#46 Alan McDiamond Becomes Nobel Laureate

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Edge Message #46 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM



We publish today a new Edge Mailbox, 100- plus messages affirming New Zealandness, celebrating edge spirit and heroes, aroha, being homesick and being here. This is compelling and inspiring reading, heartfelt commentary about New Zealand. Thank you all people for writing.

nzedge had a surge in registrations. The locations are a geography lesson in the global/local: 76 worldwide locations where New Zealanders are, and 58 cities, towns and out-of-the-way places at home. Kia ora,welcome.

Today we are very pleased to publish the story of New Zealander Alan MacDiarmid, who has discovered that plastics can conduct electricity, rather than insulating against its passage as commonly used. Application of the research is seen to be the future of information technology. Awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Alan MacDiarmid (via Masterton, Lower Hutt and Victoria University) lives by the sign in his study: “I am a very lucky person and the harder I work the luckier I seem to be.”
We are delighted that the essay has been prepared by Dr John Campbell, who teaches physics at the University of Canterbury and is biographer of Ernest Rutherford (and firewalk consultant).

I have thought of little else in the last 30 days except the maelstrom and malevolence unleashed on September 11. Like many people I have friends and business in the USA particularly New York – a country and a city I love. Rest in Peace for the dead; Live in Peace for the witnesses; Pray for victims of War everywhere. It has been/will be a traumatic time, but our immediate challenge is to reorganise and refocus to face new confrontations (economic, security, emotional, philosophical) as well as new opportunities (I’m not crass in proposing this, it’s clear New Zealand has to think itself through all the new challenges on top of all the old ones pretty damn quickly). I’ve inquired deeply to understand the nature of this War to contribute to what to do next – for family, business and country, and for the ways we fit into the world. I feel strong. Our distance is an asset but not a protection. The best response New Zealand can have is to be strong itself. If we are to be of any use to the world, let alone to ourselves, we need to strengthen ourselves through vision, focus, togetherness and hard work (and do it all in a rolling 100 day plan, for our window of time is very narrow). It feels good to publish today; nzedge is my way of reconciliation and my way forward. Right now on the edge, Pohutakawa are flowering, the whitebait are running, Tim Finn is touring, it’s raining for the farmers tonight and summer is coming.

Kia Kaha.

BRIAN SWEENEY co-founder,
editor, producer

Thumbnail: Alan MacDiarmid recieving Nobel Prize for Chemistry

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