[ASC-list] Budget burdens, hidden history and mining for dark matter: physics in June

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Fri May 30 03:58:20 UTC 2014

Dear ASCers,

We put together a bulletin of physics news and events every month on behalf of Rob Robinson, the AIP President. Here’s a taste of what’s in this month’s bulletin.

You can view the full bulletin online<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog/june-2014>.

Kind regards,

>From Rob Robinson, President of the Australian Institute of Physics

There have been many voices raised in response to the Federal Government’s budget, and the concerns of scientists need to be heard among the clamour.

Although we welcome some measures, including support for infrastructure like the Square Kilometre Array and the continuation of the Future Fellowship scheme, the $420 million cuts to agencies like ARC, CSIRO, DSTO, ANSTO and the CRC program will hit physicists very hard.

Together with changes to university fees that will see significant increases to the cost of earning a PhD (as described in The Conversation<http://theconversation.com/raising-the-cost-of-a-phd-26912>), we’re seeing increasing obstacles to research in Australia. This is especially disappointing when compared to the value countries like the United Kingdom are placing on their graduates<http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-27280427>.

The AIP is trying to make a difference by advocating for science funding as a member of Science and Technology Australia, but I also encourage all members to communicate to our elected representatives how much science brings to Australia’s prosperity and health as a nation.

Of course, we will celebrate everything physics does at the AIP Congress, to be held at the ANU in Canberra from 7 to 11 December, under the banner ‘The Art of Physics’. There’s already a fabulous program of speakers, including two Nobel Prize winners, so I encourage all of you to attend. And also to contribute: the deadline for submitting abstracts for presentations has been extend to 27 June.

And some of the items:
Abstracts wanted for AIP Congress
You still have time to make a submission for this December’s 21st biennial AIP Congress, with the deadline extended until late June.
Half a century of hidden AIP history
In a dry, dark cupboard, one of many lining a long musty corridor in the University of Western Australia Physics Department, papers telling the story of the inception of the WA branch of the AIP lay untouched for 50 years.
Teaching videos now online
The AIP’s own Chris Creagh has uploaded to YouTube<https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_zW442B84-s9m7NvypAcoQ> a series of videos for first year university students. These are very short (two-minute) lecture demonstrations of topics like air pressure, buoyancy and resonance and standing waves.
Dark matter goldmine
Australia could soon have its own direct-detection dark matter experiment, following investigations that are underway at the Stawell Gold Mine deep in the heart of Victoria.
Physics in the Pub
Thu 19 Jun 2014, 6:30 pm, 3 Wise Monkeys Hotel, 1/555 George St, Sydney, NSW
Eight brief, informal talks of a few minutes each given by physicists hand-picked by MC Phil Dooley.
Turn your phone into a microscope
ANU researchers invent a x160 magnifying gel lens for fitting to a smartphone camera.
High school masterclass at CoEPP
Students in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney can learn about the search for the Higgs.
Physics documentaries at Sydney festival
Particle Fever, about the hunt for the Higgs, and Sepidah: Reaching for the Stars, about an aspiring female astronomer in Iran, are screening at the Sydney Film Festival.
Crystallography photo winner
The winner of the Australian satellite of the International Year of Crystallography photo competition is Graziano Lolli, with his picture “Romanesco broccoli”.

More details at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/bulletins/aip-presidents-blog/june-2014


Niall Byrne
Creative Director, Science in Public

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood  Vic  3015
(PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015)
03 9398-1416, 03 9078-5398, 0417 131 977

niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
Twitter scienceinpublic
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