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Dan Hendra is the director of the 2018 New Zealand International Science Festival, which will be held in Dunedin next month.
What was the best birthday present you ever received, and why?
The gift of my first newborn child just before my birthday this year tops everything. You hear people talk about having a child, but it's really not until I experienced being a father that it really transformed me. The unconditional love I have for her is just
What smell do you find irresistible?
I would have to say, coming home after work and smelling the hair of my newborn child. Everything about her seems delightful, and I'm sure her smell triggers dopamine that is released in my brain, as there's a feeling of happiness whenever I'm close to her.
What is your least favourite thing about humanity?
The lack of empathy some people have for each other. Empathy involves self-awareness of yourself and others around you, and helps us to understand the world better. If people had a little more compassion the world would be a kinder place.
What is one strong childhood memory?
I grew up on a farm near a small rural town. Entertainment for me and my four siblings was to head down the back of the farm and swim in the streams. This memory triggers a sense of freedom that makes me appreciate the world around me and the beauty that lies within it.
What is your message?
Go beyond what you know; explore new things, be curious and discover. Oh, and head to the International Science Festival this July; over 230 events, there is something for everyone.