Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events
AUG
19

Science Week 2020: The COVID Curve in Context

Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy“The COVID Curve in Context:  or Back to the Future—something old and something new”

Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW and the University of Newcastle

Date: During Science Week 17–21 August 2020 (TBC) 
Venue: Zoom webinar. Click here for help in getting started with Zoom
Entry: No charge
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All are welcome.

 Professor Clancy’s talk will address two isses: (a) the pattern of health in Australia, and how COVID-19 fits this pattern, and what we can learn from past pandemics in Australia; and (b) why old people die and young people “don’t turn a hair”, and how we can make our airways young again.  The talk will also consider why we don’t have a useful vaccine, and what we need to do, and can do, in the future to learn to live with COVID-19.

Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy was the Foundation Professor of Pathology in the University of Newcastle Medical School and a clinical immunologist who undertook research in mucosal immunology and the development of mechanisms to enhance mucosal resistance and control mucosal inflammation. He has a strong involvement in the biotechnology of natural products that maximise mucosal immune competence, protecting against infection, and he maintains a clinic in gastroenterology focused on inflammatory bowel disease.

Professor Clancy also has strong, longstanding interests in histocartography relating to the discovery and development of Terra Australis, and the history of science and medicine, with a focus on epidemics. He has written five books on histocartography and is a regular speaker on maps—curating exhibitions and writing numerous articles on this topic.

AUG
17

Science Week 2020: The Periodic Table

Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert“The Periodic Table: '‘.. a medley of haphazard facts falling into line and order’ (C. P. Snow)”

Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert AM FRSN
Royal Society of NSW and UNSW Sydney

Date: During Science Week 17–21 August 2020 (TBC) 
Venue: Zoom webinar. Click here for help in getting started with Zoom
Entry: No charge
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All are welcome.

The ancients had isolated and named around thirteen substances, mostly metals, not necessarily realising they were unique, chemically-indivisible ‘elements’. With the discovery of Oganesson (118 Og) we have completed the seventh row of the modern periodic table. In between, the science of Chemistry has been built on the discovery and manipulation of more and more of the elements that make up our world.

Periodic Table reduced

2019 was declared the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, being the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the modern periodic table by Dmitri Mendeleev.

Brynn Hibbert will take a ramble through the table, re-telling great stories that have been collected by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute as part of its celebrations of Mendeleev’s discovery, and explaining just how we discover and name new elements. Hibbertium here we come!

No chemistry training is required by the audience but the talk does address the NSW Chemistry Stage 6 Syllabus Module 1: Periodicity with inquiry question “Are there patterns in the properties of elements?” and so might be of interest to schools.

Brynn Hibbert is a a former, and now Emeritus, Professor of  Analytical Chemistry at UNSW. He is a go-to expert witness in the courts on matters chemical, particularly on drugs of abuse (in society and sports), although he has been known to do the occasional murder. As a member of committees of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)  he has been involved in the formal recognition process of new elements, his first  foray being Copernicium (element 112) and most recent Oganesson (118). In 2019 he won the first essay competition on ‘stories from the periodic table’ organised by the RACI with his tale of the discovery of iodine (and which will be re-told in his talk). Brynn is a Vice President of the RSNSW, and was President in 2016 – 2017.

AUG
05

1285th Ordinary General Meeting and Open Lecture

Professor Peter Radoll“Growing Black Tall Poppies”

Professor Peter Radoll
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous)
University of Canberra

Date: Wednesday, 5 August 2020, 6.30pm
Venue: Zoom webinar. Click here for help in getting started with Zoom
Entry: No charge
Enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All are welcome.

How do the contradictions of success intersect with race, higher education and Indigenous cultural values?

We are at a time that doing the right thing now seems more important than considering the long-term future of our community. Governments are trying to meet Indigenous employment targets, by funnelling many of our potential best and brightest into government traineeships from year 11, taking them away from the opportunity pipeline of future university study. The competition to attract these students to universities results in letting them know that they do not have to obtain the best grades at school as there are other pathways designed just for them; a subtle message that you do not have to excel. This can become a demotivating factor for Indigenous students who ideally would be better suited to a degree that requires a top ATAR score, and one that they are capable of achieving.

Are these structures supporting our success, or stopping us from reaching our full potential? 

As new terms, such as ‘cyber feminism’ enter our lexicon in the era of gender politics, within our universities, 75% of all professors are male, yet the majority of Indigenous university leaders are female.  Female Indigenous university enrolments and completions out number Indigenous males two to one. 

As we take on these challenges and complexities,we as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to capitalise on our ipseity.  As a Nation, by all of us embracing Indigenous culture, as the whole of our Australian history and story, we do not lose or give away something that we hold close. Instead, we all gain so much more knowledge and become richer for the embrace.

Professor Peter Radoll is a descendant of the Anaiwan people from the New England ranges area of Northern New South Wales.He is currently Professor of Information Technology and Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous at the University of Canberra. Peter is also Director of the Ngunnawal Centre at the University which provides support, training and study facilities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students – a role dear to his heart.

Starting out his working life as a motor mechanic, Peter has gone on to well over ten years as a senior academic and leader in the higher education sector at the Australian National University, The University of Newcastle and the University of Canberra. Peter’s passion and commitment to Indigenous Higher Education is also evident in the roles he has outside the University. He is a Director on the Board of the Smith Family, the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (AILC), and a Member of the Advisory Group for the CSIRO Indigenous Girls’ STEM Academy.

JUL
08

1284th OGM and Open Lecture

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE FRSN“Why Art Matters in Times of Crisis”

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE FRSN

Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Date: Wednesday, 8 July 2020, 6.30pm

YouTube Recording of the Event

The Royal Society of NSW has long emphasised science, but literature, arts and philosophy have always been categories of interest and responsibility. Today, we find more and more that neither the arts nor science can stand alone; each needs the other. Ms Macgregor is fascinated by the interrelationship of science and creativity. In this important talk she will raise ideas about the indispensability of the arts especially in a time in which it seems as if our survival depends only on science.

Summary: Museums and galleries around the world have had to close their doors, turning to digital programs to stay connected with their audiences. News is dominated by the health crisis and the consequent financial issues. What role can museums and galleries play in these unsettling times where social distancing is the norm? MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor believes in the social impact of art and will outline how artists can play a critical role as we face the challenges of a changed world post crisis.

Ms Elizabeth Macgregor began her career as curator/driver of the Scottish Arts Council's Travelling Gallery. which ignited her commitment to engaging new audiences with the work of living artists. In 1989 she was appointed director of Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and in 1999 she took up the directorship of Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art when it was facing significant challenges. To secure its future, she negotiated a new funding model with government, sponsors and philanthropists. Committed to supporting artists and expanding the audience for art, she has initiated a unique program of partnerships in Western Sydney. She successfully negotiated a $53m building redevelopment completed in 2012 which includes a National Centre for Creative Learning. Last year, the Museum attracted over a million visitors. Ms Macgregor’s innovation and contribution to the arts has been recognised with the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in 2008 and the Australia Business Arts Foundation Business Leadership Award. In 2011 she received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In 2019 she was included in ArtReview’s International Power 100 list; she won the 'Arts & Culture Category' of the Australian Financial Review '100 Women of Influence Awards', and was awarded the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s Patrons’ Prize for Collaboration. She sits on the Foundation of the Sydney Swans and the Board of UNICEF Australia.

JUN
27

Annual Dinner 2020, Distinguished Fellow's Lecture and 199th Birthday Celebration

2020 Annual Dinner, Distinguished Speak Lecture and 199th Anniversary

 

YouTube video of the Event.

Join us, online, for the Royal Society of NSW’s black-tie Annual Dinner and to celebrate our 199th Birthday, looking forward to our third century. Our Patron, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, will deliver her annual message to the Society.

Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions now allow small gatherings—so why not dress for the occasion, invite friends to share this intellectual and celebratory evening, and toast the Society on its 199th Birthday!

What is an important Birthday without presents?

As a birthday present to the Society for its extraordinary 199-year achievement, we invite Members, Fellows and friends to support our Library and expand its digital collections. We have begun to record and curate our lectures and events, but we are reliant on sub-professional equipment.

Our priority is to buy video/audio recording, streaming and editing equipment—cameras, microphones, video switching equipment, editing software, etc. Help us to enable the Society to build on what it has learnt during these unprecedented COVID times and continue to provide quality online services as we transition to a future that combines face-to-face and online events.

We welcome contributions to the Society’s Library Fund and are grateful to each of you for your gift and your participation in the Society. Donations to the Library Fund are tax deductible and may be made by:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer: from your bank account directly into the Society’s account using the details below. To receive your tax receipt, please also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. advising that you have donated and stating the amount and the transaction date.
Account name:  Royal Society of NSW Library Fund   BSB: 062 319
Reference:  Your family name and initials  Account Number:  1027 5175
  • Credit Card: Via Currinda, at this link, or by phone through the Society’s administrative partner, The Association Specialists, on 02 9431 8691. Please note, credit card payments incur a small transaction fee.
JUN
03

1283rd OGM and Open Lecture

Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Elliott“Drinking for three: Mother, baby and society”

Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM FRSN FAHMS

The University of Sydney and
Sydney Children’s Hospital (Westmead)

Date: Wednesday, 3 June 2020, 6.30pm
Venue: Zoom Webinar
Video recording: YouTube video

Summary: Australians love alcohol! Amongst the highest consumers in the world, we are renowned for our excellent quality wine. Our national sporting teams are sponsored by the alcohol industry and advertising and promotion of alcohol is rife, including to children. Yet the costs of alcohol are immense. It is difficult to measure the full economic impact of alcohol on our health and mental health and our education, child protection and justice systems. It is impossible to measure the costs to individuals and society.

Alcohol has a particularly devastating impact on the most vulnerable members of society — our children. Tonight, I will discuss the topic of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and the current state of play in Australia. FASD results from the brain injury to the unborn child that is caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Children with FASD have severe neurodevelopmental impairment, birth anomalies and learning and behavioural problems, which have lifelong consequences.

Over two decades there has been enormous progress in the recognition of FASD as a significant but preventable public health problem. Clinical practice, education, service development and policy have been guided by a national collaborative approach involving clinicians, researchers, parent support groups, Indigenous communities and NGOs — with government and NHMRC funding. We have a national action plan, advisory group, website, and disease register, training programs and specialist FASD assessment clinics, and research and clinical networks. We have innovative diagnostic techniques and access to the NDIS. But, the future is prevention, which remains our biggest challenge: 60% of Australian women continue to drink during pregnancy and children are increasingly diagnosed with FASD. We know what will minimise alcohol harms but face significant challenges to implementing these interventions, as will be discussed.

About the speaker: Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Elliott holds a Chair in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney and is Consultant Paediatrician at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (Westmead). She holds a prestigious Practitioner Fellowship, her third, from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. In 2019 she received the James Cook Medal for 2018 from the Royal Society of NSW – its highest honour – and was the first female amongst its 47 recipients at that time.

Professor Elliott has dedicated her career to advancing human rights, health and quality of life for ill and disadvantaged children in Australia and beyond, through education, research, clinical care and advocacy. Specific examples include promoting the health and human rights of: children disabled by rare diseases, FASD and vaccine-preventable and other infectious diseases; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, particularly those in remote Australia; Asylum Seeker and Refugee Children, particularly in Immigration detention; children receiving Cochlear implants; Children with Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGMC); and Children living in developing countries in our region, particularly Vietnam.

For over 20 years, Professor Elliott has worked to improve the lives of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Australia. She is regarded as pre-eminent in advocacy, research, policy and clinical care regarding FASD and has an international reputation in the field. She is a member of the Australian Government’s FASD Advisory Committee; Co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in FASD; Co-Director of the Care and Intervention for Children and Adolescents with Drug and Alcohol Problems (CIDADA); and Head of the CICADA NSW FASD Assessment clinic.

Australian Government funding has allowed Professor Elliott and colleagues to: conduct a FASD prevalence study in remote Aboriginal communities of WA and develop a national Guide to the Diagnosis of FASD, a national Hub (website), a national surveillance system and case Register for FASD, a program to evaluate and disseminate the Diagnostic Guide, and a series of online e-learning modules on alcohol use in pregnancy and FASD. She leads several NHMRC and government funded projects on alcohol in pregnancy and FASD. In 2018 she received the Australian Medical Association’s Excellence in Healthcare Award for her work in FASD and in 2019 received the Starfish Award for research and advocacy in at the International FASD conference in Canada.

Professor Elliott will speak on “Drinking for Three: Mother, baby and society”, a consideration of the urgency of properly addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

MAY
21

[email protected]: May 2020

Governor of NSW Crest-Silver and Gold-2020[email protected]

Presented by

Her Excellency the Honourable
Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW

Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy
“Ten: the Mapping of Colonial Australia

Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN
The University of Newcastle

Date: Thursday, 21 May 2020, 7.00pm
Venue: Zoom webinar
Video recording: YouTube video

About the talk: Maps are documents of history: they tell a story of place in context. The printed map has been available for 500 years—a remarkable coincidence with the story of Terra Australis, the mapping of Australia, and of the transition from mythology to empiricism as Western science took centre stage. The human history of New South Wales pre-dates all this by at least 60,000 years, engraved in rock, and embedded in a social history looking at the stars.

The intent of this talk is to highlight a very small part of the cartographic story, namely that of the colonial period from 1788 to 1901. The story will be told through a cartographic record of change events, covering a century where a “gaol of 1000 souls would become an independent nation with the highest standard of living in the world”, and told in the context of the colonial governors of the day — ten from the date of colonisation in 1788 through to responsible government in 1855, and ten from 1855 up to Australian Federation in 1901.

Which governors do you think made the most significant differences during this transition?

About the speaker: Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy was the Foundation Professor of Pathology in the University of Newcastle Medical School and a clinical immunologist who undertook research in mucosal immunology and the development of mechanisms to enhance mucosal resistance and control mucosal inflammation. He has a strong involvement in the biotechnology of natural products that maximise mucosal immune competence, protecting against infection, and he maintains a clinic in gastroenterology focused on inflammatory bowel disease.

Professor Clancy has strong, longstanding interests in histocartography relating to the discovery and development of Terra Australis, and the history of science and medicine, with a focus on epidemics. He has written five books on histocartography and is a regular speaker on maps—curating exhibitions and writing numerous articles on this topic. Together with his wife, Christine, he run tours in Europe on the history of medicine and pharmacy, and the history of science.

About [email protected]: In late 2019, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and Patron of the Royal Society of NSW, invited representatives of the Society to discuss how the Governor might open Government House to a series of public events based on important and/or influential ideas. Her Excellency’s proposal was that the Royal Society of NSW and other organisations might devise a series of lectures, to be held at Government House, and known as [email protected] on topics of our choice for an invited audience of our Members and Fellows, together with others to be invited by Her Excellency. The lecture would be followed by a reception hosted by Her Excellency. In January 2020, the Governor accepted three topics proposed by the Society. Since then the social restrictions of COVID-19 have intervened, with the face-to-face presentation and reception having to be replaced by an online webinar followed by a live question and answer session. We look forward to a future when we can enjoy the Governor's hospitality at the House.

APR
22

Meeting Notice - 153rd AGM and 1282nd OGM

Royal Society of NSW

153rd Annual General Meeting
1282nd Ordinary General Meeting

Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2020, 6.00pm 
Venue: Zoom Webinar (Connection link to be provided by email)

Special Note: In line with evolving advice from Commonwealth and State health authorities regarding COVID-19, the Society has suspended face-to-face meetings for the indefinite future. All future events, including formal Society meetings and the events program, will be conducted via video streaming.

Update (1 April 2020):  The balloting process for the Council Elections will commence on 3 April 2020.  

Annual General Meeting

Business of the Annual General Meeting

The formal business of the Annual General Meeting will be conducted using an electronic ballot. In this, Members and Fellows (who are financial for 2020) will receive an email from the Society's Returning Officer, via the electronic balloting company, Election Buddy.  This email will include a unique ballot link that provides a random, secret access key for each voter. Voter anonymity is assured by ballot settings which ensure that voter choices cannot be linked to any voter.

Since there is a candidate standing for election as Vice-President and the Honorary Librarian, it may be necessary to hold two ballots:

  • A first ballot, running between 3–10 April, to conduct the procedural business of the AGM, together with an election for the Vice-Presidents, comprising:
    • Confirmation of the minutes of the 152nd Annual General Meeting
    • Confirmation that the Annual Report of Council and the Financial Statements for 2019 be received
    • Confirmation of the proposed Auditors for 2020
    • Election of three (3) Vice-Presidents, from a field of five (5) nominees.
  • A second ballot, running between 13–20 April, may be needed to conduct an election for:
    • The Honorary Librarian, from a field of two (2) nominees.

The Agenda and Minutes of the previous AGM are available on the Meetings page of this website.  The Annual Report from Council and the Financial Statements for 2019 are available on the Governance page.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on 22 April by Zoom webinar, at which the results of the ballots will be announced. Members will be provided in advance with a Zoom webinar link through which to join the AGM/OGM webinar. The Ordinary General Meeting will commence immediately following the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting. 

Election of Members of Council and Office-Bearers (2020–21)

Listed below are the nominations for the 2020–21 Council received by the Society's Secretariat by the close of business on Thursday, 12 March 2020.

For those office-bearer roles where there are more nominees than available positions, an election is required. In these cases, nominees have been invited to provide an optional statement outlining how their expertise and experience fits them for these roles and will benefit the Society.

The statements may be accessed by either:

POSITION NOMINEE PROPOSER SECONDER
President Ian Sloan Donald Hector Brynn Hibbert
Vice-President (3 positions) Robert Clancy John Hardie Bruce Ramage
  John Hardie Robert Clancy Brynn Hibbert
  Brynn Hibbert John Hardie Bruce Ramage
  Susan Pond Ian Sloan Donald Hector
  Judith Wheeldon Eric Aslaksen Richard Wilmott
Honorary Secretary (General) Bruce Ramage Robert Clancy Brynn Hibbert
Honorary Secretary (Editorial)      
Honorary Librarian Ragbir Bhathal Brynn Hibbert Robert Clancy
  John Hardie Robert Clancy Brynn Hibbert
Honorary Treasurer Richard Wilmott Bruce Ramage Judith Wheeldon
Honorary Webmaster Lindsay Botten Bruce Ramage Stuart Midgley
Councillors (10 positions) Ian Bryce John Hardie Judith Wheeldon
  Robert Clancy John Hardie Bruce Ramage
  Virginia Judge Richard Wilmott Ragbir Bhathal
  Stuart Midgley Susan Pond Stephen Hill
  Bruce Milthorpe Bruce Ramage Brynn Hibbert
  Nyrie Palmer Stuart Midgley Donald Hector
  Robert Whittaker Donald Hector Brynn Hibbert

Ordinary General Meeting 

The 1282nd Ordinary General Meeting will follow the Annual General Meeting and includes a live, video-streamed Open Lecture.  

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

The Agenda for this meeting and Minutes of the previous OGM can be found on the Meetings page of this website.

The President will sketch his seemingly erratic research career—from atomic physics to mathematics to astrophysics—using the metaphor of the random walk, and touching lightly on science and history along the way. Turning back two centuries, he will describe the Society’s significant early involvement in astronomy through its first President, Sir Thomas Brisbane GCB GCH FRS FRSE.

Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan received a PhD in atomic physics from University College London. After a short (and unpromising) year in industry, he joined the University of New South Wales, and is there still. His research career, covering many areas of physics and computational mathematics, has received a number of awards, including the Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a former President of the International Council on Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

APR
22

1282nd OGM and Open Lecture

Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan Presidential Reflections—science stuff and the President’s random path

Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan AO FAA FRSN
School of Mathematics and Statistics
UNSW Sydney

President, Royal Society of NSW

Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2020, 6.00pm
Venue: Zoom webinar

Annual General Meeting

The meeting will commence with the announcement of the results of Council Elections, including the procedural motions and outcome of the office-bearer ballots.  The Ordinary General Meeting will follow immediately after the Annual General Meeting, the agenda for which is available on the website.

Ordinary General Meeting: Open Lecture

The President will sketch his seemingly erratic research career—from atomic physics to mathematics to astrophysics—using the metaphor of the random walk, and touching lightly on science and history along the way. Turning back two centuries, he will describe the Society’s significant early involvement in astronomy through its first President, Sir Thomas Brisbane GCB GCH FRS FRSE.

Emeritus Professor Ian Sloan received a PhD in atomic physics from University College London. After a short (and unpromising) year in industry, he joined the University of New South Wales, and is there still. His research career, covering many areas of physics and computational mathematics, has received a number of awards, including the Lyle Medal of the Australian Academy of Science. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a former President of the International Council on Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and an Officer of the Order of Australia.

MAR
19

On the Shoulder of Giants: Lecture 1 - Henry Carmichael

Henry Carmichael POSTPONED: Please contact SMSA on 02 9262 7300 regarding bookings

On the Shoulders of Giants: Creation of Learned Societies in NSW 

Henry Carmichael — Educational Progressive, Social Reformer, Secularist, Winegrower

Dr Lesley Scanlon
Vice-President, Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts

Date: Postponed
Venue: Tom Keneally Centre, Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

This is the first in the four lecture series, On the Shoulders of Giants: Creation of Leaned Societies in Colonial NSW, presented jointly by the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts and the Royal Society of NSW. This series will broadly cover the history of the two institutions, their contributions to learning and adult education in the colony, and significant figures in both organisations whose impact is felt still today.

When Henry Carmichael arrived in Sydney in 1831 he was on a ‘mission of educational reform’. An indefatigable educational activist, he saw education as a means of developing individual habits of mind and the key to social reform. Carmichael’s progressive educational ideas and practices drew on the works of Jeremy Bentham, Pestalozzi, Lancaster and von Fellenberg. Dr Lesley Scanlon explores how Carmichael actualised these ideas at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, the Normal Institution and the Porphyry Lyceum. His commitment to the ideal of liberal education is also evident in his advocacy of a national, secular education system and his championship of technical education. It is time to reappraise the work of this early educational thinker whose ideas remain relevant today.

MAR
12

Annual Meeting of the Four Societies 2020

Four Societies logo Challenges for the Future: Energy Storage and Waste Plastic — Two Australian Solutions Going Global’

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer FAA FTSE FMAE FRSN
School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

A joint meeting of the Australian Institute of Energy, the Australian Nuclear Association, the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia, and the Royal Society of NSW.

Date: Thursday, 12 March 2020, 6.00 for 6.30pm
Venue: Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney

In any discussion of a sustainable future, two issues loom large. First, how do we store the energy from Australia's abundant renewable resources? Second, how do we deal with the growing mountain of plastic waste?

As it happens, two technological breakthroughs addressing these issues have been developed in Australia by companies co-founded by our speaker, Prof. Thomas Maschmeyer, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sydney:

  •  a zinc-bromide battery, Gelion’s Endure, and
  •  Licella’s Cat-HTR Technology, a chemical recycling process, which turns plastic waste into fuels, waxes, and new plastics that can be recycled again and again.

Prof. Maschmeyer will discuss these within their respective contexts of a changing energy landscape and the circular economy. He will briefly review the status quo in each field and current projections of where the fields as a whole are headed, paying particular attention to the Australian perspective. Within ten years, 8% of the world’s expected battery storage will be located here. With huge resources of energy and space, so close to Asia, Australia has a great opportunity to process plastic wastes, uplift their value and send the intermediate products for further refining into new plastics, chemicals, and fuels offshore.

Thomas Maschmeyer Professor Thomas Maschmeyer is Founding Chairman of Gelion Technologies (2015), co-Founder of Licella Holdings (2007), and inventor of its Cat-HTRTM technology. He is also the Principal Technology Consultant for Cat-HTRTM licensees, Mura Technologies and RenewELP. In 2001, he was one of the founding professors of Avantium, a Dutch High-tech company. Currently, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sydney, he served as Founding Director of the $150million Australian Institute of Nanoscale Science and Technology. In 2011 he was elected the youngest Foreign Member of the Academia Europea. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences.

Professor Maschmeyer has authored 325+ publications, cited 10,000+ times, including 26 patents. He serves on the editorial/advisory boards of ten international journals and has received many awards, including the Le Févre Prize of the Australian Academy of Science (2007), the RACI Applied Research Award (2011), the RACI Weickhardt Medal for Economic Contributions (2012), the RACI RK Murphy Medal for Industrial Chemistry (2018), the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science (2018) — Australia’s Principal Science Prize — and, most recently, the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies’ Contribution to Economic Development Award (2019).

MAR
06

Frontiers of Science Forum

Four Logos “ Exploring major discoveries and theories in physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry ”

Professor Ben Eggleton, University of Sydney
Professor Mary Myerscough, University of Sydney
Julianna Kadar, Macquarie University
Professor Richard Payne, University of Sydney

A joint meeting the Australian Institute of Physics, the AIP, RACI, RSNSW Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Royal Society of NSW, and the Teachers’s Guild of NSW

Date: Friday, 6 March 2020, 5.15pm for 6.00pm
Venue: Boston University Sydney Campus. 15–25 Regent Street, Chippendale

Ever since the Copernican revolution in the 16th century, science has been progressing at an exponential rate. Major discoveries and theories in physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry have shaped our existence and civilisation, and continue to grow exponentially. The Frontiers of Science forum will present four international experts who will speak on current and upcoming developments in their fields.

New frontiers in photonics—the science of light
Professor Ben Eggleton, 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

Ben Eggleton is a Professor of Physics at the University of Sydney and Director of the University of Sydney Nano Institute. His research deals with photonics at the nanoscale and his group is famous for developing a photonic chip that manipulates light waves at the nanoscale for applications in communications, defence and sensing. Ben is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Optical Society of America and the IEEE, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of APL Photonics.

Mary Myerscough received her first degrees in Applied Mathematics from the University of Sydney and completed her doctorate at the Centre for Mathematical Biology at Oxford University. She returned to Sydney to take up a research position in the School of Chemistry at Macquarie University where she studied the mathematics of combustion. She became interested in honey bees when her boss dropped a paper on her desk which suggested that the temperature of a stationary honey bee swarm could be modelled in a similar way to a smouldering lump of coal. Mary has worked on problems in social insect behaviour in collaboration with biological scientists at Sydney University, Macquarie University and CSIRO. She also undertakes research into models for atherosclerotic plaque development. Mary is Professor of Mathematical Biology and the ssociate Head of School (Education) in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney.

Julianna Kadar is a PhD Candidate at Macquarie University in the Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution of Fishes Laboratory. She completed her undergraduate degree at Boston University, a Master of Science in Biodiversity Conservation and a Master of Research in Biology before commencing a PhD in 2017. Julianna participates in many education and outreach activities to spread awareness to students and the public about ocean health, sustainability and the scientific process. She is a researcher with CSIRO STEM Professionals in Schools, manages marketing and sales for TEDx Macquarie University, and teaches a STEM in Australia course for Boston University engineering students studying abroad in Sydney. She is also a member of the Homeward Bound Program which is working to build and upskill a network of 1,000 women in STEMM over ten years, and will be traveling to Antarctica in 2020 as part of this exciting program.

Richard Payne was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. He graduated in Science, with first class honours, from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in 2002. In 2003, he was awarded a Gates Scholarship to undertake his PhD at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Chris Abell. After his PhD, Richard moved to The Scripps Research Institute under the auspices of a Lindemann Postdoctoral Fellowship where he worked in the laboratory of Professor Chi-Huey Wong. In 2008, he was recruited to the University of Sydney as a Lecturer of Organic Chemistry within the School of Chemistry. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2011, Associate Professor in 2013, and since 2015 has held the position as Professor of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Professor Payne’s research focuses on the design and synthesis of complex biomolecules with a view to addressing important problems in biology and medicine. His lab is recognised for pioneering a number of technologies for the assembly of large polypeptides and proteins by chemical synthesis. These methods have underpinned the discovery of modified peptide and protein drug leads (including anti-inflammatories, anti-thrombotics and anti-infectives) for a range of diseases.

MAR
04

1281st OGM and Open Lecture

Professor Robin Batterham Soils: the least understood part of science, yet vital for all of us

Professor Robin J Batterham AO

Kernot Professor of Engineering
University of Melbourne

Date: Wednesday, 4 March 2020, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (Entrance: Shakespeare Place, Sydney)

The decadal plan for agriculture from our Academy of Science suggests that soils are the least understood part of all science. In this talk we will explore how, if we approach the stewardship of our country differently (and many already are) we can improve our drought resilience, have fewer challenges with run off (save the reef), use fewer farm chemicals, produce zero emission products such as meat and, if we get it right, sequester around 40% of Australia’s emissions. The science to do this is innovative and multifaceted. The talk will end with an invitation that, whether we live in cities or in the country, we all have a role to play.

Professor Batterham AO is a former Chief Scientist of Australia and President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and is presently the Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and The Royal Academy of Engineering, amongst others, and holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Melbourne, the University of Technology Sydney, and the University of Queensland. Previously, he has held senior roles in CSIRO (with responsibilities for collaborative research with mining companies) and with Rio Tinto, as Global Head of Innovation and Vice-President for Processing Developments. Most recently, he has had leadership roles at the interface of University, Industry and Government in areas that include mining, mineral processing, and algal and energy systems. Presently, he is the Chair of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, the Chair of the Australia-China Strategic Research Fund, the Chair of the Australian Chamber Choir, and a Member of the International Mineral Processing Council.

FEB
27

Speaking of Music... The Magic of Solo Violin

Speaking of Music…   The Magic of the Solo Violin

Presented by the Royal Society of NSW and the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts

Johann Sebastian Bach J S Bach’s solo violin works are regarded as one of the most sublime levels of musical thought in the entire Western canon. 2020 marks the 300th anniversary of these influential works.

Interspersed with live performances of two complete works for the violin, Dr David Hush will outline the historical reasons that the unaccompanied violin recital is more the exception than the rule today, and explore the ways composers who came before Bach influenced his music, and how Bach, in turn, influenced later composers.

Presentations by Anna Da Silva Chen:
• Sonata for Solo Violin 1 in G minor BWV 1001—J S Bach
• Partita for Solo Violin (2019)—David Hush

 

Date: Thursday, 27 February 2020, 6.00 for 6.30pm
Venue: Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street Sydney

Dr David Hush

Dr David Hush has written works spanning solo instrumental, chamber ensemble, choral and orchestral idioms. They have been performed, recorded and broadcast in North and South America, the UK, Europe, Israel, Australia and South Korea.

Anna Da Silva Chen

Violinist Anna Da Silva Chen is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has won many prestigious awards and scholarships. Chen has performed as soloist with leading Australian orchestras and ensembles.

FEB
20

2018 RSNSW Liversidge Lecture

Scientia Professor Martina Stenzel Royal Society of NSW Liversidge Lecture

“The journey from simple polymers to nano-footballs: opportunities for better cancer treatment ”

Scientia Professor Martina Stenzel FAA
School of Chemistry, UNSW Sydney

Date: Thursday, 20 February 2020, 5.30pm for 6.00pm
Venue: The Galleries, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Sydney

The Royal Society of New South Wales and UNSW Science invite you to the RSNSW Liversidge Lecture, to be be presented by the 2018 awardee, Professor Martina Stenzel FAA. The Liversidge Lecture is awarded at intervals of two years for the purpose of encouraging research in Chemistry. It was established under the terms of a bequest to the Society by Professor Archibald Liversidge MA LLD FRS, who was Professor of Chemistry in the University of Sydney from 1874 to 1907 and was one of the Council members who sponsored the Society’s Act of Incorporation in 1881.

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The journey from simple polymers to nano-footballs: opportunities for better cancer treatment—Professor Stenzel will take the audience on a journey from simple polymers that are widely used for commodity polymers to highly complex nanoparticles that have shapes of footballs, pancakes and bamboo-sticks. These nanoparticle can now be filled with anti-cancer drugs to facilitate the delivery of therapeutic goods into cancer cells. Our main purpose is to understand how the shape and size of these nanoparticle affect the interaction with healthy and cancerous cells.

Scientia Professor Martina Stenzel studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, before completing her PhD in 1999 at the Institute of Applied Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Stuttgart, Germany. She started as a postdoctoral fellow at UNSW in 1999 and is now a full Professor in the school of chemistry as well as co-director of the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) and the ARC training center for chemical industries. Her research interests focus on the synthesis of functional nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. She is interested in exploring the relationship between the structure of the underpinning polymers and the resulting nanoparticle shape and size, which will ultimately influence the biological activity. Martina Stenzel published more than 300 peer reviewed papers on polymer and nanoparticle design. She is scientific editor of Materials Horizons and serves currently on a range of editorial boards. She received a range of awards including the 2011 Le Fèvre Memorial Prize of the Australian Academy of Science. Martina Stenzel is a Fellow of the Academy of Science and is currently chair of the Academy’ National Chemistry Committee.

FEB
12

1280th OGM and Open Lecture

Royal Society of NSW Presentations by the 2019 Royal Society of NSW Scholarship Recipients

Emma Austin, University of Newcastle
Shyam Balaji, University of Sydney
Michael Papanicolao, University of Technology Sydney and the Garvan Institute
Thomas Pettit, University of Technology Sydney

Please note that the OGM will be held on the second Wednesday of February, rather than the first. 

Date: Wednesday, 12 February 2020, 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Gallery Room, State Library of NSW (Entrance: Shakespeare Place, Sydney)

The evening’s program comprises four short talks presented by PhD Candidates who have been awarded Royal Society of NSW Scholarships for 2019.

Ms Emma AustinDrought and wellbeing in Australian rural communities: implications for improving adaptive capacity and resilience to drought
Ms Austin’s research investigates the relationship between drought and wellbeing in rural communities in NSW, taking into account the links between wellbeing and adaptive capacity, and the need for the successful adaptation to drought together with increased resilience which is essential for the survival of rural communities.

Mr Shayam Balaji Searches for Extended Higgs Sectors, Flavour Physics Anomalies and Dark Matter at the LHC
Mr Balaji’s research is in the field of particle physics which explores the fundamental building blocks of the Universe and the interactions between them. The focus of his work, as a member of the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, is in testing exotic Higgs boson models and extensions to the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

Mr Michael PapanicolaoCharting the Extracellular Matrix Through Breast Tumour Progression
Mr Papanicolao’s research involves investigations into the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in breast tumour progression. The focus of his work is on charting how the ECM evolves with tumour progression, using protein mass spectrometry and advanced imaging to identify targetable proteins that are important in breast cancer metastasis.

Mr Thomas PettitBotanical biofilters for the phytofiltration of urban air pollutants
Mr Pettit’s research is in the field of biofilter technology, in which he has been developing and assessing the use of active green walls to clean the air of active pollutants to provide functional reductions of air pollution in zones where the are most needed.

JAN
01

Calendar of Meetings in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

[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

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

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

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 

Time: 6.30pm

1285th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

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

During 17–21 August (TBC)

Time: TBA

Science Week Lectures

Venue: Zoom Webinar

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

During 17–21 August (TBC)

Time: TBA

Science Week Lectures

Venue: Zoom Webinar

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

During 17–21 August (TBC)

Time: TBA

Science Week Lectures

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Your Questions re COVID Answered Today 
Speaker: Professor Robert Booy
University of Sydney and The Children's Hospital (Westmead)

Wednesday, 2 September

Time: 6.30pm

1286th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Zoom Webinar

Gene and Stem Cell Therapy 
Speaker: Professor John Rasko AO
Head, Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program, Centenery Institute

Wednesday, 7 October

Time: 6.30pm

1287th Ordinary General Meeeting and Open Lecture

Venue: Face-to-face/ Recorded (TBC)

Time’s Arrow and Eddington’s Challenge 
Speaker: Professor Huw Price FAHA FBA
Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Thursday, 5 November

Time: To be advised

Royal Society of NSW and Four Academies Annual Forum

Venue: To be advised

Topic: to be advised

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Hunter Branch Meetings

DateEvent

Friday, 31 January

5.00 for 5.30pm

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

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

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-3

Venue: Zoom Webinar

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

Wednesday, 2 December

5.30pm

Hunter Branch Meeting 2020-4

Venue: To be advised

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

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