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

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Women and science: lecture 3

Women and science, lecture 3   “Climate change and our
   life support system”

   Professor Lesley Hughes FRSN
   Dept. of Biological Sciences
   Macquarie University

Venue: Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney
Date and time: Thursday, 20 June 2019, 6pm – 7.30
Light refreshments will be served before the lecture
Cost: $15 – SMSA Members and RSNSW Members and Fellows,
$20 – guests and general entry
Registration: here

Our climate system is changing rapidly as a result of the burning of fossil fuels. In Australia, we are already experiencing severe drought, increased bushfire and flooding risk, coastal erosion and unprecedented heatwaves. The changing climate is affecting all sectors – our economy, food security, health, and communities. But it is our environmental life support system that is feeling the impacts most significantly, with climate change exacerbating many other factors that lead to species loss and habitat decline.

Lesley HughesDistinguished Professor Lesley Hughes joins us to summarise the latest global and national trends in the climate and identify the most important observed and future impacts, with an emphasis on biodiversity. She will also outline what we need to do to achieve a stable climate by the second half of this century, and how we need to change our approach to conservation.
But it’s not all bad news; we do have many exciting opportunities to ensure a viable future, both for the planet’s species and our children.

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.

1274th OGM and open lecture

Burford
   “Past, present and future of polymers:
    is the plastics age over?”

   Emeritus Professor Robert Burford FRSN
   UNSW

Date: Wednesday 3 July 2019, 6pm for 6.30
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (enter by Shakespeare Place)
Entry (includes a welcome drink): $25 for non-members, $15 for Members and Associate Members of the Society 
Dress code: business
Dinner (including drinks): $85 for Members and Associate Members, $95 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., or phone 9431 8691

The search for synthetic alternatives (including polymers) to scarce natural materials is not new, and substitution occurred well before today’s plastic bottles and packaging.  A reward of $10,000 for billiard balls, hitherto made from Sri Lankan elephant tusks, ultimately led to thermosets derived from cellulose.  Synthetic nylon stockings replaced unavailable silk (and made Du Pont wealthy) whilst synthetic rubber helped win the war.  The early history of polymer manufacture combines uneducated invention and entrepreneurship with debtor’s courts and skulduggery.  During the 20th century today’s ‘commodity’ polymers emerged, these being based on hydrocarbons including ethylene and propylene.  The public appetite for new synthetics that peaked in the 1950s and 60s (think of the movie The Graduate) has reversed despite polymer production showing unabated growth.  Scarcely a day now passes without reminders of waste, whether it is floating ‘continents’ or containers of Australian plastic being returned from overseas.  The solutions to today’s ‘polymer pollution’ need creative ideas and imaginative solutions but may provide lucrative opportunities.  Several possibilities will be discussed that may catalyse blue-sky input from the audience.

Emeritus Professor Robert Burford has made and broken plastics and rubber for over 40 years, first investigating cracking in nylons before research at the Australian Synthetic Rubber Company.  Since joining UNSW in 1978 he has interacted with the polymer industry at many levels.  He took students to draconian factories to motivate them beyond the factory floor, was a Co-op Program coordinator to attract top students to sometimes enter the same factories, and has been actively engaged in consulting, often examining polymer failures.  He was a lead researcher with the Cooperative Research Centre for Polymers, helping for example to develop a new family of fire performance cables.  He retired as Head of Chemical Engineering at UNSW in 2014 but still consults and volunteers at the Powerhouse Museum in conservation.

2019 Dirac Medal and lecture

   Lene Hau
   “Nothing goes faster than light - usually!”

   Professor Lene Vestergaard Hau
   Harvard University

Date and time: Tuesday 23 July 2019, 6–8pm
Venue: Tyree Room, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Sydney
Cost: free
Reservations: here

This year’s lecture will explore how Lene and her team have slowed, stopped and restarted light. The observations represent the ultimate control over the inter-conversion of light and matter, and point to novel paradigms for quantum information processing.

“In our laboratory, we have used ultra-cold atom clouds to slow light pulses to the speed of a bicycle, which is 50 million times lower than the light speed in a vacuum.  In the process, a light pulse spatially compresses by the same large factor, from 1 km to only 0.02 mm, and the pulse can then be completely stopped and later restarted.

“From here, we have taken matters further: stopped and extinguished a light pulse in one part of space and revived it in a completely different location.  In the process, the light pulse is converted to a perfect matter copy that can be stored – put on the shelf – sculpted, and then turned back to light.  The storage time can be many seconds, and during this time light could – under normal circumstances – travel back and forth to the Moon several times over.”

The Dirac Medal for the Advancement of Theoretical Physics is awarded by UNSW in association with the Australian Institute of Physics NSW branch and The Royal Society of NSW.  The Lecture and the Medal commemorate the visit to UNSW in 1975 of the British Nobel laureate, Professor Paul Dirac.  Professor Dirac gave five lectures which were published as a book Directions of Physics.  He donated the royalties to UNSW for the establishment of the Dirac Lecture and Prize, which consists of a silver medal and honorarium. It was first awarded in 1979.

UNSW Centre for Ideas event

Elizabeth Blackburn  “The telomere effect”

  Professor Elizabeth Blackburn
  AC FAA FRS DistFRSN
  Dept. of Biochemistry and Biophysics
  University of California San Francisco

Friday 16 August 2019, 6.30pm
City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place, Sydney

Cost: $35 without discount, $25 for RSNSW Members and Fellows, and for UNSW alumni and staff, $15 for UNSW students and under-18s (plus booking fee on-line or by phone)

To buy tickets: click here.

Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn delivers the inaugural Gerald Westheimer Lecture, chaired by UNSW Sydney’s Dean of Science, Professor Emma Johnston.

Why does ageing take such different paths for different individuals?  Why do some of us remain healthy and active into later life, while others age more rapidly?  Elizabeth Blackburn’s discoveries about telomeres, the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes, have transformed the way we think about these important questions and earned her a Nobel Prize in 2009.  Although we have long understood the impact of our genetic inheritance on our health, Blackburn’s work has shown us the key role that telomeres and the enzyme telomerase play in the ageing process.

Be part of a special event with Elizabeth Blackburn as she discusses her work in this fascinating space and its implications for the future of ageing.

This talk is part of the Sydney Science Festival, and is supported by the Crawford Fund and Science & Technology Australia.

Gerald Westheimer Lectureship

The Gerald Westheimer Lecture is a new biennial lecture series for UNSW Science thanks to a generous gift from Professor Gerald Westheimer AM FRS.  This flagship initiative will invite eminent international researchers to spend time in residence at the University.

Elizabeth Blackburn

Dr Elizabeth Blackburn has been a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research, having discovered the molecular nature of telomeres – the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that serve as protective caps essential for preserving the genetic information – and co-discovered the ribonucleoprotein enzyme, telomerase.  She is also known for her championing of diversity and inclusion in the sciences.  Blackburn and her research team also collaborate in a range of investigations of the roles of telomere biology in human health and diseases, through clinical and other human studies.  Born in Australia, Dr Blackburn earned degrees from the University of Melbourne, University of Cambridge and Yale University.  She has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award for Basic Medical Research, and in 2007 was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Calendar of Sydney meetings in 2019

Wednesday 6 February

1270th OGM and open lecture: 2018 Scholarship presentations

Evelyn Todd, University of Sydney

“Using genetics to improve athletic performance in throughbred horses”

Fiona McDougall, Macquarie University

“Human-associated bacteria and antibiotic resistance in grey-headed flying foxes”

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Monday 25 February

Annual Meeting of the Four Societies

“Nuclear energy as an option for Australia?”

Helen Cook, GNE Advisory

Venue: Allens, Level 28, Deutsche Bank Place, 126 Phillip Street, Sydney

Time: 7.15 ‒ 9am

Tuesday 26 February

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Speaking of music"

“Jazz and democracy”

Dr. Wesley J. Watkins IV

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Wednesday 6 March

1271st OGM and open lecture

“Using genomics to conserve Australia's biodiversity”

Professor Katherine Belov FRSN, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Thursday 21 March

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Women and science"

“Mary Shelley, scientist, and Frankenstein”

Suzanne Burdon

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Wednesday 3 April

AGM and 1272nd OGM and open lecture

Address by ex-President: “Measuring what we can: or how to lose weight on May 20th”

Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert AM FRSN, School of Chemistry, UNSW

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 5.45 for 6pm start of AGM. Open lecture and OGM 6.30pm

Thursday 2 May

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Women and science"

“Ada Lovelace, without whom we might not have computers”

Susannah Fullerton OAM FRSN

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Friday 10 May

Annual dinner of the Royal Society of NSW

Guest of honour: Her Excellency Margaret Beazley AO QC, Governor of NSW

Presentation of awards for 2018

Distinguished Fellow's address: Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons FRS FAA DistFRSN FTSE, School of Physics, UNSW
“The new field of atomic electronics”

Venue: Swissotel, 48 Market St, Sydney

Time: 6.15 for 7pm

Wednesday 5 June

1273rd OGM and open lecture

“This talk may cause side effects: nocebo effects in medicine”

Dr Kate Faasse, School of Psychology, UNSW

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Thursday 20 June

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Women and science"

“Climate change and our life support system”

Professor Lesley Hughes, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Wednesday 3 July

1274th OGM and open lecture

“Past, present and future of polymers: is the plastics age over?”

Professor Robert Burford FRSN, School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Thursday 18 July

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Women and science"

“tba”

speaker tba

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Tuesday 23 July

Dirac lecture

“Nothing goes faster than light - usually!”

Professor Lene Hau, Department of Physics, Harvard University

Venue: Tyree Room, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW

Time: 6pm

Wednesday 7 August

1275th OGM and open lecture

“Science and politics”

Professor Peter Shergold AC FRSN, Chancellor, Western Sydney University

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

August

Poggendorff lecture

“tba”

Professor Robert F. Park FRSN, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney

Venue: tba

Time: 5:30 for 6pm

August

four Science Week talks

individual talk topics tba

speakers tba

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Times: tba

Wednesday 4 September

1276th OGM and open lecture

“History and sociology of medicine in south-east Asia”

Associate Professor Hans Pols, School of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Thursday 19 September

Clarke lecture

“tba”

Professor Emma Johnston AO FAA FRSN, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW

Venue: tba

Time: tba

date tba

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Women and science"

“Visual perception and aboriginal art”

Emeritus Professor Barbara Gillam FASSA FRSN, School of Psychology, UNSW

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Wednesday 2 October

1277th OGM and open lecture

“Other minds”

Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith, School of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Thursday 17 October

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Women and science"

“Electricity, astronomy and natural history”

Anne Harbers

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Wednesday 6 November

1278th OGM and open lecture

“The beginning of weather forecasting: Matthew Maury, Robert FitzRoy FRS and L. F. Richardson FRS”

Professor Herbert Huppert, Institute of Theoretical Geophysics, University of Cambridge

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Thursday 7 November

Royal Society of NSW and Four Learned Academies Forum

“Making space for Australia”

Venue: NSW Government House, Sydney

Time: tba

Thursday 21 November

RSNSW/SMSA joint series "Women and science"

“An accidental radio astronomer”

Emeritus Professor Anne Green, School of Physics, University of Sydney

Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

Wednesday 4 December

1279th OGM and open lecture

Royal Society of NSW 2019 Jak Kelly Award and Christmas party

“tba”

Jak Kelly Award winner (tba)

Venue: State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Time: 6 for 6.30pm

European tour: the history of science

Academy Travel
Padua – Florence – Paris – London

A tour for the Royal Society of NSW in conjunction with the State Library of NSW Foundation

This tour is now fully subscribed; no more places are available.

19 September – 4 October 2019

Overview

Explore the history of science, from Vesalius in Padua to Galileo in Florence and the flourishing of modern science in Paris and London. This 16-day private tour for the Royal Society of NSW in conjunction with The State Library of NSW Foundation includes guided visits to many exceptional museums, rare access to collections, libraries and archival material, and the expert guidance of specialists and curators. It follows the great story of modern science, taking you from Padua to Florence, Paris and London, and includes day trips to Bologna, Siena and Cambridge. A four-night pre-tour extension to Venice is also available.

Discover
• The birth of modern science, from Galileo’s telescopes to Darwin’s theory of evolution
• The history of medicine: Vesalius in Padua, Pasteur in Paris and the medical collections of London
• The transmission of knowledge, from rare books and manuscripts to the modern museum
• The history of the university at Padua, Bologna, Paris and Cambridge
• Interaction between the arts and sciences in moments of great change from the Renaissance to the modern world.

Tour details

Dates: 19 September – 4 October 2019
Price: $9,270 pp. twin share; $2,280 single supplement
For more information and to register your interest, contact Academy Travel on 9235 0023 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Maximum group size: 20

Tour highlights

• Padua: the world’s first anatomy theatre, the oldest botanic garden and Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel
• Special access to library collections in Florence, Paris and London
• Private tour of the Pompidou Centre, Paris’ modern art museum
• Day trips to Siena, Bologna, Cambridge and Greenwich
• Specialist museums dedicated to Pasteur, Curie, Galileo and Darwin
• London science: from the manuscripts of the Wellcome Library to the National Science Museum.

Itinerary

map of Europe Tour 2019Days 1–3: arrive Padua.  Visit the world’s oldest anatomy theatre and oldest botanic garden, and the Scrovegni Chapel, Giotto’s masterpiece. Day trip to Bologna.
Days 4–6: explore Florence, including the Galileo Museum, Uffizi, with special access to rare collections. Day trip to Siena and the wonderful cuisine of Chianti.
Days 7–10: discover a different side of Paris, from special museums dedicated to Pasteur and Curie to a private tour of the Pompidou Centre.
Days 11–15: arrive London. Enjoy visits to Down House (the home of Charles Darwin), the National Observatory and prime meridian at Greenwich, and a range of museums, from the Museum of Natural History to the private collection of the Royal College of Physicians. Day trip to Cambridge.
Day 16: departure.

Tour leader

Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN has had a distinguished career in medical research and has published books on the early mapping of Australia. He has led many similar successful expeditions. Expert guides will meet the group in each destination.

Site by ezerus.com.au

Privacy policy  |  Links to other societies

All rights reserved; copyright © The Royal Society of NSW.