Science Alliance News
Edition 2, 2017
Science Alliance
The latest science news and events from the University of Sydney

Welcome to the second edition of the Science Alliance newsletter for 2017.

This year has gotten off to a flying start with our first Sydney Science Forum at our Westmead campus, the inaugural Simon Marais Lecture and our biggest ever Sydney Astrofest.

But the science fun doesn't stop just yet - we’ve got plenty in store for rest of the year including more great Sydney Science Forum public lectures and our flagship event for the Sydney Science Festival, Science + Quiz = Comedy. We hope you see you on campus soon!

The talent of the future looks bright
Adam Spencer gives us his highlights of the term

Hello members of the Science Alliance. So much has been happening at the University since my last column, with highlights including the recent Mega Maths Day, where year 10 students descended upon the University to participate in hands-on workshops applying mathematics to biology, engineering and computer science; and the inaugural Simon Marais Lecture on the mathematics of déjà vu given by Professor Amie Wilkinson from the University of Chicago.

But for me, the pinnacle of all highlights was my first ever opportunity to host one of the University's famous Talented Student Program (TSP) showcases. Read more >
Gold slips past Nazis

How a precious metal medal dissolves into hiding

Dr Karl gives us a basic acidic chemistry lesson that has the potential to outsmart an army. Read more >

Back to the past for future Earth
Learning from the old ways for contemporary, holistic management

A sustainable future can’t be achieved through mere observation of our Indigenous people. D’harawal Knowledge Keeper, Shannon Foster invites us to learn from old ways and incorporate contemporary science for holistic management. Read more >
Future Earth
The schools theme for this year’s National Science Week (12 to 20 August) is Future Earth, and Australian schools are encouraged to explore the science behind sustainability, and to find out about sustainability issues that are unique to our region. Read more >
Chemistry is vital

Structuring our knowledge of natural and synthetic medicines.

There are many challenges ahead for humanity, such as ensuring a continued supply of essential medicines. Synthetic organic chemists have unlocked many mysteries of naturally occurring medicines and invented plenty of their own. Dr Alice Williamson synthesises the facts. Read more >

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Sydney Harbour emissions equivalent to 200 cars on the road
The first footprint of Sydney Harbour's carbon emissions has found it is roughly equivalent to similar estuaries in the US but significantly less than polluted water sources straddling build-up areas in Europe and Asia. Read more >
Inspired detective work finds Australian satellite in space
Around-the-clock detective work, expanding the search to an increasingly international group of volunteers and decoding at our ground station has confirmed Australia's successful return to the space race. Read more >
Koalas driven to drink by climate change
Leaves were thought to be all koalas needed but video footage shows koalas are thirsty; it is believed climate change is transforming the national icon’s behavior, adding to stresses from heatwaves, tree-felling and disease. Read more >
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Sydney Science Forum
Stranger things: The uncanny world of animal pregnancy
Giving birth to a live baby, rather than laying an egg, is an important biological innovation. Discover how researchers are using cutting-edge techniques to learn about the fundamental processes of pregnancy in a diverse range of species.

Wednesday 16 August
5.45 – 7pm
Presented by Dr Camilla Whittington
University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Read more and register >
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Resources for teachers
Register now to receive Gifted and Talented Discovery Program qualifying exams
The Gifted and Talented Discovery Program provides talented high school science students in Year 9 or 10 with additional challenges and stimulation in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics in a three-day workshop.

Register online >
Get on the Expression of Interest list for Spectacular Science, to find out first when registrations open
Designed for high school students from Years 7 to 11, Spectacular Science will engage and spark your students’ interest in the huge diversity of science. Students will experience first hand some of the intriguing and important areas scientists are working in and spend a spectacular day submerged in science.

Register your interest >
Keep an eye out for STANSW+University of Sydney HSC Study days – coming to campus in August
Contact for more details about STANSW + University of Sydney HSC Study Days.
Get your class involved in a global citzen science project with Tea-Composition: Using tea bags to measure soil health
We invite you and your students to participate in ‘Tea-composition’ – a practical, real-world research project that evaluates decomposition and its relation to local soil type, soil properties and environmental influences, using simply, a tea bag.

Find out how you can participate >
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