Immortality, the physics of money, the Large Hadron Collider, Garnaut on biodiversity

Australian Institute of Physics, Media bulletins

Over the next week we’re talking immortality, biodiversity, lies, chaos and the end of the world at a series of science events in Melbourne and Canberra, with several media stories available each day.

Will the world end in 2012?

The discoverer of pulsars will discuss the many threats to Earth from space – real and imagined at public forums in Ballarat and at the Biennial conference of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Other conference highlights include:

  • The physics of money – the stability of the $150 billion that flows through our banks every night;
  • the IceCube neutrino telescope in Antarctica – what’s it found?
  • lies, damn lies and climate change sceptics – David Karoly asks what has really caused recent global warming?
  • the director of CERN talking about how the Large Hadron Collider could change our view of the world, and of the Universe;
  • from the chaos of stirring coffee to stirring rocks and cleaning up polluted ground water;
  • diagnostics and treatment of tumours using laser techniques;
  • national broadband – the new inventions that will drive it, or change it;
  • the launch of a national particle physics initiative;
  • does quantum mechanics permit free will?
  • understanding dark matter and dark energy.

These stories and more will be discussed from Monday 6 December with 800 physicists at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

We’ll have daily story alerts. Email me for an embargoed overview. The media are welcome.

We’ve found the key to endless life

But it could kill you. SBS and National Geographic present Sonya Pemberton’s latest science documentary this Sunday at 8.30 pm.

IMMORTAL reveals nature’s greatest double-edged sword, discovered deep within the DNA of humble pond scum. Awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine, this discovery is now transforming our approach to aging, stress and cancer. For more information and interviews contact Sonya on

Biodiversity and You

A public lecture exploring what biodiversity means to people, and the future challenges for sustaining, it will be held on Tuesday 7 December from 7 – 9pm

Panel members include:

  • Dr Peter Bridgewater, Chair of the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee Who moved my magic pudding? Seven steps to sustainability;
  • Professor Charles Krebs, Retired Fellow, University of British Columbia What ecologists know that now underpins sustainability;
  • Dr Lorrae van Kerkhoff, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Australian National University Science in the age of democracy, or democracy in the age of science.

The evening will be facilitated by Mr Tony Peacock, CEO, CRC Association Inc.

The public lecture is hosted The Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) together with the Council of Australian Museum Directors as a part of the ESA’s annual conference.

Media contacts: Larissa Cordner: 0433 681 445, E:, Niall Byrne: 0417 131 977,

Brainstorming the future for Australia’s biodiversity

More than 700 leading international and Australian ecological researchers will attend the Ecological Society of Australia’s Annual Conference in Canberra next week to brainstorm the future of Australia’s biodiversity.

This year’s theme is Sustaining Biodiversity – The next 50 years.

Biodiversity attracted attention during the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity when the global community acknowledged that it had failed to achieve the 2010 Biodiversity Target agreed in 2002.

Supported by CSIRO, the Conference will cover a broad range of issues related to biodiversity.

Key addresses will be presented by:

  • Professor Ross Garnaut (AO): Economics, climate change and biodiversity
  • Professor William Sutherland: Cambridge University, How can Ecology be used to Conserve Biodiversity
  • Professor Hal Mooney – Stanford University: Global biodiversity science – recurrent challenges and new opportunities
  • Dr Tara Martin – CSIRO – When to move species in the face of climate change
  • Public Lecture: Tuesday 7 December – Biodiversity and You

Media contact: Larissa Cordner: 0433 681 445, E:

Air, fire, earth and water – understanding our planet in all its moods

In 2011 Australia will hold one of the world’s largest meetings of earth scientists. It will explore all the physical aspects of our planet, from deep in the Earth’s core to our place in space.

Given recent natural disasters—such as the Pakistan floods, Black Saturday bushfires, Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, 2010 Chile earthquake, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano—the Earth seems ever more restless and destructive, and the impact on human life and infrastructure is increasingly heavy.

So it is important to understand how the Earth works—which means the 25th General Assembly of the International Union of Geophysics and Geodesy in Melbourne from 28 June to 7 July 2011 will be a focus of attention, not only for the 3,000 delegates expected to attend, but for many others besides.

We want to extend the conversation from the conference, bringing earth science to the wider community. We’d welcome your thoughts and support to achieve this.

Kind regards,