Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Women and Science: Lecture 7

Women and Science: Lecture 7      “An Accidental Astronomer”

    Emeritus Professor Anne Green

Date: Thursday, 21 November 2019, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

An Accidental Astronomer

As one of the first women radio astronomers, Anne Green faced unexpected challenges in undertaking panoramic and detailed surveys of the Milky Way Galaxy. Anne will track her career trajectory alongside the evolution of the Molonglo Radio Telescope that has been a pioneering astronomical instrument for more than 50 years. Anne’s journey has produced some exciting discoveries and rewarding collaborations in the study of the structure and ecology of the Galaxy, and has also encompassed observations with several of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

Emeritus Professor Anne Green FTSE FASA FAIP FRSN

Anne Green is presently an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney. She is a graduate in physics from both Melbourne and Sydney Universities. Following her graduate studies at Sydney, she was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany. Restarting her academic career at Sydney University after a 15 year pause for family and community work in Europe, she joined the School of Physics and progressed from post-doc to professor. During this period, she was Director of the Molonglo Telescope and was appointed as the first female Head of the School of Physics. She has been on numerous national and international astronomy advisory committees, including as President of the Astronomical Society of Australia, and Chair of Astronomy Australia Ltd. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Astronomical Society of Australia, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of NSW, and President of the Physics Foundation. Internationally, she is a Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy and has had a role in the early development of the powerful new radio-telescope, the Square Kilometre Array. She was the inaugural co-Chair of the Women in Astronomy Working Group of the International Astronomical Union for six years. Her research career spans 30 years in radio astronomy, studying the structure and ecology of the Milky Way Galaxy and its various constituents. In particular, her discoveries include supernova remnants, astrophysical masers and more recently, cosmological sparklers. She has a career total of over 200 papers with more than 6000 citations and has been a Chief Investigator on grants worth nearly $12 million. Most recently, the Astronomical Society of Australia has established the Anne Green Prize to be awarded to a mid-career scientist for a significant body of work or accomplishment.


Presented jointly by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Women and Science lecture series examines the huge changes we have seen in the roles women have played in science, and the view science has held of women.

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