Fellows update—November 2018

November 28, 2018

Honours and award to Fellows

Professor Terry Hughes FAA—John Maddox Prize for tireless and courageous efforts in communicating research evidence on coral reef bleaching to the public and for tackling the misrepresentation of coral reef science

Professor C. Jagadish AC FAA FTSE—UNESCO medal for contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies

Professor C. Jagadish AC FAA FTSE—elected a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering

Professor Justin Gooding FAA FTSE—elected a new Fellow of Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Dr Anna Koltunow FAA FTSE—elected a new Fellow of Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Professor Warrick Couch FAA—elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science and Engineering

Professor Richard Harvey AM FAA FRS—NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Medical Biological Sciences (Cell and molecular, medical, veterinary and genetics)

Professor Alex McBratney FAA—NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Biological Sciences (ecological, environmental, agricultural and organismal)

Professor Dietmar Müller FAA—NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry or Physics

Professor Branka Vucetic FAA FTSE—NSW Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Engineering or Information and Communications Technology


Professor Ross Day FAA

20 March 1927 to 22 October 2018

Professor Ross Day was an experimental psychologist, specialising in human and infrahuman perception and sensory processes. He was elected to the Academy in 1990. It was through his efforts that experimental psychology was recognised as one of the biological sciences.

After completing his PhD at the University of Bristol, in 1955 Professor Day was appointed Lecturer at the University of Sydney. In 1965 he accepted the Foundation Chair of the Department of Psychology at Monash University, where he worked until 1992. During this time, he established a strong experimental psychology department and wrote his book, ‘Human Perception’. After retiring from Monash, Professor Day was appointed Adjunct Professor in Psychology at La Trobe University where he continued to conduct experiments into perceptual illusions. He received an Honorary Doctorate of the University and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from La Trobe. He was also a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and was elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Day was actively involved in the Australian Academy of Science. He chaired the Editorial Board of ‘Historical Records of Australian Science’ and served on several Academy and national committees. The transcript of an interview conducted by Professor Max Coltheart is available on the Academy’s website.

Professor Ian McDougall FAA

24 May 1935 to 10 November 2018

Professor Ian McDougall first came to the ANU in 1957 as a PhD student in the then Department of Geophysics, headed by Professor John Jaeger FAA. It was with Professor Jaeger’s encouragement that Ian undertook a CSIRO postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, to become familiar with the techniques and applications of the potassium-argon dating method (K-Ar). In 1961, Professor McDougall returned to the ANU where he was appointed Research Fellow in the Department of Geophysics, Fellow in 1964, Senior Fellow in 1968 and Professor in 1991 in the Research School of Earth Sciences.

Professor McDougall was elected to the Academy in 1988 for his pioneering work on the application of K-Ar dating to young basalts and its use for determining the geomagnetic reversal time-scale and the relative motion of the Pacific oceanic plate to the underlying mantle. He was also distinguished for the full realisation, in terrestrial rocks, of Ar-Ar step-heating analysis to identify Ar inheritance and loss in minerals and to relate this to specific geological processes. He solved an important controversy over hominid evolution by providing a comprehensive and precise time frame for the important fossil beds around Lake Turkana in northern Kenya and conducted noble gas geochemical studies on mantle-derived samples to provide insights into the composition and evolution of Earth’s atmosphere, crust, mantle and core.

Professor McDougall was actively involved in the Academy for many years, serving on numerous committees and on the Academy’s Council and as Treasurer from 2001 to 2005.

Following his ‘retirement’ (in 2000), as an honorary fellow and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the ANU Professor McDougall used new geological dating technology to date two skulls from Ethiopia as the world’s oldest human fossils, by dating the rock layers above and below where the fossils were found. His findings not only revealed that homo sapiens go back 40,000 years further than previously believed but also uncovered ‘dramatic geological evidence of climate change’. He remained one of the most highly cited and globally respected scientists in his field.

Professor McDougall received the Stillwell Medal from the Geological Society of Australia in 1975 and was elected to Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union in 1997 and the Geological Society of America in 1978. He received the Academy’s Jaeger Medal in 2007 and an Hon DSc from the University of Glasgow in 2009. From 2001 he was a Visiting Fellow in the Research School of Earth Sciences at the ANU and from 2007 was also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland.

Survey on the evolution of scientific publishing—IUMRS

Fellows may be interested in participating in a survey on the evolution of scientific publishing.

The International Union of Materials Research Societies (IUMRS) is seeking views on electronic resources and demands for open access to research reports and data. It says the aggregated survey responses will provide a fresh perspective on scientific publishing from those who are most closely affected by it. The survey should take no more than ten minutes to complete.

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