Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events
FEB
24

The Four Societies Meeting 2005

"Geothermal energy in Australia"

Australian Institute of Energy
Australian Nuclear Association
Engineers Australia (NUC Engineering Panel)
The Royal Society of New South Wales

The meeting was hosted by Engineers Australia and the speaker was Dr Doone Wyborn.

Wednesday 23 February 2005, 6 pm
Harricks Auditorium, Eagle House, 118 Alfred Street, Milsons Point


ABSTRACT

Geodynamics Limited is nearing the completion of its "Proof of Concept" hot fractured rock (HFR) program to extract superheated hot water for electricity generation from granite buried beneath the Cooper Basin. In 2003 the Habanero-1 well penetrated permeable sub-horizontal fractures at more than 4,000 m depth. The well was completed at 4,421 m with overpressures in the fractures around this depth exceeding pressures projected from a hydrostatic gradient by more than 5,000 psi. The static rock temperature at the bottom of the well is approximately 250°C.

The overpressures assisted in the development of the world's largest artificial underground heat exchanger, a volume of rock more than 0.7 km3 defined by more than 11,700 microseismic events located on-site during the injection of 23 million litres of fresh water into the granite fracture network.

The second well (Habanero-2) was located 500 m SW of the first. It intersecting a major fracture, interpreted to be an extension of a dominant fracture in Habanero-1, at a depth of 4,325 m. During the operation the lower 245 m of the drill stem was irretrievably lost, and the well was subsequently sidetracked to a total depth of 4,358 m, just below the major fracture.

Flow and circulation testing between the two wells in early 2005 is designed to demonstrate the economic potential of the discovered far-field geothermal system and the heat exchange volume between the two wells.


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Dr Doone Wyborn is Executive Director (Science and Exploration) of Geodynamics Limited, and one of the founding Directors of Geodynamics. He is an internationally known geoscientist specialising in granitic rocks. He obtained his PhD on granite research in 1983, and served more than 25 years with the Bureau of Mineral Resources and the Australian Geological Survey Organisation, including research in Antarctica and other overseas locations.

Dr Wyborn has been working on the potential of HFR geothermal energy for the last 12 years and is recognised as a leading Australian expert authority on this subject. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency Geothermal Implementing Agreement and has studied HFR geothermal projects in Japan, Europe and the USA. The topic of his talk will be Australian Geothermal Project nearing completion of "Proof of Concept".

Report on the General Monthly Meeting by Jill Rowling

Dr Doone Wyborn introduced his talk by explaining that Geodynamics Limited is nearing the completion of its "Proof of Concept" hot fractured rock (HFR) program to extract superheated hot water for electricity generation from granite buried beneath the Cooper Basin. In 2003 the Habanero-1 well penetrated permeable sub-horizontal fractures at more than 4,000m depth. The well was completed at 4,421m with overpressures in the fractures around this depth exceeding pressures projected from a hydrostatic gradient by more than 5,000psi. The static rock temperature at the bottom of the well is approximately 250°C.

Dr Doone Wyborn went on to explain that so far, Geodynamics had confined their drilling to the far north of South Australia's Cooper Basin. The geological structure they are working on to extract heat is unique in that it is possibly the closest and hottest granite body to the earth's surface. The heat is maintained partly by a relatively insulating sedimentary layer over the granite, keeping in some of the heat that was present during the emplacement of the granite, and a little heat retention by the radioactive decay of elements naturally present in the granite. Fractures have developed in the rock as a natural part of cooling, and these are naturally filled with hot water under pressure. The fractures in the granite are uniquely horizontal in nature.

Dr Wyborn explained some of the problems and surprises they have encountered due to the heat and pressure, and how Geodynamics have two wells, both in hydraulic communication with each other based on pressure tests in one measured in the other. These two wells, Habanero-1 and Habanero-2, are being used to test the production of geothermal heat and then hopefully electricity generation.

Some of the tests involve pumping water down into one of the wells, under pressure, and carefully recording the microseismic activity in order to estimate the productive fractured area. The audience was treated to a visual presentation of these tests measured over time as well as fracture and heat models at various depths over time.

After the presentation, the audience asked numerous questions from a variety of areas to which Dr Wyborn was able to respond superbly. The questions and discussions continued out the door, up the street and over dinner which was held nearby.

FEB
03

1132nd General Monthly Meeting

"Rev. W. B. Clarke - 19th century polymath and his scientific correspondence"

Dr Ann Moyal AM

Wednesday 2 February 2005, 6.30 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre.

ABSTRACT

The Rev William Branwhite Clarke, Australia's pioneer geologist, Anglican clergyman, scientific savant and pioneer, was one of the key figures of Australian nineteenth-century science. He flourished at a time when science was both the province of the independent and private investigator and as it moved towards a growing professionalism and institutionalisation. He served as an influential Council member of the Philosophical Society from its foundation in 1850 and as its Vice-President in 1858. In 1866, he was a key mover behind the foundation of that Society's successor, The Royal Society of New South Wales, and served as its inaugural and influential Vice-President for seven years.

Clarke took a striking role in the reception of Darwin's Origin of the Species in Australia. Like the majority of British scientists in 1860, colonial scientists admired Darwin as a naturalist, but detested the implication of his evolutionary ideas. The Clarke-Darwin correspondence is a testament to Clarke's open-mindedness. In turn Darwin absorbed Clarke's notes in later editions of The Origin, and served as one of Clarke's sponsors in his election to The Royal Society in 1876.

One of Clarke's lasting memorial remains with the Royal Society of New South Wales. Late in 1878, The Royal Society of New South Wales struck the Clarke Medal as the first scientific medal to be issued in the Colonies. The annual award honours work in the natural sciences in Australia.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Dr Moyal is a leading historian of Australian Science, a graduate of the University of Sydney and a Doctor of Letters from the Australian National University. She is the author of many books and papers. Dr Moyal spoke on the topic of her book that was recently launched at the State Library: The Scientific Correspondence of the Rev. W B Clarke, Australia's Pioneer Geologist.

Report on the General Monthly Meeting

Dr. Moyal remarked that the Rev. W. B. Clarke would have been delighted that the Society he did so much to establish had survived to its 1132nd monthly meeting. The full text of her address will appear in a coming issue of the Society's Journal, and an extensive abstract appeared in the last Bulletin, so a brief note will suffice here.

A strong sense of history, which led W B Clarke to carefully preserve all his voluminous correspondence, has established him as a very important figure in the development of science in Australia. It also shows that far from being a parochial outpost of empire we were doing scientific work of international significance even in the 19th century.

He supported young scientists at the period when science was making the difficult transition from amateur to professional and was influential with Governors and the Establishment.

His creed for the society is perhaps even more needed today than it was then: "We must strive to discern clearly, understand fully, and report faithfully, to adjure hasty theories, and unsupported conjectures; where we are in doubt, not to be positive."

JAN
21

2009 Sydney Lecture Series

​Wednesday
25 February

​The Four Societies Lecture. Hosted by Australian Nuclear Association, Nuclear Panel of Engineers Australia, Australian Institute of Energy and The Royal Society of NSW

An Industry Update on Global Nuclear Power and the Opportunities for Australia

Dr Selena Ng, Areva NC, Australia
This meeting will also be our 1168th Ordinary General Meeting

Venue: Engineers Australia Lecture Theatre, 8 Thomas St, Chatswood
Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm
​Friday
1 April

​Presidential Address: Constancy Amid Chaos: Defining our Place in the World

John Hardie, President of the Royal Society of NSW 2007-2009

142nd Annual General Meeting
and 1169th Ordinary General Meeting
​Thursday
30 April

​The Pollock Memorial Lecture, presented by the University of Sydney and the Royal Society of NSW.
 
The Universe from Beginning to End

Dr Brian Schmidt, Federation Fellow, Mount Stromlo Observatory, ANUThe Pollock Memorial Lecture 6.30 pm, Eastern Avenue Auditorium, Sydney Uni
​Wednesday
6 May

1170th General Meeting

A Scientist vs. the Law

Professor Brynn Hibbert, Chair of Analytical Chemistry, University of NSW​
​Wednesday
3 June

1171st General Meeting

New Environmentally Friendly Approaches to Cooling Buildings

Professor Geoff Smith, Professor of Physics, University of Technology, Sydney​
​Wednesday
1 July

​1172nd General Meeting

Accurate Measurement: the Vital Backbone of Australian Science & Industry

Dr Laurie Besley, Chief Executive & Chief Metrologist, National Measurement Institute
​Wednesday
5 August

​1173rd General Meeting

What Will Coral Reefs Look Like in 2050?

A/Professor Peter Ralph, Head, Aquatic Photosynthesis Group, University of Technology, Sydney
​Wednesday
2 September

​1174th General Meeting

Weird Animal Genomes and Sex


Professor Jenny Graves, Head, Comparative Genomics Research Group, Australian National University
Wednesday
7 October



​1175th General Meeting

The SKAMP Project - A Telescope Reborn to Look Back in Time

Professor Anne Green, Head of School of Physics, University of Sydney
​Friday
30 October

​Clarke Memorial Lecture

Climate Change through the Lens of the Geological Record: the Example of Sea Level

Professor Kurt Lambeck, AO, FAA, FRS, Distinguished Professor of Geophysics at the Australian National University, President of the Australian Academy of Science

Venue: Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney at 5.30 pm
​Wednesday
4 November

​1176th General Meeting

Hominid Biogeography in South East Asia: the real significance of Hobbits

Professor Mike Morwood, Professor of Archaeology, University of Wollongong
​Wednesday
2 December

​Studentship Awards

Studentship Awards 2009, in conjunction with our Christmas Party
JAN
18

2010 Sydney Lecture Series

​Wednesday
17th February

​The Four Societies Lecture. Hosted by Australian Nuclear Association, Nuclear Panel of Engineers Australia, Australian Institute of Energy and The Royal Society of NSW

1178th Ordinary General Meeting

An Industry Update on Global Nuclear Power and the Opportunities for Australia

Dr Selena Ng, Areva NC, Australia

Venue: Engineers Australia Lecture Theatre, 8 Thomas St, Chatswood

Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm
​Friday
12th March

​1179th Ordinary General Meeting & 143rd AGM with the Anniversary Address

Annual Dinner and Presentation of Awards for 2009

John Hardie, President of the Royal Society of NSW 2007-2010
​Wednesday
7th April

Science and Scientists in the Modern World

Professor Jill Trewhella, University of Sydney
Wednesday
5th May

1180th Ordinary General Meeting

The Weird World of Nanoscale Gold

A/Professor Mike Cortie​
Wednesday
2nd June

​1181st Ordinary General Meeting

Science for Gentlemen - The Royal Society of NSW in the Nineteenth Century

Dr Peter Tyler, Historian for the RSNSW
​Wednesday
7th July

​1182nd Ordinary General Meeting

Pluto and the Ueber-nerds

Dr Fred Watson, Anglo Australian Observatory
​Wednesday
4th August

​1183rd Ordinary General Meeting

The Dynamic Brain: Modelling Sleep, Wake, and Activity in the Working Brain


Professor Peter Robinson, University of Sydney
​Wednesday
1st September

​1184th Ordinary General Meeting

Long-term Changes in Solar Activity - Including the Current "Grand Minimum"

Dr Ken McCracken, Senior Research Associate, University of Maryland
​Wednesday
6th October

​1185th Ordinary General Meeting

Is the Climate Right for Nuclear Power?

Dr Ziggy Switkowski, ANSTO
​Wednesday
3rd November

​1186th Ordinary General Meeting

Powering the US Grid from Solar and Wind

Dr David Mills, Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of Ausra, Inc.
​Friday
26th November

1187th Ordinary General Meeting

2010 Liversidge Lecture in Chemistry

Professor John White CMG FAA FRS, Australian National University​
​December

​Studentship recipients
JAN
24

2011 Sydney Lecture Series

​Thursday
24th February

​The Four Societies Lecture. Hosted by Australian Nuclear Association, Nuclear Panel of
Engineers Australia, Australian Institute of Energy and The Royal Society of NSW
1188th Ordinary General Meeting

Geothermal Energy - Current State of Play and Developments

Dr Stuart Mc Donnell, Chief Operating Officer for Geodynamics and
Mr Stephen de Belle of Granite Power.

Venue: Hamilton Room, Trade & Investment Centre, Industry & Investment NSW,
Level 47, MLC Centre, 19 Martin Place, Sydney. Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm
​Tuesday
22nd March

​The Two Societies Meeting - Australian Institute of Physics and Royal Society of NSW.

1189th Ordinary General Meeting

Searching for Nanosecond Laser Pulses from Outer Space
Dr Ragbir Bhathal


Venue: Slade Lecture, Theatre, School of Physics, University of Sydney.
​Wednesday
6th April

1190th Ordinary General Meeting & 144th AGM

Belief and Science: the Belief/Knowledge Dilemma

Join David Malouf and Barry Jones discuss the Belief/Knowledge Dilemma.​
​Friday
29th April

​Dirac Lecture 2011

Beauty and truth: their intersection in mathematics
and science


Lord May of Oxford.

Presented in conjunction with the University of New South Wales.

View the 2011 Dirac Lecture

​Wednesday
4th May

​1191st Ordinary General Meeting

Heading Towards the World's Largest Telescope: The Square Kilometre Array

Professor Michael Burton, School of Physics, University of New South Wales
​Wednesday
1st June

1192nd Ordinary General Meeting

Variation of Fundamental Constants from Big Bang to Atomic Clocks

Professor Victor Flambaum, School of Physics, University of New South Wales​
​Wednesday
6th July

​1193rd Ordinary General Meeting

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine: Prospects for Realising the Prometheus Myth


Professor John Rasko, Centenary Institute, University of Sydney and RPA Hospital

6.30 pm at the New Law Building, University of Sydney
​Wednesday
3rd August

​1194th Ordinary General Meeting

Schizophrenia: from Neuropathology to New Treatments


Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert, Macquarie Group Foundation Chair of Schizophrenia Research,

NeuRA, SRI and UNSW, and Professor, School of
Psychiatry, UNSW

6.00 for 6.30 pm at the New Law Seminar Room 102, New Law Building, University of Sydney
Wednesday
7th September



​1195th Ordinary General Meeting

Distributed Small-Scale Production of Chemicals - Why and How

Professor Brian Haynes, Sydney University

6.00 for 6.30 pm at the New Law Seminar Room 102, New Law Building, University of Sydney
​Wednesday
5th October

​1196th Ordinary General Meeting

Sex in the Sea: How Understanding the Weird and Bizarre Sex Lives of Fishes is the First Step to their Conservation

Prof. William Gladstone, University of Technology, Sydney

6.00 for 6.30 pm at the New Law Seminar Room 102, New Law Building, University of Sydney
​Wednesday
2nd November

​1197th Ordinary General Meeting

Grid-Connected Energy Storage: the Key to Sustainable Energy?

Professor Tony Vassallo, Sydney University

6.00 for 6.30 pm at the New Law Seminar Room 102, New Law Building, University of Sydney
​Wednesday
7th December

​1198th Ordinary General Meeting

Studentship Awards and Christmas Party

6.00 for 6.30 pm at St Pauls College, University of Sydney
​Tuesday
13th December


​Clarke Memorial Lecture
with a cocktail reception following.

5.30 pm at Eastern Avenue Auditorium, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney.
JAN
23

2012 Sydney Lecture Series

Meetings are held at various venues in Sydney (be sure to check the web-site a few days before the event for final venue details). Unless indicated, booking is not necessary. All welcome. Entry is free for RSNSW members. There is a charge of $7 for non-members. Meetings usually commence at 6:00 pm for 6:30pm.

​Wednesday
5 December 2012

1206th Ordinary General Meeting & Christmas Party

Venue: St Paul's College,
University of Sydney,
Sydney

Time: 6:30pm.
​Tuesday
20 November 2012

The Jak Kelly Award

In conjunction with with the Australian Institute of Physics

Venue: Slade Theatre, University of Sydney

Time: Student presentations from 2:30pm to 5:00pm
Lecture by Dr Stephen Bosi at 6:30pm.
​Monday
19 November 2012

The Liversidge Lecture in Chemistry

"Low carbon technologies: from brown coal and biomass to solar hydrogen"

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer FAA FTSE FRACI CChem ARC Future Fellow

Venue: New Law Lecture Theatre 101, New Law Building, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney.

Time: 5:45 for 6:00pm, followed by a reception at 7:00pm.

See Liversidge for further details regarding Prof Maschmeyer and an abstract of the lecture.
Wednesday
7 November 2012

1205th Ordinary General Meeting

"The unexpected nuclear renaissance: nuclear techniques benefiting mankind"

Speaker: Dr Adi Patterson

Venue: Union Universities & Schools Club,
25 Bent St (cnr Bent and Phillip Sts),
Sydney

Please note dress code: jacket and tie.

Time: 6:30pm. Enjoy a welcome drink from 6:00pm.
​​Wednesday
3 October 2012

​1204th Ordinary General Meeting

"Outsmarting superbugs"

Speaker: Professor Liz Harry

Venue: Union Universities & Schools Club,
25 Bent St (cnr Bent and Phillip Sts),
Sydney

Please note dress code: jacket and tie.

Time: 6:30pm. Enjoy a welcome drink from 6:00pm.
​Wednesday
5 September 2012

1203rd Ordinary General Meeting

"Climate change, regional drought and forest mortality:
are we seeing a new global phenomenon?"


Speaker: Professor Derek Eamus

Venue: Union Universities & Schools Club,
25 Bent St (cnr Bent and Phillip Sts),
Sydney

Please note dress code: jacket and tie.

Time: 6:30pm. Enjoy a welcome drink from 6:00pm.
​Wednesday
1 August 2012

1202nd Ordinary General Meeting

"Photonic circuits for the new information age: faster, smaller, smarter and greener"

Speaker: Prof. Benjamin Eggleton

Venue: Union Universities & Schools Club,
25 Bent St (cnr Bent and Phillip Sts),
Sydney

Time: 6:30pm.
​​Thursday 19 July
2012

The Dirac Lecture

"The accelerating universe"

Speaker: Professor Brian Schmidt, 2011 Nobel Laureate for Physics

Presented in conjunction with the University of New South Wales and the Australian Institute of Physics.

Venue: Tyree Room, Scientia Building, University of New South Wales

Time: 2:00pm

View the 2012 Dirac Lecture.
​Wednesday
4 July 2012

1201st Ordinary General Meeting

"Autoimmune diseases: obesity, nutrition, exercise and eating disorders"


Speaker: Prof. Ian Caterson AM

Venue: Union Universities & Schools Club,
25 Bent St (cnr Bent and Phillip Sts),
Sydney

Time: 6:30pm.
​Wednesday
6 June 2012

1200th Ordinary General Meeting

"Transit of Venus 2012 - what we and others saw."

Speaker: Dr. Andrew Jacob

Venue: Sydney Observatory, Observatory Hill

Time: 6:30pm (doors open at 6:20pm)

Click here for the flyer.

(Please be advised that parking is not provided.)

Our thanks to the Powerhouse Museum for hosting this meeting.

For more information on this rare and important astronomical event, see
www.transitofvenus.com.au
​Wednesday
2 May 2012

​1199th Ordinary General Meeting

Topic: "Understanding multidrug-resistant cancer and how to treat it"

Speaker: A/Prof Mary Bebawy, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the Graduate School of Health, The University of
Technology Sydney.

Venue: LT024, New Law Building, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Time: 6:30pm.
​Wednesday
4 April

The Royal Society Forum 2012

Topic: "The media and scientific research:
impact and influences"


How is science presented to the general public and is the
community at large well served? The rapid expansion of digital media has meant for the average consumer more and more choice, but is there a temptation to simply gravitate to those outlets that reinforce your own world view? Are your horizons expanding or shrinking?

What does this new media environment mean for the communication and dissemination of science?

MarkScott AO, Managing Director of the ABC and Professor Jill Trewhella FRSN, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Sydney University, will discuss the influence of the media on research.

Moderated by the ABC's Robyn Williams AM.

Venue: The Powerhouse Museum

Time: 6:30pm.

Click here for the flyer. The Forum was broadcast on ABC Radio National's BigIdeas on Thursday 17 May 2012: click broadcast to download the programme.
​Wednesday
4 April

Annual General Meeting

Venue: The Powerhouse Museum

Time: 5:00pm to 5:30pm
​Wednesday
7 March

The Four Societies Lecture

Hosted by the Royal Society of NSW, the Australian Nuclear Association, the Nuclear Panel of Engineers Australia, and the Australian Institute of Energy.

Topic: "Counting atoms for a living - tales of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry".

Speaker: Dr Andrew Smith, Senior Principal Research Scientist , ANSTO.

Venue: Hamilton-Parkes Room, NSW Trade & Investment Centre, Industry & Investment, Level 47, MLC Centre,
19 Martin Place, Sydney.

Time: 6:00pm

Proudly sponsored by NSW Trade & Investment and ANSTO.

Click here for the flyer
​Friday
24 February

Annual Dinner

Guest of honour: the Chief Scientist and Engineer of NSW, Professor Mary O'Kane.

Several of the Society's awards were presented on this occasion.
JAN
31

2013 Sydney Lecture Series

Meetings are held at various venues in Sydney (be sure to check the web-site a few days before the event for final venue details). Unless indicated, booking is not necessary. All welcome. Meetings usually commence at 6:00 pm for 6:30pm.

Entry is $5 for RSNSW members and there is a charge of $10 for non-members to cover venue hire and a welcome drink. We often have dinner after the meeting (the cost is $75 per head). Pre-booking is appreciated.

JAN
31

2014 Sydney Lecture Series

Meetings are held at various venues in Sydney (be sure to check the web-site a few days before the event for final venue details). Unless indicated, booking is not necessary. All welcome. Meetings usually commence at 6:00 pm for 6:30pm.

Entry is $5 for members of the Society and $20 for non-members to cover venue hire and a welcome drink. We often have dinner after the meeting (the cost is $75 per head). Pre-booking is appreciated.

DEC
04

The 2008 Liversidge Lecture

"Molecular materials - from clean energy storage to shrinking
crystals"

Cameron Kepert, Professor of Chemistry & Federation Fellow, School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

Wednesday 3 December 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

Once thought of as little more than symmetrical arrangements of discrete molecules, molecular materials have recently emerged as very much more than the sum of their individual parts. This lecture will describe how these materials are having considerable impact in two highly topical areas.

Hydrogen Storage. In the proposed hydrogen economy, hydrogen gas replaces fossil fuels as energy carrier within a potentially greenhouse-free energy cycle. One of the principal challenges in the adoption of this cycle is the design of efficient methods to store hydrogen - a notoriously volatile gas. It has been recently shown that molecular materials are excellent candidates in this area due to their very high surface areas and functional surfaces. Efforts to optimise the hydrogen storage capabilities of such materials will be described and a comparison with other materials given.

Negative Thermal Expansion (NTE, i.e., contraction with heating). The expansion of matter with increasing temperature is the cause of numerous technological problems. Once thought to be an immutable law of nature, it has been shown in the past decade that materials can be made that actually shrink upon warming. In addition to addressing the research behind this discovery, a brief description will be given of commercialisation efforts in this area.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Professor Cameron Kepert completed his first degree at The University of Western Australia before undertaking a PhD at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, University of London. In 1995 he moved to the University of Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow, where he commenced research into molecular framework materials. He was appointed to the University of Sydney in 1999 and currently holds the position of ARC Federation Fellow. He is the recipient of the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year, the AAS Le Févre Memorial Prize, the RSNSW Edgeworth David Medal, and the RACI Rennie Medal.

NOV
06

1166th General Monthly Meeting

"The oceans and climate change"

Professor Matthew England, Climate and Environmental Dynamics Laboratory, School of Mathematics, University of NSW

Wednesday 5 November 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

The oceans have always played a fundamental role in moderating global climate by transporting an excess of heat from the tropics to the poles. This occurs via global scale stationery eddies and a massive overturning of dense water at high latitudes. The oceans are also currently moderating climate change by absorbing massive amounts of heat and carbon. In addition, ocean circulation variations can have a profound impact on regional climate. Yet as the world's climate changes the moderating effect of the oceans will be dramatically reduced. In this talk I will outline the ocean's role in global mean climate and future climate change.

Other research directly relating to the oceans around Australia and the waters circling the Antarctic will also be explored. Twentieth century climate change has forced a poleward contraction of the Southern Hemisphere (SH) subpolar westerly winds. The implications of this wind shift for the ocean's thermohaline circulation (THC) is analyzed in models and, where available, observations. Substantial heat content anomalies can be linked to changes in the latitude and strength of the SH westerly winds. For example, the Southern Annular Mode projects onto sea surface temperature in a coordinated annular manner - with a conspiring of dynamic and thermodynamic processes yielding a strong SST signal. Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) change can be linked to fluctuations in the wind-driven Ekman transport of cool, low salinity water across the Subantarctic Front. Anomalies in air-sea heat fluxes and ice meltwater rates, in contrast, drive variability in Antarctic Surface Water, which is subducted along Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) density layers. SAMW variations also spike T-S variability in AAIW, particularly in the southeast Pacific and southeast Indian Oceans. The location of zero wind stress curl in the SH can also control the distribution of overturning in the North Pacific / North Atlantic. A southward wind shift can force a stronger Atlantic THC and enhanced stratification in the North Pacific, whereas a northward shift leads to a significantly reduced Atlantic THC and the development of vigorous sinking in the North Pacific. This is because the distribution of wind stress over the Southern Ocean influences the surface salinity contrast between the Pacific and Atlantic basins. The implications of these findings for oceanic climate change are discussed.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Professor Matthew England is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and the Director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC). England is a former Fulbright Scholar and winner of the Royal Society of Victoria Research Medal for 2007, two Eureka Prizes (Environmental Research 2006 and Land and Water 2008), the 2005 Priestley Medal and the Australian Academy of Science Frederick White Prize for 2004. He coordinated and led the 2007 Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists: a major international statement by the scientific community that specifies the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions required to minimise the risk of dangerous human-induced climate change (www.climate.unsw.edu.au/bali). He was a contributing author and reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second and Third Assessment Reports. He is an expert in the ocean's role in regional climate variability and global climate change.

OCT
02

1165th General Monthly Meeting

"Exploring the Milky Way: the past, present & future"

Dr Naomi McClure-Griffiths
CEO Science Leader at the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF)

Wednesday 1 October 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

Dr McClure-Griffiths took us on a walk around the Milky Way revealing what we know about the structure of the Galaxy and how gas in the Galaxy leads to its evolution. Her talk focused on our current work on the interstellar gas and magnetic field in the Milky Way and what it is telling us about the complex interstellar ecosystem of the Milky Way. She also discussed the world's next-generation radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be one hundred times more powerful than any existing facility and which we hope to host in Australia. She concluded by discussing how the SKA will revolutionise our understanding of our home galaxy.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Dr Naomi McClure-Griffiths is a CEO Science Leader at the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF), where she leads a research group with the aim of better understanding our own galaxy, the Milky Way. McClure-Griffiths has led two major surveys of the Milky Way including the Galactic All Sky-Survey, an on-going international project to produce an atlas of the hydrogen gas in the Milky Way. In 2006 she was the recipient of the Prime Minister's Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year for her discovery of a new spiral arm in the outer Milky Way.

SEP
04

1164th General Monthly Meeting

"Roles of telomeres and telomerase in human health and disease"

Dr Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Morris Herzstein Endowed Professor in Biology & Physiology, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of California

Wednesday 3 September 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

Telomeres consist of simple DNA sequences, which bind cellular protein factors and make a 'cap', thus securing each end of every chromosome. Without telomeric DNA and its special way of replicating, chromosome ends dwindle away as their telomeric DNA erodes, eventually causing cells to stop dividing altogether. Telomerase, a specialized ribonucleprotein reverse transcriptase, is important for long-term eukaryotic cell proliferation and genomic stability, because it replenishes the DNA at telomeres. Thus, depending on cell type, telomerase partially or completely counteracts the progressive shortening of telomeres that otherwise occurs. Telomerase is over-active in many human malignancies, and a potential target for anti-cancer approaches.

Human telomerase activity is present not only in malignant cancer cells, but also in stem cells and germline tissues. Although telomerase activity is normally diminished in adult human somatic cells, throughout life a minimal level of telomerase is still required for replenishment of tissues, such as the immune system. In collaborative studies we showed that telomerase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the body is depressed by care-giving stress in a cohort of care-giver mothers: the longer the care-giving situation had lasted, and the higher the quantifiable level of perceived stress, the lower the telomerase, and the shorter the telomeres. Low telomerase levels in the normal white blood cells was associated with six prominent risk factors, including chronic psychological stress, for cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, a recent collaborative interventional, longitudinal clinical study was performed with early prostate cancer patients. We found that following a 3-month period of documented comprehensive health intervention, telomerase increased - within the healthy range - in normal white blood cells, in association with quantified improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors and the patients' prostate cancer biopsy gene profiles. Implications of these and related findings for human disease progression and health will be discussed.

The speaker's presentation can be found here: Elizabeth Blackburn's Talk (~5 MB PDF).

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Prof. Blackburn is a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research. She discovered the molecular nature of telomeres - the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that serve as protective caps essential for preserving the genetic information - and discovered the enzyme telomerase, which replenishes telomeres. Throughout her career, Blackburn has been honoured by her peers as the recipient of many prestigious awards, including The Albert Lasker Medical Research Award in Basic Medical Research (2006), and she is the 2008 North American Laureate for L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science. In 2007 she was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most influential People.

AUG
07

1163rd General Monthly Meeting

"Alzheimer's disease; the man, the discovery of the disease and
prospects for avoidance"

Dr Bruce Warren, Former Professor of Pathology, The University of NSW.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Dr Bruce Warren M.B. B.S. D.Phil. D.Sc (Oxford) was head of the Department of Anatomical Pathology at Prince Henry Hospital and Professor of Pathology in the University of New South Wales from 1980 to 1997. In these roles he developed an interest in multi-infarct dementia (i.e. vascular dementia) and in Alzheimer's disease.

ABSTRACT

Lois Alzheimer was born on 14 June 1864. His father was a notary public in the Bavarian town of Markbeit. He attended several universities and received his medical degree in 1887 at the age of 23 from Wurzberg University. In 1894 Alzheimer married a banker's widow, Cacilia Geisenheimer. His marriage to an heiress allowed him to concentrate on his research work. Following work in Frankfurt and Heidelberg, Alzheimer moved to the Munich University Psychiatric Clinic in 1903. In 1908 Alzheimer was appointed Associate Professor and Director of the clinic's Anatomical Pathology laboratory. In 1912 King Wilhelm II of Prussia signed the certificate of appointment of Dr. Alzheimer to a full Professorship of psychiatry at the University of Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland). His health deteriorated and he died aged 51 as a result of cardiac failure on 15 December 1915.

Two important factors in Alzheimer's discovery of this disease were his friendship with Franz Nissl and the mentorship provided to him by Professor Emil Kraepelin. Nissl developed stains for thin sections of the brain so that structures in the brain could be observed under the microscope. Together they conducted an extensive investigation of the pathology of the nervous system, particularly the cerebral cortex.

The first case of Alzheimer's disease was a female, August Deter, who Alzheimer met in 1901 when she was admitted to the Institute in Frankfurt at the age of 51. She died in 1906 at the time Alzheimer was working in Munich. His former chief gave him access to both clinical records and the brain. Her symptoms of disorientation, impaired memory and difficulties reading and writing became more marked and there was a gradual loss of higher mental functions. His examination of the brain revealed thinned cerebral cortex and, under the microscope, neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The second case was a 56-year-old man, Johann F., who was admitted to the Munich clinic in 1907 and died in 1910. He showed cerebral changes similar to the first case. Emil Kraepelin named this illness Alzheimer's disease.

The recommendations from the recently convened panel of eminent geriatricians and psychogeriatricians led by Associate Professor Michael Woodward will be outlined. The panel surveyed the literature to identify dementia risk reduction strategies.

Copies of the Alzheimers Australia's brochure "Think or Sink" will be distributed at the lecture. These contain recommendations from the panel of geriatricians and psychogeriatricians, identifying dementia risk-reduction strategies.
- For the brain: when the brain is active the brain is protected.
- For the body: exercise regularly.
- For the diet: a balanced diet promotes brain health.
- For the social life: an active social life is good for the brain.
- Habits: stop smoking and don't abuse alcohol.

JUL
03

1162nd General Monthly Meeting

"An Australian ecological blind-spot: rabbit impact on native
plants and animals"

Dr Brian Cooke, Invasive Animals CRC, University of Canberra

Wednesday 2 July 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

Introduced wild rabbits have long been regarded as a major almost insoluble economic problem in Australia, requiring the unusual step of introducing successive biological control agents, such as myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhage disease. Despite this, however, the rabbits' impact on native vegetation has been poorly understood, though CSIRO scientists have worked on rabbits for over 50 years. It is now clear that rabbits compete directly with many of our native animals such as the grey and red kangaroos and common wombats. It takes less than 1 rabbit per hectare to completely inhibit regeneration of many tree and shrub species in natural woodlands.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Dr Brian Cooke has worked on the management of pest animals for over 40 years. Much of this work was done within the Animal and Plant Control Commission in South Australia before he transferred to the CSIRO. He has also spent time working in other environments including the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen Islands and 2 years in the equatorial Islands. He now works with the Invasive Animals CRC in the University of Canberra, where he is carrying out an industry-funded strategic review of the long-term prospects of rabbit haemorrhagic disease as a biological control agent.

JUN
05

1161st General Monthly Meeting

"The Australian tsunami warning system - protecting Australia
from waves of destruction"

Dr Dale Dominey-Howes, Natural Hazards Research Laboratory, Risk Management Group, School of Safety Science, UNSW

Wednesday 4 June 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (2004 IOT) disaster, although catastrophic, only had minor effects on the coasts of Australia. Prior to this event, few had considered the risk that this hazard type might present to Australia. Since the occurrence of the 2004 IOT, the Australian Federal government has committed almost $70 million to the development and deployment of an Australian Tsunami Warning System (ATWS) to help safeguard Australia from future potentially damaging tsunamis. In addition, State and Territory Emergency Services are spending additional funds on tsunami research and community risk management. This talk outlined current state-of-the-art tsunami science being undertaken in Australia. The speaker examined the geological and historical record of tsunamis that have affected Australia, considering those regions capable of generating tsunamis that would be damaging to our coasts and exploring the current important research questions that still need to be answered.

The talk also described the structure and function of the Australian Tsunami Warning System and considered how it performed following the 2 April 2007 Solomon Island tsunami that triggered the first warning from the ATWS. The talk concluded by asking, "has the deployment of the ATWS made Australian coastal communities safe from future tsunamis?"

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Dr Dale Dominey-Howes FGS FRGS is an expert in natural hazards, risk and vulnerability and disaster management. He graduated with a BSc (Honours) from London University and was awarded his PhD in natural hazards from Coventry University (UK). He held an European Union Postgraduate Scholarship to undertake his PhD, which was on the geological and historical records and effects of tsunami in the Aegean Sea region of Greece. Dale's PhD was undertaken in collaboration with the National Observatory of Athens, Greece. Since graduating, he has worked on tsunami, volcanic hazards, tropical cyclones, earthquakes and coastal floods in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean areas. He is particularly interested in the interaction between risk and vulnerability and loss reduction and disaster management.

From 2000 to 2005, Dale was the elected Secretary and Treasurer of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards. In 1999, he was nominated and then selected as one of the Most Outstanding Young Research Scientists in the 1999 British Parliament, Showcase of the Best of British Science at the House of Commons London. Dale is presently a senior lecturer in Natural Hazards in the School of Risk and Safety Sciences at the University of New South Wales. Since 2005 he has also been providing scientific support to the state and federal governments in their development and deployment of the Australian Tsunami Warning System.

MAY
08

1160th General Monthly Meeting

"Imaging of dying cells in the body"

Professor Philip Hogg, Director of the UNSW Cancer Research Centre

Wednesday 7 May 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

Professor Hogg and his team have shown that some disulphide bonds have evolved to control how proteins work by breaking or forming in a precise way. He has called these bonds 'allosteric disulphides '.

Application of this basic research has led to the development of a novel class of cancer drugs and a cell death imaging agent. The lead cancer drug is currently being trialled in cancer patients. The imaging agent non-invasively detects dying and dead tumour cells. The agent could be used, for instance, to assess the efficacy of cancer therapy. The technology has been licensed to Pharma for clinical development.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Professor Philip Hogg graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland in 1987. Following post-doctoral work in the USA and Sweden, he returned to Sydney in1991.He is now Director of the UNSW Cancer Research Centre and will lead adult cancer research in the new Lowy Cancer Research Centre that is currently being built on the UNSW campus.

APR
03

Annual General Meeting 2008

Presidential address: innovation

John Hardie, President of the Royal Society of NSW

Wednesday 2 April 2008, 7 pm
Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

The past 12 months have seen a great deal of activity for the Royal Society: the publication of a volume on one of the Society's leading lights, Prof. Archibald Liversidge, the opportunity to reclaim Science House for science, the commencement of a project to compile and publish a full history of the Society, and our involvement in the establishment of the Royal Institution (Australia) and the Royal Societies of Australia, not to mention our full year of monthly lectures. Our 2008 AGM will give members the opportunity to review the year and discover more of these many interesting initiatives through the Presidential Address and discussion. We invite all members to take an active role in these initiatives either by nominating for Council or by joining the relevant committees formed to oversee progress.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

John Hardie is a Chief Learning Design Officer in the Centre for Learning Innovation, a unit within the NSW Department of Education and Training. He is currently coordinating the Centre's online services and information management activity, and is responsible for the management and maintenance of its Internet and Intranet sites. He was previously a manager of learning resource development for TAFE resources, but has also managed the development of resources for schools (languages).

Originally trained as a geologist, John has spent most of his working life in the field of education, particularly distance education and open learning. From 2001 to 2004 he managed one of the three Regions of the NSW Adult Migrant English Service.

John has been an active member of several professional associations, including the Australian Society for Educational Technology and the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia. His involvement with the Royal Society of NSW dates back to 1972 when he joined as an Associate Member while still a student. He has served on Council for many years, as Councillor then Hon Secretary and Vice-President for several years. He served previously as President in 1994/5.

MAR
06

The Four Societies Meeting 2008

"Future prospect for large-scale solar thermal power
technologies"

Dr Keith Lovegrove, Australian National University

Wednesday 5 March 2008, 6.30 for 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, City Road

ABSTRACT

The Australian National University has been working on paraboloidal-dish solar concentrators since the early 1970s. At ANU construction work has just begun on a new 500 m2 dish prototype that will be the basis for the commercial plans of Wizard Power Pty Ltd, the company that has an exclusive licence to the ANU technology. Dish concentrators along with trough-shaped linear concentrators and central receiver towers with heliostat fields are the basic approaches available for solar thermal power systems. The last two years have seen a major resurgence in activity in this field. This talk will give an overview of the activity in Australia and overseas and at the ANU in particular. The potential scope for solar thermal power systems to make a major contribution to energy supply will be discussed, including the longer-term potential for solar thermochemical production of fuels for transport and export.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Dr Keith Lovegrove is the leader of the Solar Thermal Group in the Department of Engineering at Australian National University. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Energy Systems and Systems Engineering within the Department of Engineering.

The Solar Thermal Group works on a range of high temperature and low temperature thermal technologies. The group has continued on from the pioneering work that was begun in ANU in the early 1970's. A highlight of the work has been the completion of the world first experimental solar driven closed loop thermochemical energy storage system based on ammonia dissociation. The group operates experimental facilities centred around ANU's 400 m2 and 20 m2 paraboloidal-dish solar concentrators. (Visit http://engnet.anu.edu.au/DEresearch/solarthermal/ for more information on the Solar Thermal Group at ANU.)

He has had a long involvement with the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, a section of the International Solar Energy Society. The society is a non-profit organization or renewable energy professionals and supporters and includes among its members most of the renewable-energy researchers in Australia. Dr Lovegrove has served in the past as Chair, Vice Chair and currently as Treasurer. During his time as Chair, he initiated the well-known 'Solar House Day', held across both countries each September. He was also Chair of the organization's Solar 2006 conference organizing committee. (Visit http://www.anzses.org and http://www.solarhouseday.com for more information.)

He has authored or co-authored over 100 research papers and contributed to many media interviews and reports on the renewable energy field.

JAN
26

Sydney Meetings - 2007

​Friday
28th February

"A tale of two infrastructures:
the future of water and energy use in our cities"

The Four Societies Lecture

Professor Stuart White, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney.
​Friday
9th March

​The Royal Society of New South Wales Annual Dinner

Forum Restaurant, Darlington Centre, Sydney University
​Wednesday
2nd May

"World Heritage inscription of caves and karst"

A/Prof. Julia James, University of Sydney
​Wednesday
6th June

"Embryonic stem cell research in Australia: insights from the Lockhart review"

Prof. Peter Schofield, Director, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute
​Tuesday
26th June

"Electro-mechanics of living cells and cell membranes in intense electric fields"

Prof. Hans Coster,
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Sydney

A joint event with the Australian Institute of Physics, at the Slade Lecture Theatre, School of Physics, University of Sydney.
​Wednesday
1st August

"From the crime scene to the courtroom: removing the Hollywood hype, what is forensics all about?"

Prof. Claude Roux,
Director, Centre for Forensic Science, University of Technology Sydney
​Wednesday
5th September

"Recent progress in quantum electronics: control of small electronic circuits by quantum rather than classical physics"

Prof. Alex Hamilton,
School of Physics, University of New South Wales
​Wednesday
3rd October

"The life science revolution: how engineering, cell biology and IT intersect"

Prof. Keith Williams,
co-founder of Proteome Systems, formerly Professor of Biology at Macquarie University
​Wednesday
7th November

"New earths, dark energy and giant telescopes: the future of Australian astronomy"

Prof. Matthew Colless,
Director, Anglo-Australian Observatory
SEP
03

1174th Ordinary General Meeting

"Weird animal genomes and sex"

Professor Jenny Graves, Head, Comparative Genomics Research Group, Australian National University
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics
Professorial Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne

Wednesday 2 September 2009 at 7 pm
Conference Room 1, Darlington Centre, University of Sydney

Whether a baby develops as a boy or girl depends on a single gene on the Y chromosome. In humans and other mammals, females have two X chromosomes, but males have a single X and a Y that bears the testis-determining gene (SRY) that induces testis differentiation and switches on hormones that masculinize the embryo. The human X is a middle-sized, ordinary chromosome, though it is rich in genes involved in reproduction and intelligence (often both). But the tiny Y is a genetic wasteland – full of genetic junk and bearing only 45 genes, most active only in testis. How did human sex chromosomes get to be so weird?

Our strategy is to compare the chromosomes, genes and DNA in distantly related mammals and even birds and reptiles (which have completely different sex determining systems). The genomes of Australia's unique kangaroos and platypus, now being completely sequenced, are a goldmine of new information. Kangaroo sex chromosomes reveal the original mammal sex chromosomes, while the bizarre platypus sex chromosomes (more related to those of birds) tell us that our sex chromosomes are relatively young.

Our works shows that the human X and Y evolved from an ordinary chromosome pair just 150 million years ago. It is degrading progressively and I predict it will disappear in just 5 million years. If humans don't become extinct, new sex determining genes and chromosomes must evolve, maybe leading to the evolution of new hominid species.

The speaker's presentation can be found here: Jenny Graves Talk (25 MB PDF).

Jenny was born and educated in Adelaide. She was no science star at school, but topped the state in Geography. She didn't much like biology but, after undergraduate studies at Adelaide University, a fascination with genetics led her rather accidentally to a PhD in molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley, thanks to a Fulbright award. Jenny then spent nearly 30 years at La Trobe University in Melbourne before moving to the Australian National University in 2001.

In the 1970s, Jenny stumbled on the potential of Australia's unique fauna (mammals, birds, and reptiles) to study genetic structures and regulation systems conserved from the earliest vertebrates through to humans. By exploiting the genetic diversity of Australia's unique mammals, her group have gained insights into mammalian sex, development, genetic disease, defence mechanisms, and species survival. Her lab's unique contributions to understanding the evolution, function and organization of the mammalian genome have had major impacts on current thinking in the field.

Jenny has been an enthusiastic advocate for comparative genomics. She set up and directs the ARC Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics, which has secured a key role for Australia in the sequencing and analysis of the kangaroo genome. Her contributions to science have been recognized by election to the Australian Academy of Science in 1999, a Centenary Medal in 2002 and the Macfarlane Burnet Medal in 2005. She is a 2006 Laureate of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science.

Research projects

Our group (Comparative Genomics) is famous for studying genes and chromosomes of Australian animals. Every project depends ultimately on samples from a variety of Australian animals such as kangaroos and platypus, but also exotics like devils (Tasmanian) and dragons (lizards). Pat is a whiz at organizing legalities and technicalities, as well as animal handling and sampling; Jenny would really prefer to work on tomatoes or fruitflies. We culture tiny samples of skin cells in the laboratory. Jenny's training in cell culture at Berkeley was used to establish methods for growing just about anything, and Pat now runs our unique cell culture lab with exacting standards. Our stock in-trade is physical mapping of genes onto chromosomes, and getting brilliant chromosome preparations is crucial; here Pat's training in human cytogenetics complements Jenny's training in molecular cytology.

We use these basic techniques more and more for large-scale projects on the genomes of Australian mammals. Basic work had to be done to characterize the chromosomes of the kangaroo and the platypus before the complete sequence of their genomes (costing many millions of dollars) could be interpreted. Platypus chromosomes caused major headaches because they have weird multiple sex chromosomes: Jenny had been trying to sort them out for 20 years, now an onslaught using new molecular techniques allowed Jenny and Pat, with a postdoc and research assistant, to sort out which chromosome is which.

Two major projects last year that Pat and Jenny collaborated on were to construct physical maps of the platypus and the opossum; these required painstaking isolation and characterization of large DNA fragments, tagging them with a fluorescent dye, then attaching them to chromosomes where they home in on the DNA containing this sequence and reveal their presence by a bright spot on one of the chromosomes. Pat has ensured that the quality of the chromosomes, the probes and the images are all 100%, and Jenny has made sure the locations make sense and put the map together with other genomic data. These maps were crucial for deciphering the complete DNA sequence of the first marsupial and the first monotreme genome. These projects culminated in major papers on which Pat and Jenny are both authors.

Royal Society Events

The Royal Society of NSW organizes events in Sydney and in its Branches throughout the year. 

In Sydney, these include Ordinary General Meetings (OGMs) held normally at 6.00 for 6.30 pm on the first Wednesday of the month (there is no meeting in January), in the Gallery Room at the State Library of NSW. At the OGMs, society business is conducted, new Fellows and Members are inducted, and reports from Council are given.  This is followed by a public lecture presented by an eminent expert and an optional dinner.  Drinks are served before the meeting.  There is a small charge to attend the meeting and lecture, and to cover refreshments.  The dinner is a separate charge, and must be booked in advance.  All OGMs are open to members of the public.

Since April 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face meetings have been replaced by virtual meetings, conducted as Zoom webinars, allowing the events program to continue uninterrupted.  It is hoped that face-to-face meetings can be resumed in the latter half of 2021. 

The first OGM of  the year, held in February, has speakers drawn from the winners of the Royal Society Scholarships from the previous year, while the December OGM hears from the winner of the Jak Kelly award, before an informal Christmas party.  The April or May event is our black-tie Annual Dinner and Distinguished Fellow lecture.

Other events are held in collaboration with other groups, including:

  • The Four Societies lecture — with the Australian Institute of Energy, the Nuclear Panel of Engineers Australia (Sydney Division), and the Australian Nuclear Association
  • The Forum — the Australian Academy of Science, with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
  • The Dirac lecture — with UNSW Sydney and the Australian Institute of Physics
  • The Liversidge Medal lecture — with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute

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