National Science Week 2012
Giants of Science
Australian Academy of Science Speaker Series
Join internationally-recognised Canberra scientists at the Shine Dome as they talk about their lives, work and inspirations, and why they love being a scientist. The series will conclude with a talk and special screening of his latest work by Canadian science film-maker Peter McLeish.
Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt: Astronomer
The Accelerating Universe, Saturday, August 11 2012
Professor Mike Raupach: Climate scientist
Why climate change matters, and what we can do about it, Monday, August 13 2012
Professor Chris Goodnow: Immunologist
The Immunity Challenge, Wednesday, August 15 2012, 5:30 PM
Peter McLeish: Science multimedia artist
The Polar Land, Friday, August 17 2012, 5:30 PM
This series is sponsored by the ACT Government.
Brian Schmidt is an ARC Laureate and Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University's Mount Stromlo Observatory. He was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contribution to "the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae". This discovery suggests more than 70% of the Universe is made up of a previously unknown form of matter - frequently termed Dark Energy - which causes gravity to be repulsive rather than attractive. He is currently leading Mt Stromlo’s effort to build the SkyMapper telescope, a new facility that will provide a comprehensive digital map of the southern sky from ultraviolet through near infrared wavelengths. In addition to his astronomical studies, Schmidt runs a small vineyard and winery in the Canberra District specialising in Pinot Noir.
The Accelerating Universe
In 1998 two teams traced back the expansion of the universe over billions of years and discovered that it was accelerating, a startling discovery that suggests that more than 70% of the cosmos is contained in a previously unknown form of matter, called Dark Energy. The 2011 Nobel Laureate for Physics, Brian Schmidt, leader of the High-Redshift Supernova Search Team, will describe this discovery and explain how astronomers have used observations to trace our universe's history back more than 13 billion years, leading them to ponder the ultimate fate of the cosmos.
Michael Raupach is a CSIRO Fellow at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the American Geophysical Union. From 2000 to 2008 he was an inaugural co-chair of the Global Carbon Project of the Earth System Science Partnership. His research, which is widely cited, encompasses global and continental carbon and water cycles, carbon-climate-human interactions, land-air interactions, fluid mechanics and particle transport. He is a frequent contributor to the policy and public debate on climate change. In 2010 he chaired the Expert Working Group reporting to the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC) on "Challenges at Energy-Water-Carbon Intersections".
Why climate change matters, and what we can do about it
Whether climate change is occurring is a question of evidence, not of belief. Despite the intensity of the public debate, calm analysis of the evidence is both possible and necessary. Professor Raupach will summarise the major lines of evidence that have led climate scientists to conclude that the climate of the Earth is warming, and that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are the main cause. He will outline the main impacts of climate change on Australia, and examine the challenges that climate change creates for nations and societies. He will reflect on why the issue of climate change has such potency to stir passion and emotion, and the experience of working in this field.
Chris Goodnow is an NHMRC Australia Fellow, Distinguished Professor of Immunology, and Chief Scientific Officer of the Australian Phenomics Facility at the Australian National University’s John Curtin School of Medical Research. Originally trained in veterinary medicine and surgery, he leads a research team which has illuminated how the body’s immune system learns to distinguish ‘self’ from ‘not-self’ so that it does not attack itself while fighting off infections. Using powerful experimental tools of mouse molecular genetics he has pioneered new ways to reveal how the body’s phenotype results from its’ genotype — ‘phenomics’. He is an avid surfer, recognised for his 1980 exploration and discovery of the now famous surf in the Mentawai Islands off Sumatra, and enjoys surfing with his family at Bawley Point on the NSW South Coast.
The Immunity Challenge
Chris always been fascinated by how big things — like the pattern of disease outbreaks — often turn upon the workings of very small things like cells, genes and molecules. For example, how could a global disease be reigned in or even eradicated if the right type of antibodies were made? How do clever microorganisms and parasites evade our best efforts? When he was training it seemed so many unsolved diseases and health problems turned upon the workings of the immune system, which were mostly shrouded in mystery. The lure of exploring that inner space and discovering how the immune system worked was irresistible. Today, we know infinitely more about the control mechanisms of immunity. The ever accelerating pace of discovery is breathtaking. He will try to convey the excitement of being an explorer of the body’s inner space.
Peter McLeish is a Canadian born international multi-media artist, painter, filmmaker and lecturer with a Masters Fine Arts degree. His initial education was in the sciences (physics & advanced mathematics) prior to his training in the visual arts. He has given over 80 solo and group exhibitions, film presentations and lectures in over 60 cities in many countries including Australia, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Since 2001, Peter has been collaborating with American scientist Dr Walter A. Lyons, on multi-media projects based on an upper atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with thunderstorms, named Red Sprites. This collaboration eventually led to Lyons receiving a National Science Foundation grant for the creation of the DVD entitled The Hundred Year Hunt for Red Sprites and an interactive website. Peter has also been cooperating with Dr Colin Price from University of Tel Aviv, Israel on the previous NASA Space Shuttle Columbia's MEIDEX mission. Since 2008, Peter has been developing project and films based on the polar regions and other phenomenon.
He has given numerous newspaper, magazine, television and radio interviews in many countries including recently in TheWeather (Spring/2012 edition) a London-UK based magazine article entitled High Art. During his recent tours of the United Kingdom, he lectured at prestigious institutions and organisations such as Oxford University, the University of Cambridge, the Royal Astronomical Society in London, the Royal Meteorological Society in Reading and the Institute of Physics Headquarters in London. He has also given lectures and film presentations at some of the best museums such as the Natural History Museum in London, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C, the Australian Museum in Sydney and the Vienna Natural History Museum in Austria. Peter believes in promoting unity between art and science in order to create a better understanding of the natural world.
The Polar Land
Peter will discuss his project based on the Polar regions. His 6 minute film entitled Polaris Terrarum comes from the Latin meaning polar earth. The film is an imaginative journey of images that travels high in the earth’s atmosphere from one Polar Region to the next exploring atmospheric disturbances caused by global warming. The images demonstrate a view from a high flying aircraft or space shuttle. His imagery also chart the shrinking size and changing colour of the polar region as seen from aerial views. This film is accompanied with the song Veni Redemptor Gentium from the CD State of grace by Paul Schwartz featuring the vocals of Lisbeth Scott.
Peter will also screen the 38 minute film titled Antarctica. The film takes you to a continent beyond imagination. Discover a new world and learn of Antarctica's wildlife in a way never before seen. Antarctica creates a sensation of truly being there, a remarkable film experience where, through the heartfelt words of Antarctic explorer Robert Scott, the audience will re-live the brutal hardships, wonders and isolation of the first men on this magnificent frontier. Join the search for scientific clues locked in centuries-old ice, fly a helicopter over towering glacial peaks, dive through a submerged crystalline cavern in chaos Glacier and join a company of penguins in an underwater ballet.
|When:||Friday, August 17 2012, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Refreshments from 5,30 PM, Lecture from 6.00 PM
|Where:||Shine Dome, Academy of Science, Gordon Street, Canberra
|Other:||Kid Friendly, Wheelchair Access|
|Contact:||RSVP essential through http://www.eventbrite.com.au/event/3883882798
Further information from Shannon Newham
firstname.lastname@example.org or 6201 9460