Pathways to the Future is suitable for everyone - young old, the general public, school kids and young adults, tertiary students and adults




Pathways to the Future


What's On

Alphabetical list by organising department:

A | B | C | D | H | M | P | R | S | Z

HIGHLIGHTS: Thursday | Saturday | Sunday

Unless otherwise stated all events will take place in the St Davids Lecture Complex, Thursday 8th & Friday 9th July 9.30 AM until 5.00 PM.


Form, Function and Failure of the Human Body
What is your body made up of?  How do all the bits in your body connect to form a walking, talking, thinking person?  How do your organs function and what happens when they fail?  To find the answers to these questions and more, visit our display at St David Street. 

Visit the Anatomy Museum and Electron Microscope Centres
Come along to the Department of Anatomy & Structural Biology to hear what some of our researchers are currently doing and have a look around the Anatomy Museum and the Otago Centres for Microscopy.

Museum open 10.00 AM until 4.00 PM, staff talks 10.00 AM and 4.00 PM Anatomy & Structural Biology Department 2nd Floor, Lindo Ferguson Building, Great King Street.



DNA Detective
Become a DNA detective. See how DNA forensics can help to identify the guilty and clear the innocent. Calculate your chances of being wrongly convicted of a crime based on DNA evidence.

DNA Dectective


Dr Al's Chemical Mayhem
Bangs, flashes, explosions and frozen bananas. Come and see Dr Al and his assistants risk life and limb to entertain you with the wonders of Chemistry.

12.00 noon until 1.00 PM, Thursday 8th & Friday 9th, St Davids Lecture Complex

Dr Al


Who Done It?
Dr Debra Carr was recently found in her lab lying in a pool of blood. No sign of the perpetrator… use your knowledge of fibres, yarns and fabrics to identify her attacker...


The Robots are Coming
Your self cleaning oven, robotics vacuum cleaners, cars that park themselves. These all use the same level of technology as found in lego robotics. See what students have been doing with robotics with everything from cameras that track your every movement - to planes that fly themselves.


Watching Window
Do you know what's real and what isn't? Visit outer space and encounter a virtual asteroid storm with this remarkable interactive computer graphics display.

Watching Window

Science and the Public – Honesty and Responsibility
Is fluoride really good for your teeth? Does cholesterol cause heart disease? Is the Earth warming up and was the 'ozone hole' caused by fluorocarbons? How can we tell whether established scientists are telling us the truth? Why might they not? Come and hear what Professor Geoff Wyvill, Department of Computer Science, has to say.

Saturday 10th 1.00 PM until 1.40 PM, St Davids Lecture Complex


Digital Direction - Computers and Career Choice
Gone are the day of crystal ball gazing & consulting the oracle! Increasingly computers facilitate choices people make.


Extreme Makeover - How To Improve The Light Dynamics Of Human Teeth
Human teeth yellow with age. Come and see how the dental ceramist can make restorations that give the patient a younger look with the classic “Hollywood” smile.


Pathways to the Future
Designers have been described as future grazers, projecting preferred ways of living. Designers are pathfinders, exploring new territory. Find your own way on the design roadmap.



Fat, Fat and More Fat!
Many New Zealanders are overweight. Are you? If so, what is the best way to lose body fat? Atkins, the Zone or South Beach diet? Many New Zealanders die of heart disease. Are you at risk? No matter what your age, come along for some body measurements and fill out our healthy eating quiz.


Wonder Whale
What has Wonder Whale had for breakfast? Walk inside her and see! Check out whale bones, hear whale songs and play some whale tail games.

Whale Breach

Sea Change
If sea level rises, will your home stay dry? This computer display from the Department of Marine Science allows you to change sea level (or cause a tsunami) and see what happens along the Dunedin and Otago coastlines.



Information still to come.


Breathe Easy?
Something we all take for granted. However, for some people with chronic respiratory conditions like asthma this can be an every day challenge. Come along and try out some of the amazing new technology we now have to help diagnose and monitor respiratory disease.

Designer Steroids
Drug detection is working hard to keep up with the new illegal methods of enhancing sporting performance. Associate Professor David Gerrard, former Olympic swimmer and Sports Medicine expert , will talk about the medical effects of these drugs, in particular the new designer steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG). He will also discuss the oncoming obesity epidemic that is threatening the health of our children.

Saturday 10th 2.00 PM until 2.40 PM, St Davids Lecture Complex


Prevention is Better than Cure
Can your body get rid of bugs before they multiply and make you sick? See how your immune system does this every day.

Why Vaccinate? Because it’s Dead Stupid Not To
Every year this simple medical procedure saves an estimated 3 million lives. And yet, every day people are choosing not to vaccinate against killer diseases. They’re putting their lives and their children’s lives at risk. Come along and find out from Dr Glenn Buchan (Immunologist) why vaccination is so crucial to our lives.

Saturday 10th 3.00 PM until 3.40 PM, St Davids Lecture Complex


Sport Tech
Visit the Human Performance Centre at the School of Physical Education and learn how we help to improve our sports stars performance. You will see how swimmer's techniques are analysed in the only aquatic flume in the Southern Hemisphere and the environmental chamber where athletes acclimatise for competitions all around the world.


10.00 AM, 1.00 PM & 4.00 PM, Thursday 8th & Friday 9th, visit duration 30 minutes, no bookings required, first come, first served, meet on the big wide steps outside the Physical Education building on Union Street


My Body the Liar
We rely on our senses to report what is going on in the world around us, but can we trust them? Is black always darker than white? Is cold always a different temperature to warm? The answers to these and several other obvious questions may surprise you.



A Future of Energy
The world around us is full of energy - and it works in different ways: global lightning storms, industrial heat pumps, or the human voice, for example, all convert energy to different forms. Come and look at energy flows through the eyes of a Physicist.

Bubble Chamber


Finding the Balance
We take standing up for granted. But keeping our body position in dynamic equilibrium is no mean feat! Keep your balance on a special balance machine.



What's Your Poison
A display about poisons and medicines found in and around the home and workplace. See how the National Poison's Centre uses computer technology to identify and manage poisoning episodes. Learn how to prevent poisonings in the home. Find out what poisons were used as murder weapons in New Zealand in days gone.



Radiation Therapy: High Tech Treatment
Look where ‘radiation therapy’ is now. It’s just over 100 years since radiation was first discovered, So check out how it is being used today to treat cancer and other conditions.


Visit an Information Mine and Sift for Treasure
Join us at the Science Library, take a tour and see how to use the Library to search for information on The Universe. Set off on a Treasure Hunt and see if you can find your way around the Information Mine using a Treasure Map to guide you!

2.30 PM until 4.00 PM Thursday 8th and 10.30 AM until 12.00 PM Friday 9th.
The Science Library can be found by going through the doors past the medicine, anatomy and microbiology stands at the south-west corner of the building (R,P and Q on the map in your passport), into the Sciences II building. It is on the ground floor on your right-hand side.


The Global Weather Report
Temperatures across the globe, on average, are getting warmer and global climate models predict a continuing rise. How will global warming affect us and our environment? Dr Janice Lord (Botany), Dr Marc Schallenberg (Zoology), Associate Professor Bob Llloyd, (Energy Management), Associate Professor Ewan Fordyce (Geology), and Dr Russell Frew & Dr Henrik Kjaergaard (Chemistry) will talk about some of the processes involved with global change – the first step in evaluating the likely impact.

Saturday 10th 4.00 PM until 4.40 PM, St Davids Lecture Complex

Birds Predict Next Year’s Weather
Discover how miniature data loggers attached to the legs of sooty shearwaters spy on where they go and what they do at sea. The birds reveal when an El Nino weather pattern is coming and how climate change impacts on the Pacific Ocean ecosystems.

Wild Earth
See amazing wildlife documentaries made by last years Postgraduate Diploma In Natural History Filmmaking and Communication students.

University of Otago