an exciting update on the new Grand Egyptian Museum due to open in 2020 and dedicated to the boy king Tutankhamun.

Free | 5.30pm, Wednesday 11 September | Barclay Theatre
More information here



In a future where embryos are genetically edited to remove imperfections, Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) has always fantasised about traveling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a genetically inferior 'in-valid', whose parents opted to have him naturally without genetic interference.

Without any hope of pursuing his dreams under his own identity, he purchases DNA samples from Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a laboratory-engineered 'valid' to trick mandatory DNA testing. He assumes Jerome's identity, and joins the Gattaca space programme, proving genetics aren’t everything that make a person.

What was science fiction in 1997 is now a potential reality of scientific research and development. Before the film, join us for a brief outline of current research, and the modern applications of gene editing with Professor Peter Dearden from the University of Otago.

$10–$15 | 7pm, Friday 13 September | Perpetual Guardian Planetarium
Book your tickets here


Go back to the time of dinosaurs! Dive into the oceans of the Late Cretaceous to follow Dolly, a curious and adventurous dolichorhynchops, as she travels through the most dangerous seas in history.

Along the way, she encounters long-necked plesiosaurs, giant turtles, enormous fish, fierce sharks, and the most dangerous sea monsters of all, the mosasaurs!

$7–$12 | Various times daily | Perpetual Guardian Planetarium 
More information here



An Association of Friends of the Otago Museum Talk

The Friends of the Otago Museum invite you to join them over complimentary tea and coffee for their September lunchtime talk.

Bring your lunch and hear from Joel Vanderburg, Otago Museum's Honorary Curator, Africa, as he shares his firsthand experience of living and working in West Africa as an archaeologist, and later as research biologist with the World Health Organisation.

Joel will focus on museums displaying objects to the public, less as curiosities, and more as elements within their cultural context. He will also share his personal experiences while collecting in the field in West Africa.

Free | 12.15pm, Tuesday 17 September | Friends' Room, Third Floor
More information here



Catch a film under our 360° screen without having to book a babysitter!

We know it can be tricky to get out and about with little ones, so come to one of our 'Baby on Board' sessions in the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium.

Capcom GO! The Apollo Story is an immersive 3D planetarium film documenting the Apollo programme, and what it took to put the first person on the Moon 50 years ago. Discover the story behind this historic moment, which continues to inspire generations of explorers and dreamers.

$7–$12 | 11.30am, Wednesday 18 September | Perpetual Guardian Planetarium 
Book tickets here