Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events
NOV
05

RSNSW and Four Academies Forum 2020

Globe and coronavirus“After COVID-19: Creating the Best of Times from the Worst of Times”


Date: Thursday, 5 November 2020
Venue: Government House, Sydney, live streaming and subsequent availability on YouTube

Summary

One hundred years after the 1918 Spanish flu claimed more than 50 million lives, pandemics remain on the list of major global risks. They are difficult to predict and invariably alter the course of history in ways we cannot foresee. The impact of this year’s COVID-19 pandemic spread quickly well beyond the people it infected, creating massive shifts across society and all sectors of the economy.

The pandemic has exposed the social and economic vulnerabilities of today’s highly leveraged and interconnected world. It has also compounded prevailing existential risks for Australia, including the impact of climate change, a decade of household income stagnation, and an erosion of critically important political institutions that underpin national prosperity and our free, open, democratic society.

The Royal Society of New South Wales will again join with the four Learned Academies of Australia to stage our annual Forum in Government House, Sydney, on 5th November under the gracious Vice Regal Patronage of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales.The Forum will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has become a wake-up call for all of us to drive a wide-ranging, national program that will create a more resilient, self-sufficient and prosperous Australia.

Transformations achieved already during the pandemic include escalations of telemedicine, automation, and digital commerce and communications, to name but a few. These show us what is possible when the wrecking-ball of a virus exacts its human and economic toll. Our challenge now is to take these transformations further and build the society and institutions we envisage for a much better future.

The Royal Society of NSW acknowledges the generous support of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, the NSW Government Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, and the New South Wales Smart Sensing Network.

Program

The complete program, containing abstracts of the presentations and brief biographies of the presenters, is a available as a pdf document.

Start End  
08:30 08:50 Registration 
08:50 08:55 Guests seated
08:55 09:15 Governor is announced into the Ballroom
    Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country
Ian Sloan AO FRSN FAA
President, Royal Society of NSW
    Official Opening
Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC
Governor of New South Wales
    Introduction to the Moderator and Rapporteur  (Eric Knight FRSN, Executive Dean, Macquarie Business School)
Susan Pond AM FRSN FTSE— Chair, Forum Program Committee
09:15 10:15 Keynote Address
Immunity from history: what can we learn from collective responses to crises
Peter Hobbins — Principal Historian, Artefact Heritage Services
10:15 10:45 Morning Tea — served on the Verandah
10:45 11:45 Session I: Forging a resilient future for Australia’s youth
    The New Normal? Living in the liminal and what comes next?
Genevieve Bell AO FTSE— Distinguished Professor and Director, 3A Institute, The Australian National University, and Senior Fellow, Intel
    Emerging generations and evolving intersections between technology and humanity
Jordan Nguyen — Founder & CEO, Psykinetic
11:45 12:45 Session II: Sweeping Changes to Australia’s Healthcare System
    COVID-19: Transforming the way we provide health care
Teresa Anderson AM — Chief Executive, Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health
    The Australian COVID-19 public health response: lessons and future directions
Gregory Dore — Scientia Professor and Head, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney
12:45 14:00 Lunch  — served on the Verandah
14:00 15:00 Session III: Australia’s Culture and Creative Industries
    The weaving power of indigenous storytelling
Larissa Behrendt AO FASSA — Distinguished Professor, University of Technology Sydney
    For what it’s worth: performing arts value lost and found during COVID-19
Bethwyn Serow — Arts and Policy Strategist
15:00 16:00 Reshaping Australia’s Institutions
    Martin Parkinson AC PSM FASSA — Chancellor, Macquarie University
    Anne Tiernan — Professor and Dean Engagement, Griffith Business School, Griffith University
    in conversation with
Julianne Schultz AM FAHA — Professor in Media and Culture, Griffith University, and Chair,The Conversation Media Group
16:00 16:30 Rapporteur Session
Eric Knight FRSN, Macquarie University
16:30 18:00 Refreshments — served on the Verandah
NOV
11

1288th OGM and Open Lecture

Helicobacter pylori image “Where have all the ulcers gone — long time passing?”

Professors Thomas Borody FRSN and Adrian Lee FRSN
Centre for Digestive Diseases (1) and UNSW Sydney (2)

Date: Wednesday, 11 November 2020, 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All are welcome.

This is the first presentation in the series Great NSW Discoveries, a sequence of presentations documenting past and present discoveries that have made a difference. In it, Emeritus Professor Lee and Professor Borody will tell little known stories of the essential contributions by RSNSW Fellows to one of the greatest medical advance in our times. The presentations will be introduced by Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN and the discussions will be rounded out by Emeritus Professor The Honourable Peter Baume AC DistFRSN.

Summary: In 1982 Robin Warren and Barry Marshall at the Royal Perth Hospital described the presence of squiggly bacteria in the gastric mucosa of patients with Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD).Helicobacter pylori was on the map! They would deservedly be awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery, which would change the world – medicine would never be the same again. It is not possible for even the modern generation of gastroenterologists to appreciate the way PUD dominated the lives of both patients and doctors 50 years ago — surgical lists were full of patients for gastrectomy, medical wards with patients with uncontrolled pain and complications. Twenty percent of men had a Duodenal Ulcer. Emergency rosters meant bleeding or perforated ulcers. Yet today, PUD is rarely seen – a recent analysis of the impact of H. pylori and its eradication over 25 years in Australia shows a saving of 19,000 deaths, and $10B in costs.

Warren and Marshall would have struggled to develop their ideas without the professional support of Professor Adrian Lee, with a long history of study of “squiggly” bacteria in the gut. His experience in the growth of these bacteria, their role in animal models, and his contributions to diagnosis, vaccine development and the link to cancer, added to the biology and broad understanding of these bacteria, enabling interpretation of the Perth discovery in a biological context. Warren and Marshall understood the importance of eradication to prove causation, but were unable to develop sterilising therapy, so only an association could be claimed. Professor Tom Borody carefully trialled a series of antibiotics to develop the first effective antibiotic combination, enabling for the first time, proof of causation of duodenal ulcers. This began a long sequence of contributions to our understanding and treatment of PUD by Borody including addition of PPI’s, and development of “escape” therapy. He worked with the Newcastle group to develop the first “near-patient” “yes/no” test, and identified a role for the host response in conditioning outcomes of the “host-parasite” relationship.

Adrian Lee will discuss Adventures with spiral bugs and Helicobacter.  Adrian’s adventure began in 1967 at the Rockefeller University in New York when he did a post doc with Rene Dubos one of the grandfathers of the gut microbiome. Moving to UNSW in 1969 as a lecturer in Medical Microbiology, he continued his interest in the bacteria of the mouse intestinal tract concentrating on the spiral/helical bacteria that colonised gut mucus. He also worked on the spiral pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni, and then on the organism that Barry Marshall and Robin Warren had grown from gastric biopsies using his culture techniques. Later, he developed the first animal models of Helicobacter pylori infection including the first vaccine studies and demonstration of H.pylori -induced gastric malignancy. For ten years, he travelled the world trying to convince clinicians to treat H.pylori infection. Progressing to Professor of Medical Microbiology in 1990, he also worked as a WHO consultant in medical education. In 2000, he left his beloved spiral bugs to cross to the dark side at UNSW becoming Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) with a brief to improve the quality of teaching. Retiring in 2006, he carried out consultancies in tertiary education and now writes about his squiggly bugs and runs a choir.

NOV
19

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2020-9

Professor Sandra Lynch“Relativity revealed: Einstein’s discoveries, the origin and shape of the universe”

Ian Bryce

Date: Wednesday, 18 November 2020 at 6.30pm AEST
Venue: Mittagong RSL, Carrington Room 
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All are welcome

(*) This event will be the branch’s first face-to-face event since March.  Due to social distancing requirements, however, attendance is limited to at most 30 people.  Please register for this event with Hubert Regtop, Chair, Southern Highlands Branch of the Royal Society of NSW at the email address above. 

Ian BryceIan Bryce graduated with a BSc in physics from Monash University, Melbourne, in 1970, followed by Engineering in 1972. He has long experience as an aerospace engineer with Telstra, Optus, and Hawker de Havilland, on aircraft, spacecraft and launch vehicle projects. As Chief Engineer for the Asia Pacific Space Centre, he worked closely with the Russians on a proposed spaceport on Christmas island. With Aerospace Concepts, he developed complex methodologies for risk analysis of weapons and rocket tests at Australia’s test site at Woomera. Ian lectured at several universities in space sciences. This includes 7 years at University of NSW, where he created a subject Space Vehicle Design. He has moved to applying the methods of science to human welfare, including a methodology called Measuring Morality. Ian teaches NSW Primary Ethics, and is active in the Skeptics (Challenge Coordinator) and Humanist societies.

 

DEC
02

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-5

Professor Tony“Planetary Health—Safeguarding Health in the Anthropocene Epoch”

Professor Tony Capon
Monash University

Date: Wednesday, 2 December 2020, 6.00pm AEDT
Venue: Zoom webinar (TBA). Click here for help in getting started with Zoom
Enquiries: Please address enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Entry: No charge
All are welcome 

Professor Tony Capon directs the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and holds a chair in planetary health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. A public health physician and authority in environmental health and health promotion, his research focuses on urbanisation, sustainable development and human health. He is a former director of the International Institute for Global Health at United Nations University (UNU-IIGH) and has previously held professorial appointments at the University of Sydney and Australian National University. He is a member of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health that published its report Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch in 2015, and the International Advisory Board for The Lancet Planetary Health.

Two of his recent publications are:

  • ‘Advancing Planetary Health in Australia: focus on emerging infections and antimicrobial resistance.’ Hill-Cawthorne et al. BMJ Global Health (2019)4(2) e 001283
  • ‘Human Health on an Ailing Planet’ - Historical Perspectives on Our Future.’ Dunk JH et al. NEJM, 2019, 381(8):778-782
DEC
09

1289th OGM and Open Lecture

Professor Matthew England FAA FRSNRasko AO“Dispelling climate change myths—how ocean physics can help explain surprises in the modern-day climate record”

Professor Matthew England FRSN FAA
Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

Date: Wednesday, 9 December, 6.30pm AEST
Venue: Zoom webinar. Click here for help in getting started with Zoom
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Entry: No charge
All are welcome.

Summary: Certain aspects of the climate record are often seized upon in an attempt to disprove the threat of human-caused climate change. Notable examples include the decade-long slowdown in global surface warming that occurred in the early 2000’s, as well as recent surface cooling and sea-ice expansion around Antarctica. This talk will describe how ocean and climate dynamics can explain these behaviours of the coupled climate system, and how the threat of anthropogenic climate change remains as real as ever.

Professor Matthew England  is a Scientia Professor of Ocean & Climate Dynamics at the University of New South Wales who has previously held ARC Laureate and Federation Fellowships. He was the founding Director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) during 2006-2013. In 2014 England was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and in 2016 as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW and was the winner of the Society's most prestigious award, the James Cook Medal, in 2019.

 

JAN
01

Calendar of Meetings in 2020

This page lists the Calandar of Meetings for the Royal Society of NSW in 2020.

Follow the links below for meetings held in Sydney, in Newcastle by the Hunter Branch, and in Mittagong by the Southern Highlands Branch.

 

Sydney Meetings 2020

DateEvent

Wednesday, 12 February 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

1280th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture: 2019 RSNSW Scholarship Presentations

Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Drought and wellbeing in Australian rural communities: implications for improving adaptive capacity and resilience to drought adaptive capacity and resilience to drought
Ms Emma Austin
PhD Student, Centre for Water, Climate and Land, University of Newcastle

Searches for Extended Higgs Sectors, Flavour Physics Anomalies and Dark Matter at the LHC
Mr Shayam Balaji
PhD Student, School of Physics, University of Sydney

Charting the Extracellular Matrix Through Breast Tumour Progression
Mr Michael Papanicolao
PhD Student, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Botanical biofilters for the phytofiltration of urban air pollutants
Mr Thomas Pettit
PhD Student, School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney

Thursday, 20 February 

5.30 for 6.00pm AEDT

Royal Society of NSW Liversidge Lecture

Venue: The Galleries, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Sydney, Kensington

The journey from simple polymers to nano-footballs: opportunities for better cancer treatment
Scientia Professor Martina Stenzel FAA
School of Chemistry, UNSW Sydney

Thursday, 27 February 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

Speaking the Music…The Magic of the Solo Violin
A joint presentation of the of the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts

Venue: Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Dr David Hush and Anna Da Silva Chen (violinist)

Wednesday, 4 March 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

1281st Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Soils: the least understood part of science, yet vital for all of us
Professor Robin J. Batterham
Former Chief Scientist of Australia and President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and currently Kernot Professor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

Friday, 6 March 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

 

Frontiers of Science Forum
A joint forum presented by the Royal Society of NSW, the Teachers’ Guild of NSW, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute

New frontiers in photonics —the science of light
Professor Ben Eggleton FAA FTSE FRSN
School of Physics and Nano Institute, University of Sydney

The mathematics of health honey bee hives
Professor Mary Myerscough
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney

Fitbits for sharks: combining biology and data science
Ms Julianna Kadar
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University

Drug discovery inspired by natural products
Professor Richard Payne
School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

Thursday, 12 March 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

Annual Meeting of the Four Societies
A joint meeting presented by the the Australian Institute of Energy, the Australian Nuclear Association, the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia, and the Royal Society of NSW

Venue: Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Challenges for the Future: Energy Storage and Waste Plastic—Two Australian solutions going global
Professor Thomas Maschmeyer HonDSc FAA FTSE FMAE FRSN
School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

Postponed

Thursday, 19 March

AEDT

On the Shoulders of Giants
A joint presentation of the of the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts and the Royal Society of NSW

Venue: Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Henry Carmichael: Educational Progressive, Social Reformer, Secularist and Winegrower
Dr Lesley Scanlon
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts and the University of Sydney

Wednesday, 22 April

6.00pm AEST

153rd Annual General Meeting (6.00pm)
1282nd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture (immediately following)

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Presidential Reflections—science stuff and the President’s random path
Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan AO FAA FRSN
President, Royal Society of NSW

Thursday, 21 May

7.00–8.30pm AEST

[email protected]: May 2020

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Ten: the Mapping of Colonial Australia
Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
University of Newcastle and the Royal Society of NSW

Wednesday, 3 June

6.30pm AEDT

1283rd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Drinking for three: Mother, baby and society
Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM FRSN FAHMS
University of Sydney and Sydney Children’s Hostpital, Westmead

Saturday, 27 June

7.00pm AEST

Virtual Annual Dinner, Distinguished Fellow's Lecture and 199th Anniversary

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Education and Evidence in a Post-Truth, Post-COVID World
Distinguished Professor Brian Schmidt AC FRS DistFRSN FAA
Vice-Chancellor, Australian National University

Wednesday, 8 July

6.30pm AEST

1284th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Why Art Matters in Times of Crisis
Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE FRSN
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Wednesday, 5 August 

6.30pm AEST

1285th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Growing Black Tall Poppies 
Speaker: Professor Peter Radoll
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), University of Canberra

Tuesday, 18 August

6.00pm AEST

Science Week Lectures

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The COVID Curve in Context:  or Back to the Future—something old and some new 
Speaker: Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW and University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 19 August

3.30pm AEST

The Clancy Collection—an Exhibition of Maps

Venue: Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney

Charting a Course: a 500 year story of discovery and development of Sydney 
Guide: Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW

Thursday, 20 August

6.00pm AEST

Science Week Lectures

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The Periodic Table: a medley of haphazard facts falling into line and order 
Speaker: Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert
Royal Society of NSW and UNSW Sydney

Wednesday, 2 September

6.30pm AEST

1286th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The Dawn of Molecular Medicine - Gene Therapy: Past, Present and Future 
Speaker: Professor John Rasko AO
Head, Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program, Centenary Institute

Wednesday, 7 October

6.30pm AEDT

1287th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Where now for the study of time? 
Speaker: Professor Huw Price FAHA FBA
Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Wednesday, 14 October

3.30pm AEDT

The Clancy Collection—an Exhibition of Maps (repeated)

Venue: Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney

Charting a Course: a 500 year story of discovery and development of Sydney 
Guide: Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW

Thursday, 5 November

9.00am - 4.30pm AEDT

Royal Society of NSW and Four Academies Annual Forum

Venue: Government House, Sydney, Live Streaming and subsequent availability on YouTube

Topic: After COVID-19: Creating the Best of Times from the Worst of Times

Wednesday, 11 November

6.30pm AEDT

1288th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Topic: How Good is NSW — The Role of Helicobacter Pylori in Peptic Ulcer Disease
A series documenting past and present discoveries that have made a difference
Speaker: Professor Thomas Borody and Emeritus Professor Adrian Lee

Wednesday, 9 December

6.30pm AEDT

1289th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Topic: Dispelling climate change myths  how ocean physics can help explain surprises in the modern-day climate record
Speaker: Scientia Professor Matthew England FRSN FAA

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Hunter Branch Meetings

DateEvent

Friday, 31 January

5.00 for 5.30pm AEDT

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-1

Venue: Newcastle City Hall (Hunter Room), 290 King Street, Newcastle

Mathematics in Industry: Optimisation in Action — Unlocking Value in the Mining, Energy, and Agriculture Industries
Professor Ryan Loxton
Curtin University

Wednesday, 27 May

5.30pm AEST

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-2

Venue: Zoom Webinar

COVID-19 and confusion: the story of a nasty but nice viral receptor
Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers AM DistFRSN FAA
University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 29 July

6.00pm AEST

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-3

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Architecture and the Cultivation of Vitality
Professor Pia Ednie-Brown
University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 27 October

6.00pm AEDT

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-4

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The Engaged University: Advancing Research and Innovation Through Powerful Partnerships
Professor Janet Nelson
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 2 December

6.00pm AEDT

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-5

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Planetary Health: Safeguarding Health in the Anthropocene Epoch
Professor Tony Capon
Monash University

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Sydney meetings 

Hunter meetings

Southern Highlands meetings

 

 

Details of events scheduled for the remainder of the current year by the Southern Highlands branch can be found on its website.

Details of past events held by the Southern Highlands branch can be found here.

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