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
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.

 

JUL
29

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-3

Professor Pia Ednie-Brown“Architecture and the Cultivation of Vitality”

Professor Pia Ednie-Brown
School of Architecture & Built Environment
University of Newcastle

Date: Wednesday, 29 July 2020, 6.00pm
Venue: Zoom webinar
Video recording: YouTube video

This lecture is a joint event of the University of Newcastle (as part of its new Professor series) and the Royal Society of NSW.

How do the spaces we create affect our well-being, our creativity and cultural vitality? We often have a sense that certain places help us feel happier, stronger, more relaxed or more energised, but struggle to pin-point exactly what makes us feel this way. Answers to the question of how and why architectural environments affect us have been offered across disciplines, producing multiple and very different perspectives on the issue. Each offers a fragment of truth perhaps, but the highly contextual and complex nature of architectural environments eludes singular, disciplinary standpoints.

In this lecture, Professor Pia Ednie-Brown will argue that architectural approaches aiming to cultivate vitality can be found through approaching place as a person. This changes the nature of our relationship with buildings and sites such that we don’t design them, we design with them. Crucially, our relationship with places cultivates vitality through forging meaningful, living connections beyond ourselves.

Professor Ednie-Brown is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Her research projects have investigated relationships between creativity, emergence, ethics and innovation. She has a creative research practice, Onomatopoeia. Her creative work and writing have been published widely, and she has edited two books: Plastic Green: designing for environmental transformation (RMIT Press, 2009), and The Innovation Imperative: Architectures of Vitality (AD, Wiley, 2013).

MAY
27

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-2

Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers“COVID-19 and confusion: the story of a nasty but nice viral receptor”

Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers AM FAA DistFRSN
Hunter Medical Research Institute and
University of Newcastle

Date: Wednesday, 27 May 2020, 5.30pm
Venue: Zoom webinar
Video recording: YouTube video

COVID-19 is an infection caused by a corona virus (SARS-CoV-2). To get into the body it binds to a protein on the surface of the cells of the body’s organs by a viral protein spike. These spikes stick out from the surface of the virus giving it a crown-like appearance, hence the name corona virus. The spike protein binds to an enzyme, ACE2. It is thought that the more ACE2 there is on cell membranes the greater the load of infectious particles there will be to enter cells, i.e., the greater the level of infection.

When the spike protein binds to ACE2 it ‘destroys’ it. ACE2 protects lung, heart and kidneys from the actions of angiotensin II which activates inflammatory pathways, by removing angiotensin II and converting it to an anti-inflammatory peptide. SARS-CoV-2 by binding to ACE2, therefore removes its protective effects.

Recombinant ACE2 can be easily introduced into the body. The question is could ACE2 be used safely to treat COVID-19? Do drugs that lower blood pressure by blocking angiotensin II and also by causing upregulation of ACE2 enhance the severity of COVID-19? Or do these drugs protect against severe tissue damage by suppressing angiotensin II’s inflammatory actions? These conflicting actions of ACE2 are causing confusion in the race to manage patients with COVID-19 and to prevent infection.

Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers is the Honorary Secretary of the Hunter Branch of the RSNSW. She studied medicine at University of Adelaide and subsequently gained a Doctorate in Medicine for her research into the renin-angiotensin system. She was the first woman to be awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship and she studied fetal physiology in Oxford where she was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College. Returning to Australia, Eugenie and her husband settled in Sydney where Eugenie was employed at University of NSW. She developed her research on fetal physiology and her team published numerous papers on the fetal and maternal renin-angiotensin systems and their cardiovascular and renal systems. Eugenie was awarded a Doctorate in Science and a personal professorial chair. Subsequently she was the first woman at NSW to be awarded a Scientia Professorship. Eugenie served on numerous university committees as well as committees of the NHMRC, NHF and ARC. She was elected to the University of NSW Council. Eugenie was Head of the School of Physiology and Pharmacology for 9 years. In 2002 she was elected to the Australian Academy of Science and made an Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.

Eugenie retired in 2003 to go sailing. In 2007 she began work at University of Newcastle where she held an adjunct professorial appointment. She also holds an adjunct appointment with University of Queensland. After achieving success in gaining funding, Eugenie began a research program into the reproductive tract renin-angiotensin system together with Dr Kirsty Pringle (now Associate Professor). Eugenie is still actively involved in research at the University of Newcastle in the Hunter Medical Research Institute. The team has been developing a research program in ACE2 among other components of the renin-angiotensin system.

Eugenie has three daughters and five grandchildren.

JAN
31

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-1

Professor Ryan Loxton Mathematics in Industry: Optimisation in Action —
Unlocking Value in the Mining, Energy, and Agriculture Industries

Professor Ryan Loxton
Curtin University of Technology

A joint public lecture held as part of the Mathematics in Industry Study Group and supported by the Hunter Branch of the Royal Society of NSW, the University of Newcastle,the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Division of the Australian Mathematical Society, and the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Conference Sponsorship Program.

Date: Friday, 31 January 2020, 5pm for 5.30–6.30pm
Venue: Newcastle City Hall (Hunter Room), 290 King Street, Newcastle, NSW 2300 

Optimisation is a branch of applied mathematics that focuses on using mathematical techniques to optimise complex systems. Real-world optimisation problems are typically enormous in scale, with hundreds of thousands of inter-related variables and constraints, multiple conflicting objectives, and numerous candidate solutions that can easily exceed the total number of atoms in the solar system, overwhelming even the fastest supercomputers. Mathematical optimisation has numerous applications in business and industry, but there is a big mismatch between the optimisation problems studied in academia (which tend to be highly structured problems) and those encountered in practice (which are non-standard, highly unstructured problems). This lecture gives a non-technical overview of the presenter’s recent experiences in building optimisation models and practical algorithms in the oil and gas, mining, and agriculture sectors. Some of this practical work has led to academic journal articles, showing that the gap between industry and academia can be overcome.

Ryan Loxton is a professor and the discipline leader for mathematics and statistics in the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing, and Mathematical Sciences at Curtin University. Ryan’s research interests lie in the areas of optimisation, optimal control, and data science. His work has been funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, and various industry partners, from small start-ups to large corporates. In particular, Ryan’s ARC grants include two prestigious, highly competitive fellowships—an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship during 2011–14 and a current ARC Future Fellowship that runs until the end of 2021. His work focuses on using advanced mathematics to optimise complex processes in a wide range of applications such as mining, oil and gas, agriculture, and industrial process control. Ryan’s algorithms underpin the Quantum software platform developed by Aurora Global for tracking, executing, and optimising shutdown maintenance operations at mine sites. Ryan is a passionate advocate for industry engagement and has worked extensively with industry where he has led demand-driven research projects with many companies, both big and small, including Woodside Energy, Vekta Automation, Fleetcare, and Global Grain Handling Solutions. Ryan was the recipient of the 2018 JH Michell Medal from the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Division (ANZIAM) as the outstanding researcher of the year, and the 2014 West Australian Young Scientist of the year. Ryan currently leads the optimisation theme in the new Australian Research Council’s Industrial Training Centre on Transforming Maintenance through Data Science, which is funded by a $3.9 million grant from the Australian Research Council plus matched funding from industry partners Alcoa, BHP Billiton, and Roy Hill.

JAN
01

Calendar of Meetings 2020

RSNSW SealThe 2020 Event Program of the Royal Society of NSW concluded for the year on 9 December 2020.

The 2021 Events Program will be posted on this website during January 2021. 


This page lists the Calandar of Meetings for the Royal Society of NSW in 2020.

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

 

Sydney Meetings 2020

DateEvent

Wednesday, 12 February 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

1280th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture: 2019 RSNSW Scholarship Presentations

Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Drought and wellbeing in Australian rural communities: implications for improving adaptive capacity and resilience to drought adaptive capacity and resilience to drought
Ms Emma Austin
PhD Student, Centre for Water, Climate and Land, University of Newcastle

Searches for Extended Higgs Sectors, Flavour Physics Anomalies and Dark Matter at the LHC
Mr Shayam Balaji
PhD Student, School of Physics, University of Sydney

Charting the Extracellular Matrix Through Breast Tumour Progression
Mr Michael Papanicolao
PhD Student, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Botanical biofilters for the phytofiltration of urban air pollutants
Mr Thomas Pettit
PhD Student, School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney

Thursday, 20 February 

5.30 for 6.00pm AEDT

Royal Society of NSW Liversidge Lecture

Venue: The Galleries, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Sydney, Kensington

The journey from simple polymers to nano-footballs: opportunities for better cancer treatment
Scientia Professor Martina Stenzel FAA
School of Chemistry, UNSW Sydney

Thursday, 27 February 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

Speaking the Music…The Magic of the Solo Violin
A joint presentation of the of the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts

Venue: Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Dr David Hush and Anna Da Silva Chen (violinist)

Wednesday, 4 March 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

1281st Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW, Shakespeare Place, Sydney

Soils: the least understood part of science, yet vital for all of us
Professor Robin J. Batterham
Former Chief Scientist of Australia and President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and currently Kernot Professor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

Friday, 6 March 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

 

Frontiers of Science Forum
A joint forum presented by the Royal Society of NSW, the Teachers’ Guild of NSW, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute

New frontiers in photonics —the science of light
Professor Ben Eggleton FAA FTSE FRSN
School of Physics and Nano Institute, University of Sydney

The mathematics of health honey bee hives
Professor Mary Myerscough
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney

Fitbits for sharks: combining biology and data science
Ms Julianna Kadar
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University

Drug discovery inspired by natural products
Professor Richard Payne
School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

Thursday, 12 March 

6.00 for 6.30pm AEDT

Annual Meeting of the Four Societies
A joint meeting presented by the the Australian Institute of Energy, the Australian Nuclear Association, the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia, and the Royal Society of NSW

Venue: Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Challenges for the Future: Energy Storage and Waste Plastic—Two Australian solutions going global
Professor Thomas Maschmeyer HonDSc FAA FTSE FMAE FRSN
School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

Postponed

Thursday, 19 March

AEDT

On the Shoulders of Giants
A joint presentation of the of the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts and the Royal Society of NSW

Venue: Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Henry Carmichael: Educational Progressive, Social Reformer, Secularist and Winegrower
Dr Lesley Scanlon
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts and the University of Sydney

Wednesday, 22 April

6.00pm AEST

153rd Annual General Meeting (6.00pm)
1282nd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture (immediately following)

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Presidential Reflections—science stuff and the President’s random path
Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan AO FAA FRSN
President, Royal Society of NSW

Thursday, 21 May

7.00–8.30pm AEST

[email protected]: May 2020

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Ten: the Mapping of Colonial Australia
Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
University of Newcastle and the Royal Society of NSW

Wednesday, 3 June

6.30pm AEDT

1283rd Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Drinking for three: Mother, baby and society
Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM FRSN FAHMS
University of Sydney and Sydney Children’s Hostpital, Westmead

Saturday, 27 June

7.00pm AEST

Virtual Annual Dinner, Distinguished Fellow's Lecture and 199th Anniversary

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Education and Evidence in a Post-Truth, Post-COVID World
Distinguished Professor Brian Schmidt AC FRS DistFRSN FAA
Vice-Chancellor, Australian National University

Wednesday, 8 July

6.30pm AEST

1284th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Why Art Matters in Times of Crisis
Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE FRSN
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Wednesday, 5 August 

6.30pm AEST

1285th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Growing Black Tall Poppies 
Professor Peter Radoll
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), University of Canberra

Tuesday, 18 August

6.00pm AEST

Science Week Lectures

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The COVID Curve in Context:  or Back to the Future—something old and some new 
Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW and University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 19 August

3.30pm AEST

The Clancy Collection—an Exhibition of Maps

Venue: Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney

Charting a Course: a 500-year story of discovery and development of Sydney 
Guide: Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW

Thursday, 20 August

6.00pm AEST

Science Week Lectures

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The Periodic Table: a medley of haphazard facts falling into line and order 
Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert
Royal Society of NSW and UNSW Sydney

Wednesday, 2 September

6.30pm AEST

1286th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The Dawn of Molecular Medicine - Gene Therapy: Past, Present and Future 
Professor John Rasko AO
Head, Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program, Centenary Institute

Wednesday, 7 October

6.30pm AEDT

1287th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Where now for the study of time? 
Professor Huw Price FAHA FBA
Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Wednesday, 14 October

3.30pm AEDT

The Clancy Collection—an Exhibition of Maps (repeated)

Venue: Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney

Charting a Course: a 500 year story of discovery and development of Sydney 
Guide: Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW

Thursday, 5 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

After COVID-19: Creating the Best of Times from the Worst of Times

Wednesday, 11 November

6.30pm AEDT

1288th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Where have all the ulcers gone, long time passing?
Professor Thomas Borody and Emeritus Professor Adrian Lee

Wednesday, 9 December

6.30pm AEDT

1289th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Dispelling climate change myths  how ocean physics can help explain surprises in the modern-day climate record
Scientia Professor Matthew England FRSN FAA

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Hunter Branch Meetings

DateEvent

Friday, 31 January

5.00 for 5.30pm AEDT

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-1

Venue: Newcastle City Hall (Hunter Room), 290 King Street, Newcastle

Mathematics in Industry: Optimisation in Action — Unlocking Value in the Mining, Energy, and Agriculture Industries
Professor Ryan Loxton
Curtin University

Wednesday, 27 May

5.30pm AEST

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-2

Venue: Zoom Webinar

COVID-19 and confusion: the story of a nasty but nice viral receptor
Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers AM DistFRSN FAA
University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 29 July

6.00pm AEST

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-3

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Architecture and the Cultivation of Vitality
Professor Pia Ednie-Brown
University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 27 October

6.00pm AEDT

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-4

Venue: Zoom Webinar

The Engaged University: Advancing Research and Innovation Through Powerful Partnerships
Professor Janet Nelson
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Newcastle

Wednesday, 2 December

6.00pm AEDT

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-5

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Planetary Health: Safeguarding Health in the Anthropocene Epoch
Professor Tony Capon
Monash University

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