Too many bees? Or not enough bees?

Too many bees? Or not enough bees?
Sam Jenkins investigates.

Can you have too many bees? Some say yes. Some are wrong! They’re simply not covered in enough bees yet. As a man who’s been covered in bees for nearly several minutes, I can quite easily say that no man, woman, or bee has, or is enough bees. But can it be? Or how could it be if it can be? If ‘you’ and ‘I’ are ‘we’, then surely a ‘bee’ is ‘bee’, but could ‘we’ be ‘bee’? This investigative reporter looked no further than his own memory to answer these very questions (bees).

The great Shakespeare himself wrote “two bee, or not two bee?” And we all remember the answer was two bees, if not more than two bees, and quite possibly a murder. But not every acquisition of bees needs to involve regicide. I myself killed only two dukes and a bee farmer to procure my luscious beard of bees, in addition to my jacket of bees, my pair of glasses of bees, my deck of bees, my car of bees and my pool, made of, and filled with bees. Some might point out that I’m simply trying to swim in a swarm of bees. They are right. But are they covered in harmful stings? No. And that is the difference between us. Those who oppose the idea of having more than zero bees in an area, that is more that not far away from them, simply don’t want to be painfully stung. And in a day and age where we have televisions, the printing press and the future, it is difficult to understand how they don’t see the great amount of innovations that bees have brought us.

Could it be, indubitably, that we see on key, a fallacy, o’ whe’er bees should be, visa-bee, belessed please, be the nee-ds of our minstrbees? Because overbeering beelations beautifully beeseige bee beasting? Beelief bee, it’s true. Beethoven.

In closing, be safe, be sharp, be sharps, sharp bees, harp bees, harpies, bees please, on your bees, the bees are collapsing, beeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

<Inception Sound>

Numbers: Their Human Aspects. Perspective from Indigenous Cultures

Presented by the Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST)

Speaker: Dr Helen Verran, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne.

Many people spend a lot of time looking at numbers, or more to the point, looking through numbers at something else.

In this talk, Dr Helen Verran will take a look at numbers as such. How can we ‘see’ numbers? And why would we want to?

Dr Verran will tell of the experience of working with teachers in primary school classrooms in Nigeria. This made Dr Verran recognise that if we are going to understand how science might come to life as a significant cultural element in places like Nigeria, we need a way to see the cultural lives that things like numbers have.

Having done some preliminary thinking with the help of Nigerian primary school children, Dr Verran turned to her experiences of working with Yolngu Aboriginal Australians who own lands in northeast Arnhem Land.

Dr Verran will make a rather surprising analogy which she suggests can help us better understand the sorts of things numbers are.

Dr Helen Verran is a Reader in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. She has a PhD in metabolic biochemistry. For most of the 1980s she worked as a science lecturer in the Institute for Education at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Her book Science and an African Logic (2001) was published out of this experience. Since she returned to Australia she has worked with Yolngu Aboriginal communities in northeast Arnhem Land. An early product of this work was the small book Singing the Land, Signing the Land now available online. The website: provides background for her CHAST Lecture.

Free admission, no bookings. All welcome. More info here!

When 8 November 2011, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Where Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney
RSVP None!! Just turn up!

Volunteer for the 2012 Science Transition Program!

Mentoring students banner

The Faculty of Science runs the Science Transition Program in order to support commencing science students during their first year at university. One of the best ways to do this is to introduce first year students to people in the know – senior students such as yourself!

If you have had a positive experience during your undergraduate studies and would like to help others do likewise, you can volunteer to become a student mentor. As a mentor you will be instrumental in assisting first year students to build academic and social networks so that they settle more quickly into life as a student and get the most from their time here on campus.

Click here to register!

Benefits for mentors:

  • Receive free training and develop desirable professional skills
  • Receive recognition from the Faculty of Science
  • Gain experience in team leadership
  • Widen your networks within the Faculty of Science
  • Help other students (and have fun!)

Sydney Science Forum: Special Molecular Gastronomy Event


An explosive night of Molecular Gastronomy
Featuring Professor Hervé This, Chef Martin Benn and Adam Spencer
Tuesday 25 October 2011

Prepare your senses for a culinary adventure of foams, froths and frozen treats as the father of molecular gastronomy, Professor Hervé This demonstrates the science behind famous molecular gastronomy techniques. Acclaimed Sydney chef Martin Benn of Sepia restaurant will showcase his expertise in blurring the boundaries of conventional cooking in order to create extraordinary new textures and surprising taste sensations.

A cocktail reception will follow the lecture where guests will have the opportunity to sample a variety of unique molecular gastronomy concoctions.

An entertaining evening that is guaranteed to change the way you cook at home!

Featuring special guest compére Adam Spencer.

When 25 October 2011, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where The Great Hall, University of Sydney
RSVP The Sydney Science Forum

Phone: 02 9351 3021


CHAST – 2011 Templeton Lecture: The Emotional Brain

Presented by the Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST)

Speaker: Professor Joseph LeDoux, Center for Neural Science, New York University.

The study of emotion has been hampered by a fixation on feelings. Feelings are important, but not all important. Problems arise when we use feelings, and their semantic labels, as guides to studying brain function in other animals.

Rather than imposing concepts based on human introspective experience to the brains of other creatures, we should attempt to understand how the human brain is similar to the brains of other animals. This then becomes a foundation for understanding differences between humans and other animals.

By reorienting the comparative study of emotions around survival circuit functions, we have the opportunity to understand similarities and differences in emotional functions between humans and other animals.

When 17 October 2011, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Where Eastern Avenue Auditorium, University of Sydney
RSVP None!! Just turn up!

Changes + Week 11 BBQ!

Hey everyone!

Congratulations to all the new execs who are taking part in next year’s committee! We’ll be updating our contacts page very soon and you’ll begin to know who’s who and how to contact them. The transitioning process begins over the course of this week and soon enough you’ll be seeing our friendly faces helping out with the BBQ and our final Pubcrawl for the year!

We’re incredibly excited about next year and the events we’re going to hold! As well as that, we’d also like to invite you to propose events to us, even if you’re from another faculty or society! Just send us an email to if you want to collaborate. The more events we have, the more people you meet, the more fun you’ll have!

BBQ Details!

When 12:00pm-1:30pm, Wednesday, 12th October 2011
Where Lawns Behind Carslaw
Cost Dressed in 2011 SciSoc T-shirt: FREE!
Otherwise: $2 Access/$4 Non-Access