The Academy’s premiere annual event, Science at the Shine Dome, brought together more than 500 attendees for a three-day event featuring 36 speakers. The event hashtag #ShineDome19 trended on Twitter in Australia, garnering 3,480 tweets with a combined reach of nearly 28 million impressions.
This year we had even more reasons to celebrate, as we marked the 65th anniversary of the Academy and the 60th anniversary of the Shine Dome.
The event kicked off on Tuesday 28 May with a one-day symposium ‘Power up Australia, the sustainable way’. Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel delivered a keynote address on ‘Scaling up to meet the energy challenge’ in which he outlined how we can ‘imagine a world which is still magnificent’. This was followed by a series of presentations exploring the role of science in a sustainable energy future.
On Tuesday evening, 22 newly elected Fellows were formally admitted to the Academy in recognition of their outstanding achievements in science. Each new Fellow inscribed their names in the Charter Book, joining previous signatories and science luminaries.
The new Fellows then presented their work on Wednesday 29 May, starting with Professor Alexander Zelinsky, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Newcastle. Attendees also heard from Professor Maria Byrne about the impact of warming and acidifying oceans on marine invertebrates.
Wednesday also saw Australia’s ten delegates to the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting gather for a breakfast briefing in preparation for their upcoming travels in June. ‘It has been wonderful to meet Australia's leading scientists and to see the incredible breadth of research being done in Australia today,’ said Fiona Panther, a Lindau delegate and astrophysics researcher at UNSW Canberra.
The celebrations continued into the night with the annual gala dinner at the National Museum of Australia, where the (Academy) blue carpet was rolled out for special guests His Excellency the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Dr Andrew Thomas AO, retired NASA astronaut.
On the final day, the inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientist Travelling Research Awards were presented over breakfast. Awards presentations continued with 17 remarkable scientists receiving honorific awards in recognition of their outstanding research.
The event finished up with workshops for early- and mid-career researchers on topics such as leadership development and grant writing.
Diversity and inclusion were recurring themes throughout the event, as the Academy and the science sector as a whole continues to prioritise equity. 'We cannot be excellent if we are not diverse,' Professor John Shine AC PresAA said in his address, 'I encourage leaders to do what they can to actively address the under-representation of women and minorities in the science pipeline and to nominate women and under-represented groups for awards and fellowship.'
For the first time, Science at the Shine Dome hosted 10 NSW Science Extension students and their teachers as part of our STEM education program, with support from 3M. ‘We are so fortunate to be at an event of this magnitude,’ said April Abela from Glenmore Park High School, ‘My eyes have been opened up to the work being done around sustainability and renewables.’
The Academy is grateful to the following organisations that partnered with us to make Science at the Shine Dome 2019 such a successful event.
© 2019 Australian Academy of Science