Rutherford's 150th anniversary


Late August 2021

Venue: Rutherford's Den

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ernest Rutherford (30 August 1871 – 19 October 1937), one of the most illustrious scientists of all time.

Known as the father of nuclear physics, he is remembered for his research, focus, determination and humility. In his lifetime, he altered our fundamental view of nature three times: he explained the relationship between atoms and radioactivity, identified the structure of the atom and was the world’s first successful alchemist (he converted nitrogen into oxygen).

Join us in commemorating the life and achievements of New Zealand's renowned Nobel Prize-winning physicist. 

Check back soon as we continue to add more events and activities. 

A conversation with award-winning children's author Maria Gill
Wednesday 1 September Clock Tower

Join author Maria Gill for a cup of tea and an interactive session on her latest project, a children’s novel about the life of Ernest Rutherford. Find out more

The Russian World of Lord Rutherford
Tuesday 31 August 2021 Rutherford’s Den

Discover Ernest, Lord Rutherford's connection to Russia in this insightful presentation by Dr. Olga Suvorova Find out more

Celebrate Rutherford's 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August 2021 Clock Tower

Come and find out more about Ernest’s discovery, create your very own Nobel Prize medal to take home, and use the worksheet to make a rubbing of a replica Nobel medal! Find out more

Rutherford 150th Birthday Walking Tour
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September 2021 Clock Tower

A special 150th anniversary guided walking tour led by an actor playing the young Ernest Rutherford. Drawing from his time here as a student and presenting the rich history of this central Ōtautahi Find out more

Bring Rutherford's Den to life

Use your creative skills and bring Rutherford's Den lecture theatre and a flock of quirky native birds from Aotearoa New Zealand to life! Find out more

Secret science wordsearch

Complete our Rutherford's Den wordsearch and find the secret word Find out more

Location map

Rutherford’s Den,
Worcester Boulevard

Market Square South Quad North Quad Registry Student Union The Gym Engineering Common Room Library Biology, Observatory and Physics Chemistry School of Art West Lecture Classics Rutherford's Den Clock Tower Boy's High Workshop Great Hall
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