2017 events - The Royal Society of NSW - Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

1254th OGM and open lecture

 morello small “Quantum computers: how and why”

  Andrea Morello
  Professor of Quantum Engineering
  UNSW Sydney

Date: Wednesday 5th July 2017: 6:00 for 6.30 pm OGM and open lecture
Venue: Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street Sydney
Entry: $20 for non-members, $10 for Members and Associate Members of the Society, which includes a welcome drink.  Dress code: business
Dinner (including drinks): $80 for Members and Associate Members, $90 for non-members. Reservations must be made at least 2 days before.
Reservations here
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 9431 8691
All are welcome.

From dishwashing tablets to property management services, the attribute “quantum” is broadly used to signify “better”. But quantum is not just better: it’s different. The most striking example of how quantum is both “better” and “different” is a quantum computer. The idea of using quantum physics to perform computational tasks is 35 years old now, but only in the last few years the development of the basic components of a quantum computer has advanced far enough to trigger large investments from industry giants and start-up companies alike. In this talk I will explain simply but rigorously what a quantum computer is, how it works, what it does, and how it can become one of the most transformational technologies for the 21st century. The talk will be sprinkled with some mind-opening facts about human achievements using quantum effects, and some visual examples of quantum bits doing their work.

Andrea Morello is a Professor of Quantum Engineering at UNSW Sydney and a Program Manager in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His completed his PhD in the birthplace of low-temperature physics, the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium in Leiden, Netherlands, followed by a postdoc at UBC in Vancouver. He joined UNSW in late 2006. He and his team were the first in the world to demonstrate the operation of a single electron and a single nucleus quantum bit in silicon. They still hold the record for quantum memory time, and the most accurate demonstration of quantum entanglement in the solid state. For these achievements, Andrea was awarded a Eureka Prize (2011), the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (2013), the David Syme Research Prize (2013), the NSW Science & Engineering Award (2014), and was the inaugural winner of the R. Landauer & C.H. Bennett Award for Quantum Computing (2017).

1253rd OGM and open lecture

Beekman   “Are you smarter than a slime mould?”

   Madeleine Beekman
  Professor of Behavioural Ecology
  University of Sydney

  Wednesday 7th June 2017: 6:00 for 6:30 pm

Professor Madeleine Beekman presented her investigations on the slime mould, a unicellular organism with no brain or central nervous system, but as smart as we are (well, maybe). Over the last few years the acellular slime mould, Physarum polycephalum (literally the multi-headed slime mould) has emerged as a model system for decision making. Despite its simplicity, this organism is capable of rather complex behaviour, which was illustrated by Madeleine in a number of fascinating time-lapse videos. Not only is the organism able to detect the presence and location of food (and to discriminate between oats from Woolies and Coles!), which might be considered simply a chemical process, but it is able to determine the shortest of possible routes to the food, and also to display an efficient strategy for hunting for distributed food sources of varying quality. This behaviour raises a number of questions about the meaning of such concepts as intelligence and cognition, and about fundamental processes underlying all decision-making. These questions, as well as Madeleine’s very engaging style of presentation, led to a vigorous discussion, which would have provided many of us with food for further thought

Madeleine Beekman is Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Sydney and a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. She previously held prestigious research fellowships such as the Australian Research Council (ARC) Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (2003-2012), an ARC Future Fellowship (2013-2016), and a Sydney University Senior International Research Fellowship (2006-2010). Madeleine did her PhD in at the University of Amsterdam and was a postdoctoral research at the University of Sheffield before she moved to Australia to join the University of Sydney in 2001. She has been editor of numerous scientific journals and is currently the Deputy Head of School of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, as well as the Chair of Ecology, Evolution and Environment. Her main model organism besides the slime mould is honeybees.

2017 Liversidge Lecture

Gooding Liversidge     Sensing our world: From glucose sensors to
    counting single molecules and cells

    Scientia Professor Justin Gooding
    University of NSW

    Awarded the 2017 Liversidge Medal for
    chemistry.

Date: Thursday, 11 May, 2017 5.30 for 6pm
Venue:   Tyree Room and Balcony, John Niland Scientia Building
Hosts:  Faculty of Science

Biosensors are solid state analytical devices made by integrating a biological molecule that can recognise a biomarker of interest with a signal transducer, such as an electrode or optical instrument. The classical examples of such devices are the glucose meters that have revolutionised the lives of diabetic patients, and pregnancy test kits. There is a whole family of related devices developed for uses ranging from disease diagnosis to water quality testing.
This presentation covered the state-of-the-art research in this field, explored some of the challenges to wider adoption of such devices in daily life, and outlined the work of the Smart Materials and Surfaces research group at UNSW in this area. It also discussed some advances in surface chemistry and nanotechnology that will lead to the next generation of sensors that detect single molecules and cells. Such devices not only represent the ultimate sensor in being able to detect a single thing, but will solve many challenges with existing sensor technologies. By being able to detect many single moelcules or cells, such that the devices essentially count the number of entities to be measured, they will solve the main challenges in sensors of calibration and nonspecific signals, as well as create a whole new type of sensor. The presentation concluded with a discussion of some of his groups recent work on bringing this exciting vision of our sensing future towards a reality.

Scientia Professor Justin Gooding FAA, FISE, FRSN, FRACI, FRSN is currently an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, the co-director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine and the co-director of the New South Wales Smart Sensing Network. He is also editor-in-chief of the journal ACS Sensors. He graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) from Melbourne University before obtaining a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford and received post-doctoral training at the Institute of Biotechnology in Cambridge University. He returned to Australia in 1997 as a Vice-Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He was promoted to full professor in 2006. He was one of the recipients of a 2004 NSW Young Tall Poppy award, a 2005 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, the 2007 RACI Lloyd Smythe Medal for Analytical Chemistry, the 2009 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, a 2010 ARC Australian Professorial Fellow, the RACI 2011 H.G. Smith Medal for contributions to chemistry, the 2012 RACI R.H. Stokes Medal for electrochemical research, the 2012 Royal Society of Chemistry Australasian Lecturer, the 2013 NSW Science and Engineering Award for Emerging Research, the 2016 Faraday Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry Electrochemistry Division, the 2016 Biosensors and Bioelectronics Award and the 2016 Walter Burfitt Prize for Science and Archibald Liversidge Medal for Chemistry both of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He leads a research team of 40 researchers interested in surface modification and nanotechnology for biosensors, biomaterials, electron transfer and medical applications.
 

Annual Dinner 2017

    Hurley cropped 2
  Guests of Honour:

  His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d)

  Governor of New South Wales and Patron of the Royal Society of New South Wales

  and Mrs Hurley

peter baume   
  Distinguished Fellow's Lecture:

  "Don't blame the unemployed"

 Hon Emeritus Professor Peter Baume AC DistFRSN

 

Award of Medals and Prizes:

Clarke Medal (Geology) Professor Simon P. Turner
Edgeworth David Medal Associate Professor  Muireann Irish
History and Philosophy of Science Medal Em Professor Roy MacLeod
James Cook Medal Professor David Cooper
Walter Burfitt Prize Professor Justin Gooding
Archibald Liversidge Research Lecture and medal Professor Justin Gooding
Poggendorff Award for plant biology and agriculture Associate Professor  Andrew Robson

Date: Wednesday May 3 2017: 6:30 for 6:45 pm
Venue: Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street, Sydney

President and MCyoung scientist

turnermedal annual dinner

Roy MacloudHurley1

medal dinner2017 2Couchir and Baume

medal 3 Ann Dinn 2017

March for Science April 22nd 2017

March for Science image

The Royal Society of NSW supports the March for Science to be held on April 22nd

At its Council meeting of 15th March the Society passed the following motion:

The Society supports the principles upon which the “March for Science” is based and encourages Fellows and Members of the Society to participate in it

For more details about the March go to its website  here

The event was a great success, with many people marching in support of science around the world. 

1252nd OGM and open lecture

 greg organ lion co April

 "The Science of Beer"

   Dr Greg Organ
   Senior Sensory Specialist
   Lion Company


Date: Wednesday 5th April 2017: 6:00 for 6:30 pm
Venue: Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street Sydney
Entry: $20 for Non-Members, $10 for Members and Associate Members of the Society, which includes a welcome drink.  Dress Code: Business
Dinner (including drinks): $80 for Members and Associate Members, $90 for Non-Members. Reservations must be made at least 2 days before.
Reservations: https://nsw-royalsoc.currinda.com/register/event/31
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 9431 8691
All are welcome.

Dr Organ began with a description of beer’s four ingredients – yeast, water, malt and hops – and the brewing process. To fully enjoy your beer you need to fully utilise your senses and the talk then moved to describing the role of each of the senses. The basics of sensory science were used to illustrate how the senses can be used to gain scientifically valid information through trained tasting panels. The sensory properties of the main flavours of beer were next described together with some of the chemistry involved. The talk concluded with a brief mention of Lion’s marketing campaign “Beer The Beautiful Truth”. During the talk some practical hints as to how to enjoy your beer at its best were included!

Dr. Greg Organ is the Sensory Specialist for Lion. After gaining a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Sydney he worked for two years at the Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University. After this he made a major change in research area and worked for two years on the chemistry and sensory evaluation of wine at the Australian Wine Research Institute, Adelaide. Since then he has been the sensory and flavour scientist for Lion for nearly thirty years. He is responsible for the training, procedures and operation of all of Lion’s sensory evaluation panels. He also does the more complex flavour analytical work for Lion and some research work into the flavour chemistry of beer. He is well known within the Australian and New Zealand sensory science community and has made many presentations to a wide range of groups on beer science.

1251st OGM and Open Lecture

 Ferguson march 2017
  "Creative minds: Artistic and scientific endeavour on polar expeditions 1851 to 1951"

  Richard Ferguson FRGS
  Executive Director
  Craft Australia

 

Date: Wednesday 1st March 2017: 6:00 for 6:30 pm

Venue: Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street Sydney

Increased specialisation of academic disciplines in the twentieth century has for many lead to the view that Art and Science are at polar opposites when it comes to the value and contribution that art disciplines have made to scientific expeditions. Richard gave an overview of artistic endeavor on early scientific expeditions such as those of Cook / Endeavour 1768, 1771, Baudin / Geographe 1800 - 1803 and Fitzroy / Beagle 1831 - 1836, and how this directly influenced the application of photography on polar expeditions. There is a mounting body of illustrative and taxonomic artistic works being produced as documents of record on scientific and exploring expeditions. The more dramatic and romantic views such as, The Icebergs (1861), created by Hudson River School artist Fredrick E Church (1826 -1900) and Sealers Crushed in Ice (1876) by New Bedford born artist William Bradford (1823 û 1892) are what captured the imaging of the public. The productive mix of art and science was demonstrated through an analysis of over 1,000 images, from three nineteenth century arctic expeditions: William Bradford 1869; Benjamin Leigh Smith 1873, 1880; and George Strong Nares 1875 û 1876. Richard also discussed a re-photographic survey of the Antarctic work of Australian photographer Frank Hurley undertaken over five expeditions between 1987 and 1996.

 

Richard Ferguson has been involved in the cultural, heritage and education sectors for more than 30 years in both Australia and England. His initial tertiary training was at the National Art School, Sydney and later training in visual arts and photography enabled him to undertake original research and Antarctic field work on five expeditions with the Australian Antarctic Division and commercial operators. His particular area of interest is the use of photography on polar expeditions, which was initially based at the Mawson Institute for Antarctic Research at the University of Adelaide, Scott Polar Institute, Cambridge and then the South Australian Museum. This research, curatorial work and collections management gave rise to increasing involvement in the management of a variety of cultural projects at various museums and galleries. These include: Australian National Maritime Museum; Geelong Gallery; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, one of twelve lead National Museums of England; and the Melbourne Cricket Club. Prior to that he was Manager of the Museums Australia Museums Accreditation Program. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1993 for his polar research and fieldwork. He is a member of the Royal Society of Victoria and currently a National Council Member of the International Council of Museums, Australia.

 

 

 

 

Annual Meeting of the Four Societies 2017

Four Societies 2017

 

 "South Australia: A Nuclear State in a Global Solution"

  Rear Admiral, The Honourable Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (ret'd.)

  
 

Date and time: Thursday 23rd February 2017, 6.00pm to 8.00pm (reception from 5.30pm)

Venue: International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour

Cost: complimentary for both Members and non-members

Tickets and registration: Engineers Australia

This talk will focus on the challenge to Australia in moving to a reliable, low carbon and lowest possible cost electricity system. Nuclear power is a proven, low carbon energy source and may have a role to play in Australia. South Australia has abundant uranium resources and furthermore, with the combination of geological, political and technical factors, the State may provide a global solution for the permanent disposal of used fuel. The benefits of being a Nuclear State could be game changing.

Rear Admiral, the Honourable Kevin Scarce is the 16th Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and was the 34th Governor of South Australia from 2007 to 2014. He served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1968, retiring in 2004. His appointments included service on HMAS Sydney during the Vietnam War. Kevin also specialised in military logistics and procurement, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral and Head of Maritime Systems at the Defence Materiel Organisation. After retirement, as Head of the South Australian Defence Unit, he led a government team that contributed to ASC winning the contract to build air warfare destroyers for the Australian Defence Force. Kevin was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in 1994, the Knight of Grace in the Venerable Order of Saint John in 2007 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2008. Rear Admiral Scarce completed a Bachelor of Financial Administrationfrom New England, Masters of Management Economics at the University of New South Wales (Australian Defence Force Academy campus), and a Masters Degree in National Security Strategy at the US War College (National Defense University) in Washington, DC. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Flinders University in 2009 for distinguished service to the public of South Australia and an Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from the University of New England in 2014. Kevin was appointed on 29 March 2015, as the Commissioner of the South Australia Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.

1250th OGM and open lecture

Royal Society of New South Wales Scholarship Award Winners for 2017

  Yik Lung (Jeremy) Chan,
  School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney

  Andrew Ritchie,
  School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney

  Isobel Ronai,
  School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney

Date: Wednesday 1st February 2017: 6:00 for 6:30 pm

Venue: Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street Sydney

The Royal Society of New South Wales Scholarships recognise outstanding achievements by individuals working towards a research degree in a science-related field within New South Wales or the Australian Capital Territory. Each year three scholarships of $500 plus and a complimentary year of membership of the Society are awarded. The award winners give talks about their research at the first OGM and Public Lecture each year.

 

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jeremy chan feb ogm


  Yik Lung (Jeremy) Chan

  School of Life Science,
  University of Technology Sydney

"Effects of maternal cigarette smoke exposure on brain health in offspring”

We do not understand well how maternal smoking and secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy can cause lifelong adverse effects in the offspring, especially in their neurological function. Maternal cigarette smoke exposure is a risk factor for the shutdown of blood and oxygen supply to the brain. This can lead to several functional defects, including problems with movement, sensation, strength, and thinking, increasing the financial burden of both the family and government. My work aims to understand how maternal cigarette smoke exposure affects brain health, to allow the discovery of therapeutic targets for potential interventions. He described the various experiments he conducted with mice to identify the effects of smoke exposure on behaviour and brain function.

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  Andrew Ritchie

  School of Life and Environmental Sciences
  University of Sydney


“New Ways of Modelling the Ancient Past to Understand Evolution”

Molecular dating, powered by increasing floods of genetic data, is allowing biologists to look ever more closely at the central mystery of evolution – the origin of species. At the same time, the digital revolution has led to the application of biological methods to surprising new types of data – such as the imprints of human history left in the relationships among world languages. To do this, biologists and linguists construct models that interpret genetic and lexical data in the light of our assumptions about the evolutionary process. In this talk, he  described the available models and his findings regarding their powers and pitfalls for analyses of the ancient past.

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Ronai Feb

  Isobel Ronai

  School of Life and Environmental Sciences
  University of Sydney


"Anarchy in the honey bee colony: the genetic basis of worker sterility”

Currently little is known about the mechanisms that underlie worker sterility in the social insects.Studies into a mutant ‘anarchistic’ strain of honey bee identified a promising candidate gene for regulating worker fertility. My results suggest that this Anarchy gene is involved in the regulation of the worker’s ovary via the mechanism of programmed cell death. My findings indicate that a pheromone from the queen honey bee affects the Anarchy gene and triggers the reproductive inhibition of the workers. This is a breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms of worker sterility in the social insects. In this talk she described some of the fascinating characteristics of bee colony behaviour and the experiments she conducted to show how the worker bees reproductive organs were affected by the Queen's pheromone.

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