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Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

1279th OGM, Jak Kelly Award Lecture and Christmas Party

Gayathri Bharanthan All-integrated mid-infrared laser sources

Gayathri Bharathan — Jak Kelly Award Winner (2019)
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Macquarie University

Date: Wednesday, 4 December 2019, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (Entrance: Shakespeare Place, Sydney)

The infrared (IR) part of the electromagnetic spectrum is sub-divided into the near (0.8 – 2 μm), mid (2 - 15 μm) and far (15 - 1000 μm) infrared region. Amongst those three, the mid-IR is of particular relevance as it corresponds to photon energies that overlap with the strong vibrational molecular resonances of most common constituents of atmospheric gases and with the liquid water. Potential applications include but are not limited to environmental monitoring, trace molecular detection (e.g. for airport security screening) as well as non-invasive breath analysis where the presence of certain molecules in the human breath can be used as an indicator of a specific disease.

Due to their numerous advantages, fibre lasers represent the ideal light sources for most applications and have therefore become the most widespread used type of lasers in the near-IR. In contrast, mid-IR fibre laser technology is still in its infancy, mainly due the nonexistence of fibre coupled optical components required to form an all-fibre cavity, which severely limits their applicability. The possibility to utilize femtosecond lasers to directly inscribe high-quality and robust integrated components such as fibre Bragg gratings as well as in-fibre polarizers opens a new avenue for the development of future mid-IR all-fibre laser systems. The aim of my research work is therefore to investigate the fabrication of integrated components in mid-IR compatible glasses for the development of high beam quality all-fibre mid-IR lasers.

Gayathri Bharathan completed her Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala, India. This was followed by post-graduate studies in VLSI Design from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras). Later, she worked as a lecturer in the Federal Institute of Science and Technology for two years. She then returned to her studies in 2017, relocating to Sydney to pursue a Masters by Research in Photonics at Macquarie University. Her interest in the field of developing lasers for surgical applications led her to continue her studies and she commenced a PhD in March 2018 under the supervision of Dr Alex Fuerbach and Dr Stuart Jackson. At the completion of her PhD, she hopes that she can continue to contribute to the development of new mid-infrared laser sources for practical applications in medicine.

Women and Science: Lecture 7

Women and Science: Lecture 7      “An Accidental Astronomer”

    Emeritus Professor Anne Green

Date: Thursday, 21 November 2019, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

An Accidental Astronomer

As one of the first women radio astronomers, Anne Green faced unexpected challenges in undertaking panoramic and detailed surveys of the Milky Way Galaxy. Anne will track her career trajectory alongside the evolution of the Molonglo Radio Telescope that has been a pioneering astronomical instrument for more than 50 years. Anne’s journey has produced some exciting discoveries and rewarding collaborations in the study of the structure and ecology of the Galaxy, and has also encompassed observations with several of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

Emeritus Professor Anne Green FTSE FASA FAIP FRSN

Anne Green is presently an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney. She is a graduate in physics from both Melbourne and Sydney Universities. Following her graduate studies at Sydney, she was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany. Restarting her academic career at Sydney University after a 15 year pause for family and community work in Europe, she joined the School of Physics and progressed from post-doc to professor. During this period, she was Director of the Molonglo Telescope and was appointed as the first female Head of the School of Physics. She has been on numerous national and international astronomy advisory committees, including as President of the Astronomical Society of Australia, and Chair of Astronomy Australia Ltd. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Astronomical Society of Australia, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of NSW, and President of the Physics Foundation. Internationally, she is a Member of the Science Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy and has had a role in the early development of the powerful new radio-telescope, the Square Kilometre Array. She was the inaugural co-Chair of the Women in Astronomy Working Group of the International Astronomical Union for six years. Her research career spans 30 years in radio astronomy, studying the structure and ecology of the Milky Way Galaxy and its various constituents. In particular, her discoveries include supernova remnants, astrophysical masers and more recently, cosmological sparklers. She has a career total of over 200 papers with more than 6000 citations and has been a Chief Investigator on grants worth nearly $12 million. Most recently, the Astronomical Society of Australia has established the Anne Green Prize to be awarded to a mid-career scientist for a significant body of work or accomplishment.

Presented jointly by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Women and Science lecture series examines the huge changes we have seen in the roles women have played in science, and the view science has held of women.

Joint AIP, RSNSW and RACI Open Lecture 2019

Professor Jodie Bradby
   Diamonds and High Pressure Physics
   Professor Jodie Bradby

   The Australian National University

Joint Open Lecture of the Australian Institute of Physics, Royal Society of NSW, and Royal Australian Chemical Institute

Date: Tuesday 12 November 2019, 6.30pm
Venue: University of Technology Sydney, Building 1 (Broadway), Level 4 (ground level from Broadway), Room 6 (northwestern corner of the building)

Carbon is an amazing element that is well-known to crystallize, both as hard and transparent diamond and as soft and opaque graphite. Whilst both these forms of carbon have a range of technologically interesting properties, diamond is particularly remarkable from a technological perspective due to its unique mechanical properties. The ability of diamond to withstand extreme pressure is key for many high-pressure physics experiments. In this talk. Professor Bradby will outline some of the history of the field of high-pressure physics, discuss two methods for synthetic diamond formation (including an overview of the state-of-the-art of diamond growth), and then outline some of her recent work using diamonds to create extreme pressures for new material formation.

Jodie Bradby is a professor in the Research School of Physicsand Engineering at the Australian National University where she leads a group in high pressure physics. She is the current President of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). She holds a B. App. Sc. (Physics) degree from RMIT in Melbourne Australia, and completed a PhD on ‘Nanoindentation-induced deformation of semiconductors’ at the Australian National University in 2003. As a student, Jodie was awarded a Gold in the Materials Research Societies’ Graduate Student competition in 2002 and is a past recipient of the Philips Cowley-Moodie Award for Australian Electron Microscopy. After completing her doctorate, Jodie was awarded a Sir Keith Murdoch American-Australian Education Fellowship, which funded a project based at Case Western Reserve University in the USA. On her return to Australia, she commenced an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship and then an ARC QEII fellowship followed by a Future Fellowship (2014-2017). She has held several ARC grants, including Linkage Projects with a start-up company which was formed as a result of her doctoral work. She has published over 100 papers and three patents. She was the AIP Women in Physics Lecturer during 2015.


RSNSW and the Four Academies Forum 2019

Forum Brochure Cover Making SPACE for Australia

Government House, Sydney
7 November 2019

Report by the Forum Convenors:
     Emer. Prof. Roy MacLeod FRSN
     Dr Susan Pond AM FRSN

This year’s Royal Society of NSW and Four Academies Forum devoted to the subject of ‘Making Space for Australia’ drew together, in one day, authoritative voices from the natural, technological and social sciences and the humanities, to consider a range of issues that are likely to inform Australian public policy and public opinion in the decades ahead.

Forum 2019 Governor and Students Held like the four previous Forums, under the gracious Vice Regal Patronage of the Governor of New South Wales and in the ballroom of Government House, Sydney, the inclusive gathering of 140 people represented the Royal Society of NSW, the four Learned Academies, and guests from a cross-section of the space community, including 13 undergraduate students from diverse Faculties across six universities and studying various aspects of space.

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO, QC, Governor of NSW, reflected during her opening remarks on Australia’s long interest in reading the Heavens, beginning with the earliest Aboriginal observations and understanding of the constellations and their configurations.

Introduced by Professor Anne Green, Chair of the NSW Division of ATSE, the Keynote speaker, Professor Lisa Kewley, emphasized Australia’s strengths in space science while taking us on a tour of the Universe. The next session, Australia in the Space Age , moderated by Professor Jane Hall, President of the Academy of the Social Sciences, heard papers by the space historian and curator, Kerrie Dougherty on ‘Sixty Years of Australia in Space,’ by Dr Megan Clark (Director of the Australian Space Agency), on the Agency and its work; by Dr Kimberley Clayfield, on CSIRO’s ‘Roadmap for Space’; and by Dr Adam Lewis, of Geoscience Australia, on ‘Seeing and Sensing Australia from Space.’

Dr Donna Lawler, Principal of Azimuth Advisory, moderated the session devoted to Space Law, Security and Ethics. Prof Steven Freeland, the distinguished international Space lawyer, summarized the ‘Limits of Law’ in Space, and Dr Ben Piggott of UNSW Canberra reminded us of the military and geopolitical dimensions of Space policy. Dr Nikki Coleman, RAAF chaplain and Space ethicist, explored the ‘Ethical Challenges in Space: Norms and Conventions in Peaceful Spacefaring.’

A third session, expertly conducted by Ms Annie Handmer, historian of science of Sydney University, on Space and People , highlighted key themes in what is fast becoming the ‘humanities of Space’, with papers by Jonathan Webb, of the ABC, on the ‘Promise and Peril of Space’; by Dr Alice Gorman, of Flinders University, on ‘Space Heritage: Artefacts and Archaeology’ (both now challenged by the profusion of Space debris); a theme capped by the writer and novelist Ceridwen Dovey, on ‘Human Visions and Visitors in Space’.

The final session, Australia's Space Economy moderated by Dr Susan Pond AM, Chair of the NSW Smart Sensing Network, brought us back to Earth, welcoming William Barrett, Senior VP of Asia Pacific Space consultants, who addressed Australia’s promising Space Industry, then Paul Scully-Power, AM, one of Australia’s pioneering astronauts, speaking about the challenge presented by ‘Space 2.0: Small Space Satellite’s’. Finally, Group Captain Jason Lind, explained the role that Defence must and is playing in supporting Australia’s Space industry.

Our rapporteur, Dr Brett Biddington, AM, of Canberra, skillfully summarized the day. He reminded the audience that by a unique combination of history, science, and geography, Australia occupies an important place on the front line of continuing discoveries in Space. He noted the tension between the civil and the defence realms in space as well as an even bigger tension emerging between public and private investment in space.

Judging from the RSNSW’s customary post-conference Survey, the Forum met the challenges of the day, inciting a wide range of questions that continued long after the proceedings ended. At the same time, it foreshadowed a number of fresh questions that may well be asked by academics, governments, and the public at large and at future RSNSW events.

To paraphrase CP Snow, Australia has the future in its sights, and SPACE holds great prospects for the next generation. Bearing a distinguished 50-year history of Space engagement and blessed with major Space-related facilities across the country, Australia can play a far-reaching role in the coming years, not only in science and technology but also in law and ethics.

We are reminded, in celebrating this 50th year since Apollo 11, that the Astronauts left a plaque on the moon that said, ‘We came in peace for all Mankind’. The adventure that lies before us is one in which Australia accepts both the challenge and its responsibilities. We can only hope that this sentiment guides our destiny, our fullest achievement, and remains our uppermost goal.

1278th OGM and Open Lecture

Herbert Huppert
   The Beginning of Weather Forecasting:
   Matthew Maury, Robert FitzRoy FRS, and
   L. F. Richardson FRS
   Professor Herbert Huppert FRS FRSN
   University of Cambridge

Joint RSNSW OGM and Open Lecture & Australian Academy of Science’s Selby Public Lecture 2019

Date: Wednesday 6 November 2019, 6pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (enter by Shakespeare Place)

We, with our ancestors, have often lived with unpredicted changes in the weather, even quite dramatic changes. For social and financial reasons it would be extremely beneficial to have accurate weather forecasts — over both land and sea. Quantitative forecasts, not just that it will be relatively hot in summer and cold in winter, were not introduced until the mid 1800’s. How this came about, the individuals whose imagination and hard work made it possible and a short description of the (difficult) physical principles governing the often turbulent motions on many different spatial scales of the atmosphere will be summarized.

Professor Herbert Huppert FRS is Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Geophysics in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge. His theoretical and laboratory based work has improved our understanding of the behaviour of fluids in and on the Earth’s surface, and his work on convective systems has been crucial for an improved comprehension of our planet’s response to a changing climate. Often in demand as a scientific authority, Herbert served as Chair of a Royal Society working group on bioterrorism, which prepared a report for the British Government, a European Academies working group on Carbon Capture and Storage, which prepared a report for the European Parliament and has acted as an adviser to numerous other government bodies. He has received many awards for his work, including the Bakerian Lectureship of the Royal Society, a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship and The Australian Academy’s Selby Public Lectureship 2019.


Women and Science: Lecture 6

Women and Science: Lecture 6     “Women at the Frontiers of Biotech”

    Dr Susan Pond

Date: Thursday, 17 October 2019, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Women at the Frontiers of Biotech

Susan Pond outlined how biotechnology is being put to use for the good of humanity and the planet, and examined the role of women in this revolution from the time of Rosalind Franklin’s famous Photo 51 in 1952 through to today. Franklin’s work was fundamental to the celebrated revelation of the twisted ladder of the DNA double helix by Watson and Crick in 1953. This opened the floodgates to a revolution in biology and to Nobel Prizes being awarded to 13 women since 1964. Susan also looked forward to future applications and reviewed some of the challenges involved in putting nature’s machinery to work.


Susan Pond has a deep scientific and commercial background in biotechnology through her executive and non-executive roles during the last 20 years and current appointments. Susan has a first-class honours degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Sydney and Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of New South Wales. She held professorial appointments at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Queensland before joining industry. She was recognized as one of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac Top 100 Women of Influence in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering, Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of NSW.

Presented jointly by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Women and Science lecture series examines the huge changes we have seen in the roles women have played in science, and the view science has held of women.

Inaugural Meeting, Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW, and Open Lecture

Hugh Durrant-Whyte      “Industries of the Future”

     Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte FRSN
     NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer

Date: Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 6.00pm
Venue: Newcastle Club, 40 Newcomen Street, Newcastle NSW

Inaugural Meeting

An inaugural meeting to establish the Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of New South Wales was held at 6.00 pm on Wednesday, 9 October 2019, followed by a dinner at 7.30pm.

The meeting was open to all comers (i.e., members and fellows of the Society, guests and non-members), although only members and fellows were entitled to vote at the meeting.

The meeting agenda can be found here.

Invited Lecture: Industries of the Future

The NSW Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer (OCSE) supports a range of “prosperity initiatives” aiming to translate the best of NSW research into industry outcomes; from quantum technologies to robotics for agriculture, from advanced manufacturing to synthetic biology. This talk will describe the range of these initiatives including the support of Centres of Excellence, National Research Infrastructure, industry innovation networks and the new Physical Sciences Investment fund. This talk will also describe the close working of OCSE with other NSW Government Departments and Industry to develop a future industry strategy around emerging precincts and technology ecosystems.

Speaker: Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte FRSN

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte is the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. From 2014-16 and from 2002-2010, he was a Professor and ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney. From 2010-2014, he was CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA), and from 1995-2010 Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems and of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). Hugh is a world-leading authority on machine learning and robotics, and its application in areas including cargo handling, mining and defence. He has published over 300 research papers, graduated over 70 PhD students, and has won numerous awards and prizes for his work, including being named 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year. In his career he has worked with many major companies, has co-founded three successful start-up companies, and has won many awards including being named 2008 Engineers Australia NSW Engineer of the Year. He is particularly well known for his work with Patrick Corporation in delivering the automated container terminals in Brisbane and Port Botany, and for his work with Rio Tinto in pioneering the delivering the automated “Mine of the Future”. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, an honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (HonFIEAus), a Fellow of the IEEE (FIEEE), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS).

1277th OGM and Open Lecture

peter godfrey smith   Bodies and Minds in Animal Evolution

  Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith
  The University of Sydney

Date: Wednesday 2nd October 2019
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (Entrance: Shakespeare Place, Sydney)

Charting the evolution of different kinds of animal bodies helps us understand the evolution of the mind – both the varieties of minds that might exist, and how minds could arise at all through natural processes. Cephalopods, including octopuses, are an especially interesting case in bodily and behavioral evolution. Peter described octopus behaviors at field sites in NSW and how, In other ways, too, Australia has a special place in the deep history of animal life.

Peter Godfrey-Smith grew up in Sydney, and his undergraduate degree is from the University of Sydney. He studied for a PhD in philosophy at UC San Diego, and then taught at Stanford University, the Australian National University, Harvard University, and the CUNY Graduate Center before taking up his present post as Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. He is the author of five books, including Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (Oxford, 2009), which won the 2010 Lakatos Award, and Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness (2016, Farrar, Straus and Giroux).


European tour: the history of science

Academy Travel
Padua – Florence – Paris – London

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

Owing to a cancellation, two places are available.

19 September – 4 October 2019


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

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

Tour details

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

Maximum group size: 20

Tour highlights

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


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

Tour leader

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

Women and science: lecture 4

Women and Science  “Visual perception in Aboriginal art”

  Emeritus Professor Barbara Gillam
  School of Psychology, UNSW

Thursday, 18 July 2019
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Aboriginal painting now has a world-wide reputation.  However it has largely been regarded as conceptual rather than perceptual with a very strong emphasis on the stories depicted.

Barbara Gillam will examine the innovative perceptual skills of Aboriginal bark painters, especially in depicting figure-ground and occlusion.  She will also discuss the visual meaning of this art and its interaction with conceptual meanings.

Out of respect for cultural practices, we will not be featuring the bark paintings referenced in Barbara’s presentation in any of our promotional materials.

Barbara GillamBarbara Gillam was educated at the University of Sydney and ANU.  After two years as a Lecturer in the UK, she moved to New York with academic positions at Columbia and SUNY.  She returned to Australia in 1987 to take up the Chair of Psychology at the University of New South Wales, where she is still a professor.

Presented jointly by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Women and Science lecture series examines the huge changes we have seen in the roles women have played in science, and the view science has held of women.

1274th OGM and open lecture

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

   Emeritus Professor Robert Burford FRSN

Wednesday 3 July 2019
Gallery Room, State Library of NSW

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

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

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.

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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