Sociologist Wendy Larner, provost at Victoria University of Wellington, began her three-year term as president of New Zealand’s Royal Society Te Apārangi on July 1.
Larner, FRSNZ FAcSS FNZGS, is one of New Zealand’s most visible and influential professors in international human geography and sociology. She established herself as a leading scholar through her leadership of Marsden and Foundation for Research Science and Technology research programs at the at the University of Auckland’s Sociology Department.
A New Zealander by birth, she was elected to honorary fellowship in the Royal Society in 2009, when she was dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Bristol in England. The Royal Society named her a fellow upon her return to New Zealand in 2016.
She continues to have an active involvement in building New Zealand social science capability and is known for her active support of early career colleagues, and commitment to equity and diversity. In May she received the Royal Geographical Society Victoria Medal for her research on globalization and political economy.
Larner took over from Richard Bedford, QSO FRSNZ, an emeritus professor of population geography at the University of Waikato. He was the first social scientist to lead the now-151-year-old society in at least 75 years.