Royal Society of NSW Meeting Presentations

This page provides access to content presented at meetings of the Royal Society of NSW, where permission to do so has been granted by the author. All content is made available under a Creative Commons CC-BY (Attribution) licence, unless otherwise stated.

Such content includes:

  • Video presentations (with links to the Society’s YouTube Channel)
  • Audio recordings (with links to the Society's YouTube Channel)
  • Slides (in pdf format), presented at Society meetings, where these are of broad general interest.  Please note that in some cases it may have been necessary to split a slide deck into parts due to limitations imposed by the website's content management system. 


1311th OGM and Open Lecture — 15 March 2023
“Royal Society of NSW 2022 Student Award Presentations”
Shankar Dutt (1), Clara Liu Chung Ming (2), Thomas Mesaglio (3), Anyang Zhao (1)
PhD Candidates
(1) Australian National University
(2) University of Technology Sydney
(3) UNSW Sydney

[email protected]: March 2023 — 2 March 2022
“Aristotle on life and thought in the sub-lunary sphere”
Dr John Vallance FRSN FAHA
State Librarian of New South Wales

1310th OGM and Open Lecture — 1 February 2023
“Drones, Smart Munitions and Cyberspace: 21st Century Defence of Ukraine and implications for Australia”
Major General (Retd) Fergus McLachlan AO
Colonel (Retd) Andrew Condon


1309th OGM and Open Lecture — 7 December 2022
“Harnessing solar energy through catalysis to make chemicals and fuel”
Scientia Professor Rose Amal AC FRSN FAA FTSE
School of Chemical Engineering
UNSW Sydney

RSNSW Poggendorff Lecture 2021 — 30 November 2022
“A plant breeder’s perspective on food security and climate change”
Professor Richard Trethowan
Director, The Plant Breeding Institute
University of Sydney

1308th OGM and Open Lecture — 23 November 2022
“Most of our universe is missing! Adventures in the dark side of the cosmos”
Professor Geraint Lewis FRSN FLSW
Professor of Astrophysics
University of Sydney

1307th OGM and Open Lecture — 5 October 2022
“The Global Economy and Australia's Outlook: Geoff Harcourt's contribution to the theory of productivity growth”
(1) Dr Don Russell
(2) Ms Jane Drake-Brockman
(3) Emeritus Professor Robert Marks FRSN

(1) Chair, AustralianSuper, (2) Industry Professor, University of Adelaide, and (3) Editor, RSNSW Journal and Proceedings

1306th OGM and Open Lecture — 7 September 2022
“Is Fairweather an Australian artist? And does it matter?”
(1) Associate Professor Claire Roberts FAHA and
(2) Emeritus Professor Nicholas Jose

(1) Associate Professor of Art History, University of Melbourne, and (2) Emeritus Professor of English, University of Adelaide

[email protected]: August 2022 — 4 August 2022
“Manufacturing at the Atomic Scale”
Michelle Simmons AO FRS DistFRSN FAA FTSE
Scientia Professor, UNSW Sydney
Director, ARC Centre of Excellence (CQC2T)
Founder, Silicon Quantum Computing

1305th OGM and Open Lecture — 3 August 2022
“Marsupials: Their secrets are all in their genes!”
(1) Professor Kathy Belov AO FRSN FAA and
(2) Dr Elizabeth Deane FRSN

(1) Professor of Comparative Genomics, University of Sydney, and (2) Education Consultant

1304th OGM and Open Lecture — 6 July 2022
“This is going to be different: Learning to live with Chinese Power”
Professor Hugh White AO FASSA
Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies
Australian National University

RSNSW Clarke Memorial Lecture 2021 — 10 June 2022
“The changing tide of human populations: an infertility trap”
Professor John Aitken FRSE FRSN FAA FAHMS
Distinguished Emeritus Laureate Professor FRSE FRSN FAA FAHMS
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
University of Newcastle

1303rd OGM and Open Lecture — 1 June 2022
“Federalism, borders, and National Cabinet — What has the pandemic taught us?”
Professor Anne Twomey AO
Professor of Constitutional Law
University of Sydney

Western NSW Branch Meeting 2022-2 — 18 May 2022
“Making a living on the plains — Stone tools and archaeology of Aboriginal societies”
Dr Colin Pardoe FRSN
Biological Anthropologist and Archaeologist

RSNSW Poggendorff Lecture 2020 — 11 May 2022
“Are our weeds becoming new native species?”
Professor Angela Moles FRSN
Director, Evolution and Ecology Research Centre
UNSW Sydney

1302nd OGM and Open Lecture — 6 April 2022
“New frontiers in smart sensor technology for a healthier, safer and sustainable future”
Professor Ben Eggleton FRSN FAA FTSE
Director, University of Sydney Nano Institute and
Co-Director, NSW Smart Sensing Network

RSNSW Clarke Memorial Lecture 2020 — 17 March 2022
“From bulldozers, pests, and pathogens to climate change and urban futures: the tough life of plants”
Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman
Macquarie University

Western NSW Branch Meeting 2022-1 —  15 March 
“Public Trust and Science in Times of Coronavirus”
A public panel with:
Robert Clancy AM FRSN, Michelle Grattan AO FASSA, Jane Quinn
    facilitated by
Mark Evans, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Charles Sturt University

1301th OGM and Open Lecture — 2 March 2022
“Royal Society of NSW 2021 Student Award Presentations”
Zain Mehdi (1), Sajad Abolpour Moshizi (2), Harry Marquis (3), Kevin Chau (2)
PhD and MSc Candidates
(1) Australian National University
(2) Macquarie University
(3) University of Sydney

Annual Meeting of the Four Societies 2022 — 16 February 2022
“Engineering and related challenges in decarbonising the electricity system”
Professor Stephen Wilson
The University of Queensland

1300th OGM and Open Lecture — 2 February 2022
“Where next for higher education after COVID-19?”
Professor Mark Scott AO FRSN
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
The University of Sydney


1299th OGM and Open Lecture — 1 December 2021
“Managing psychological distress in times of stress: the stress of COVID-19 and all that”
Professor Richard Bryant AC FASSA FAA FAHMS
Scientia Professor of Psychology and Director, Traumatic Stress Clinic
UNSW (Sydney)


Western NSW Branch Meeting 2021-1 —  19 October 
“With the Falling of the Dusk?
Professor Stan Grant
Vice-Chancellor's Chair of Australian-Indigenous Belonging
Charles Sturt University 


1298th OGM and Open Lecture — 6 October 2021
“Privacy and Identity in an AI world”
Professor Toby Walsh FAA FACM FAAASN
Scientia Professor of Artifial Intelligence
School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW (Sydney)


Our Energy Future: Part 2  15 September 2021
“Crushed Rocks”
Dr Saul Griffith FRSN (1) and Dr Adi Paterson FRSN FTSE (2)
(1) Founder and Chief Scientist, Otherlab and
(2) Principal, Siyeva Consulting and former CEO, ANSTO


1297th OGM and Open Lecture — 1 September 2021
“Taking humour and laughter seriously: Exploring the multi-disciplinary field of humour studies”
Dr Jessica Milner Davis FRSN
Honorary Associate, University of Sydney


Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-3 —  25 August 
“Did the Aged Care Royal Commission provide a blueprint to fix Australia's aged care system?
 If not, what else needs to happen?”

Professor Kathy Eagar
Director, Australian Health Services Research Institute
University of Wollongong


Our Energy Future: Part 1  25 August 2021
“Context and Castles”
Dr Saul Griffith FRSN (1) and Dr Adi Paterson FRSN FTSE (2)
(1) Founder and Chief Scientist, Otherlab and
(2) Principal, Siyeva Consulting and former CEO, ANSTO


1296th OGM and Open Lecture  8 August 2021
“The Intimate History of Evolution: The Huxleys 1825–1975”
Professor Alison Bashford FRSN FAHA FRHistS FBA
Laureate Professor of History, UNSW (Sydney)


[email protected]: July 2021  22 July 2021
“Music as a Superfood”
Greta Bradman
Writer, broadcaster, psychologist, and performing artist


1295th OGM and Open Lecture  5 July 2021
“Society as an information processing system, and the influence of the media”
Dr Erik Aslaksen FRSN
Physicist, Engineer, and Writer


Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-2 — 30 June 2021
“Extreme bushfires and the age of violent pyroconvection”
Professor Jason Sharples
School of Science
UNSW (Canberra)


1294th OGM and Open Lecture  2 June 2021
“Murray-Darling Basin turmoil: past, present, and future”
Professor Richard Kingsford FRSN
Director, Centre for Ecosystem Science, UNSW (Sydney)


Hunter Branch Meeting 2021-1 — 26 May 2021
“On readying our region for low emissions technology”
Dr Alan Finkel AO FTSE FAA
Former Chief Scientist of Australia, and
Special Advisor to the Australian Government on Low Emissions Technology


1293rd OGM and Open Lecture  5 May 2021
“Big, bad fires in New South Wales”
Emerita Professor Mary O'Kane AC FRSN FTSE HonFIEAust
Chair, NSW Independent Planning Commission


[email protected]: April 2021  7 April 2021
“Australia and the Dickens Boys”
Thomas Keneally AO DistFRSN


1292nd OGM and Open Lecture  7 April 2021
“Antarctica, this ain’t no mirage: the value of art in disseminating scientific information”
Lea Kannar-Lichtenberger
Contemporary Artist


1291st OGM and Open Lecture  3 March 2021
“What are the best options for growing Australia’s mental health through the COVID-19 recovery?”
Co-Director, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney


1290th OGM and Open Lecture  3 February 2021
“Royal Society of NSW 2020 Student Award Presentations”
Matthew Donnelly, UNSW (Sydney); Sajad Razavi Bazaz, UTS; Daniel Fox, ANU; and Philippa Specker, UNSW (Sydney)



1289th OGM and Open Lecture  9 December 2020
“Dispelling climate change myths—how ocean physics can help explain surprises in the modern-day climate record”
Scientia Professor Matthew England FRSN FAA
UNSW (Sydney) Climate Change Research Centre


Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-5 — 2 December 2020
“Planetary Health—Safeguarding Health in the Anthropocene Epoch”
Professor Tony Capon
Monash Sustainable Development Institute


1288th OGM and Open Lecture  11 November 2020
“Where have all the ulcers gone — long time passing?”
Emeritus Professor Adrian Lee FRSN and Professor Thomas Borody FRSN
UNSW Sydney and Centre for Digestive Diseases


Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-4 (jointly with the University of Newcastle)  27 October 2020
“The Engaged University: Advancing Research and Innovation through Powerful Partnerships”
Professor Janet Nelson
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), University of Newcastle


1287th OGM and Open Lecture  7 October 2020
“Where now for the study of time?”
Professor Huw Price FRSN FBA FAHA
Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge


Southern Highlands Branch Meeting 2020-7  17 September 2020
“Philosophical Ethics in Schools: Plan and Paradox”
Adjunct Professor Sandra Lynch
Institute for Ethics and Society, University of Notre Dame Australia


1286th OGM and Open Lecture  2 September 2020
“The Dawn of Molecular Medicine—Gene Therapy: past, present and future”
Professor John Rasko AO
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Centenary Institute, University of Sydney


Science Week 2020: The Periodic Table — 20 August 2020
“The Periodic Table: ‘.. a medley of haphazard facts falling into line and order’ (C. P. Snow)”
Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert AM FRSN
UNSW Sydney and the Royal Society of NSW


Science Week 2020: The COVID Curve in Context — 18 August 2020
“The COVID Curve in Context: or Back to the Future—something old and something new”
Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
University of Newcastle and the Royal Society of NSW


1285th OGM and Open Lecture  5 August 2020
“Growing Black Tall Poppies”
Professor Peter Radoll
Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, University of Canberra


Hunter Branch Meeting 2020  29 July 2020
“Architecture and the Cultivation of Vitality”
Professor Pia Ednie-Brown
School of Architecture & Built Environment, University of Newcastle


1284th OGM and Open Lecture  8 July 2020
“Why Art Matters in Times of Crisis”
Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE FRSN
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia


Annual Dinner 2020, Distinguished Fellow’s Lecture and 199th Anniversary — 27 June 2020
“Evidence and Education in a Post-Truth, Post-COVID World”
Professor Brian Schmidt AC FRS DistFRSN FAA
Vice-Chancellor, The Australian National University

1283rd OGM and Open Lecture — 3 June 2020
“Drinking for three: Mother, baby and society”
Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM FRSN FAHMS
University of Sydney and the Sydney Children's Hospital Network (Westmead)

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-2 — 27 May 2020
“COVID-19 and confusion: the story of a nasty but nice viral receptor”
Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers AM FRSN FAA
University of Newcastle and the Hunter Medical Research Institute

[email protected] — 21 May 2020
“Ten: the mapping of Colonial Australia”
Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
University of Newcastle and the Royal Society of NSW

1282nd OGM and Open Lecture — 22 April 2020
“Presidential Reflections—science stuff and the President's random path”
Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan AO FRSN
President, Royal Society of NSW

Speaking of Music ... The Magic of Solo Violin — 27 February 2020
A joint Royal Society of NSW and Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts Event
Dr David Hush FRSN and Anna Da Silva Chen


1281st OGM and Open Lecture — 4 March 2020
“Soils: the least understood part of science, yet vital for all of us”
Professor Robin Batterham AO
Kernot Professor, University of Melbourne

Slides (45): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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