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Jean Fleming ONZM


Inducted 2010

Receives this award in recognition of her research and teaching in various branches of science and most recently in the Centre for Science Communication at Otago University. As Professor of Science Communication she leads the popularising science stream of MSciComm students encouraging them to ensure the details and processes of science are made more accessible to the community at large.

Originally trained as a biochemist, Jean has followed a traditional scientific career path of professorship and research, with a particular interest in reproductive biology and feminist issues; she also maintains a life long interest in the New Zealand environment.  Jean was a member of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, and has always been an advocate for women to be involved in science at all levels. She has convened and participated in many scientific conferences. Her professional work has taken her to university both within and outside New Zealand.

Her current work includes teaching and research into ovarian biology at Otago University but also in the field of popularising science – bringing all branches of science to the community in a readily understandable way. She uses the all forms of the media to achieve this.

Jean’s ties to the school are close although she readily admits that her own years were not easy ones. She followed her two elder sisters though the school in the 1960s, her nieces followed the family tradition, and her great nieces are currently pupils.  Jean’s  acceptance of her difficulties at school have allowed her to acknowledge the impact it has had on her life and career and she has returned to the school on several occasions and  opened the new science labs in 2001.

In her new role her aim is to “produce a new generation of young scientists more capable of getting their message across to young and old”.