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Our Heritage Scientists

You can understand how science knowledge and ideas change over time by looking at the lives and work of past scientists.

Each featured New Zealand scientist is revealed through a people profile and a timeline that lets you see aspects of their life and work, and how these fit into a wider science picture.

Learn more...

Explore this science story

Muriel Emma Bell - nutritionist

Athol Rafter - nuclear chemist

Frank Evison - geophysicist

Thomas William Walker - soil scientist

Beatrice Hill Tinsley - cosmologist

Joan Wiffen - paleontologist

Alan MacDiarmid - chemist


Seven heritage scientists are currently featured and more people will be added to this Science Story over time.

Use the timelines to explore:

  • the earlier science that may have influenced each featured scientist and what effect their work had on later scientists
  • how the work of each featured scientist, and others, helped change themes and theories in their specialised field
  • some of the other things that might have influenced each scientist, such as aspects of their life or attitudes of society – you can do your own research into historical events that might have been an influence too.