Next Lecture and Upcoming Events
For details of past lectures, please see our Lectures Archive.
- 175th Anniversary Program
In October 2018, the Royal Society of Tasmania will be celebrating 175 years – a terquasquicentennial anniversary.
The Royal Society of Tasmania was the first Royal Society to be established outside the United Kingdom
The Society was founded in 1843 by Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, Lieutenant Governor, as the Botanical and Horticultural Society of Van Diemen’s Land. Its aim was to ‘develop the physical character of the Island and illustrate its natural history and productions’. Queen Victoria became Patron in 1844 and the name was changed to The Royal Society of Tasmania of Van Diemen’s Land for Horticulture, Botany and the Advancement of Science. Under the Act of Parliament passed in 1911, the name was shortened to The Royal Society of Tasmania.
Today, with the aim of ‘the advancement of knowledge’, the Society is flourishing and still an important part of Tasmania’s scientific and cultural community.
To celebrate this significant milestone, the Society has put together an inspiring program of events in addition to its usual lecture programs.
30 August 2018
Royal Society of Tasmania Medal Presentation and Lecture
Government House, Hobart
30 September 2018
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) – Inveresk, Launceston
16 October 2018
Government House, Hobart
6 November 2018
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) – Dunn Place, Hobart
10 November 2018
Royal Botanical Gardens, Queens Domain, Hobart
25 November 2018
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) – Inveresk, Launceston
Nov – Dec 2018
Poles Apart Exhibition
Morris Miller Library foyer, UTAS, Sandy Bay Campus
7 Dec 2018 – 5 May 2019
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Dunn Place, Hobart
27 January – 24 February 2019
Lady Franklin Gallery, Ancanthe Park, Lenah Valley, Hobart
March 23–24 2019
Stanley Burbury Theatre – University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Dunn Place, Hobart
- Royal Society of Tasmania Annual Doctoral Awards – Nominations Open
The Royal Society of Tasmania Annual Doctoral (PhD) Awards
Nominations are now open for the Annual Doctoral Awards. Two such awards are offered each year. The final date for submitting nominations is 30 November 2018. Awards will be announced at the Society’s Annual General meeting in March 2019.
The Royal Society of Tasmania instituted this Award to honour two young, recently graduated doctoral (PhD) academics who have made significant advances in the course of their doctoral research.
The Awards are made annually for excellence in research in any field within the purview of the Society, including science, medicine, the arts and humanities. The candidates should have been awarded their PhD within the last three years and under the age of 35 at the time of graduation.
The Awards are not restricted to Australian nationals, however, the candidate’s work/research needs to have been carried out in Tasmania or under the aegis of a Tasmanian based organization. The Awards are for work leading to significant advances based on the PhD research. Expressions of interest must include a nomination from the candidate’s supervisor or Department Manager.
Each award is for the amount of $1,000 (AUD) and the awardees are encouraged to address the Society.
Full criteria for eligibility for the Award and submission requirements are set out below or see Appendix C at the Awards and Bursaries guidelines.
The conditions of this Award are:
The Awards shall be made no more than three years after graduation (PhD degree).
To be awarded in any fields – sciences, medicine, arts or humanities – within the purview of the Society.
The Awards are to be for work leading to significant advances based on the PhD research, as evidenced by published or in press peer-reviewed papers in the national/international literature.
The works are to have been largely carried out in Tasmania or under the aegis of a Tasmanian-based organization.
The nationality of the recipients is not to be considered in making the Award, that is, the Award is not restricted to Australian nationals.
The recipients shall be less than 35 years of age on the day of the PhD graduation.
The Awards are to be made available annually, but will not be awarded if there are no candidates of sufficient quality.
Expressions of interest are to be sought widely from all relevant institutions on an annual basis and must include a nomination from the candidate’s supervisor or Department Manager.
Each awardee will be encouraged to address the Society.
The value of each award is $1,000 (AUD).
Applications to be submitted online as advised by the nominated due date.
All applications must include:
A full academic curriculum vitae including the date of birth, the date of receipt of degrees (including the date of PhD graduation) and a full list of published works. The most significant works should be highlighted with an asterisk. Where the candidate’s standing relies on many co-authored papers, the candidate’s roles in those significant publications should be indicated.
An abstract (not more than one A4 page) of the PhD study, including the thesis title.
A letter of nomination from the candidate’s Department Manager and/or PhD supervisor. NB: Applications will not be considered without this document, which must included a statement of the new and original contribution to the field of research.
Receipt of applications must be no later than 30 November in each year. The Awards will be announced at the Society’s Annual General Meeting in Hobart in March, the following year.
- 175 Anniversary Event – Play Reading at QVMAG – The Laughing Gas Cure + Cake
Stella Kent’s one act play, The Laughing Gas Cure, debuted at QVMAG in Inveresk on 30 October to great acclaim.
Set in the 1770s, the eccentric lead character Dr Thomas Beddoes is convinced that consumption can be cured by inhaling the breath of cows. Aided by his brilliant young assistant, Humphry Davy, he embarks on a series of experiments to prove that miraculous cures can be effected by inhaling nitrous oxide. But his friend, the foppish Joseph Banks who has recently returned from his voyage with James Cook, is less convinced. When Banks discards his dandified exterior and sets out to befriend the King and organise the establishment of Botany Bay as a penal colony, the friendship rapidly deteriorates.
In the end both men are bitterly disappointed. Beddoes must finally admit his experiments with gas have failed and nitrous oxide, ‘laughing gas’, is useful only to fuel riotous parties. Banks has poached the brilliant Davy from him, and his wife Anna runs off to London to be with Davy. Banks himself, even though he pulls the strings of Empire, is immobilised by gout, enraged that the experiment that is Australia appears to be failing, and realises that the sense of adventure and original discovery he once experienced in Tahiti are forever over.
The play traces the path of Joseph Banks from fop to gigantic president of the Royal Society, and his manoeuvring to set Humphry Davy on the path of eventually becoming President of the Society. In a harmonious marriage of science and the arts, the play examines the notion of science at a time when anecdotal evidence and natural philosophy was giving way to scientific method, the empirical method of knowledge acquisition involving careful observation, experimental testing and measurement of deductions drawn from the hypotheses.
The play is also full of humour and includes the enactment of early laughing gas experiments and tooth-pulling.
Thee play reading was followed by cake to celebrate the Society’s 175th Anniversary.
- Christmas Lecture and Dinner – 4 December 2018 @ 6.00pm – CSIRO, Hobart
The Royal Society of Tasmania Christmas dinner will be held in the CSIRO dinning room at Battery Point on Tuesday 4th of December 2018.
This year’s Christmas lecture will be delivered by Professor Rufus Black at 6.00pm in the CSIRO lecture theatre prior to dinner.
Rufus Black is the Vice Chancellor and President at the University of Tasmania. Previously, he was Master of Melbourne University’s Ormond College and an Enterprise Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing and a Principal Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. Rufus’ private sector experience includes nine years as a partner at McKinsey and Company, serving clients in Australia and Asia, and as a Director for national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
His educational and social sector experience includes being the President of Museums Victoria, the Deputy Chancellor of Victoria University, the founding Chair of the Board of the Teach for Australia Board, a Director of the New York based Teach for All and a Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
He has worked extensively for government at Federal and State levels. He was a Board Member of Innovation Science Australia, conducted the Black Review into the Department of Defence and the Prime Minister’s Independent Review of the Australian Intelligence Community and was the Strategic Advisor to the Secretary of Education in Victoria. Rufus holds degrees in law, politics, economics, ethics and theology from the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
Please check back for details of the lecture, booking arrangements and menu.
- Poles Apart: Fascination, fame and folly – Prepublication sales
Take advantage of the prepublication discount until 30 October 2018
- Dinosaur Symposium – Call for Papers – Deadline: 12 December 2018
Supported by The Royal Society of Tasmania, Geological Society of Australia (Tas. Div.) and The University of Tasmania
Abstract submission deadline
12 December 2018
First circular: Call for abstracts
The Organizing and Scientific Committee of DEL2019, invites you to participate in a 2 day symposium to highlight recent advances in understanding the evolution of life on Earth, with a focus on Dinosaurs.
The conference is organized by the The Royal Society of Tasmania as part of their 175thAnniversary celebrations, with support from the Tasmanian Division of the Geological Society of Australia and the University of Tasmania. The venue is the Stanley Burbury Theatre, University of Tasmania, Churchill Avenue, Hobart. The Symposium will run in parallel with an exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) called “Dinosaur rEvolution; Secrets of Survival” prepared by Gondwana Studios.
Participants will benefit from hearing Plenary Session Keynote talks by several distinguished scientists on dinosaurs, evolution and mass extinction.
- Professor John Long – Flinders University, will give an overview on the origin of the species, including dinosaurs.
- Dr Steve Salisbury – University of Queensland Dinosaur Lab, will talk about the recent discovery of dinosaur tracks in northwest Western Australia.
- Dr Stephen Poropat – Swinburne University of Technology will talk about Australian dinosaurs through the Mesozoic period and the Triassic fossils found in the Hobart area – _are they dinosaurs?
- Dr Phil Bell – University of New England, will talk on recent opalized dinosaur discoveries from Lightning Ridge, NSW.
- Professor Ross Large – University of Tasmania, will talk about research on past ocean chemistry, evolution and mass extinctions over the last 600 million years.
- Peter Norton – Gondwana Studios, is the creator of the Dinosaur rEvolution exhibition at TMAG. He will talk about bringing dinosaurs to life by exhibition.
- John Pickell – a well-known author who has published several books on dinosaurs will run a Q & A session on dinosaurs, fielding questions from the audience
Calendar of main events
- September 1, 2018: Abstract submission launching
- December 12, 2018: Abstract submission deadline
- March 23-24 Symposium
Themes of Symposium
- Recent research on dinosaurs
- Evolution of dinosaurs and birds
- Proterozoic evolution of life
- Phanerozoic evolution of life
- Mass extinction events
Submission of Abstract
Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words in Times 12 font, headed by the title, authors and affiliations. Please email to: email@example.com before the deadline of December 12, 2018
- Royal Society Postgrad Evening – Tuesday 2 October, 8.00pm – Royal Society Rooms, Hobart
The Royal Society of Tasmania will present its annual Postgraduate evening on the 2nd of October 2018.
A number of outstanding PhD candidates from the University of Tasmania will give short lectures on their favourite research topics, followed by five minutes for questions. As usual, the areas of research are diverse and fascinating.
Nicole Hellessey is a PhD student with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic studies. Nicole was lucky enough to be chosen as an inaugural participant of the Homeward Bound Project in 2016 to raise awareness for women in STEM fields. Nicole is now a passionate advocate for women in science and an upcoming science communicator with the Young Tassie Scientists. When she’s not busily working on her thesis or in the lab, Nicole is a single parent and medieval enthusiast.
Nicole is researching Antarctic krill diets and how they change seasonally, inter-annually, regionally and with the environment. Nicole’s end goal is to help the krill fishery to become more sustainable by understanding when and where to harvest to maximise their omega3 outputs whilst minimising their krill catch. Nicole will be discussing the basics of krill biology and the krill fishery and how they both may change into the future. Everything from krill size and sex, to how much the fishery really harvests from the Southern Ocean will be put under the microscope and open for debate.
Shasta is a current PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania, where she is looking into the impact of wildfires on alpine invertebrate communities. After graduating with Honors in invertebrate ecology, Shasta interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, assisting in the identification of new species of beetles from the Amazon. They even named an insect named after her.
As a ‘Young Tassie Scientist’ she teaches school kids the difference between bugs and beetles, and how to grow up to be a scientist. As an independent Science Communicator she talks about insects as technology, on farms, under your skin and on your plate. Shasta is the entomologist on call for ABC radio Hobart and a member of the Australian Entomological Society Conservation Committee.
There are 1 million species of insects named in the scientific literature. But there are an estimated 5.5 million species of insects globally. That leaves a conservative 80% of species unnamed. Looking at insects in a quiet place like Tasmania it is likely, if not necessary, that you’ll name a species or two. A scientific name, as unique and specific as the species themselves is an international label used to file and access the knowledge we possess about any particular species. So what does that process of filing and acquisition look like when the file does not have a label; when people start stuffing papers into neighboring files or stuff has simply not been filed at all? A treasure hunt ensues! A (hopefully) thrilling account of the sleuth work involved in identifying the Tasmanian golden sun cockroach.
Peter Lynch is a graduate of the Canberra School of Music (performance), Monash University (musicology) and The University of Melbourne (education administration). He has taught at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music, and the Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania. From 1999 to 2008, he was Director of Murray Conservatorium, Albury. In that capacity, he established two orchestras, a number of smaller ensembles and presented numerous public concerts featuring staff and students together with recitals by many of Australia’s finest performers and composers. For forty years, Peter examined in Australia and overseas for the Australian Music Examinations Board. As a classical guitarist, he has performed, broadcast and recorded as soloist and in ensemble with some of Australia’s most highly regarded musicians. These include Prudence Davis and Jeffrey Crellin (Images) and Jane Rayner (Cloud Eight: Australian Music for Flute and Guitar). His MA thesis on Gertrude Healy, the noted Australian violinist, was recognised by way of an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and he is now awaiting the outcome of the examination of his PhD on liturgical music in four Australian monastic communities. Peter and his partner Bronwyn, when not busy in their cottage garden, work in a voluntary capacity at the Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart Archives and Heritage Collection.
The Second Vatican Council heralded a period of immense and often unprecedented change for all Roman Catholics, particularly with regard to matters liturgical. Against the backdrop of Sacrosanctum Concilium, promulgated by Paul VI on December 4, 1963, and subsequent Vatican legislation, this research investigated, through an ethnographic methodology, the responses to the challenges and opportunities that arose through the process of liturgical reform within the Australian monastic context. The communities selected for this study were the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at the Carmelite Monastery in Kew, Victoria; the Trappist Monks at Tarrawarra Abbey in the Yarra Valley, Victoria; the Benedictine Nuns at Jamberoo Abbey, New South Wales; and the Benedictine Monks at New Norcia, Western Australia. The research focused on the liturgical music of each of these communities as it evolved over the period from 1960, two years prior to the commencement of the Council, to 2015, marking 50 years since its conclusion. It demonstrated that, through their collective commitment and the expertise of individual musicians from within their ranks as well as further afield, they resolved, to a large extent, the inherent tension between the demands of liturgical reform, particularly with regard to the vernacularisation of their liturgies and the concomitant necessity to develop sympathetic musical constructs, and the preservation of the treasury of sacred music, especially Gregorian chant. In so doing, they not only succeeded but excelled in meeting the challenge of the reform.Continue reading →
- Obituary – Professor Patrick Gerard Quilty AM (1939-2018)
Professor Patrick Gerard Quilty AM
Patrick Quilty had a long and distinguished career in Earth Science and Antarctic exploration. His many contributions to the Royal Society of Tasmania have been very significant and highly regarded by members and Council. In 1986 he was elected the senior vice-president of the Royal Society of Tasmania, when the Governor was president. He became president of the Society again in 2010 and was the Chair of the RST Foundation for several years besides being member of the Awards Committee. In 1996 he received The Royal Society of Tasmania Medal for his scientific achievements and service to the Society. In 2011 he convened the highly successful two-day Mawson Symposium for the Society.
Patrick obtained his BSc (Hons) from the University of Western Australia and PhD from the University of Tasmania. He spent six years in the oil industry as a palaeontologist with West Australian Petroleum (WAPET), followed by five years as a lecturer at Macquarie University. His first visit to Antarctica was in 1965/66 with the University of Wisconsin, followed by a field trip to Macquarie island in 1968, with a party that identified the island as a unique piece of uplifted oceanic crust. From 1981 to 1999 Pat was Chief Scientist for the Australian Antarctic Division and ANARE. He made a total of 14 working trips south, including three summers in the Vestfold Hills investigating fossil whales he had originally discovered in 1989, and participated in three ANARE marine science voyages.
During his period at the Australian Antarctic Division, Patrick was very active in international Antarctic leadership, serving as a vice-president of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) for four years, and chairing the organisation of the 20thmeeting of SCAR in Hobart in 1988, as well as symposia on the Vestfold Hills (1984) and Macquarie Island (1987).
Patrick Quilty has published over 200 scientific papers, including six in the last three years with several more in the final stages of submission. He became an Honorary Professor in Earth Sciences and IMAS at the University of Tasmania in 2010 and has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at California State University. His many awards include Member of the Order of Australia (AM), U.S. Antarctica Service medal, Inaugural Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Tasmania, and the Phillip Law Medal of the ANARE Club. Two Antarctic geographic features and five fossil species have been named in his honour.
Honorary Professor Patrick Quilty was a warm hearted and generous man, who epitomised the mission of our Society (the advancement of knowledge), and devoted much of his valuable time to Society matters. He will be greatly missed by our members.
- Tasmanian STEM Excellence Awards 2018
Applications close 28 September 2018Continue reading →
- Dr Patsy Cameron AO – Voices from the Other Side of the Colonial Sea Frontier – 23 September 2018 – QVMAG Inveresk
Tasmania – 2018 Launceston Lecture Series
Dr Patsy Cameron AO
Voices from the Other Side of
the Colonial Sea Frontier
in the Meeting Room, QVMAG at Inveresk I
1.30 pm Sunday 23rd September 2018
Admission: $6 General Public,
$4 QVMAG Friends, members of Launceston Historical Society and Students
Free for members of The Royal Society of Tasmania
Patsy Cameron grew up on Flinders Island and traces her Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage through her mother’s line to the northeast Coastal Plains Nation and the east coast Oyster Bay Nation. For over forty years Patsy has been a passionate champion for Aboriginal education and the promotion of cultural heritage and traditional practice. Patsy has a Bachelor of Arts with major studies in Archaeologyand Geography and a Master of Arts in Aboriginal History. Her MA thesis Grease and Ochre: The blending of two cultures at the colonial sea frontierwas published by Fuller’s Bookshop in 2011. She was inducted into the Tasmanian Women’s Honour Roll in 2006 and received a prestigious honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Tasmania in August 2016 for her outstanding contribution to the Tasmanian community. In June 2017 Patsy was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) on the Queen’s birthday honour list.
Most accounts of early contact relations between the Straitsmen and their Aboriginal wives, with whom they made homes on the small islands of Bass Strait during the first decades of the 1800s, are permeated with characterisations of slavery and savagery. Much of the colonial record was written from afar, and many who did observe the sea frontier at close quarters had reasons to present biased viewpoints. This presentation, at stark counterpoint to those white masculine colonial narratives that pervade understandings of Tasmanian Aboriginal history, allows the voices of Islanders from the other side of the sea frontier to finally be heard.
- Congratulations Professor Ross Large
The Royal Society of Tasmania congratulates President Prof. Ross Large on the award of the Society’s most prestigious medal, the Royal Society of Tasmania Medal, for his research in the field of geology.You can hear Ross talking about his research on ABC Radio Hobart Breakfast with Ryk Goddard.The medal was presented by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania at a ceremony at Government House on Thursday 30 August 2018.