Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

The Royal Society and the COVID-19 Pandemic

RSNSW Logo The Royal Society of NSW wishes to assure all Members and Fellows of the Royal Society of NSW that the Society’s Council takes very seriously its responsibility to safeguard the health of its constituency throughout the pandemic, and not only to conform to Government expectations but also to encourage others to do so as well. Therefore, no face-to-face meetings, lectures, or social events can be held.

The Society will use this time to polish its 21st century digital skills. We will continue our usual programs and introduce new ones, all online and cost free. We intend to help you enjoy weeks or months in solitary splendour with:

  1. The Ordinary General Meetings and other lectures to be held online.
  2. The Annual General Meeting and the Council election to be held online, allowing all Members and Fellows to take part in voting—a first for the Society, and an improvement to our election process: previously, it was difficult to vote if not attending the AGM in person.
  3. We were about to invite our Members and Fellows to a new series of occasional lectures titled ideas@the_house, which Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, had asked us to hold at Government House, followed by a reception. We hope that these will still be held as online events, but unfortunately, Her Excellency’s generous hospitality cannot be enjoyed virtually!
  4. A new interview series, in which you will get to know Members and Fellows and the subjects they study.
  5. YouTube videos and podcasts of lectures and performances such as the wonderful Speaking of the Music … the Magic of Solo Violin by David Hush with live performances by Anna Da Silva Chen—accessible from the preceding link or via our YouTube playlists.

    This week, the Society made available the videos from the 7th November 2019 Forum Making SPACE for Australia, held in conjunction with the four Learned Academies. The videos and related slide presentations for each individual speaker have been uploaded to the Society’s YouTube channel which was launched on 19 March 2020. You can conveniently access these via the Making SPACE article. This provides the event’s program and speaker list (with links to the video and presentation slide content), together with a report on the day. You are welcome to share these links, or the link to any individual presentation, via your own communication channels.

    It is planned to release new content, including recordings of the events described here, on a regular basis.

    We also encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel (for which a Google account is required), and to click on the bell icon to be notified by email when new content is posted.
  6. SMSA-RSNSW joint lectures for this year, On the Shoulders of Giants, will take place online.
  7. The programs of the Hunter Branch and the Southern Highlands Branch will join Sydney programs online, so we all get more programs and tap into a larger pool of talent.
  8. The Annual Dinner, scheduled for May, to our great disappointment, had to be cancelled. Professor Brian Schmidt AC FRS FAA DistFRSN, Vice-Chancellor of the ANU and Nobel Laureate in Physics, was to be our speaker. We have invited him to give his lecture, “Evidence and expertise in a post-truth world“, online.

The year 2020 is a special year as we plan for our 200th Birthday in 2021. We will celebrate our 199th Birthday in June of this year. We want you all to be there in person or, more likely online, to join in the celebration.

We urge all our Members and Fellows to follow the medical advice from the Commonwealth and NSW Departments of Health. Stay well, so we can all look forward to better days and meet face-to-face for our Bicentennial. In the meantime, stay in touch through the Society’s monthly Bulletin and our improved website.

Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan AO FAA FRSN
President, Royal Society of NSW

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