Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events
MAR
10

Stewardship of Country from the Royal Societies of Australia: Webinar 2

Stewardship of Country logo: Royal Societies of Australia“Stewardship of Country:
Resilience, regeneration and escaping the iron law of business-as-usual”

Presented jointly by the
Royal Societies of Australia and
Inspiring Australia Victoria

Date: Wednesday, 10 March, 6.00–8.00pm AEDT
Venue: Live streaming on the RSA Facebook page
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Entry: No charge for Facebook livestreaming.  Paid registration is required for participation as a Zoom panellist.
All are welcome

Stewardship of Country, presented by the Royal Societies of Australia and Inspiring Australia Victoria, is a series of three webinars that aim to generate a discussion of landscape and environmental stewardship bridging Indigenous, scientific, economic and social perspectives with supporting ideas for practical action and public good. This initiative represents a fruitful collaboration between the Royal Society of Victoria, the Royal Society of Queensland and the Royal Society of New South Wales with support from the CSIRO.

rsa stewardship of country full width header

Stewardship describes a deep relationship between people and place. In modern Australia, it is increasingly proposed as the next step of transition for a culture emerging from its colonial, extractive relationship to the landscape. The transition to stewardship may require we reorganise around the unique characteristics of the country, undertake significant regeneration of damaged ecosystems and deprioritise constant economic growth in favour of an enduring sufficiency gathered from a prosperous and biologically diverse environment. This series poses a fundamental question – who are we becoming as Australians faced with an increasingly unpredictable and challenging future?

RSA Stewardship Webinar 2 image

 Webinar 2: Resilience, regeneration and escaping the iron law of business-as-usual focuses on untangling the knots in our system confounding beneficial change, from the fixed thinking enforced by our political culture to the slow-changing traditions of agricultural land management and business practices founded in European soils and ecosystems. We also look at how business, entrepreneurship and private property have an effective role to play in conserving and rebuilding ecosystems and biodiversity.

RSA Stewardship Speakers for Webinar 2

This event will feature four presentations by:

  • Dr Nicholas Gruen, CEO, Lateral Economics (Keynote)
  • Ms Carolyn Hall, The Mulloon Institute
  • Ms Jody Brown, La Trobe Station
  • Mr Nigel Sharp, Odonata.

RSA Stewardship Panellists

with panellists:

  • Dr Mark Stafford Smith, CSIRO Honorary Fellow
  • Ms Verity Morgan-Schmidt, Gheerulla Creek Consulting
  • Dr Tyson Yunkaporta, Deakin University.

Stewardship of Country will be conducted online as a Zoom webinar. Each event will be livestreamed on the Societies Facebook page free of charge; paid registration is open to those who would like to submit questions and engage in the session as audience members.

MAR
18

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2021-2

Dr Howard Brady“Sea level change and erosion on the Shoalhaven Coast — past and future”

Dr Howard Brady

Date: Thursday, 18 March, 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: RSL Mittagong, Carrington Room (face-to-face)
Entry: No charge
All are welcome. 

Summary: In 2009/2010 Howard Brady examined reports prepared for the Shoalhaven City Council by the Snowy Mountains Engineering Consultants (SMEC). SMEC was asked to examine the effects of a 90cm sea-level rise on Shoalhaven area properties sited either on headland cliffs or on dune systems adjacent to beaches. His reports, very critical of the SMEC reports, were based on his own field work, on aerial photographs of the Shoalhaven Coast taken since WWII, and also on geological studies by scientists at New England University and the University of Wollongong. Dr Brady’s talk will cover the general development of the Sydney Basin Coast and its recent history since the last ice age.

Dr Howard Brady was involved in Antarctic geological research during 1974-1982 and he was also US Navy catholic chaplain to McMurdo and South Pole Stations for the 1974 and 1975 summer seasons. In 2011, Howard was awarded the Alumnus Scientist of the Year Award by Northern Illinois University for his geological contributions to Antarctic Research. Howard is a member of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences and an Emeritus Member of the Explorers Club of New York. Dr Brady has Diplomas in Philosophy and Theology, and two postgraduate degrees in Antarctic science. He is currently an accredited reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its forthcoming report due in 2021.

MAR
23

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-1

Dr Alan Finkel AO“On readying our region for low emissions technology”

Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE FAA
Former Chief Scientist of Australia

Date: Tuesday, 23 March, 5.15pm AEDT
Venue: Great Hall, University of Newcastle (Callaghan Campus) and Zoom live-streaming (Eventbrite registration required)
Entry: No charge
All are welcome. 

In Conversation with Dr Alan Finkel AO.

This presentation, from the University of Newcastle and the Royal Society of NSW, coincides with the visit by Dr Finkel to the University of Newcastle.  It includes a public address, and an in-depth interview which will allow his audience to understand and explore the vast opportunities available through low emissions or carbon neutral technologies. 

In particular he will share insights into the government and technology directions and how regional industries might respond, particularly in the context of the Hunter in which the University of Newcastle is leading research in clean hydrogen energy, the transition to zero emission mining of aluminum, iron ore and steel, renewable energy storage technology, and bio-sequestration in regional farming practices.

Dr Alan Finkel AO is one of Australia’s most distinguished scientific, engineering, and academic advisers and advocates for innovation in technology. In 2021 he completed his tenure as Australia’s Chief Scientist and has since been appointed Special Adviser to the Commonwealth Government on the research, development, transition, and application of low emissions technology.

He is noted for making the topics of science, engineering, technology, accessible and exciting to young people through his advice and contributions to the development of the nation’s modern STEM curriculum. 

MAR
24

Stewardship of Country from the Royal Societies of Australia: Webinar 3

Stewardship of Country logo: Royal Societies of Australia“Stewardship of Country:
From Past to Future – Australian Stewardship of Country”

Presented jointly by the
Royal Societies of Australia and
Inspiring Australia Victoria

Date: Wednesday, 24 March, 6.00–8.00pm AEDT
Venue: Live streaming on the RSA Facebook page
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Entry: No charge for Facebook livestreaming.  Paid registration is required for participation as a Zoom panellist.
All are welcome

Stewardship of Country, presented by the Royal Societies of Australia and Inspiring Australia Victoria, is a series of three webinars that aim to generate a discussion of landscape and environmental stewardship bridging Indigenous, scientific, economic and social perspectives with supporting ideas for practical action and public good. This initiative represents a fruitful collaboration between the Royal Society of Victoria, the Royal Society of Queensland and the Royal Society of New South Wales with support from the CSIRO.

rsa stewardship of country full width header

Stewardship describes a deep relationship between people and place. In modern Australia, it is increasingly proposed as the next step of transition for a culture emerging from its colonial, extractive relationship to the landscape. The transition to stewardship may require we reorganise around the unique characteristics of the country, undertake significant regeneration of damaged ecosystems and deprioritise constant economic growth in favour of an enduring sufficiency gathered from a prosperous and biologically diverse environment. This series poses a fundamental question – who are we becoming as Australians faced with an increasingly unpredictable and challenging future?

rsa stewardship image webinar 3 600px

 Webinar 3: From Past to Future – Australian Stewardship of Country takes us to a broad view of the past to define our approach to the future. We range from the natural history of our continent's diverse landscapes and species, including the traditional approaches taken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to support that diversity, to redefining our relationships with the living world to better rise to the challenges we must collectively face to secure our country's future.

RSA Stewardship Speakers for Webinar 3

This event will feature four presentations by:

  • Dr Anne Poelina, Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council and University of Nore Dame (Keynote)
  • Professor Kingsley Dixon, Curtin University
  • Dr Michelle Maloney, Australian Earth Laws Alliance, Griffith University
  • Mr Barney Foran, Charles Stuart University.

RSA Stewardship Panellists

with panellists:

  • Dr Mark Stafford Smith, CSIRO Honorary Fellow
  • Ms Verity Morgan-Schmidt, Gheerulla Creek Consulting
  • Dr Tyson Yunkaporta, Deakin University.

Stewardship of Country will be conducted online as a Zoom webinar. Each event will be livestreamed on the Societies Facebook page free of charge; paid registration is open to those who would like to submit questions and engage in the session as audience members.

MAR
31

RSNSW Hunter Branch Annual General Meeting 2021

Hunter AGM NoticeNotice of the 1st Annual General Meeting of the RSNSW Hunter Branch



Date: Tuesday, 31 March, 5.00pm AEDT
Venue: Collaborative Teal Room, X201, NUSpace, University of Newcastle (Hunter St) and via Zoom live-streaming
Entry: No charge
Only financial Members and Fellows of the RSNSW Hunter Branch are eligible to attend.

Notice is hereby given of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW.

Due to social distancing restriction imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the capacity of the room is limited to 36 people.  For those unable to be accommodated, or to attend physically, access to the meeting will be provided via Zoom. 

An agenda for the meeting is available online.

Amongst the business of the meeting is the Election of the Branch Committee for 20221-2022.  Nomination forms and further information is available from the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

APR
07

1292nd OGM and Open Lecture

Lea kannar-Lichtenberger“Antarctica, this ain’t no mirage: the value of art in disseminating scientific information”

Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger
Contemporary Artist

Date: Wednesday, 7 April 2021, 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. 

About this Event

In this talk Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger will explore just one of the islands she has investigated and, through her art, has raised awareness about the impact that our contemporary society is having on these often-idealised environments. Through the use of her time-based installations, photography and sculptures, along with her paintings and drawings, Lea works to make science more accessible to the community at large.

In January 2017 Lea travelled to Antarctica. This journey was unusual, not just because it was with a not-for-profit organisation, no room service or cabin attendants, but also as it was in many ways in the footsteps of the adventurer explorer. Her journey here resulted in artworks and exhibitions that have been seen across Australia in universities and art galleries, with her goal to bring the plight of the remote into the lives of the everyday person.

Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger is an Australian contemporary artist who disseminates her research and artistic vision, as an ‘artist at large’ by presenting her response and advocacy for environmental issues. Her investigations into evolution, contemporary society, and the impact of tourism on island environments has seen Lea do onsite examinations through immersive residencies or eco-tourism inquiries in; the South Shetland Islands specifically Deception Island (Antarctica) 2017, the Faroe Islands (The North Sea) 2015, the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) 2014, Lord Howe Island (NSW Australia) 2014 & 2015 and in 2021 an Artist at Sea residency with the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Lea creates artworks and installations that examine a window into the impact of the Anthropocene and contemporary consumerism on the viewed utopian destination. Lea has disseminated this research and her unique perspective through lectures, paper presentations and peer reviewed journals.

Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at Edith Cowan University Western Australia, and Griffith University, Queensland, and group exhibitions including Sculpture by the Sea (Sydney and Cottesloe), the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing and the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. Internationally her work has been shown at the Venice Summer Academy, Stunning Edge Exhibition Taiwan, the New York Hall of Science, Galway International Arts Festival Ireland, the SVA (the School of Visual Arts) at the Flatiron Building in Manhattan and the NYABF at the MOMA annexe PS1, New York.

Lea Kannar Lichtenberger Deception Island Antarctica 600px

 

JUL
22

[email protected]: July 2021

Governor of NSW Crest-Silver and Gold-2020[email protected]

Presented by

Her Excellency the Honourable
Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW

Greta Bradman
“Music as a Superfood: How music can help us live longer, sleep better, calm down, find flow, and feel happier

Greta J. Bradman
Writer, broadcaster and psychologist

Date: Thursday, 22 May July, 6.00pm
Venue: Zoom webinar
Entry: No charge
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Society Members and Fellows, and members of the public are welcome

About the talk: Greta Bradman will discuss how music can help us live longer, sleep better, calm down, find flow, and feel happier. The talk will include explorations of the evidence base, plus some personal anecdotes.

About the speaker: Greta Bradman consults with public and private organisations across technology and creative industries on culture, works in private practice as a psychologist, presents Weekend Brunch and is the creator of “Music for Wellbeing” offerings on ABC Classic. She hosts concerts and conversations, and provides workshops around wellbeing, human values, and decision-making. She is the founder of pre-launch, values-based tech startup, Eiris Inc. She still sings from time-to-time. help you grow beyond the expectations you and others have previously put on you, into your own personal version of a fulfilling, brilliant life well-lived.

Formerly an artist for Universal Music (Decca Classics), she had four No.1 solo albums and has featured on others. She has sung with opera companies, symphony orchestras and ensembles around Australia and the Asia Pacific, through Europe, the UK, and US. She has produced her own tours, and has toured alongside colleagues from around the world.

Alongside fundraising strategy and implementation, Greta advises and actively participated in the key development of evidence-based initiatives and programs that have demonstratively supported wellbeing-related outcomes.

Greta is a Trustee of Arts Centre Melbourne and holds advisory board positions with: Arts Wellbeing Collective; Arts Centre Melbourne Foundation; The Alfred Foundation; and, the Australian Mental Health Prize. Greta is a member of the Federal Government’s Creative Industry Taskforce. She is currently completing her Senior Executive MBA at Melbourne Business School.

About [email protected]: In late 2019, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and Patron of the Royal Society of NSW, invited representatives of the Society to discuss how the Governor might open Government House to a series of public events based on important and/or influential ideas. Her Excellency’s proposal was that the Royal Society of NSW and other organisations might devise a series of lectures, to be held at Government House, and known as [email protected] on topics of our choice for an invited audience of our Members and Fellows, together with others to be invited by Her Excellency. This is the second in the [email protected] series, the first being held in May 2020.

MAR
03

1291st OGM and Open Lecture

Professor Ian Hickie AM FRSM FASSA FAHMS“What are the best options for growing Australia’s mental health through the COVID-19 recovery?”

Professor Ian Hickie AM FRSN FASSA FAHMS FRANZCP
Co-Director, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney

Date: Wednesday, 3 March, 6.30pm AEDT
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: The concept of building the ‘mental wealth’ of Australia, namely, the collective cognitive and emotional resources of our citizens, was increasingly being adopted nationally (and internationally) prior to the COVID19 pandemic (1). Although the range of public policy options, operative right across the life span, was being scoped, formal implementation had not proceeded. While Australia has been spared the worst direct physical health effects, and social disruption, associated with the pandemic, it would be a mistake to think that we do not still face many economic and social challenges that are likely to have major effects on our collective mental health and wellbeing.

Formal dynamic systems modelling (DSM) by our team at the Brain and Mind Centre of the University of Sydney (2, 3) has indicated not only the extent to which Australia’s mental health may be adversely impacted, but also which sets of economic, education, social and mental health policies may be most relevant in these very different circumstances. These are choices that need to be made urgently (and implemented) – like the variations in JobKeeper, JobSeeker and education funding. Whether those most at risk of bad mental health outcomes – namely, young people and women in casual work, are actually supported at this time, has major long-term ramifications.

By using formal simulations,and making the likely impacts of different choices more transparent (what works, what does harm, what is just ineffective), DSM offers a more empirically-based way of approaching this area of complex decision making.

  1. Beddington, J., Cooper, C., Field, J. et al. The mental wealth of nations. Nature 455, 1057–1060 (2008).
  2. Road to Recovery—Restoring Australia’s Mental Wealth
  3. Road to Recovery, Part 2—Investing in Australia's Mental Wealth

 

Professor Ian Hickie is Co-Director, Health and Policy, at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. He is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow (2013-2017 and 2018-22), having previously been one of the inaugural NHMRC Australian Fellows (2008-12). He was an inaugural Commissioner on Australia’s National Mental Health Commission (2012-18) overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform and suicide prevention. He is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry, with particular reference to medical aspects of common mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder. He is now focused on the development of real-time personalized and measurement-based care systems for use in partnership with young people and their families. These systems promote early intervention, use of new and emerging technologies and suicide prevention. In his role with the National Mental Health Commission, and his independent research, health system and advocacy roles, Professor Hickie has been at the forefront of the move to have mental health and suicide prevention integrated with other aspects of health care (notably chronic disease and ambulatory care management).

FEB
25

ATSE Chaikin Oration 2021: The looming global food crisis

The Hon. John AndersonThe looming global food crisis: challenge and opportunity

The Honourable John Anderson AO FTSE 

The Chaikin Oration is presented by the NSW Division of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)

Date: Thursday, 25 February 2021, 12.40pm (AEDT) 
Venue: Zoom Webinar (Registration required)
Entry: No charge

Summary: There is no doubt that the world’s ability to provide enough food for future generations is under stress. The jury is out on changing rainfall patterns, where fertile lands of today may become hostile deserts, whether population growth will continue, and on other impacts which will add to the food pressures. To add to the challenge, there are voices asking for the elimination of methane generating animals, inorganic fertilisers and GM food. Australia is fortunate in having world leading expertise both in food production and on analysis of the threats, and is well positioned to make a vital contribution.

John will inform us on the challenges of the looming global food crisis, both technical and political, and how Australia should respond and is already responding. He will consider:

  • How Governments and leaders need to show direction and leadership on these issues. As has been demonstrated during the COVID19 Pandemic, good policy and practical measures have accrued from blending scientific expertise with pragmatic politics.
  • The agricultural sector is under pressure to come up with answers: Australian agriculture is very capable of developing new practices and technologies to supply enough food to feed a world affected by global influences. What is being done and planned?
  • Responding to the World’s problems and demands will surely create huge commercial opportunities for Australian agriculture, providing the correct decisions are taken.
  • In our more immediate neighbourhood, what is Australia doing for our South East Asian and Pacfic Island neighbours?

 

The Honourable John Anderson AO FTSE is a sixth-generation farmer and grazier from North- West New South Wales, who spent 19 years from 1989 in the Australian Parliament. This included six years as Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister as a member of the reformist government led by John Howard.  He is Chair of the Crawford Fund, an Australian registered NGO established by ATSE with a focus on global food and nutrition security.

FEB
24

Stewardship of Country from the Royal Societies of Australia: Webinar 1

Stewardship of Country logo: Royal Societies of Australia“Stewardship of Country:
The Common Ground –
A Convergence of Traditions”

Presented jointly by the
Royal Societies of Australia and
Inspiring Australia Victoria

Date: Wednesday, 24 February, 6.00–8.00pm AEDT
Video presentation: Facebook video

Stewardship of Country, presented by the Royal Societies of Australia and Inspiring Australia Victoria, is a series of three webinars that aim to generate a discussion of landscape and environmental stewardship bridging Indigenous, scientific, economic and social perspectives with supporting ideas for practical action and public good. This initiative represents a fruitful collaboration between the Royal Society of Victoria, the Royal Society of Queensland and the Royal Society of New South Wales with support from the CSIRO.

rsa stewardship of country full width header

Stewardship describes a deep relationship between people and place. In modern Australia, it is increasingly proposed as the next step of transition for a culture emerging from its colonial, extractive relationship to the landscape. The transition to stewardship may require we reorganise around the unique characteristics of the country, undertake significant regeneration of damaged ecosystems and deprioritise constant economic growth in favour of an enduring sufficiency gathered from a prosperous and biologically diverse environment. This series poses a fundamental question – who are we becoming as Australians faced with an increasingly unpredictable and challenging future?

RSA Stewardship Webinar 1 image

 

Webinar 1: The Common Ground — A Convergence of Traditions focuses on the convergence of knowledge traditions, acknowledging the capacity for traditional European farming practices to adapt, the remarkable advances in the ecological sciences based on European classification systems, and the complex Australian Indigenous knowledge systems developed and maintained over a truly astonishing stretch of time, offering a deep cultural understanding and relationships with "country" to help us determine our common future in Australia.

RSA Stewardship Speakers for Webinar 1

This event will feature four presentations by:

  • Adjunct Associate Professor Mary Graham of The University of Queensland (Keynote)
  • Professor Peter Bridgewater of the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and Beijing Forestry University
  • Mr David Pollock of Wooleen Station
  • Mr Justin O’Brien, Dr Chris Brady and Mr Peter Christopherson of Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation.

 

RSA Stewardship Panellists

with panellists:

  • Dr Mark Stafford Smith, CSIRO Honorary Fellow
  • Ms Verity Morgan-Schmidt, Gheerulla Creek Consulting
  • Dr Tyson Yunkaporta, Deakin University.

Stewardship of Country will be conducted online as a Zoom webinar. Each event will be livestreamed on the Societies Facebook page free of charge; paid registration is open to those who would like to submit questions and engage in the session as audience members.

FEB
18

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2021-1

Dr Kevin Mills“The five islands off Port Kembla — an historical and ecological study”

Dr Kevin Mills
Botanist and Ecologist

 Date: Thursday, 18 February, 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: RSL Mittagong, Carrington Room (face-to-face)
Entry: No charge
All are welcome. 

Summary: To follow.

Dr Kevin Mills is a botanist and ecologist and has lived in the Illawarra for over 40 years. He has studied the region’s rainforests for many years and is currently working on various projects in the region, including studies of all offshore islands on the South Coast, a review and field study of the ferns of the south coast, and various rare plant surveys. He has authored or co-authored several books on plants including Native Trees of Central Illawarra, Rainforests of the Illawarra District and Native trees of the NSW South Coast. He is continuing his rainforest studies here and on Norfolk Island, where he is a regular visitor and on which he has also written extensively. He is involved in the rehabilitation of habitat on the Five Islands Nature Reserve off Port Kembla and the regeneration of rainforest at the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre in Budderoo National Park. Kevin is also a long-time member of the South Coast Regional Advisory Committee for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

FEB
03

1290th OGM including Open Lecture

Royal Society of NSW 2020 Student Award WinnersRoyal Society of NSW 2020 Student Award Presentations 

Matthew Donnelly, UNSW (Sydney)
Sajad Razavi Bazaz, UTS 
Daniel Fox, ANU 
Philippa Specker, UNSW (Sydney)

 

Date: Wednesday, 3 February 2021, 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: Zoom Webinar.
Video presentation: YouTube video
All are welcome.

The evening’s program comprises four short talks presented by PhD Candidates who have been awarded the Society's Jak Kelly Award and the Royal Society of NSW Scholarships for 2020.  Follow the links to read a summary of each presentation and a brief biography of the presenter. 

Mr Matthew Donnelly (Jak Kelly Award) — Controlling how electrons move in silicon at the atomic scale 

Mr Sajad Razavi Bazaz (Scholarship Winner) — 3D printed micro-engineered systems for life science research 

Mr Daniel Fox (Scholarship Winner) — Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammasome Activation by Enterotoxins of the Foodborne Pathogen Bacillus cereus 

Ms Philippa Specker (Scholarship Winner) — Improving the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in refugees: The important role of emotion regulation 

Presentation Summaries and Brief Biographies of the Presenters

Matthew DonnellyControlling how electrons move in silicon at the atomic scale
Mr Matthew Donnelly, PhD Student, UNSW (Sydney)

Silicon is one the most important materials in the modern world due to its use in the integrated circuits that make up the computers and phones we use every day. We use silicon to build computers because it is a semiconductor — a class of materials in which we can control how electrons move at the micro and nano scale.

Mr Donnelly’s work focusses on manipulating silicon at the ultimate limit — a single atom — and how we can use this control to fabricate quantum computers, machines that promise to solve a new generation of computational problems. In particular, he will demonstrate how controlling a phenomenon known as quantum tunnelling is critical in this process, and how novel fabrication techniques are bringing these machines one step closer to reality.

Matthew Donnelly is a PhD candidate in the group of Prof. Michelle Simmons within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation at UNSW (Sydney). His research investigates monolithic donor structures in silicon and their application in spin-based quantum computing. In particular, he is focussed on using 3D fabrication techniques to precisely control tunnel rates and other parameters critical to the operation of spin qubits.

Sajad Razavi Bazaz3D printed micro-engineered systems for life science research
Mr Sajad Razavi Bazaz, PhD Student, University of Technology Sydney

Scaling down high-cost and demanding facilities into tiny, multi-functionalised microchips has revolutionised research areas — a technology referred to as microfluidics. Microfluidics is a science that allows the manipulation of minuscule fluid samples, ordinarily in the range of microliters, within networks of channels ranging from tens to hundreds of micrometers. Microfluidic systems are promising tools for the advancement of chemical and biological research with evident benefits. Improvements such as reduced reagent consumption, higher sensitivity, modelling of in vivo microenvironments, rapid processing, detailed spatial resolution, process integration, and automation have been achieved over the past three decades. 

In recent years, additive manufacturing, particularly 3D printing, has gained significant traction, being named the third industrial revolution. Due to the expanding use of microfluidic systems in laboratories, 3D printing has emerged as an alternative method to the traditional, costly fabrication process. The ability to fabricate structures ranging from a few microns to several centimeters is a complex process that can only be accomplished by taking advantage of 3D printing methods. Rapid prototyping provides an opportunity to adopt a “fail fast and often” strategy, motivating the researchers to utilise 3D printers in the field of microfluidics. In this fabrication method, a physical object is fabricated from a virtual model by designing the object via computer-assisted design (CAD) software, converting the design into the 3D printer language, and printing with a 3D printer in a single process.

The modularisation of microfluidic devices using additive manufacturing enables researchers to fabricate integrated microfluidic devices for various applications. Among all these different applications, research in life science technologies has shown significant promise. Not long ago, microfluidics was a burgeoning technology on the fringe of practical applications; now, it is coming of age in the life sciences and being recognised its enormous potential.  This presentation will showcase the use of 3D printed micro-engineered systems in research in the life sciences.

Sajad Razavi Bazaz is a PhD candidate in the a School of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Technology Sydney. His main research focus is to develop functional 3D-printed micro-engineered microfluidic devices for life science research. During his PhD journey, he has been able to develop a new functional 3D printing method for the fabrication of microfluidic devices. Toward his goals, Sajad and his colleagues have established a start-up company to develop 3D printed microfluidic devices for selective sperm selection in the IVF market.

Daniel FoxMolecular mechanisms of inflammasome activation by enterotoxins of the foodborne pathogen Bacillus cereus
Mr Daniel Fox, PhD Student, Australian National University

Bacillus cereus is a clinically important and neglected human foodborne pathogen. This Gram-positive and rod-shaped bacterium is found ubiquitously in the environment and in undercooked and processed food products. Ingestion of B. cereus endospores often leads to germination and propagation of viable vegetative cells in the human gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to emetic and diarrheal syndromes largely depending on the production of enterotoxins. Of concern is the potential for B. cereus to cause often-fatal extra-gastrointestinal disease in immune-compromised patients, including systemic bacterial septicemia, ocular infections, anthrax-like pneumonia, cutaneous gas-gangrene-like infections, and infections of the central nervous system. 

B. cereus secretes multiple toxins, including the tripartite toxins haemolysin BL (HBL) and non-haemolytic enterotoxin (NHE). Our lab has previously made the important observation that HBL induces activation of the cytosolic inflammasome sensor NLRP3, which subsequently promotes the production of inflammation and host cell death. However, of particular interest is that B. cereus isolates which lack HBL can cause inflammation and disease in humans, suggesting that other non-redundant virulence factors are critical in the pathogenesis of this pathogen. My work has identified that NHE of B. cereus is also able to induce activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and cell death via a mechanism targeting the plasma membrane of host cells. I found that the subunits of this toxin assemble to form a functional pore, which drive the efflux of cytosolic potassium from the host cell. This toxin kills cell types from multiple lineages and host origin, highlighting its functional repertoire in different host species. Moreover, my findings suggest that both NHE and HBL operate synergistically to induce inflammation in the host. Overall, my results highlight that multiple virulence factors from the same pathogen exhibiting conserved function and mechanism of action can be exploited for sensing by a single inflammasome, ultimately leading to increased capacity of the host to detect and defend against naturally-occurring genetic variants. 

Daniel Fox first started his research career as an undergraduate summer research student in the laboratory of Prof. Si Ming Man, in late 2017. Daniel went on to pursue and complete a first-class Honours degree in Medical Science in Prof. Man’s lab in 2018, where he published work in the Journal of Molecular Biology and Nature Microbiology, both as a co-first, and co-author. He began his PhD in 2019, continuing in Prof. Man’s lab, where he continued to characterise the innate immune response to clinically important, and neglected human foodborne pathogens. Since starting his PhD, Daniel has been selected to present his work at conferences both in China and the USA, has published first-author work in Nature Communications, and Cell Research, and has won two grants from the Gretel and Gordon Bootes Medical Research Foundation, totalling $23,500 AUD. He hopes to continue to advance his work in innate immunity as a medical researcher in the future.

Phillipa SpeckerImproving the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in refugees: The important role of emotion regulation
Ms Philippa Specker, PhD Student, UNSW (Sydney)

The psychological presentation of traumatised refugees is complex and presents a global challenge to public health. There are currently an estimated 80 million refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people worldwide and this number is steadily growing. Refugees encounter multiple and severe forms of trauma, such as war exposure, torture, imprisonment, and witnessing the murder of loved ones. Then, after fleeing danger, refugees also experience ongoing stress due to family separation, visa insecurity and socio-economic difficulties. Owing to these experiences of persecution and displacement, refugees experience greatly elevated rates of psychological disorders. In particular, as many as 1 in 3 refugees suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Although psychological treatments for PTSD exist, they were not designed to address the psychological complexities of refugee experiences. In particular, many refugees have difficulties managing intense and unresolved emotions including fear, grief, anger, disgust, sadness, and guilt. While emotion regulation difficulties have been linked to psychopathology among other populations, very little research has investigated whether emotion regulation difficulties may be implicated in the development of mental illness among refugees. Such research may be crucial in facilitating the improvement of psychological treatment for refugees. 

This talk will discuss emerging research on the role of emotion regulation in the development and maintenance of PTSD among refugees. pa will discuss findings from her PhD research, including quantitative and experimental studies with refugees, to highlight how emotion regulation skills training may aid in the resolution of PTSD symptoms.

Philippa Specker is a PhD candidate enrolled in the combined PhD/Master of Psychology (Clinical) Program at UNSW. pa’s research is in the area of emotion regulation and refugee mental health, and seeks to understand how exposure to traumatic events impact on an individual’s capacity to utilize emotion regulation strategies to manage psychological distress. Her research aims to advance knowledge regarding mechanisms underpinning trauma-related psychopathology, and inform the development of effective and tailored interventions for survivors of persecution and displacement. Philippa has published three peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including the European Journal of Psychotraumatology and Clinical Psychology Review, and has presented her research at three national and five international conferences. In recognition of her contribution to the field of traumatic stress through research, clinical work and community advocacy, Philippa received the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ Outstanding Student Achievement Award (2020) and was shortlisted for the Australian-American Postgraduate Fulbright Award (2020). Philippa is also a Clinical Psychology Registrar at the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program, where she delivers evidence-based treatment for refugees suffering from PTSD.

DEC
09

1289th OGM and Open Lecture

Professor Matthew England FRSN FAA“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
Video Presentation: YouTube Video

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.

 

DEC
02

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-5

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

Professor Tony Capon
Professor of Planetary Health and
Director, Sustainable Development Institute
Monash University

Date: Wednesday, 2 December 2020, 6.00pm AEDT
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Video Presentation:YouTube Video

Summary:  The rise of the global threat of pandemic viral disease is not the only issue confronting the modern world. There are a bundle of major related problems stemming from man’s successes in building a more comfortable existence. It is now apparent to many scientists that the drive to modify, utilise and control the resources of our planet, especially over the past few hundred years, is affecting the health of our planet.  Planetary Health is a new field of inquiry that links a multiplicity of disciplines which observe changes in the well-being of life on Earth.

In this presentation, Professor Capon will introduce the findings of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health report, “Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch, and canvass their implications for the protection and promotion of future human health and wellbeing.“ To respond effectively to the health challenges of the Anthropocene, human societies need to grapple with the global transitions that are currently shaping our lives–demographic, epidemiological, food, energy, urban, economic, cultural and ecological. Humanity can chart a safe, healthy and prosperous course ahead by addressing unacceptable inequities in health and wealth within the environmental limits of the Earth. However, this will require the generation of new knowledge, the implementation of wise policies, decisive action and inspirational leadership.

Professor Capon’s presentation will be supported by a panel moderated by the Hunter Branch vice-chairman, Laureate Professor John Aitken, and consisting of Dr John Van Der Kellan, the president of the NSW branch of Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA), and Ms. Georgia Brown, a medical student who is an the main mover in Code Green, the climate action arm of AMSA (Australian Medical Students Association).

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
JAN
01

Calendar of Meetings 2021

RSNSW SealThis page lists the Calandar of Meetings for the Royal Society of NSW in 2021.

Please check this page regularly since the program is under ongoing development.

Last update: 26 February 2021


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

 

Sydney Meetings 2021

Please note that the program in the table below lists events that are scheduled as monthly Ordinary General Meetings and the Annual Forum of the Royal Society and Four Academies. In addition to these events, there are three named lectures, associated with the Society’s 2020 Awards, that remain to be scheduled:

  • Clarke Lecture — Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman (Macquarie University)
  • Liversidge Lecture — Professor Richard Payne FRSN (University of Sydney)
  • Poggendorf Lecture — Professor Angela Moles FRSN (UNSW Sydney)

together with another lecture in the [email protected] series, and the Society’s contributions to Science Week 2021 in the latter half of the year.

DateEvent

Wednesday,
3 February 

6.30pm AEDT

1290th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture:
2020 Jak Kelly Award and RSNSW Scholarship Winner Presentations

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Controlling how electrons move in silicon at the atomic scale
Mr Matthew Donnelly — Jak Kelly Award Winner
PhD Student, Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, UNSW (Sydney)

3D Printing for Microfluidics (TBC)
Mr Sajad Razavi Bazaz — RSNSW Scholarship Winner
PhD Student, School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Technology Sydney

Molecular mechanisms of inflammasome activation by enterotoxins of the foodborne pathogen Bacillus cereus
Mr Daniel Fox — RSNSW Scholarship Winner
PhD Student, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University

Improving the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in refugees: The important role of emotion regulation
Ms Phillipa Specker — RSNSW Scholarship Winner
PhD Student, School of Psychology, UNSW (Sydney)

Wednesday,
3 March 

6.30pm AEDT

1291st Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

What are the best options for growing Australia’s mental health through the COVID-19 recovery?
Professor Ian Hickie AM FRSN FASSA FAHMS
Co-Director (Health and Policy), Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney

Wednesday,
7 April

6.00pm AEST

154th Annual General Meeting (6.00pm)
1292nd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture (immediately following)

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Antarctica, this ain’t no mirage: The value of art in disseminating scientific information
Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger
Artist, exploring connections between science and art practice

Wednesday,
5 May

6.30pm AEST

1293rd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar (TBC)

Big, bad fires in NSW
Emerita Professor Mary O’Kane AC FRSN FTSE HonFIEAust
Chair, Independent Planning Commission of NSW and former Chief Scientist and Engineer of NSW

Wednesday,
2 June

6.30pm AEST

1294th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar (TBC)

Murray-Darling Basin turmoil: past, present and future
Professor Richard Kingsford FRSN
Director, Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW (Sydney)

Wednesday,
7 July

6.30pm AEST

1295th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Society as an information-processing system, and the influence of the media
Dr Erik Aslaksen FRSN
Director, Systems Engineer, and Author

Wednesday
4 August 

6.30pm AEST

1296th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Towards a modern history of Gondwanaland
Professor Alison Bashford FRSN FAHA FBA FRHistS
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW (Sydney)

Wednesday,
1 September

6.30pm AEST

1297th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Taking humour and laughter seriously: Exploring the multi-disciplinary field of humour studies 
Dr Jessica Milner-Davis FRSN
Honorary Associate, School of Literature, Art and Media, University of Sydney

Wednesday,
6 October

6.30pm AEDT

1298th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Topic: To be advised 
Ms Sarah Court (1) and Scientia Professor Toby Walsh (2)
(1) Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(2) School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW (Sydney)

Date Thursday, 4
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: To be advised

Wednesday
10 November

6.30pm AEDT

1299th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Topic: To be announced
Speaker: To be announced

Wednesday
1 December

6.30pm AEDT

1300th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Managing psychological distress in times of stress: handling the stress of COVID-19 and all that
Scientia Professor Richard Bryant AC FASSA FAA FAHMS — James Cook Medal Winner 2020
School of Psychology, UNSW (Sydney)

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Hunter Branch Meetings

The Hunter Branch Event Program for 2021 is still under development, with the table below being updated on a regular basis.

Tuesday,
23 March 

Time: TBA

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-1 and Lecture
Jointly with the University of Newcastle as part of the Looking Ahead — In Conversation Series

Venue: To be advised

Topic: On readying our region for low emissions technology
Dr Alan Finkel AO FAA FTSE
Former Chief Scientist of Australia 

Wednesday
30 June

Time: TBA

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-2 and Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Topic: To be advised
Professor Jason Sharples
Director, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
UNSW Canberra

Wednesday
25 August

Time: TBA

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-3 and Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Royal Commission for Ageing and the care and welfare of the elderly
Professor Kathy Eagar
Director, Australian Health Services Research Institute
University of Wollongong

Wednesday
29 September

Time: TBA

Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-4 and Lecture

Venue: To be advised

Topic: To be advised
Mr Nathan Towney
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Leadership)
University of Newcastle

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NOV
18

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.

 

NOV
11

1288th OGM and Open Lecture

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

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

Date: Wednesday, 11 November 2020, 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: Zoom Webinar.
Video presentation: YouTube video

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 advances 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.

Tom Borody will discuss How we cured Helicobacter pylori infection in Australia.  Professor Borody is a world renowned medical doctor from Australia with over 40 years experience in clinical research and practice, including at the St Vincent Hospital in Sydney and at the Mayo clinic in the US. In 1984 he established the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, overseeing its growth into an active clinical research institute with 65 employees. Professor Borody is most famous for his ground-breaking work developing the triple therapy cure for peptic ulcers in 1987, which has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and the Australian health system more than $10 billion in medical care and operations. Professor Borody is a leader in the clinical microbiota dating back to 1988 when he started performing what is now called Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT). He holds over 150 patents in areas such as; treatment of Helicobacter pylori, Crohn’s disease, bowel lavage, IBS and FMT. 

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, 8.50am – 4.30pm
Venue: Live streaming from Government House, Sydney.
Report and Videos: Forum Report and YouTube Playlist

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
OCT
27

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-4

The Engaged University

Professor Janet Nelson 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation
University of Newcastle

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020, 5.15pm AEDT
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Video presentation: YouTube video

This event was presented jointly with the University of Newcastle as part of its Looking Ahead series.

Summary: In today’s society, we face unprecedented change and complex global challenges. This means we need to think and work differently, and our agility, responsiveness, and collaborative experimentation as a society will be critical to sustainability and success – not only for university and our regional economies, but for our wider communities.

Join Professor Janet Nelson as she examines how researchers collaborate with community partners to leverage the unique history of our region – and increase our research and academic excellence – to solve some of our most wicked problems.

Janet and her panel of experts will discuss some of the current opportunities and challenges our researchers are facing and seeking to solve: how do we bring the world closer to a sustainable future? How do we support transition and uptake of natural resources in the development of new energy technologies?

The University of Newcastle is looking ahead and focusing on the solutions we need to build for our regions. We are empowered by our reputation for outstanding research and collaboration, underpinned by our values of excellence, equity, sustainability and engagement in everything we do. With our fellow citizens we can navigate through this unique time. The University of Newcastle is dedicated to our partnerships with regions as we thrive into our shared future.

Professor Janet Nelson joined the University of Newcastle in March 2020. In her role, she serves as the university’s chief research officer with responsibilities for the diverse and comprehensive research enterprise. She will draw on her extensive experience in scientific research, business development and research administration to further enhance the university’s reputation for research excellence, engagement and impact.

Professor Nelson has more than 30 years of experience in scientific research, scientific review, research portfolio administration, complex and multidisciplinary program and project management, business development, and science policy implementation.

Prior to moving to Australia, she was the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Idaho in the United States. Other previous roles include Associate Vice-Chancellor of Research Development at the University of Tennessee, Director of Business Development for URS Corporation (now AECOM), Director at a Biotechnology Industry Organisation in Washington, D.C., and Deputy Chief and Scientific Review Officer at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Professor Nelson holds a PhD in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology and a BA in Chemistry from Carleton College, Minnesota. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Honorary Member of the National Academy of Inventors.

 

OCT
15

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2020-8

Susannah Fullerton“Literary England: Susannah’s Top Ten Places”

Susannah Fullerton OAM FRSN
Literary Lecturer and President, Jane Austen Society of Australia

Date: Thursday, 15 October 2020 
Venue: Via email circulation

While pandemic restrictions on group activities prevail, the South Highlands Branch continues to send members information and summaries from our scheduled speakers.

Summary

In her memoir 84 Charing Cross Road, American Helene Hanff goes searching for the ‘England of English Literature’. I know just how she felt. I first went to England in 1980, with a long list of literary places I just had to see – I longed to visit the homes of favourite novelists and poets, walk the paths they had trodden, pay my respects at their graves, and see with my own eyes the landscapes that had filled my imagination since I had learned to read.

England is so rich in literary connections that it was terribly hard choosing only ten places for this talk. I have tried to include variety – of authors, of sites and of geographical area. There’s a library, houses large and small, churches, a graveyard and an ancient charitable institution. I will take you from the gentle countryside of southern England, up to more dramatic northern landscapes.

I hope that this virtual travel will enchant and intrigue you, will give you ideas of places to include in your next visit to England, or bring back wonderful memories. I have not included literary places in London – that has to be a separate talk.

What I hope this talk will make you do is to consider which Top Ten places you would choose, and to consider with a deeper appreciation the incredible riches of the England of English Literature.

The lecture can be access from this link.

Susannah Fullerton  has been the President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia for more than twenty years. She has written several books about Jane Austen and has lectured about her favourite novelist around Australia and overseas. She received an OAM for services to literature and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. Susannah is also the Patron of the Kipling Society of Australia. She leads literary tours to the UK, Europe, NZ and the USA, and she sends out a popular and free monthly blog, ‘Notes from a Book Addict’ which you can sign up for on her website. Susannah is one of ADFAS’s most popular Australia lecturers and she offers a wide range of talks about famous writers and their works.

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 early 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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