Next Lecture and Upcoming Events
For details of past lectures, please see our Lectures Archive.
- The RST Christmas lecture and dinner 2017
The President, Prof Matt King and all Council members warmly invite you, your family and friends to attend The Royal Society of Tasmania annual Christmas lecture and dinner.
This relaxed evening is one of the Society’s most popular events and we hope you can attend.
Emeritus Prof John Simons will speak to the topic of ‘Queen Victoria’s Hippopotamus’ at CSIRO’s Battery Point auditorium at 6 pm on Tuesday 5 December 2017, followed by a buffet Christmas dinner.
Tickets are $45 per person and available through trybooking:
In 1850 the Zoological Society of London acquired a hippopotamus. He was called Obaysch. He was the first hippopotamus to have been seen in Europe since Roman times and caused a sensation. This lecture will look at his life and at the various ways in which Victorians constructed the experience of seeing a hippopotamus in London.
Emeritus Professor John Simons lives in Taroona. He has worked in universities in the U.K., the USA and Australia and most recently was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Macquarie University. He is the editor or author of some twenty academic books on a range of topics from medieval chivalric romance to the history of cricket via Andy Warhol. Over the last twenty years he has concentrated on the history of human-animal relationships and, especially, on exotic animals in Victorian England. He is also a published poet and has recently completed his first novel.
The menu for the dinner:
If you have any queries, please contact us at email@example.com or Wednesdays from 9.30 to 1.30 on 03 6165 7014.
- Dr Anita Hansen – 175 years of the Royal Society of Tasmania – Oct 22, 1.30 pm @Meeting Room, QVMAG Inveresk
On October 14 2018, The Royal Society of Tasmania will be celebrating 175 years. It is the third oldest Royal Society, with only the Royal Society and the Edinburgh Royal Society predating it. The lecture will examine the Society and its influence on the history and culture of Tasmania. There will also be a discussion of events planned to celebrate the anniversary.
Dr Anita Hansen has been an artist all her life, working in Tasmania, interstate and overseas. She holds a doctorate from the University of Tasmania, a Master of Fine Arts, a Graduate Diploma in Plant and Wildlife Illustration and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree. Anita co-edited The Royal Society of Tasmania’s book The Library at the End of the World: Natural Science and Its Illustrators and has published a number of journal articles, as well as curating exhibitions in Tasmania and interstate.
- LIVESTREAM Ghost Ships of the Arctic, Marc-Andre Bernier’s lecture about The exploration of Sir John Franklin’s HMS Erebus and HMS Terror
This lecture was given on Wed 11 Oct, 6 pm @Stanley Burbury Theatre, UTAS Sandy Bay campus to a packed audience so should be a good listen.
- Dr Claire Hawkins – Extinction matters: could citizen science help? – Sep 24, 1.30 pm @Meeting Room, QVMAG Inveresk
Twenty-seven species are listed as having gone extinct from Tasmania in recent times. Threatened Species Day (7 September) marks the date since the last known thylacine died, in 1936. It’s a time to reflect on why extinction matters to us, and how we might reduce our negative impacts on species survival. My own response, as a threatened species zoologist, has been to take up a Churchill Fellowship on citizen science, to engage the wider community in better understanding the needs of the plants and animals in their own backyards. In this talk, I share my findings on how this might work most effectively. Dr Clare Hawkins carried out her Ph.D. on the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox), a semi-arboreal mammalian carnivore endemic to the forests of Madagascar. Its ecological similarities to the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) brought her to Tasmania in 2001 to study the latter species’ habitat requirements. She subsequently joined the State Government, initially with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, and spent four years monitoring the impact and distribution of Devil Facial Tumour Disease. She is currently the IUCN Australasian Marsupial and Monotreme Specialist Group Red List coordinator and author of the Naturetrackers blog. For the Bookend Trust, she co-organised two ‘Extinction Matters’ BioBlitzes in 2016, held on either side of Threatened Species Day, to be reprised this year in November. Her current focus is on novel approaches to better monitor and manage Tasmania’s diverse threatened fauna (from quolls and eagles to skinks, butterflies and burrowing crayfish). In 2015, she was awarded a Gallaugher Bequest Churchill Fellowship to develop citizen science study designs for long term monitoring.
- Dr Tas van Ommen – Ice cores and climate: looking back over a million years of earth history – Sep 5, 8 pm @Royal Society Room TMAG
Ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland have reshaped our understanding of how the climate system operates. We see in the cycles of temperature and carbon dioxide the pulse of the ice ages back to 800 thousand years. Ice core records for recent millennia show detailed changes that are linked to drivers of Australian climate such as the westerlies or El Niño from which we can infer past periods of drought. Australia has been a leading nation in ice coring, particularly in East Antarctica, with a focus on studies of climate over recent millennia and into the last ice age. Now, an international initiative is maturing to drill for a continuous record extending into the very oldest ice, more than a million years old. Australia has announced its plans to lead such an expedition, which will commence early next decade. This talk will look at why such an old ice core record matters, and how the project might proceed.
Dr Tas van Ommen is the leader of climate research with the Australian Antarctic Division. Tas has participated in six research expeditions to Antarctica, drilling ice cores and conducting airborne surveys of the ice and bedrock beneath. In his most recent trip he drove a tractor in a traverse across some 1300 km of the continent, crossing areas never previously visited. His research interests centre around high resolution ice core studies, connections with Australian climate and the stability and future of the Antarctic ice sheet. Tas is leading the Australian project to drill the ‘million year’ ice core and is also co-chair of the International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences, an international planning body behind the search for this oldest ice core.
- Saul Eslake – Australia’s ongoing quest for ever-greater ‘security’ – is it rational and has it made us safer? – Tues Nov 14, 6 pm @Government House, Hobart
Saul will revisit one of the propositions he spoke to the society about in his last lecture in 2005 (link). A secure and safe society is a necessary pillar for progress. Given the government investment in measures to produce, maintain and support security it is time to ask if the costs to our economy and to our social fabric are worth the outcomes.
Saul Eslake worked as an economist in the Australian financial markets for more than 25 years, including as Chief Economist at McIntosh Securities (a stockbroking firm) in the late 1980s, Chief Economist (International) at National Mutual Funds Management in the early 1990s, as Chief Economist at the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) from 1995 to 2009, and as Chief Economist (Australia & New Zealand) for Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 2011 until June 2015. In between these last two positions he was Director of the Productivity Growth program at the then newly-established Grattan Institute, a ‘think tank’.
In July 2015 Saul started up his own economics consultancy business, operating out of Hobart, and in April 2016 took up a part-time position as a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Tasmania.
Saul is a non-executive director of Hydro Tasmania, an energy business owned by the Tasmanian State Government; and of Housing Choices Australia Ltd, a not-for-profit provider of affordable rental housing. He is also Chairman of Ten Days on the Island, Tasmania’s bi-ennial state-wide multi-arts festival.
Saul has a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Tasmania, and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. In December 2012 he was awarded an Honorary LLD degree by the University of Tasmania. He has also completed the Senior Executive Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in New York.
To register for this event please go to:
All attendees will need to book and print their tickets by 1 November.
There is no charge for tickets.
How to book:
- Go to www.govhouse.tas.gov.auand click on the ‘Events and Tours’ tab on the right hand side of the homepage. Select ‘Reserve tickets’ for the Royal Society of Tasmania. You will be directed to the Government House Tasmania event on the Trybooking.com website.
- Enter the Invitation Code: GLRRSH. This will allow you access to continue your booking via the Trybooking website.
- Complete the booking as per the Trybooking website instructions. Tickets should be booked in the names of the guests who wish to attend. Generic bookings such as “Partner of Mr Bill Smith” are NOTacceptable. In the ‘‘Capacity in which attending’ box, please indicate the capacity in which you will be attending the reception eg: Organising Committee, Position and Organisation, etc. Ticket(s) will be sent to the guest’s nominated email address.
- Guests will need to print their ticket(s) and ensure that they bring it/them to Government House on the evening, or alternatively the ticket(s) can be scanned from a mobile phone.
- The closing date for booking is 6.00 p.m. onWednesday, 1st November, 2017.
- Assoc Prof Tracey Dickson – Cortical Inhibitory Dysfunction in Motor Neuron Disease: How can we get the balance back – Nov 7, 8 pm @Royal Society Room TMAG
There are no treatments or cures for Motor Neuron Disease, and most people with the illness die three to five years after diagnosis. For the past 10 years Associate Professor Dickson’s group at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research has been investigating the fundamental mechanisms of this devastating disease, trying to unravel the causes and determine where it begins. In the next three years they will be using this knowledge to perform critical research to determine whether they can repurpose an existing drug for the treatment of MND. This work takes them one more step along the translation pipeline from the bench to the bedside – in this case from the laboratory to the clinic. A/Prof Dickson’s presentation will reflect on her research journey, the unexpected findings, the challenges and the rewards.
Associate Professor Dickson (BSc, PhD) is a neuroscientist with a national and international reputation in determining the pathological basis underlying Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson’s disease and the neuronal response to trauma. She is the Deputy Director and Associate Director for Research at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and Leader of the Neurodegenerative disease and Trauma Theme. She leads an ambitious and productive research team at Menzies consisting of three post-docs, six PhD students, one research assistant and one honours student. Associate Professor Dickson was previously an National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow (2008-2012), and Early Career Postdoctoral Fellow (2001-2004), where she spent two years at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. A/Prof Dickson’s work has resulted in 70 original research papers and she has secured competitive funding for her research of over $7.5 million. A/Prof Dickson has an excellent record in supervising RHD students, with 13 PhD completions.
- Prof Maggie Walter – Looking Back to Move Forward: The Royal Society and Tasmanian Aborigines – Oct 3, 8 pm @Royal Society Room TMAG
The Royal Society of Tasmania has a long history of supporting the advancement of knowledge within Tasmania. Yet, the deep dark shadow of the Royal Society’s behaviour towards Tasmanian Aborigines remains largely undisturbed, tarnishing this history and forestalling the possibility of a contemporary relationship with Tasmanian Aboriginal people. This presentation details the Royal Society’s role in the post-mortem desecration of William Lanne and trucanini, and subsequent exploitation of their remains, from an historical and from an Aboriginal perspective. The purpose is to stimulate a discussion on how this history can be acknowledged as a prerequisite to a process of reconciliation between the Society and Tasmanian Aboriginal people and communities.
Maggie Walter (PhD) is member of the Briggs/Johnson Tasmanian Aboriginal family, descended from the pairrebenne people of North Eastern Tasmania. She is also Professor of Sociology and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Maggie’s scholarship centres on the social and cultural positioning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and she has published extensively in the field of race relations, inequality and research methods/methodologies. Recent books include: Indigenous Children Growing Up Strong: A longitudinal study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families (2017) (Edited with K.L. Martin and G. Bodkin-Andrews, Palgrave McMillan) Indigenous statistics: a quantitative methodology (with C. Andersen, Left Coast Press 2013) and Social Research Methods (ed) 3rd Edition (Oxford University Press 2013).
- Nominations open for The Royal Society of Tasmania Medal! Closes 30 Sept midnight.
This medal is especially for ‘active’ members of the Society.
- Nominations open for mid-career researchers! The M. R. Banks Medal closes Sept 30 midnight