It's a big spot to fill, but the next president of the Royal Society of New Zealand, the University of Otago’s previous Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Skegg, has a pedigree that will stand him well.
The Royal Society of New Zealand represents nearly 20,000 scientists, scholars, technologists and technicians in science, technology and the humanities as an educational and research charity.
Skegg is a distinguished cancer researcher who led Otago from 2004 – 2011 and who continues to undertake research at the university. He will assume his new role with the Royal Society from July 1.
His research interests include breast and cervical cancer, contraceptive and drug safety, and reproductive health. He has over 150 publications in academic journals.
A strong advocate of improved public health, Skegg served as chair of the former Public Health Commission and is also a former chair of the Health Research Council of New Zealand. He has also long been a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva and is currently chairing a WHO advisory committee on improving reproductive health in developing countries.
Professor Skegg said he was “surprised as well as honoured” to be invited to take on the responsibility.
“The Royal Society is an excellent organisation. This will be a fascinating role, and I am pleased to be able to contribute from my base in Dunedin.”