[ASC-list] A New Year for physics, a decadal plan, prizes and more…Physics around the country: January 2011

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Thu Jan 13 23:31:40 UTC 2011

Dear ASCers,

We put together a bulletin of physics news and events every month on behalf of Brian James, the AIP president. Here’s a taster of what’s in this month’s bulletin.

You can view the full bulletin online at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog/physicsjan2011.

Kind regards,


>From Brian James, AIP president.

2010 was another big year for physics in Australia with

·         the 50th anniversary of the laser, celebrated by a lecture tour organised by the Australian Optical Society with the AIP’s assistance

·         widespread discussion and a diversity of views on the K-10 Science and Senior Physics draft national curricula

·         a national lecture tour by Women in Physics lecturer Professor Elizabeth Winstanley of the University of Sheffield

The year culminated in the 19th Australian Institute of Physics Congress in December. My congratulations to the convenors Ann Roberts, Andrew Peele, and Stephen Collins (for ACOFT), other members of the local organising committee, the members of the program committee, and conference organiser Waldron Smith Management.

There were over 800 delegates with a large delegation of students and great speakers – some of whom also appeared on ABC’s AM and PM, News24, The Age and in other media.  Over many interactions with delegates I found uniformly positive views of the success of the Congress and considerable optimism for the future of physics in Australia.

We also presented AIP medals to Prof Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov, Prof Hans-Albert Bachor, A/Prof Robert Scholten, and Prof Joe Wolfe. Details on the medals and achievements below. Please note that in the last bulletin, Prof Ostrikov was omitted from the list of AIP members who were awarded future fellowships.

2011 promises to be an important year for physics and science policy in general in Australia.

We are developing a decadal plan for physics. Why ten years? It derives from NASA and John F Kennedy’s commitment to put a man on the moon in within the decade, “Not because it is easy…” So what’s your vision for physics in 2020? What role will we have played in transforming knowledge and Australian society? The working party is seeking submissions from everyone with an interest in physics. More details below.

And FASTS – the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies – having reached the tender age of 25 is now undergoing changes that will I think make it a more effective voice for science in Canberra. More below.

2011 is the International Year of Chemistry. For information about Australian activities, see the website of our cognate society, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (http://www.raci.org.au).

2011 is also the 100th anniversary of the discovery of superconductivity by H. Kamerlingh Onnes. In recognition there will be a special session at the 35th Annual Condensed Matter and Materials Meeting in Wagga (http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/wagga11/).

Also in this bulletin:

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Stuart Tovey, one of the pioneers of high-energy physics in Australia. I encourage you to read of his achievements in this obituary in the Age: http://www.theage.com.au/national/helped-unravel-great-mysteries-of-the-universe-20101231-19c1n.html

We’re looking for nominations for the 2011 AIP Women in Physics Lecturer.

Late last year, winners of the Australian Academy of Science 2011 awards for scientific excellence were announced, read more about the winners below.

In February there will be a workshop for science teachers at the Parkes Observatory and the AIP/STAV Physics Teachers Conference will be taking place at Monash University.

Read more about these and other topics and click through to our calendar at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/events/aip-event-calendar to book events into your diary and to add your own events.

If can RSS the bulletin on my blog here<http://www.scienceinpublic.com/blog/category/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog> and on LinkedIn.

You are welcome to contact me regarding AIP or other physics matters, just email aip_president at aip.org.au<mailto:aip_president at aip.org.au>.


Niall Byrne

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