Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Recent events now on YouTube: June 2023 (updated)

Recorded RSNSW events now on YouTubeMost face-to-face events and all online events conducted by the Royal Society of NSW are recorded and made available for subsequent viewing on our YouTube channel:

On 15 June at the Charles Sturt University Canberra campus, intellectual historian and critical realist social philosopher, Professor Wayne Hudson FAHA of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University delivered a thought-provoking lecture on the topic of ‘A new history of Australian political thought.’ In his lecture, which is now on YouTube, Professor Hudson discussed why there is no general history of Australian political thought and the research strategies which might enable such a history to be written. He contested that Australians have underestimated the range of political ideas that came to Australia, often misunderstood how these ideas were interpreted here, and often been slow to grasp the originality of Australian political thought.

On the evening of Wednesday 14 June 2023, the seventh in the Ideas@theHouse series—a joint presentation of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor New South Wales, and the Royal Society of NSW—was held in the Ballroom of Government House Sydney. On that occasion, Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM DistFRSN FAA FTSE, Australia's Chief Scientist, delivered an address titled ‘Importance of scientific ideas and discovery to Australia's future’ to a face-to-face audience of approximately 100 people, and also a live stream to an online audience. This presentation is now available on YouTube.

In an insightful talk, Dr Foley emphasised that complex problems require complex solutions and that while science can offer potential outcomes and inform decisions there is a responsibility to examine the full span of real-world consequences before action is taken. She argued that science as a “superpower”, driven by both fundamental and applied research, must be embedded in the gamut of knowledge from all fields, including that from First Nations people, working collaboratively in what she referred to as “Science+”, to realise solutions to the challenging problems that confront humankind.

A week earlier, on Wednesday, 7 June, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM FAAL, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, delivered a must-see lecture titled "Making rights a reality —  the need for a Human Rights Act for Australia". This talk is also available on YouTube.

In her presentation, Professor Croucher advances the case for a Human Rights Act for Australia, reflecting on experiences during COVID and the difference a Human Rights Act may have made — and where it has helped in places where a human rights lens is legislated for decision and policy-making. The talk presented a cogent case for, and analysis of, the need for a Human Right Act for Australia in a way that is highly accessible to a non-legal audience.  

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