Monthly Archives: January 2018
The Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) and the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE) have launched a $2 million challenge to find ways to boost coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef. The Australian and Queensland governments have issued an open call to find novel ways to restore reefs and lift coral abundance.
More information on this link
La main à la pâte organises the 9th edition of the international seminar on science and technology education, with the support of the French Ministry of Education, under the patronage of the French UNESCO commission from 18 to 23 June 2018. New partners, trainers and decision-makers of foreign educational systems, interested in the renewal of science education and the implementation of an inquiry-based approach at school, are invited to apply to discover and discuss the methods and tools developed in France. This year, Education for Sustainable Development will be the transverse theme of the seminar.
More information on this link
Every year since 2016, a night is dedicated to celebrating knowledge in every field, exchange of ideas about the challenges of our time, and transmission among cultures, disciplines and generations.
On the 25th of January, scientists, artists, philosophers,… will gather all around the world to discuss and debate around the 2018’s theme: Power to imagination!
In 100 different towns of 70 different countries, in prestigious or unexpected places, conferences, shows, projections, concerts,… will be held on this theme.
You will find the programmation for the night of ideas 2018 on this link
If you are engaged in an event for the night of ideas, please contact us and we will relay it on the network!
Let ideas fly!!
The 2016 Nobel prize winner Duncan Haldane will be giving a public lecture on “Entanglement: Einstein’s Gift to Quantum Mechanics” on Tuesday 16 January at 6.15pm (doors open at 6pm) in the Dunbar Physics Theatre (bldg39A) of the Australian National University. The event is free. All welcome!
Please see http://www.anu.edu.au/events/entanglement-einsteins-gift-to-quantum-mechanics for more information
Free fun even this Friday night – please circulate at your institution, invite your friends, come along!
Physics in the Pub: Black Holes, Higgs Bosons and the strangest materials in the universe.
Join us to explore some mind-blowing physics, with talks, songs, games and beer to bring out your inner nerd.
Pop Up Village, University Avenue, ANU
6 PM, Friday 12 January 2018
Free (thanks to the US Embassy)
RSVP – Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/396776897423201/
As well as black holes and Higgs bosons, we’ll focus on the 2016 Nobel prize, for topological materials. Winner of that prize, Duncan Haldane, from the US, is visiting ANU to explain these strange substances – they could be the key to quantum computers, an ‘internet of things’ that doesn’t doom the planet (looking at you, Bitcoin!), intergalactic transmat beams* and limitless clean fuel for personal rocketpacks*
There’ll be presentations from researchers from Mt Stromlo (RSAA), Maths (MSI) and Physics (RSPE), MCed by Phil Dooley from Physics to keep the Friday night vibe alive. Although Prof Haldane can’t join us on the night, students and lecturers from the Summer School will be mingling if you want to ask those niggling science questions that have been bugging you over the Christmas break.
Join science lovers from all over the country for a light-hearted look at some heavy physics, over some relaxing beverages – all welcome, and it’s free thanks to the US Embassy!
* actually not likely, and not predicted by any sane physicists.
Registration is now open for The Athenian Funeral Oration: 40 Years after Nicole Loraux. This international conference is taking place at the University of Strasbourg from 9 to 11 July 2018. English-, French- and German-speakers often read Pericles’s famous funeral oration at school or university. Once a year, in democratic Athens, such an oration was delivered in honour of the war dead. For the Athenians it was a vitally important speech, because it reminded them who they were as a people and why they had sacrificed their sons in war. This conference is undertaking the most-thorough study of this genre in 40 years. The book to come from it will be published by Cambridge University Press.
In 1981 the great French ancient historian, Nicole Loraux, published a transformational study of this oration. Loraux proved that it had played a central part in maintaining Athenian self-identity. Yet, despite her study’s huge impact, it was far from complete. Her study did not compare the funeral oration and the other genres of Athens’s popular literature. Therefore Loraux could not prove her claim that the funeral oration was the most important of these genres. This conference completes Loraux’s study by making this comparison. In doing so it furnishes new studies of the 5 extant funeral orations and the most-comprehensive account to date of war’s place in democratic Athens’s popular culture.
More information on this link
CONVENOR: David M. Pritchard (Queensland/Strasbourg) – email@example.com
Did you know we own and run a lab in France? Because oui do (sorry, last French pun), and this year it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Some of the lab’s early projects included weed biological control, like the 1965 Wheat Industry Research Council-funded work on management options for skeleton weed, Chondrilla juncea.
The team continues to contribute to CSIRO’s many successful biological control programs, particularly as the local team members have a greater understanding of the ecology of potential biocontrol agents and their interactions with various targets, and can undertake risk assessments in the field.
The lab boasts several impactful successes over the last half a century. Let’s look at three.
The noble dung beetle works hard to help us have bushfly-free BBQs.
Dung beetles, saving the nation from flies
The famous Aussie salute – waving flies away – might be a lot more common if it weren’t for the National Dung Beetle Program of the 1960s-90s. Dung beetles’ activities recycle nutrients into the soil, and disturbs and buries bushfly breeding sites.
Our Montpellier lab served as a base for collection of European beetles for the cooler southern areas of Australia – work that has helped us happily enjoy outdoor activities in the summer months, like BBQs, without being smothered by flies. Go dung beetles!
World first: biological control of invasive weeds
In 1971, the team at Montpellier had grown to seven, including plant pathologist, Siraj Hasan. This team played an instrumental role in the world’s first successful weed biological control program using a plant pathogen, when they discovered rust fungus Puccinia chondrillina could be used to control skeleton weed in grain production systems.
Controlling Paterson’s curse
One of the most identifiable weeds in Australia, Paterson’s curse sports bright purple flowers. Unfortunately that’s its only redeeming feature here, as it’s a noxious weed that turfs out desirable plants in pastures and causes headaches for farmers.
The Montpellier team has done some fantastic work in this space, successfully controlling the weed using three insect biological control agents: the weevils Mogulones iarvatus and Mogulones geographicus, and the flea beetle Longitarsus echii – generating billion dollar benefits for Australian agriculture.
[L-R] José Serin, Mireille Jourdan, Andy Sheppard, Mélodie Ollivier, Vincent Lesieur and Thierry Thomann. The team thanks Andy (Research Director in Health and Biosecurity) for his long standing support.
Montpellier into the future
CSIRO bought land and built its own facilities in the early 1990s, and the Montpellier site has grown to be an integral part of the Health and Biosecurity business unit.
This year the lab has seen a suite of new projects start, and the growing team is now focussed on dung beetles, snail biocontrol and two weed biocontrol projects – sowthistle and angled onion.
Congratulations to the European team. The work you are doing is magnifique!
Read more about the Montpellier team’s work on skeleton weed.