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Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Subcategories from this category:

News 2020, News 2019, News Archive

Substantial addition to our web site

April 2005: Dr P.R. (Dick) Evans has scanned and converted to HTML 30 years of abstracts from 1969 to 1999. In addition to the abstracts there are 30 full-text papers reproduced - photographs and diagrams included. The latter are those that Dr Evans considers important papers. All of this is available on our web site under Publications.

Past President honoured by new mineral name

Prof. P.A. Williams​
Professor Peter Williams, a recent past President of the Royal Society of New South Wales (elected in 2001) has been extended a remarkable and rare honour. A new mineral has been named after him to honour his contribution to mineral research around the world. Called, Petewilliamsite, the dark brown/red/violet mineral was found in Germany and contains nickel and cobalt. Only 50 minerals are found around the world each year and most of these are given chemical, geographical or geological names. He says he's "tickled pink".

Life Membership

At a recent Meeting, Council unanimously bestowed Life Membership upon Mrs Maren Kryskov Tryst in recognition of her many years of dedicated service and contribution to the Society both as Honorary Secretary Editor and as Coordinator of the Society's Summer Schools over many years.

Relocation of the RSNSW office to Sydney University

July: The Society has moved into its new premises at 121 Darlington Road, Darlington Campus, Sydney University . The Office is located directly behind the Darlington Centre's Forum Restaurant on City Road where the Annual Dinner has been held for the past two years. While operations commenced at the new office on 19 July, there is still much work to be done in terms of sorting and moving stored library material and archives along with some bookcases and storage cabinets.

In line with this move, lectures in the future will be held in the near vicinity - either in the adjacent Institute Building or, if the need dictates, in the larger Conference Room in the Darlington Centre.

Governor General becomes Patron of RSNSW

We are delighted to be able to announce that the Governor-General of Australia, Major General Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC has agreed to become our patron. His Excellency met with the President, Karina Kelly, Hon Sec, Prof. Jak Kelly and Hon Sec (Ed), Prof. Peter Williams on Saturday 20th March at Admiralty House. The Governor-General showed a great deal of interest in our society and our plans for the future, especially in greater co-operation between the Royal Societies of Australia's states.

Annual Dinner 2004

Friday, 12th March 2004

Venue: the Forum Restaurant, Darlington Centre, Sydney University

Guest and speaker: Her Excellency, the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC

Awarding of the Clarke Memorial Medal, Edgeworth David Medal and the Society's Medal

Around 50 members and guest attended. Official guests included our Patron, Her Excellency, the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir, AC and her husband Sir Nicholas Shehadie and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Prof. Gavin Brown and his partner Ms Diane Ranck as well as the 2004 Award recipients.

The address was delivered by the Governor of New South Wales, Prof. Marie Bashir AC, who spoke about her area of expertise, childhood psychiatric disorders and the struggle to diagnose and treat young people as soon as possible.

The Awards for 2003 were announced at the Dinner and presented by the Governor. Citations for the Awards were read by Prof. Jak Kelly.

Royal Societies of Australia Eureka Prize 2003

Our Eureka prize was awarded at the 2003 award dinner, attended by some 800 people in the Hordern Pavilion at Fox Studios on Tuesday 12 August. The food and wine were excellent, the extensive list of presentations was splendidly organised and ran remarkably to time. Unlike the Film and Media Awards there were no speeches by the winners thanking all their friends and supporters, which helps explain the good time-keeping.

It is generally believed that our choice of topic, "For Interdisciplinary Scientific Research" was well chosen and timely. The Sydney Morning Herald apparently agreed and gave leading coverage to our winners in an article by Deborah Smith, "Headway made in quest to get on top of brainwaves" in the Wednesday 13 August issue.

The prize was awarded for "Understanding Brain Dynamics" to a an extensive team led by Prof. P A Robinson (Physics, Sydney University), Dr C J Rennie (Medical physicist, Westmead Hospital), Dr E Gordon (Brain Resource Company, and Psychological Medicine, Sydney University) and Prof. J J Wright (Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria).

Electroencephalogram measurements of brain electrical activity using scalp electrodes have been made for some 125 years and have been very useful for diagnostic purposes. Most of the information has however been wasted for want of a proper theoretical framework to relate specific electrical signals to real brain processes. This has been achieved to a remarkable degree by the winning team who have taken their developments all the way from basic science to commercial development.

The results are already contributing to biological physics, medicine, pharmacology, psychology, industrial development and even to safety by providing direct information on states of alertness.

Details of the Prize can be found here.

Prof. Jak Kelly

Annual General Meeting 2003

The 2003 AGM and the April Meeting of the Royal Society of New South Wales was held on 9th April, 2003, at a venue provided by the Sydney Harbour Foreshores Authority, The Rocks.

The President of the Society, David Craddock, addressed the meeting. In his talk, titled "Publish and Perish?", he drew together three significant anniversaries which have occurred or will occur in 2003. These were the bicentenary of the first newspaper in the Colony, the 170th anniversary of the founding of the Sydney Mechanics' Institute and the centenary of powered flight. Professor Jak Kelly thanked the speaker, and a number of Members and guests adjourned to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Annual Dinner and Awards 2003

The 2003 Annual Dinner of the Royal Society of New South Wales was held on Friday 21st March, 2003 at the Darlington Centre, City Road, Sydney University. The after-dinner speaker was Professor Mike Archer, Director of the Australian Museum, who addressed Members and guests on FATE, the Future of Australia's Threatened Ecosystems.

Awards of the Society were made for 2002. Professor Marcela Bilek of Sydney University was at the dinner and was presented with the Edgeworth David Medal. Professor Robert Hill's citation for the Clarke Medal was read; Professor Hill of the University of Adelaide was unable to be present. Citations for both awards will be published in the Journal and Proceedings of the Society.

December 2002 - The Royal Societies of Australia Eureka Prize

The Council has recently made contact with kindred Royal Societies in each State with a view to cooperation in a number of areas. The first result of this is the establishment of The Royal Societies of Australia Eureka Prize for Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. The value of the prize is $10,000. The Royal Societies sponsoring this prize are the Royal Societies of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia. The prize will be awarded to a partnership, group, team or organisation for outstanding scientific research which involves the active collaboration and/or cooperation of scientists in two or more disciplines. The research must have been undertaken in Australia by Australian residents.

Details of the Prize can be found here.

RSNSW gets its own domain name

June 2002

The Royal Society of NSW acquired its own domain: royalsoc.org.au.

April 2002 - General Monthly Meeting and Presidential Address

In December 2003 it will be one hundred years since the first powered, sustained, heavier-than-air, human flight. However much of Australia's early flight history is unknown. Our President, Mr David Craddock, an Aeronautical Engineer and aviation historian, was an excellent guide on Australia's early flight history in his most interesting address: Antipodean Aeronautica.

Annual Dinner 2002

The Annual Dinner was held at the Holme Centre, Sydney University, on Thursday 28 February. The Society presented awards to Dr Samantha J. Richardson of Melbourne University (the Edgeworth David Medal), Dr Gordon H. Packham of Frenchs Forest (the Clarke Medal), Professor Michael W. Parker of the St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne (the Walter Burfitt Prize) and Professor Peter A. Williams of the University of Western Sydney (the Society's Medal). The after-dinner address, Is Greenhouse all Hot Air? A Short History of Planet Earth, was presented by Ian Plimer.

October 2001 - Patron

The Governor General of Australia, His Excellency the Right Reverend Dr Peter Hollingworth AC OBE accepted the position of Patron of the Society.

June 2001 - Royal Geographical Society

The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland contacted the Society, inviting applications to participate in multi-disciplinary scientific studies in the Gulf of Carpentaria between 29 October and 4 December 2002. Projects include the disciplines of archaeology, zoology, botany, geology and geomorphology with emphasis on the Gulf.

2001 Dinner of the Australian Academy of Sciences

The President, David Craddock, and his wife, Jan, attended the annual dinner of the Australian Academy of Sciences on 3 May, held in the Members' Dining Room, Old Parliament House, on behalf of the Society. The highlight of the evening was the address by Professor Peter Doherty. The Nobel Laureate (medicine) and Australian of the Year thoroughly entertained the 285 guests with a mixture of history, the future and marketing. Professor Doherty mentioned that he had been honoured by one of two monuments to famous people at Memphis. It was of little surprise to hear that the other monument was for Elvis. One of the key points of the address was for scientists to network with other disciplines. Another important issue was the need to gain support from government and increase public interest in the sciences. The media must be better utilised as a means to increase public awareness and understanding of science. Professor Doherty stressed the importance of restricting comments to a single issue when dealing with the media. He gave examples of 'off-the-cuff' comments to reporters, which appeared in another perspective when published.

Professor Brian Anderson, President of the AAS, and Professor David Craig expressed very strong support for the Royal Society of New South Wales. They suggested the possibility of holding some combined activities between the two organizations.

Royal Society events

The Royal Society of NSW organizes a number of events in Sydney throughout the year.  These include Ordinary General Meetings (OGMs) held on the first Wednesday of the month (there is no meeting in January).  Society business is conducted, new Fellows and Members are inducted, and reports from Council are given to the membership.  This is followed by a talk and optional dinner.  Drinks are served before the meeting.  There is a small charge to attend the meeting and talk, 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.

The first OGM in February has speakers drawn from the Royal Society Scholarship winners, and 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 (with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia)
  • The Dirac lecture (with UNSW Australia and the Australian Institute of Physics)
  • The Liversidge Medal lecture (with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute)
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