Facebook? What is this dark magic!

The faithful Scisoc carrier pigeons have been released to return home to Trafalgar Square but not before they informed us of this new social media fad thingy. As such we have decided that the most effective way of getting information out to you our members is to link it up with our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/2316464148/

Please join us in this group for instant updates, events and witty discussion. I will personally approve everyone who requests to join in the next few days, so don’t be shy and get amongst the craze.

Sydney Science Forum: Curious & Curiouser

Australia’s favourite science ‘guy’, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, will present his latest swag of super science stories. If you like your science dished up with a big serving of humour, then don’t miss this opportunity to see Dr Karl live at the University of Sydney. Get the lowdown from Dr Karl, and find out just what keeps him Curious & Curiouser!

At the end of the talk, you’ll have the opportunity to ask Dr Karl those burning science questions that you’ve been pondering for years…

When 5:45pm – 6:45pm, Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Where Eastern Ave Auditorium, University of Sydney
RSVP science.forum@sydney.edu.au

Sydney Science Forum: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

Professor Jonathan Losos, Harvard University

Lizards are an extraordinarily old and diverse group of animals. Around since the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs, lizards (including snakes, which are evolutionarily derived from lizards) have more species diversity than do mammals. Lizards live in almost all parts of the world and show a myriad of different adaptations for living in different environments. Many species are easy to observe in the wild and study in the laboratory, making them ideal organisms for investigating the origin and maintenance of biological diversity.

When 5:45pm – 6:45pm, Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Where Eastern Avenue Auditorium
RSVP Please click here

Sydney Science Forum: Nemesis – The Search for Antimatter in the Universe

Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn (Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney)

It’s the ultimate battle of the universe: when normal matter and antimatter come together, they’re annihilated, and all the mass is converted into energy. Fortunately, the Universe today is composed almost entirely of matter, with very little antimatter. However, the laws of physics require that the Universe began with equal amounts of both. The origin of the asymmetry is not known, but a possible explanation relies on some bizarre events in the early Universe. Recently, however, the annihilation signature of antimatter has been observed emanating from the centre of the Galaxy, at a rate that corresponds to the annihilation of 16 billion tonnes of antimatter every second.

When 5:45pm-6:45pm, Wednesday, 06 October 2010
Where Eastern Ave Auditorium
RSVP Please click here

"Trust me, I'm a researcher": Human Research Ethics in Practice

Marilys Guillemin (Director, Centre for Health and Society)
Lynn Gillam (Associate Professor, University of Melbourne/Clinical Ethicist, Royal Children’s Hospital)

It is widely agreed that conducting research in an ethical manner is important and that trust in the research process is crucial. However, there is little research that has systematically investigated what happens in the practice of research ethics. Findings will be presented from a three year project funded by the Australian Research Council to examine how human research ethics committee members and health researchers make decisions about ethical issues in health research.

Eighty-eight individual, in-depth interviews were undertaken: 34 ethics committee members across all categories of membership, and 54 health researchers in fields including biomedicine, epidemiology, clinical and qualitative health research. The research examined how health researchers and ethics committee members understand and think about research ethics and how, in practice, they address ethical issues in research. The cultures and practices of ethics committee members engaged in the process of ethics review will be discussed, together with how the relationship between ethics committee members and health researchers both assists and impedes trust in the human research enterprise.

The presentation will focus on the ways that health researchers, in particular health researchers using social science approaches, understand and practice research ethics. For this group of health researchers, research ethics is not separate or distinct to their practice of doing research; ethics is embedded in their research practice, from the early stages of research design, to their relationships with their participants, through to the dissemination of findings. These findings will be discussed in context of establishing and ensuring trust in the process of human research.

When 9:00am – 1:00pm, Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Where Medical Foundation Auditorium
92-94 Parramatta Rd, Camperdown
RSVP Please email Cathy Flitcroft for catering purposes

About the Speakers

Marilys Guillemin is the Director and Associate Professor at the Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne. Her professional academic experience is in sociology of health and illness, particularly in the areas of understandings of illness, health and technology studies, and women’s health. Marilys is an established health researcher whose past major research projects include the management of menopause within specialised clinic settings examining the needs and practices of both women and medical practitioners; research on mid-age women and heart disease particularly focusing on women’s understanding of risk and prevention of heart disease; and research on deafness and genetic testing.

Lynn Gillam holds appointments as Associate Professor in Health Ethics at the Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne, and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and is also the Clinical Ethicist at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Lynn’s background is in philosophy, theology and bioethics. She teaches ethics in the medical curriculum and the postgraduate social health program. Her research interests include pre-natal diagnosis, genetic testing, and clinical ethics. She also has a strong interest in the intersections between ethics and sociology, and the development of inter-disciplinary qualitative methods suitable for research in ethics. Lynn has 15 years experience on human research ethics committees. She is currently a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Melbourne, and the clinical ethics committee of the Royal Children’s Hospital. Lynn has published widely in bioethics, on a range of issues, including clinical ethics, research ethics and ethics committees, the use of human foetal tissue, reproductive technologies and genetic testing.

Making Sense of Death

Confirmed Panel Members:
Robert Hannah (3rd year student – mathematics and physics)
Iggy Ridley-Smith (3rd year student – mathematics and physics)
Iain Hart (7th year student – mathematics, music and French)

We are looking for more panel members and we would love to make a spot of time for you to voice yourself! Please email scisoc@sydney.edu.au with your full name, year, majors and one paragraph describing your position.

The “Making Sense of …” forum series is back by popular demand! This is a series of students forums to discuss and share how we, as budding scientists, make sense of everything around us with or without religious influences, and why some see contradiction while others see complement between science and religion.

This time, we’re going to put our heads together again to tackle a even tougher issue: “Making Sense of Death”. Death is not something we generally want to think or talk about, but if it is really the end, the finish line and the inevitable then avoidance is not only silly but futile.

To explore these questions, SciSoc and EUScience jointly invite you to discuss your ideas about death and the (non)existence of the after-life with a panel fellow science students. Come along and hear their experiences, ask them questions and share your own ideas!

When 1:00pm-2:00pm, Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Where Chemistry Lecture Theatre 2

Where is Mental Health in the Health Reform Agenda?

Dr Lesley Russel (Menzies Centre for Health Policy)
Dr Andrew Pethebridge (St George Hospital)
David Crosbie (Mental Health Council of Australia)
Barbara Hocking (SANE Australia)

The National Health and Hospitals Network Agreement is the government’s response to the need to deliver coordinated and integrated health services. However, many professionals in the field claim that mental health has been completely left out.

Join a panel of experts to discuss the impacts of the National Health and Hospitals Network Agreement on mental health services.

When 5:00pm-6:30pm, Thursday, 20 May 2010
Where Conference Rooms, Darlington Centre
RSVP Please email mchp@sydney.edu.au

Making Sense of Our World

Matthew Wardrop (honours student – physics)
Emily Fang (3rd year student – biochemistry)
Dominic Balasuriya (honours student – computer science)
Robert Hannah (3rd year student – mathematics and physics)
David Rizzuto (3rd year student – computer science and mathematics)

How you live is largely determined by how you physically and spiritually make sense of the world around you. But how do you fit all the pieces together in this post-modern, relativistic society amidst all the different voices on the contradicting or complementing nature of science and religion?

To explore these questions, SciSoc and EUScience jointly invite you to discuss why you choose to reject or embrace Christianity with a panel fellow science students. Come along and hear their experiences, ask them questions and share your own ideas!

When 1:00pm-2:00pm, Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Where New Law School Seminar Room 107

The Australian Internet Filtering Scheme

Louise Collins (author, Report on Feasibility of ISP Level Content Filtering)
Iarla Flynn (head of policy, Google Australia)
Bjorn Landfeldt (associate professor, University of Sydney)
Jonathan Nicholas (acting CEO, Inspire Foundation)
David Vaile (executive director, Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre)

Join our panel of experts for a discussion forum on what the proposed Australian Internet Filtering scheme will mean for Australia, its potential difficulties and possible alternatives.

When 7:00pm-8:00pm, Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Where School of IT Lecture Theatre 124
RSVP Please click here