My field of research is astronomy, in particular Māori astronomy. I have no formal training and in fact I failed fourth form (year 10) science. As a young Māori boy at a Māori boarding school, the Western notion of science was completely foreign to me. I had no genealogical connection to the periodic table, I did not see the cultural relevance of a bunsen burner, and when I thought about science, the image that came to mind was that of a skinny white man in a lab coat with thick-rimmed spectacles and a pocket protector.
Yet I always had natural curiosity to ask questions and seek answers, and I have always loved science. This interest began in front of the television and the hours I spent with my father watching sci-fi programmes such as Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Sapphire & Steel, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica. During my formative years, the Star Wars movies were released and my life changed. What they helped me to realise is that narrative is so important in connecting people to knowledge, especially Indigenous peoples. These programmes infused very scientific theories and principles such as interstellar travel, light speed, teleportation, alien life, the multiverse and other concepts with storytelling. And for me it was the stories and narratives that helped me to connect to this knowledge base.
Link to article: The Lost Scrolls of Matariki | Newsroom