2019 summary

  • Started my fourth career – back in the private sector helping to stand up a ClimateTech private equity fund. This is basically my dream job, even if part-time for now.
  • Got through some major wins in my third career with $18 million for the Bioresource Processing Alliance and Product Accelerator, and increases for the Commercialisation Partner Network and PreSeed Accelerator Fund. Investment in research for the circular economy and for high-value manufacturing is where New Zealand’s long-term wealth will come from.
  • Spent a lot of time asking myself “What would Mariana Mazzucato do?”
  • KnowYourStuffNZ continue to step up our work – lots of great new volunteers and people taking more responsibility, lots of support from festivals and festival-goers, found new drugs before Customs found them, and I eye-rolled my way through my first live TV interview, gaining the nickname “Dr Jez the Fact Cannon”.
  • Made Chlöe Swarbrick cry, in a good way of course.
  • KnowYourStuffNZ made serious political progress with Young NZ First & Young Nats unexpectedly on board and “overwhelming” public support.
  • Wendy & I managed to remain polite with a certain Member of Parliament. It was close though.
  • Enjoyed being in a position to direct some career opportunities towards a few very bright younger people.
  • Went to too many festivals.
  • Went to Ignition without my usual crew… and had a great time because lots of people were looking out for me.
  • Billy christened my new bike the “magic future bike“, coz it really is.
  • Planted more, although not as many plants as Andrea.
  • Was complimented on the quality of my banter by Police officers. I was not expecting this.
  • Actually had fun in Auckland, with the help of several friends.
  • Didn’t do The Goat, again.
  • Did shear sheep, badly.

New Year’s resolution:
To stop being polite to people equivocating about the climate emergency because, to quote someone else working on the climate fund, “I’m done fucking around”.

SciBlogs articles digging into the how and why of pill testing

With KnowYourStuffNZ, I’m right in the middle of the summer season of pill testing at festivals. We’ve been getting lots of press about the results, so now’s a good time for some more in depth articles. I wrote these two for SciBlogs.

First, the technology of testing. Summary: reagents are good, IR spectroscopy is great, and it’s all very much better than taking drugs that haven’t been tested.

Sciblogs – Recreational drugs and the technology of pill testing

Secondly, why does pill testing change people’s behaviour and lead to safer decisions? We don’t judge, our clients trust us, the testing service is a gift, our clients are involved in the testing, and the results are immediate. That’s why our clients listen to us.

Sciblogs – The psychology of pill testing