Elizabeth Connor

Elizabeth Connor

My Story

I’ve always been captivated by how magnificent and interconnected the universe is; how a single law like gravity connects so many things – birds threading through the sky, planets orbiting, leaves falling. I would often lie on my roof and marvel at the magic above, the space between the stars. I dreamed of a renaissance which would reunite science and the humanities and spread across the world resolving conflicts.

A few decades on, I’m still a rebellious optimist. Helping science to reconnect with humanity has become my life’s work.  Inspired and supported by my mentor, the late Sir Paul Callaghan, I set up The KinShip.

I studied physics at Victoria University, Wellington and completed my masters in Science Communication at Imperial College, London. Such a wonderful experience, after years of studying science, to be able to then put it back into the context of history, culture, sociology and the arts. It was fascinating – studying the customs and habits of scientists as if some indigenous species from an unknown land.


Amongst other things, I spent my time working for the BBC Science Unit, travelling the UK with a maths Circus and teaching naughty London kids science and maths using creative dance and theatre. I began to develop a deep longing to return to my country and share some of the gems from what I had learnt. I had big ideas for New Zealand and so upon my return applied for and won the inaugural Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Communication.

This was really the kickstarter for The KinShip. I embarked on a journey around New Zealand – talking to entrepreneurs, scientists, politicians, educators – seeking out those who shared a positive vision for the country. Unravelling the goals and opportunities that threaded together the rebellious optimists through out an array of multi-disciplines. I know that science holds invaluable answers to enrich the culture, environment, wealth and well-being of our people, but for it to reach its potential it needs to break out of the confines of the labs and academia. Connect with people, across sectors, engage in opportunities that would draw from collaborative pooling of skills and knowledge.

So that is what I did. And have continued to do. I’ve taken everything to date – the knowledge, experience and the people I collected along the way on board The KinShip and set sail for new horizons. I invite you to jump aboard.