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November 2018

‘Earthrise’ – Looking Back On Our Planet

15 November 2018 @ 7:00 pm8:30 pm
Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000 Australia
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Presentations & Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion What's in a picture? Almost 50 years ago on Christmas Eve, 1968, US astronaut William Anders took a photo aboard the Apollo 8 mission that became known as ‘Earthrise.’ This ground-breaking image transformed our view…

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Can Mitochondrial Donation Save Lives?


Diseases of the small circle of life: why mitochondrial donation is important Professor Sir Doug Turnbull, Newcastle University (UK) Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell and uniquely contain their own genetic material called mitochondrial DNA. Diseases caused by mutations…

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February 2019

Using Artificial Intelligence as an Early Warning System for Eye Disease

20 February 2019 @ 6:00 pm7:15 pm
Auditorium, Doherty Institute for Infection & Immunity, 792 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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AI & Eye Disease

Dr Natalie Gunn and Dr Stefan Maetschke IBM Research Australia Loss of vision has a profound impact on a person’s life: financially, economically and socially. The incidence of eye disease is increasing with a global ageing population. It is estimated…

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April 2019

Gene therapy: miracle in our midst

24 April 2019 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm
The Spot Level 1 Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Business & Economics, 198 Berkeley Street
Carlton South, Victoria 3053 Australia
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As editor in chief of a science magazine for six years, I’m not sure how I missed the gene therapy revolution. Yes, we did the odd news report on gene therapy, but mostly we were blinded by the deluge of CRISPR publications – a cheap, precise new technique of gene editing that was transforming the ability to genetically modify plants, insects, animals and maybe one day humans. As it turns out this happened in China last November .But it wasn’t just me who missed the gene therapy revolution. It seems most people I speak to about it – including many medical people – hadn’t noticed. The most dramatic example has biblical dimensions. In 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a gene therapy trial for children born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). These kids normally develop paralysis and die by the age of two. Instead most were sitting and rolling; some were walking and talking. Is this just a fringe thing? Big Pharma doesn’t think so. Novartis recently paid $US 8.7 billion to purchase – AveXis, the start-up company behind the SMA trial. In this talk, allow me to guide you through the gene therapy revolution and how it is set to disrupt the way medicine is delivered.

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May 2019

Who do you think you are? Philosophy, neuroscience and the nature of consciousness

7 May 2019 @ 6:00 pm7:30 pm
Auditorium, Monash Biomedical Imaging, 770 Blackburn Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800 Australia
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Consciousness remains one of the biggest mysteries of the human brain. Our perception of what exists as well as our thoughts, feelings, imaginings and dreams has attempted to be understood by philosophers through conceptual analysis and thought experiments. Neuroscientists have sought to describe it as a biological process of neuronal activity captured by measurable tests of brain activity. Increasingly, philosophers and neuroscientists are joining forces, but consensus is elusive. Do we experience consciousness only while we are awake? Do other animals experience consciousness? Does it fade after brain damage? Are intelligent computers conscious? Is consciousness a process? What is it for? We have invited a neuroscientist and philosopher to share their research and perspectives on consciousness and to provide some guidance on these questions.

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June 2019

The Moon

15 June 2019 @ 10:00 am1 September 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Geelong Gallery, 55 Little Malop Street
Geelong, VIC 3220 Australia
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Georges Melies "A trip to the Moon"

For centuries artists from many cultures have been inspired by the Moon, the most prominent feature of our night sky. The exhibition includes historical works created when the Moon could only be viewed from afar, works from the era of the 1960s space race, and more contemporary responses informed by the imagery and scientific knowledge acquired through space exploration.

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July 2019

Footsteps on the Moon

20 July 2019 @ 6:00 pm9:00 pm
Scienceworks, 2 Booker Street
Spotswood, VIC 3015 Australia
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Footsteps on the Moon

Saturday 20 July, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time humans walked on the Moon.

This remarkable event was a watershed in human history and a technological achievement of astounding proportions: the mission went to the Moon and back with less computing power than a modern smart phone.

Celebrate this feat of human ambition and ingenuity with our special event featuring expert talks, Planetarium shows, VR experiences of the ISS, an Apollo 11 photography exhibition, telescope viewing (weather permitting) and more.

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Towards an Electronic Prescription? The 2019 Graeme Clark Oration

22 July 2019 @ 6:15 pm7:30 pm
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Convention Centre Place
Melbourne, VIC 3006 Australia
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Artificial Neural Network

Bioelectronics is the concept of interfacing directly with the body's own nervous system to monitor physiological signals and, as needed, modulate the electrical activity within the nervous system to alleviate symptoms of diseases. The first generation of bioelectronic systems are now treating a number of disorders, with perhaps the most familiar being cardiac pacemakers that aim to maintain a healthy heart rhythm. Pacing systems are deployed in hundreds of thousands of patients today, and reinforce the potential for bioelectronic medicine to restore health.

Expanding bioelectronics to neurological disorders like epilepsy, chronic pain and dementia is an exciting but challenging opportunity. Despite the clinical success in treating symptoms of diseases like Parkinson's, existing bioelectronic systems have several attributes that currently limit their adoption. For example, currently a skilled neurosurgeon is required to place the implant, and the device's output is relatively inflexible in contrast to the rapidly changing and reactive activity of the nervous system. Resolving these issues requires the complementary pursuit of technological innovation and scientific discovery.

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August 2019

Basalt Field in Hawai'i

Science at the Extreme

9 August 2019 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm
Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street
Carlton, VIC 3053 Australia
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Every day, scientists in the field balance the excitement and danger of collecting data from some of the wildest and most hostile environments on the planet in the pursuit of knowledge. For the Victorian launch of National Science Week, we're bringing together a dream team of science adventurers to share their journeys and discoveries! Join us at the Melbourne Museum, and explore the science galleries after the talks.

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The Alchemist: Turning Waste into Wealth

17 August 2019 @ 5:00 pm7:00 pm
Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000 Australia
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The Alchemist

Professor Veena Sahajwalla is revolutionising recycling science. Rather than take up arms against a sea of big polluters, Professor Sahajwalla approaches the problem as a commercial opportunity with real market value to help drive behaviour change. Last year her SMaRT centre opened the world’s first e-waste micro-factory to process old computers, phones, televisions, and all the electronic junk that ends up in landfill. The waste is sorted and dismantled by robots, then mined for its precious elements. Circuit boards are stripped of metals such as gold, copper and tin, while glass and plastic are converted to industrial-grade ceramics and plastic filaments for use in 3D printing. Join us to explore how repurposing the fundamental molecules and elements within post-consumer waste products is reinventing the way we treat - and perceive - these largely untapped commodities.

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September 2019

1 2 3 STEM for Little Kids and Big Kids!

7 September 2019 @ 1:00 pm3:00 pm
Monash Civic Centre, 293 Springvale Rd
Glen Waverley, Victoria Australia
$8 – $10

Inspire and get a head-start in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) open toy play and help your child develop these skills at home, preschool and school. Hear from local child educators on approaches to introduce STEM open play for…

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February 2020

Frogs and Dogs – Glenroy Library

29 February @ 10:00 am
Glenroy Library, 737 Pascoe Vale Road
Glenroy, Victoria 3046 Australia
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Frogs and Dogs

Join Merri Creek Management Committee’s Waterwatch Coordinator and Dr Natalie Catalynd, frog researcher from Canine Ecological, to learn about the different types of local frogs. Meet a dog that “sniffs” out frogs and learn about frog species and populations via the fun, free and easy frog census app. Older children welcome.

Registrations essential.

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