This week at Science in Public

This Week

Australia set to ride the quantum computing wave

Australian Institute of Physics Congress, Media releases

Tuesday 6 December 2016 banner

Scientists available for interview from the Physics Congress in Brisbane

We have the technology! The first simple quantum computers are being built all over the world as decades of research and development culminate in technology that accurately builds structures atom by atom.

Researchers already have practical plans for building usable quantum computers based on silicon, the director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology Professor Michelle Simmons, at the University of New South Wales, will tell the Australian Physics Congress in Brisbane on Wednesday.  [click to continue…]

Australia helping to crack fusion power, bringing the energy of the sun down to earth for a zero carbon future

Australian Institute of Physics Congress, Media releases

bannerTuesday 6 December 2016

It’s the world’s biggest experiment—a multi-billion machine, with first results in 2025.

Speakers from around the world, including senior advisor to the ITER project Professor Jean Jacquinot, will speak at the Physics Congress in Brisbane about the global race to master the process that powers our sun. Researchers from ANU will speak about Australia’s involvement.  [click to continue…]

Arc welders in the operating room; the physics of kangaroo’s knees; no more exploding smartphones; women in leadership; and more

Australian Institute of Physics Congress, Media releases

Tuesday 6 December 2016

No more exploding smartphones: Australia-China supercapacitor collaboration (Brisbane)

The perils of lithium-ion batteries are well known to owners of the Galaxy Note 7, but battery fires have also plagued power plants and even passenger jets in-flight. The Queensland Government is getting behind an Australia-China collaboration to build supercapacitors: purely electric storage devices using graphene, which promise many advantages over their chemical-based cousins.

QUT’s Professor Nunzio Motta is leading the Australian end of the research. The major challenge is developing scalable ways of growing graphene sheets. At the Congress, he’ll present his work on growing graphene for other kinds of electronic components but he’s happy to talk about both areas and the potential of graphene. He imagines, for example, a car or train in which the body panels act as energy stores extending the battery range, and storing energy from braking.  [click to continue…]

Australian scientists stalking, sensing and trapping elusive dark matter

Australian Institute of Physics Congress, Media releases

bannerMonday 5 December 2016

Scientists available for interview from the Physics Congress in Brisbane

Media contacts

Australian physicists are using all the skills of experienced hunters in their quest for dark matter, the 85 per cent of matter in the Universe we have not been able to detect. And they are getting closer to their quarry.

Members of three separate groups from across the continent will give the latest updates from the hunt at the APPC-AIP Physics Congress in Brisbane.

Dark matter is so called because it does not interact with light or any other electromagnetic radiation. So the physicist hunters need to use all their ingenuity to track it down.  [click to continue…]

Satellites the size of bread; why making anti-matter matters; telescopes on a chip; our neutrino world and more

Australian Institute of Physics Congress, Media releases

Monday 5 December 2016

A new constellation of Australian satellites – packed up and ready for launch in 2017 (Canberra)

Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

Australia is heading into space: Professor Christine Charles (ANU) was part of the Australian team of Universities that are launching Australian research satellites into space for the first time in over a decade.

Three Australian designed and built cubesats – satellites the size of a loaf of bread – are soon to be launched into space as part of the EU QB 50 Program.

Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

Charles’ plasma thruster system for spacecraft is just one of the Aussie ideas which is being studied to extend the capabilities of nano-satellites. Christine Charles will explain the possibilities for this renaissance of Australian space science.

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QLD’s forgotten Nobel Prize winner

Australian Institute of Physics Congress

Rediscovering the physicist born a century ago in Far North Queensland who went on to win a Nobel Prize for his role in the invention of the laser.

AOSlogoAustralia’s forgotten Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Prokhorov was born 11 July 1916 in Atherton, Far North Queensland—the child of refugee parents fleeing Tsarist Russia.

When he died in 2002, Prokhorov was a nationAIPlogoal hero in Russia. Here, his Australian roots are largely forgotten.

Australian physicists are now working to change that.

The Australian Optical Society (AOS) sessions at the Congress on Monday morning will be held in honour of Prokhorov— AOS President, Professor Stephen Collins can speak to the topic.

The centenary of Prokhorov’s birth was also celebrated in a series of spectacular laser-shows in Far North Queensland as part of National Science Week.

[click to continue…]

A week of physics stories – starting Monday: our neutrino world; hunting dark matter; Australia’s role in big international science; and more

Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics Congress

 

More on these and other stories from this week’s Physics Congress below. [click to continue…]

Hello Ben

Other

Sarah and Niall have a new baby boy, Ben, born 1 December 2016. He’s 3.6 kg and in a hurry to grow up.

sarah-anb-ben

A week of physics stories – starting Monday

Australian Institute of Physics Congress

aip2016-web-banner-thin

The biennial Physics Congress in Brisbane
4 to 8 December

Researchers from every State plus international and Asian leaders
All stories embargoed until released during the Congress.

 

The biggest discovery of 2016 – gravitational waves. Hear from one of the leaders on what’s next.

Einstein said we’d never find them. But we did. Have more been found? What’s Australia’s role, and why should we care? Researchers from Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth will talk about their work on gravitational waves.

Our neutrino world – explained by 2015 Nobel Prize winner Takaaki Kajita

We live in a world of neutrinos. Thousands of billions of neutrinos—mostly created by the Sun—are flowing through your body every second. You cannot see them and you do not feel them. So how did we discover they have mass, and why does that challenge our standard model of the Universe? Kajita will also be meeting with school students.

$20 billion, with a result is expected in 2035. The world’s largest science experiment hopes to crack fusion power.

Speakers from around the world, including senior advisor to the ITER project Jean Jacquinot, will speak about the global race to harness the process that powers our Sun. Researchers from ANU will be available to speak about Australia’s involvement. [click to continue…]

Shape-shifting particles and underground super labs: 2015 Nobel Prize winner tells his story

Australian Institute of Physics Congress

aip2016-web-banner-thinPublic Lecture 7pm Monday 5 December

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Great Halls 1 & 2

Register for the event here: www.trybooking.com/OBQF

kajita-151015

We live in a world of neutrinos. Thousands of billions of neutrinos—mostly created by the Sun—are flowing through your body every second. You cannot see them and you do not feel them; and they are very hard for scientists to measure.

Then, when scientists were finally able to catch them, there were fewer than they expected. But why? Was our Sun losing its power?

Join us on Monday 5 December for a free public lecture by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2015, Professor Takaaki Kajita: the man credited with the discovery of neutrino oscillations, and the solution to this riddle. [click to continue…]

Transforming Indonesia and Australia with science and innovation

Media releases

We’re assisting with media for the Australia-Indonesia Science Symposium, held in Canberra from Monday 28 November – Thursday 1 December.

Transforming Indonesia and Australia with science and innovation

Australian and Indonesian Ministers open international science symposium

 

Monday 28 November at the Shine Dome, Canberra
Opening ceremony 8.30 am, press call with Ministers 9:20 am with

  • Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific
  • Dr Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning
  • Professor Andrew Holmes, President of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Professor Sangkot Marzuki, President of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences

Indonesia is on track to become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2050. It’s undergoing massive economic and social change. Poverty is falling, health is improving, the nation is urbanising. The nation is hungry for energy, health, water and food security. Its people are early adopters of new technologies from social media to big data.

[click to continue…]

The Australia-Indonesia Symposium forums in brief

Australian Academy of Science, Media releases

aus-indoBackgrounder

The inaugural Australia–Indonesia Science Symposium will explore health, marine science and climate change, agriculture, and big data and disruptive technologies.
[click to continue…]

Photos from the Australia-Indonesia Science Symposium

Australian Academy of Science
Dr Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, (Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning), Professor Sangkot Marzuki (President of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences), Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific) and Professor Andrew Holmes (President of the Australian Academy of Science) (photo credit: Bradley Cummings)

Dr Bambang PS Brodjonegoro, (Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning), Professor Sangkot Marzuki (President of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences), Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific) and Professor Andrew Holmes (President of the Australian Academy of Science) (photo credit: Bradley Cummings)

[click to continue…]

Media Kit – 2016 CSL Young Florey Medal

CSL Florey Medal, Media releases

After 160 years, it’s time to throw away the needle and syringe
Nanopatch starts clinical trials in Brisbane, with Cuba next

Rocket scientist Mark Kendall (UQ) reinvents vaccination and wins $25,000 CSL Young Florey Medal

Press materials available:

The 2016 CSL Young Florey Medal was presented at the Association of Australian medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) dinner at on Wednesday 9 November in the Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra

  • Professor Mark Kendall helped create a small rocket for vaccine delivery.
  • Then he invented a radically simpler concept that could replace the needle and syringe we’ve been using for 160 years.
  • A small square of silicon with 20,000 microscopic spikes delivers vaccines directly to the skin’s immune cells.
  • It’s painless, requires a fraction of the dose, doesn’t need refrigeration, and eliminates needle phobia.
  • Now human clinical trials are underway in Brisbane, and the WHO is planning a polio vaccine trial in Cuba in 2017.

[click to continue…]

Melbourne’s 3D jet engine technology flies into production in France

Media releases, Monash University Technology Research Platforms

Launch at the Australian Embassy in Paris, France

Representatives from Monash and Amaero available for interview in Melbourne and Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday. Call Niall (in Paris) on +61 417 131 977 or Toni (in Melbourne) +61 401 763 130.

Amaero and Monash media release

Prof Xinhua Wu

Professor Xinhua Wu. Credit: Monash University

The Monash University-led team who printed a jet engine last year have enabled a new venture for manufacturing aerospace components in France.

Melbourne-based Amaero Engineering—a spin out company from Monash University’s innovation cluster—has signed an agreement with the University and Safran Power Units to print turbojet components for Safran, the French-based global aerospace and defence company.

“Our new facility will be embedded within the Safran Power Units factory in Toulouse and will make components for Safran’s auxiliary power units and turbojet engines,” said Mr Barrie Finnin, CEO of Monash spin-out company Amaero.

[click to continue…]

What’s happening to our men?

Media releases

Life’s transitions, mental health and suicidal ideation

On average, Australian men die four years younger than women, live with worse health and carry the greater burden of chronic disease. On the cusp of the hairy season, global men’s health charity the Movember Foundation has today released a survey that reveals the true state of men’s health around the world, and is urging all Australians to act fast to stop men dying too young.

The five-country survey of over 10,000 men and women shows that men deal with life’s big challenges in ways that can have long-term consequences for their physical and mental health.

The research revealed:

  • Nearly half (46 per cent) of the men who had been through a stressful life event such as a relationship breakdown or sudden job loss during the past year reported experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviours
  • The men surveyed were more likely than women surveyed to cope with stressful life events in unhealthy ways, such as drinking, drugs, taking more risks and becoming more aggressive
  • Men over 40 don’t recognise this is the peak age for risk of intentional non-accidental injury, such as self-harm or suicide.

[click to continue…]

Science as news: what are Western journalists looking for in Japanese science?

Japan

Symposium at Science Agora Festival 2016 (English language session)

Saturday 5 November, 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm

Meeting room #1, 4th floor of Tokyo International Exchange Center, 2 Chome-2-1 Aomi

What turns science into news? What makes a science story international? What are the BBC, New York Times, PBS, The Economist, and other international media really looking for in a science story?

This symposium will give Japanese scientists and policy makers guidance on how to get their stories into the mass media in Western countries.

The session will include practical advice from working journalists and science communicators about how scientists and organisations can pitch their stories to Western TV, radio, print, and online publications.

A free forum open to all.

Please register for this symposium here.

Further information

Over the two-hour session, we’ll facilitate a forum with foreign correspondents and science reporters who will tell the participants what they (and their audience) look for in a story. We will also provide advice to the attendees about how they can make their story work for Western media.

This session will be presented by Mr Niall Byrne from Science in Public, the Australian-based science communication agency. The Science in Public team have helped scientists bring their science stories to national and international attention including the loss of half the coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef; the world’s first printed jet engine; and the Higgs boson discovery. They also organised the World Congress of Science Journalists in Melbourne in 2007.

Melbourne and Sydney lead as hotspots for innovation in Australia

Media releases, Nature

Nature media release

According to the Nature Index, Melbourne was Australia’s leading city in terms of high-quality science output in 2015, followed by Sydney. The index also shows that Brisbane saw the fastest growth in output between 2012 and 2015, and is home to the highest-placed institution in Australia, The University of Queensland (UQ), which made the largest contribution by share of authorship to high-quality papers than any other institution last year. Overall, Australia’s high-quality research output has grown considerably, up by 10% in just three years, placing it 12th in the index’s global standings.

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Winners in brief – 2016 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

The 2016 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recipients are:

From Sydney:

  • Defending Australia’s snakes and lizards: Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Professor Richard Shine (The University of Sydney)
  • Making stock markets fair and efficient: Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation Professor Michael Aitken (Capital Markets CRC)
  • Re-engineering nature to fight for global health: Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year Professor Richard Payne (The University of Sydney)
  • Turning the next generation of primary teachers on to science: Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools Mr Gary Tilley (Seaforth Public School).

From Adelaide:

  • Creating new manufacturing jobs by replacing glass and metal with plastic: Prize for New Innovators Dr Colin Hall (University of South Australia)

From Brisbane:

  • Conservation that works for government, ecosystems and people: Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson (University of Queensland)

From Perth:

  • Turning students into scientists, setting them up for jobs in mining, conservation, tourism and more: Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools Ms Suzy Urbaniak (Kent Street Senior High School)