• Peter Dreaden introducing school children to the Lab-in-a-box

    Peter Dreaden introducing school children to the Lab-in-a-box

Unlocking Curious minds: LabInaBox (LIAB)

LabInaBox (LIAB) is a mobile science laboratory, built in a 20-foot shipping container. It comes fully equipped with science ‘gear’ and people – an educator, researchers, and students or professors from around New Zealand. LIAB visits rural schools and communities to support science teaching, spark interest in science, and leave communities with a citizen science project that has continued support from the LIAB team.

LIAB is a collaboration between the University of Otago, Otago Museum, Victoria University of Wellington, the Bio-Protection Research Centre and Te Papa. The project is supported by the Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund and co-funded by the BioHeritage Challenge. Challenge funding was used to support a focus on conservation genetics, pest control and eradication, and to initiate conversations about the use of new technologies such as CRISPR and gene drive.

Social licence to operate

In the BioHeritage Challenge we’re very aware that public support for science and research influences our work and how it is taken up by our industry and community partners. This is sometimes called ‘social licence to operate’ (SLO).

In May 2016 we invited a range of key stakeholders, including industry sectors, government agencies, iwi, environmental and community-based organisations, to establish what SLO involves, where it came from, what risks and opportunities it poses for our stakeholders, and how leaders in the field are addressing it.

The workshop was led by the Challenge’s Māori Manager, Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, and was held in Wellington in May 2016.

View presentations from two guest speakers, James Baines (Taylor Baines & Associates) and Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl (University of Otago).

Related content

James Baines - SLO workshop presentation
James Baines, SLO workshop presentation


James has been a social impact assessment practitioner in New Zealand for more than 25 years. His practice…

Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl - SLO workshop presentation
Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl, SLO workshop presentation


Katharina is a Senior Research Analyst at the University of Otago whose research focuses on Māori language, Māori…

Using the equipment inside the Lab-in-a-box


LIAB is a mobile science laboratory, built in a 20 foot shipping container. The lab and teaching modules…