Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events
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10

Postponement of [email protected] (September 2020)

Royal Society of NSWRegrettably, due to unforeseen circumstances, it has been necessary to postpone the second in [email protected] series to be presented jointly by Our Patron, Her Excellency, The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW and the Royal Society of NSW on the evening of 22 September 2020. 

As soon as circumstances permit, the event will be rescheduled and members and friends of the Society will be notified by email and this website.

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28

Nominate a colleague for a Society Award

RSNSW SealNow is your chance to nominate a colleague or friend who you believe is eligible for a Royal Society of NSW Award.

You have the opportunity to nominate a high achiever for the Society’s prestigious prizes for excellence in science, technology, engineering, maths, agriculture, history, philosophy and the betterment of human society.  These are awarded regularly by your Society, Australia’s oldest learned society. One of these awards, the Clarke Medal and Lectureship, has been given continuously since the time of Charles Darwin. These awards recognise outstanding achievement by Australians in their chosen field. Nominations for these Awards are also being sought from all universities in Australia, as well as from major Australian research institutions.

Nominations for the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations are also now sought from Society Members and Fellows. These awards are for exceptional service to the Society, with the Medal being for meritorious contributions to the Society’s administration, organisation, and endeavours.

In 2020, nominations are sought for the:
Archibald Ollé Prize, Clarke Medal, Edgeworth David Medal, History and Philosophy of Science Medal, James Cook Medal, Poggendorff Lectureship, Royal Society of NSW Scholarships, and Warren Prize.

Nominations are alsofor the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations, each of which recognise substantive contributions, by a Member or Fellow, to the work of the Society.

Information about all the Awards, and instructions for making nominations can be found in the ‘Awards’ section of the Society’s website. Click on the Award name in the drop-down list under the ‘Awards’ menu to find details of each.

Nominations close on 30 September 2020 and should be sent to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For all Awards other than the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations, neither the nominator nor the nominee needs to be a Member or Fellow of the Society.

AUG
28

August 2020 Events now on YouTube

Peter Radoll and Science Week 2020 events--The Covid Curve in Context and the Periodic TableEvents held online during August 2020 by the Royal Society of NSW are now available on our YouTube channel.  These are the lecture presented at the1285th Ordinary General Meeting by Professor Peter Radoll (University of Canberra) on the evening of 5 August, and two presentations for Science Week 2020 by Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy and Emeritus Brynn Hibbert, respectively on the evenings of 18 and 20 August.    

Professor Radoll spoke about “Growing Black Tall Poppies”, Professor Clancy discuss the “The COVID Curve in Context”, and Professor Hibbert discussed “The Periodic Table:   a medley of haphazard facts falling into line and order”.  

All online events conducted recently by the Society are available on YouTube and are accessible from the Presentation and Forum pages of the Society’s website.

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27

Vale Professor Richard Stanton - Distinguished Fellow of the Society

Professor Richard Stanton The Society is saddened to learn of the death of one of its Distinguished Fellows, Professor Richard Stanton AO DistFRSN FAA, on 25 August 2020 at the age of 94. Richard Limon Stanton was a distinguished economic geologist.

Born in 1926, he completed his BSc degree at New England University College, University of Sydney (later to become the University of New England) and subsequently worked in mineral exploration in mines in Broken Hill, far north Queensland and Burraga.

After a teaching fellowship at the University of Sydney, where he completed his MSc and PhD, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s University of Ontario, he became Professor of Geology at the University of New England, Armidale from 1975 to 1986, and subsequently Emeritus Professor. He was a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, elected in 1975 for his original contributions to the genesis of ore deposits. Richard Stanton’s subsequent achievements focused on mineral exploration. He recognised the role of volcanism and sedimentation in the formation of new ore deposits, and the physics and chemistry involved in the concentration of copper, zinc and lead in volcanic lavas. This is documented in his numerous publications and books, including Ore Petrology, The Precursor Principle, and Ore Elements in Arc Lavas.

Professor Stanton was the Royal Society and Nuffield Foundation Bursar at Imperial College London and the University of Durham in 1964 and won a Fulbright Award in 1966. He won the Goldfields Gold Medal of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (London) in 1976 and the William Smith Medal of the Geological Society (London) in 1987. He became an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (London) in 1984 and was Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Science from 1989 to 1990. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 1991, and was awarded the W. R. Browne Medal of the Geological Society of Australia in 1990, the Penrose Medal of the Society of Economic Geologists in 1993, and the Haddon Forrester King Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 1998.

Professor Stanton joined the Royal Society of NSW on 27 July 1949 and was one of its longest standing members. During his career, he received several awards from the Royal Society of New South Wales, including the Olle Prize in 1972, the Society’s Medal in 1973, and the Clarke Medal in 1998, and he presented the Clarke Memorial Lecture in 1985. He was made an inaugural Fellow of the Society in 2009 and was elevated to Distinguished Fellowship in 2012. Also, he was instrumental in the successful operation, and served as a long-standing chair, of the New England Branch of the Society. He was honoured for his achievements by becoming an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1996.

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26

Society Fellows and Members "In the News"

In the NewsFrom time to time, the Society and its Fellows and Members are mentioned, or are published, in the media, or in other sources or outlets. The Society is pleased to inform readers that summaries of such mentions, together with links either to the original sources, or to news items that include links to original sources, are now published on the In the News page, accessible in the Events/News menu or under the heading Noteworthy on the home page sidebar.  We hope that you find this compilation to be informatative and of interest.  

AUG
21

Stewardship of Country: a national seminar series from the Royal Societies of Australia

Stewardship of Country imageThe Society is pleased to announce this forthcoming series of three webinars to be presented by the Royal Societies of Australia during October–December 2020. Stewardship of Country provides an opportunity to exchange views with knowledgeable practitioners and experts in a national conversation on managing Australia’s most valuable resource – its landscape.

Stewardship of Country will examine issues relating to the long-term management of Australia’s landscape. It creates an opportunity to discuss and identify immediate and long-term goals for responsible and improved engagement with country, and to define possible solutions for common areas of concern as we plan for an unpredictable future.

Stewardship of Country is envisioned as three virtual events. The first will focus on where we are now, setting the scene across a range of disciplinary areas, the second on available and potential mechanisms and strategies, and the third on practical ways to bring the multidisciplinary threads together and achieve our goals of sustainable improvements to landscape management.

Stewardship of Country is envisaged as three virtual events. The first will focus on where we are now, setting the scene across a range of disciplinary areas, the second on available and potential mechanisms and strategies, and the third on practical ways to bring the multidisciplinary threads together and achieve our goals of sustainable improvements to landscape management.

The series will consider a broad range of themes including sustainable land use, regenerative agriculture practice, what can be achieved with our soils, the future of Australia’s climate and the importance of local and Indigenous knowledge with an emphasis on policy change informed by science.

The goal of Stewardship of Country is to create positive change and build a holistic platform on which to develop resilience in agriculture and land use and define best practice in research, education and the use of new technologies. It aims to bridge Indigenous, agricultural, environmental and civic perspectives.

Information about the speakers and how to register will be published as an event notice on this website in coming weeks.  

 

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19

Governor presents 2019 Society Awards

2019 RSNSW Award winners at the Government House Presentation Ceremony - August 2020The Society was delighted that its Patron, Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW, was able to present the Society’s 2019 Awards at a special ceremony in the Ballroom at Government House on Thursday, 13 August. The awards were unable to be presented at this year’s Annual Dinner, which had been held virtually, because of the current pandemic.

The ceremony was necessarily conducted under unusual conditions. The guests were limited in number and were seated according to the four square metre rule. The Governor passed the medals and certificates to the recipients across a suitably-sized table.

In her remarks, The Governor spoke appreciatively of the Society’s role in the intellectual life of New South Wales. She said how pleased she was to be able to present the awards at this time as it was the first major presentation event held at Government House since March because of the pandemic.

As well as the 2019 Awards, The Governor presented Scientia Professor George Paxinos AO DistFRSN with his Distinguished Fellowship of the Society. The Society expresses its warmest congratulations to all recipients.

Following the ceremony, The Society was treated to a socially-distanced morning tea on the terrace taking full advantage of the glorious winter sunshine and the recently restored gardens. We are very grateful to Her Excellency for making this special occasion possible under such difficult circumstances.

 

GH Awards Presentation 4 images reduced

 

 

Award winners with the Her Excellency, The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW.  Clockwise, from the upper left, they are: Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Honorary Professor Evelleen Richards, Emeritus Professor Brynn Hibbert, and Scientia Professor George Paxinos AO DistFRSN.

 

 

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16

National Science Week 2020 Events from RSNSW

National Science Week Events 2020National Science Week 2020 is now upon us (15-23 August 2020) and the Royal Society of NSW is pleased to offer two presentations this year. 

They are:

 

Please join us live for these two events, presented as a Zoom webinars, by accessing the links above, or enjoy them later on our YouTube channel

 

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14

Senior Secondary Pathways Review chaired by Society Fellow, Peter Shergold

Professor Peter Shergold AC FRSN FASSA FAICDThe Report of the Review of Senior Secondary Pathways, chaired by Society Fellow and Chancellor of Western Sydney University, Professor Peter Shergold AC FRSN FASSA FAICD, was released by the Australian Government in late July 2020. The report, titled Looking to the Future, argues that transition pathways presented to young adults are too often narrowly framed and as a consequence limit choice.  The report notes that the dominance of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) privileges academic capability over the value of vocation education and training, with the emphasis on scholastic achievement paying "too little regard to the other skills and attributes required for successful adulthood”.

Instead, the report makes the case that high school students should focus on building a learner profile that reflects the skills (including leadership, prblem-soling and collaboration) and knowledge gained during the course of their education rather than focusing on how to boost their ATAR.  As conceived, the learner profile should provide a “digital education passport” which students could continue to build during adulthood by adding new qualifications and experience.

To read further about the the work of the Review, please access the Report on the Pathways Review website and see also an article in the Sydney Morning Herald written at the time of the release of the Report in July 2020.

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12

Postponement: The Clancy Collection Exhibition of Early Maps

An early map of SydneyThe Clancy Collection Exhibition of Early Maps, “Charting a Course: a 500-year story of discovery and the development of Sydney”, to be presented by Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum on Wednesday, 19 August (4.00pm), has been postponed due to uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic

The exhibition has been rescheduled for Wednesday, 14 October 2020, 4.00-5.30pm at the Manly Musuem and Art Gallery and will proceed on that date if circumstances permit.

Please see the event notice for further information and note that there is a limit of 20 attendees due to COVID-19 related entry restrictions. Should interest in this event exceed the available 20 places, consideration will given to providing an alternative opportunity to view the exhibition in the company of Professor Clancy.

Please register you interest by writing to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

AUG
04

New editions of the Society's Journal and Bulletin: August 2020

Covers of the Journal vol. 153-1 and Bulletin vol. 443 The Society is pleased to advise that the latest issues of the Journal and Proceedings vol. 153-1 and the Bulletin vol. 443 have just been published and are now available on the website. 

The principal content of this issue of the Journal is the 2019 RSNSW and Four Academies Forum: Making SPACE for Australia (including links to YouTube presentations), with 17 contributions from experts in the field. This is particularly relevant after the recent splash-down (first since 1975) of the private SpaceX vehicle returning NASA astronauts from the International Space Station.

This issue also includes the text of Distinguished Fellow Brian Schmidt's address at the 2020 Annual Dinner, a timely piece by Graham Bell FRSN on a home test of smell acuity to alert for possible COVID-19 infection, FRSN  David Hush's Partita for Solo Violin (with links to YouTube to hear it performed), an invited paper by Steve Pyne, doyen of writers of the history of wildfires around the world, on last summer's fires and what they mean for the future, and an obituary by Len Fisher FRSN on the late Lord May of Oxford OM AC Kt FRS DistFRSN CorrFAA FTSE HonFAIB.

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04

Society Fellow awarded the London Royal Society Royal Medal

Emeritus Professor Herbert Huppert FRS FRSN The Royal Society of NSW (RSNSW) is delighted to learn of the announcement in London by the Royal Society that one of its Fellows, Emeritus Professor Herbert Huppert FRS FRSN, has just been awarded the 2020 Royal Medal for Physical Sciences. The Royal Medals are awarded on behalf of the Queen each year, and have been issued annually since 1825. The RSNSW Council extends its warmest congratulations to Professor Huppert on this recognition of his outstanding career achievements.

The citation for Professor Huppert reads: “ He has been at the forefront of research in fluid mechanics. As an applied mathematician he has consistently developed highly original analysis of key natural and industrial processes. Further to his research, he has chaired policy work on how science can help defend against terrorism, and Carbon Capture and Storage in Europe.”

Professor Huppert is an Australian-born geophysicist who lives in the United Kingdom. He has been the Professor of Theoretical Geophysics and Foundation Director, Institute of Theoretical Geophysics, at the University of Cambridge, since 1989 and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, since 1970. He has published widely using fluid-mechanical principles in applications to the Earth sciences: in meteorology, oceanography and geology. In 1987, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and was awarded the Society’s Bakerian Medal in 2011. He was awarded the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society of London in 2007 and is the only non-American recipient of a prize from the United States National Academy of Sciences, being awarded the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship for contributions to the Earth sciences in 2005. Professor Huppert is also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society and the Academia Europaea. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at Cambridge and holds visiting professorial appointments at Bristol University and UNSW Sydney.

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02

July 2020 Events now on YouTube

Elizabeth Ann Macgregor and Pia Ednie-BownEvents held online during July 2020 by the Royal Society of NSW are now available on our YouTube channel.  These are the lecture presented at the1284th Ordinary General Meeting by Ms Elizabeth Ann McGregor OBE FRSN (Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art) on the evening of 8 July 2020, and the lecture presented at the meeting of the Hunter Branch on 29 July by Professor Pia Ednie-Brown.  

Ms Macgregor spoke on “Why Art Matters in Times of Crisis”, while Professor Ednie-Brown addressed Architecture and the Cultivation of Vitality.

All online events conducted recently by the Society are available on YouTube and are accessible from the Presentation and Forum pages of the Society’s website.

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10

Recent Society Events now on YouTube: July 2020

Brian Schmidt and Elizabeth Ann Macgregor: speakers at the Annual Dinner 2020 and the 1284th OGMRecent events held online by the the Royal Society of NSW are now available on our YouTube channel.  These are the 2020 Annual Dinner and Distinguished Fellow's Lecture, presented by Professor Brian Schmidt AC FRS DistFRSN FAA  (Vice-Chancellor of ANU) on the evening of 27 July 2020, and the Open Lecture presented at the 1284th Ordinary General Meeting by Ms Elizabeth Ann McGregor OBE FRSN (Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art) on the evening of 8 July 2020. 

Professor Schmidt spoke on “Evidence and Education in a Post-Truth, Post-COVID World” while Ms Macgregor addressed the question “Why Art Matters in Times of Crisis”.

All online events conducted recently by the Society are available on YouTube and are accessible from the Presentation and Forum pages of the Society’s website.

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13

New edition of the Society's Journal and Proceedings: June 2020

RSNSW Journal 152- 3 Cover Page The Society is pleased to advise that the latest issue of the Journal and Proceedings vol. 152-3 has just been published. This is a special issue from the 2019 Biennial Symposium of the Australian and New Zealand Associations of von Humboldt Fellows and is published online only on this website.

JUN
12

Lord Robert May: ABC Science Show, 13 June 2020

ABC Science Show Lord May 13 June 2020

The ABC Science Show, broadcast on ABC Radio National at noon on Saturday, 13 June 2020, was devoted to the life and achievements of Lord Robert May of Oxford, OM AC Kt FRS DistFRSN FAA FTSE HonFAIB, who died at the age of 84 on 28 April 2020. The program is now available for download from the Science Show website.

Lord May, a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, was one of Australia’s most eminent scientists, and during his career served as Chief Scientific Advisor to the United Kingdom Government and as President of the Royal Society. 

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08

Queen's Birthday Honours 2020

Royal Society of NSW The Society is pleased to note the awards listed in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List to Society Fellows: a Companion of the Order to Australia (AC) to Ms Belinda Hutchinson AC FRSN; a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) to Professor Stephen Garton AM FRSN FAHA FASSA; and a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) to Emeritus Professor Roy MacLeod OAM FRSN FAHA FASSA FRHistS FSA.

Ms Hutchinson, who is the Chancellor of the University of Sydney, received her award for eminent service to business, to tertiary education and scientific research, and through philanthropic endeavours to address social disadvantage.  Professor Garton, who is the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, received his award for significant service to tertiary education administration, and to history. Professor MacLeod, who is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sydney, received his award for service to education, particularly to history.

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30

Professors Froyland, Joliffe and Paulsen, RSN Fellows, elected as Australian Academy of Science Fellows

RSNSW Seal The Royal Society of NSW is delighted to learn of the recognition of three of its Fellows, Professor Gary Froyland FRSN FAA, Professor Katrina Joliffe FRSN FAA, and Distinguished Professor Ian Paulsen FAA FRSN,  being elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science in May 2020.   As Fellows of the Australian Acacdemy of Science, they are among Australia’s most distinguished scientists, elected by their peers for ground-breaking research.

Professor Katrina JoliffeThe Academy citation for Payne-Scott Professor Joliffe, of the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney, refers to her “a leader in the fields of supramolecular and organic chemistry [making] world-leading contributions to organic synthesis, anion recognition and molecular self-assembly. Her international reputation is a result of her expertise in the design and synthesis of complex molecular architectures, which she uses to generate new molecular structures. Jolliffe’s transformative achievements include the development of selective receptors for pyrophosphate and sulfate ions, and the development of new methods that enable the synthesis of macrocyclic peptides. She has been awarded the Beckwith, Biota, Birch and H.G. Smith medals of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. ”

Professor Gary FroylandThe Academy citation for Professor Froyland, of the School of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW Sydney, recognises that he “has significantly influenced the fields of dynamical systems and ergodic theory and has made major contributions to discrete optimisation. He is a world authority on the application of transfer operator methods to geophysical fluid flow, and his imaginative program of mathematics has reshaped scientific views on how to characterise complex fluid flow. Froyland has led multidisciplinary teams to solve pressing scientific problems in physical oceanography and atmospheric science, and to make port operations more efficient. His research on open-pit mine optimisation has had a profound impact on the scheduling of base metal mines internationally and will make cancer radiation therapy safer. ”

Professor Gary FroylandThe Academy citation for Distinguished Professor Paulsen, of the Department of Molecular Sciences at Macquarie University, states that he “is a world leader in microbiology and a pioneer in microbial genomics. His work has focused on informatic followed by experimental characterisation of bacterial transport systems for nutrients and toxic compounds. He has discovered several novel classes of multidrug efflux pumps that can make bacteria resistant to multiple drugs by pumping them out of the cell. Paulsen’s work has revealed that these pumps have natural roles in the cell and have been opportunistically co-opted by hospital pathogens as a resistance mechanism against antibiotics. His global genome-based analyses have revealed fundamental strategic differences in transporters between single and multicellular lifeforms.”

The Council of the Royal Society of NSW extends its warmest congratulations to Professors Joliffe, Froyland and Paulsen on this recognition of their outstanding scientific achievements.

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30

Recordings of recent Society events now on YouTube

RSNSW SealRecent events held online by the the Royal Society of NSW are now available on our YouTube channel.  For May 2020, these are the lecture titled “COVID-19 and confusion: the story of a nasty but nice viral receptor” presented at the Society’s Hunter Branch by Emeritus Professor Eugenie Lumbers AM DistFRSN FAA, and the inaugural [email protected] event, “Ten: the Mapping of Colonial Australia”, delivered by Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN, and presented by Her Excellency, The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and the Royal Society of NSW.

All online events conducted recently by the Society are available on YouTube and are accessible from the Presentation and Forum pages of the Society’s website.

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23

Release of the YouTube recording of [email protected]: May 2020

RSNSW Seal The Royal Society of NSW is delighted to announce the release on its YouTube channel of the recording of the inaugural [email protected] presentation, conducted by webinar on the evening of Thursday, 21 May 2020. [email protected] is an initiative of Her Excellency, The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, to open Government House to a series of public events based on important and/or influential ideas. In this, the Royal Society of NSW and other organisations were invited to devise a series of lectures to be delivered under the banner of [email protected]

The Royal Society was delighted to have been selected to deliver this first [email protected] event, titled “Ten: the Mapping of Colonial Australia” and presented by Professor Robert Clancy AM FRSN, an Emeritus Professor in Immunology from the University of Newcastle, Australia, a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, and an internationally recognised histocartographer.

More information about [email protected], the subject of the presentation, and the speaker are available on the Society's website.

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