Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February 2012

* The information below is drawn from the websites of various institutions. The web addresses are supplied below. Check the websites to confirm details.

Wednesday 1 February
Title: Facilitating adaptive capacity for natural hazards
Time: 3:30 – 5:00pm
Venue: Hedley Bull Centre, cnr Garran Road & Liversidge Street, ANU
Cost: Free, registration required

Even when people understand the risks they face from natural disasters, their level of preparedness for them can remain low. Professor Douglas Paton will explore why. He has written extensively on the ‘resilience’ of communities to disasters. He is an advisor to the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre and to the Christchurch earthquake recovery advisory group.

Wednesday 1 February
Title: What happens when citizens decide
Time: 4:00 – 5:30pm
Venue: The Lobby, King George Terrace
Cost: $40, registration required

Is “citizen-centric governance” nothing more than a slogan or can it really work? How can the wider public participate more actively in the development of government policy and its implementation? Will it be possible to overcome bureaucratic suspicion of such participative models of democracy? A panel facilitated by Paul Porteous from Harvard and including Professor Mark Evans, designer of the 2007 European Citizens Consultation, and Gerry Stoker, author of ‘Why Politics Matter’, will consider these questions.

Wednesday 1 February
Title: Social networks, patient work and resources for the management of long-term conditions
Time: 5:30 – 6:30pm
Venue: Finkel Lecture Theatre, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Garran Road, ANU
Cost: Free, registration required

Professor Anne Rogers from the University of Manchester will deliver the annual oration of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy in which she will describe social factors – including networks, employment and even the presence of pets – that need to be taken into account in the design of self-management programs for patients with chronic illness.

Thursday 2 February
Title: Control strategies for two biosecurity threats
Time: 3:00 – 4:00pm
Venue: CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Black Mountain Laboratories, Clunies Ross Street
Cost: Free

Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and red palm weevil (RPW) are destructive pests that attack citrus and palm species respectively. They have both recently established in California where they are expected to have a very destructive impact. Mark Hoddle, Director for the Center for Invasive Species Research at the University of California (Riverside), will discuss the biology, ecology and biocontrol of these pests and consider their potential to invade Australia.

Thursday 2 February
Title: The Climate Fix
Time: 5:30 – 6:30pm
Venue: Molonglo Theatre, JG Crawford Building #132, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Cost: Free, registration required

Professor Roger Pielke Jr from the University of Colorado thinks that a response to climate change based on targets and timetables derived purely from academic research is flawed because it ignores political and technological factors that determine what is realistic in policy-making.

!!Recommended event!!
Professor Pielke has written extensively (check out his blog) on the intersection between the advice of experts and the decisions of policy-makers – an issue that also interests the editors of Canberra Brain Food. (A good review of his book The Climate Fix may be found here: http://www.economist.com/node/17358792)

Friday 3 February
Title: Patterns from the Pacific - cloth, costume and Captain Cook
Time: 12:30 – 1:30pm
Venue: Fourth Floor Conference Room, National Library
Cost: $5, registration required

During his three epic voyages, Captain Cook and his crews collected a variety of cultural artefacts from the various places they visited. Robyn Maxwell, Senior Curator of Asian Art at the National Gallery of Australia, will discuss the different specimens of decorative cloth fragments that are on display in the Treasures Gallery at the National Library.

Tuesday 7 February
Title: Food security and planetary boundaries
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Venue: Fenner Seminar Room Building 141, Daley Road, ANU
Cost: Free

John Ingram’s talk will examine the ways in which our management of food – producing, processing, distributing and consuming it – affect our natural environment and the Earth’s adaptive capacities and how we can mitigate the deleterious impacts.  Dr Ingram is at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University.

Tuesday 7 February
Title: The biggest state on Earth: aboriginal land management
Time: 6pm
Venue: Shine Dome, Gordon Street
Cost: Free, registration required

What was the nature of the Australian landscape of 1788? Was it an 'unspoiled' wilderness or was it the product of careful land management and modification over many centuries. Bill Gammage's remarkable book 'The biggest estate on Earth' has compiled evidence from the eye-witness accounts of early explorers and settlers, the research of ecologists and aboriginal oral history to argue for the latter interpretation. He talks about his findings in this lecture.


Wednesday 8 February
Title: The homoerotic origins of modern Korean fiction
Time: 4:00 – 5:30pm
Venue: Seminar Room C, HC Coombs Building (9), Fellows Road, ANU
Cost: Free

Professor John Treat from Yale University will contrast the treatment of homosexuality in Korean and Japanese fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Monday 20 February

Title: Herd behaviour and keeping up with the Joneses
Time: 5:30 - 7:00pm
Venue: Hedley Bull Centre, Theatre 1, cnr Garran Road & Liversidge Street, ANU
Cost: Free

Andrew Oswald will consider why human beings have a tendency to go along with the crowd in everything from fashion to asset markets. Can studies of herd behaviour in animals shed any light? Andrew Oswald is Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick and was a member of the Stiglitz Commission on the measurement of human progress. He has written extensively for both academic and non-specialist audience on the relationship between economic indicators and happiness - his articles are available through his website (http://www.andrewoswald.com/index.html).

Friday 24 February
Title: Cooks Treasures - seminar
Time: 10:00 – 5:00am
Venue: Theatre, National Library
Cost: $40, booking required

This all-day seminar will comprise a series of talks by academics, curators and modern-day mariners on James Cook’s extraordinary voyages of the 18th century and the impact they had on the histories of Australia and the South Pacific. Speakers will include Professor Iain McCalman on environmental impacts, John Molony on contacts with aboriginal people and Alan Frost on the life of the sailors on the Endeavour.

Friday 24 February
Title: From Labor to Conservative - Joseph Lyons and the Great Depression
Time: 12:15 - 1:15pm
Venue: Main Committee Room, Parliament House
Cost: Free

Anne Henderson, Deputy Director of the Sydney Institute, will present her new book about Joseph Lyons, Prime Minister of Australia in the early 1930s. Joseph Lyons, who remains the only Prime Minister to hail from Tasmania, is probably best remembered for leading a split of the Labor Party. However, Henderson's book also examines the role he played in leading Australia'seconomic recovery during the Great Depression.

Friday 24 February
Title: Agricultural Sustainability. Can we do it - Can we afford it?
Time: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Venue: CSIRO Discovery Centre, Clunies Ross Street, Acton
Cost: Free, registration required

This discussion forum is the first in a planned series called Café Scientifique modelled on the French tradition of café and salon debate. It will feature some exceptional scientists and practitioners in the field of agricultural sustainability including Major General Michael Jeffery, former Governor General of Australia and Chairman of Outcomes Australia, Charlie Massey, wool-grower and author of Breaking the Sheep's Back, Prof David Lindenmayer, ANU landscape ecologist and conservation biologist, and Dr Neil Mackenzie, of the CSIRO Land and Water Division.

!!Recommended event!!
The editors of Canberra Brain Food encourage all its readers to support this great new initiative of the CSIRO to involve the community in discussion of important scientific/public policy issues.

Monday 27 February
Title: The Tea Crisis in South India
Time: 3:00 – 4:30pm
Venue: Seminar Room A, HC Coombs Bldg (09), Fellows Rd, ANU
Cost: Free

Frank Heidemann from the University of Munich will describe the results of his extensive fieldwork on the economy of small tea growers in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India.

Monday 27 February

Title: The Genome Generation
Time: 6:00 - 7:00pm
Venue: John Curtin School of Medical Research, Garran Road, ANU
Cost: Free, registration required

Science writer and molecular biologist Elizabeth Finkel looks at the achievements of genome sequencing over the last ten years but asks "what have we learned from this?" How have these advances changed medicine and agriculture and how has it changed our understanding of nature and evolution. And where will genome research go now?

!!Recommended event!!
Dr Finkel is an outstanding communicator on molecular biology and medicine. Her journalism has won numerous awards. For a sample of her writing, see the article below from Cosmos magazine:


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