The deep ancestry of Charles Darwin and his great, great grandson will be revealed tomorrow, Thursday 4 February, at a press conference at the Australian Museum in Sydney, 1pm.
Chris Darwin, 48, of the Blue Mountains, NSW provided a DNA sample for the National Geographic and IBM’s Genographic Project from which his deep ancestry will be revealed.
Later at 5 pm celebrate Darwin’s 201st birthday, and hear of plans for this year – the UN International Year of Biodiversity – with Chris Darwin and the Genographic team in a cocktail reception.
And pencil in 25 February for a Melbourne reception coinciding with tall ship Stad Amsterdam’s visit as part of the recreation of the voyage of the Beagle. More details nearer the time.
Also, nanotechnology hits the front page at the 2010 International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Sydney from 22-26 February. We have speakers covering the field – from the potential of nanotechnology to transform our lives, to the safety implications.
The Australian Science Communicators hold their national conference in Canberra from 7-10 February.
And the winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Ada Yonath is in Australia later this month talking in Sydney and Melbourne.
The evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, is visiting Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in March.
Also look out later this year for the laser’s 50th birthday. The inventors could not have imagined that by 2010 the laser would be working every day in almost every home and business.
More on all of these below.
+61 (417) 131 977
DNA science reveals Charles Darwin’s deep ancestry – Media conference 1pm, Thursday 4 February, Sydney
Charles Darwin, the man who changed the way we understand ourselves and our place in the world by introducing the concept of ‘Natural Selection’ could never have envisaged that 200 years after his birth, genetic science would be able to reveal his own ‘deep ancestry’.
National Geographic and IBM’s Genographic Project has tested the DNA of the great, great grandson of Charles Darwin, Chris Darwin, 48, of the Blue Mountains, NSW.
A media conference will be held at the Australian Museum on Thursday 4 February, 2010 at 1pm to announce the results and explain Darwin’s own origins dating back 60,000 years.
Here are the details.
Who: Chris Darwin, great, great grandson of Charles Darwin
Dr Spencer Wells, Project Director, The Genographic Project
Dr Ajay Royyuru, Computational Biology Centre, IBM
Dr Simon Longstaff, Chairman, Genographic Project Advisory Board
What: Charles Darwin’s direct DNA migratory history dating over 60,000 years
When: Thursday 4 February 2010, 1pm to 2pm
Where: Rooftop Terrace, Australian Museum, College Street, Sydney
(media to enter on William Street at the business entrance and take lift to rooftop)
Photographs of Chris Darwin undertaking the Genographic swab test are available: Contact Minta Burn 02 9331 3577 or 0450 872384; firstname.lastname@example.org
Disc of images available at the event. DVD footage selects from The Genographic Project’s latest documentary, The Human Family Tree, National Geographic Channel, will be available for television broadcast.
For further information contact:
Ms Kim McKay – in Sydney: +61 (0)418 440 626; 02 9331 3577; email@example.com
Ms Glynnis Breen – in the US: +1 202 857-7481; +1 202 315 8562; firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the Genographic Project can be found at: www.nationalgeographic.com/genographic
5-6 pm, Thursday 4 February, Australian Museum, corner of College & William Street (enter via William Street Business Entrance)
In the Surviving Australia Gallery
- Chris Darwin: great, great grandson of Charles Darwin
- Spencer Wells: Explorer-in-Residence and Director, The Genographic Project, National Geographic Society, and the principal investigators from around the world
- Phil Batterham: Director, Evolution the Festival
- Michael Harvey: Head of Exhibitions, Australian Museum
Hear about research into our deep ancestry, Chris Darwin’s DNA revealed, and find out how you can be involved in the UN International Year of Biodiversity. Refreshments provided.
RSVP today to Niall Byrne, 03 9398 1416, 0417 131 977 or email@example.com
Parking available for $12 – instructions at http://www.australianmuseum.net.au/Visitors-with-disabilities
Clipper Stad Amsterdam, a three-mast tall ship, will be visiting Australia during February and March as part of the global Beagle project.
The Beagle project is a year-long voyage with an international crew of scientists, philosophers, historians, artists and biographers crossing the oceans of the world, from Brazil to Patagonia, and from the Andes mountain range to the Galapagos Islands. Stad Amsterdam will sail the Pacific Ocean to Australia and pass through the Cape of Good Hope.
The Clipper will function as a sailing laboratory and a thermometer for the planet. Fossil hunters, DNA researchers, geologists, oceanographers and other scientists will conduct in-depth research along the route to evaluate the earth’s current condition.
Stad Amsterdam is visiting Australia:
- Sydney: 11-16 Feb, Overseas Passenger Terminal Melbourne
- Melbourne: 23-26 Feb, Workshops Pier, Williamstown
- Adelaide: 1 Mar – port dates & berth to be confirmed
- Perth: 14 Mar – port dates & berth to be confirmed.
The potential for nanotechnology to transform our lives will be discussed at the 2010 International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN 2010) on 22-26 February 2010 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
There are a host of international and Australian speakers willing and able to talk about the latest advances and also the safety and regulartory issues associated with nanotechnology
The highlights include Andrew Bartholomaeus, from Food Standards Australia New Zealand, discussing nanotechnology and food and the challenges of regulation in this area. Tom Faunce, from Australian National University, will also address the challenges of regulating nanotechnology in Australia, while Chuck Geraci from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the USA will talk about worker safety.
Other topics up for discussion include the legal and societal consequences of nanomedicine; how the spin rather than the charge of an electron can create smaller, more versatile electronics; a sunscreen trial; and the potential for nanotechnology to enhance our lives.
Contact me for a list of speakers with newsworthy stories.
More information about ICONN 2010 is at http://www.ausnano.net/iconn2010/
Ada Yonath shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with two others for her work on ribosomes – the molecular machines in our cells that translate DNA into life.
She is Professor of Structural Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.
Using synchrotron light she mapped every atom in the ribosome revealing how they function.
Her work is also opening up new approaches for antibiotics – many of which work by attacking bacterial ribosomes.
Ada will present a public lecture titled ‘The amazing ribosome’ at the Cuming Theatre, School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne, at 11am on Wednesday 17 February. More info here.
In Sydney, Ada is giving a public lecture titled ‘Polar bears, the genetic code and tiny antibiotics that paralyze the giant ribosome’ at Leighton Hall, The John Niland Scientia Building, the University of New South Wales at 11.30am on Thursday 18 February.
Australia’s science communicators will be meeting in Canberra next week, to present and debate the challenges of communicating science to the public. The conference features a symposium on communicating climate change, and will both use and debate social media in science communication.
We’re hoping that Kim Carr’s new science communication initiative will be announced at the event.
More information is at www.asc.asn.au/
Richard Dawkins is visiting Australia in March. He’s speaking on:
• Thursday, 4 March in Brisbane – www.qtix.com.au/show/Richard_Dawkins_10.aspx (SOLD OUT)
• Friday 5 March at 7pm at the Melbourne Town Hall (with Robyn Williams). The session kicks off the literary year for the Melbourne Writer’s Festival – www.mwf.com.au/2010/content/mwf_2009_home.asp (SOLD OUT)
• The 2010 Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne on 12-14 March – www.atheistconvention.org.au/
• Sydney Opera House, Sunday 7 March for the Sydney Writers Festival – www.sydneyoperahouse.com/whatson/richard_dawkins.aspx
• Adelaide Writers Week – details to be announced – www.adelaidefestival.com.au/servlet/Web?s=2290869&p=AF_Events_Writers
Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, author and outspoken atheist. He was named as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2007. In his latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth, he takes on the creationists and all those who question evolution through natural selection.
Sunday 16 May 2010 marks 50 years since Ted Maiman from Hughes Research Labs, California, surprised the world with the first operating laser. Today lasers are all around us – in our CD and DVD players, on building sites, in lecture theatres, operating theatres, industry and much more. Look out for events marking the anniversary, including public talks, scientific conferences and laser graffiti.
The word laser is an acronym formed from the words ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation’.