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Today's date is Thursday, October 22, 2020
Institute of Advanced Studies
 October 2019
Thursday 24
19:00 - EVENT - Glaucoma: what’s on the horizon? Website | More Information
The Lions Eye Institute and the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies present the 2019 Ian Constable Lecture - by Professor Keith Martin, Managing Director, Centre for Eye Research Australia.

Glaucoma remains the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The field of glaucoma is currently experiencing a renaissance, with multiple innovations in drug delivery and surgery expanding the range of options available to those who treat the disease. Personalised medicine is becoming more common in healthcare and it seems inevitable that this approach will be applied to glaucoma as we attempt to target treatments to those most likely to benefit in a world of constrained resources.

In this lecture, Professor Martin will consider some of the likely developments in glaucoma diagnosis and treatment in the near future, from genomics to continuous IOP monitoring to gene and cell therapies. In particular, studies have found gene therapy approaches to be very promising and Professor Martin will discuss a project using AAV2 vectors to deliver BDNF and its receptor, TrkB, to retinal ganglion cells that is moving rapidly towards clinical translation. Finally, the talk will outline the prospects for optic nerve regeneration – a goal that once seemed impossible that is now becoming conceivable.
Tuesday 29
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - The Challenges of Archaeological Research and Cultural Heritage Management in a Developing Country Website | More Information
A public lecture by Mylene Lising, Cultural Deputy Officer, National Museum of the Philippines; Lecturer, Sociology and Anthropology, Ateneo de Manila University and 2019 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

The Philippines is a developing country with a population of over 100 million people. Its majority lives below the poverty line. As such, it has a socio-economic climate that puts archaeology and prehistory low on the list of priorities, which have at the top food, shelter, and clothing. Cagayan Valley in the archipelago’s northeast is a known location of several archaeological sites, among which are the oldest in the country dating to the Middle Pleistocene. In the Philippines, the oldest human fossils to date have been found in Callao Cave, Peñablanca, Cagayan Province, dating to ca. 67,000 years ago (Detroit et al. 2019). Although no human fossils have yet been published from the Kalinga site, Rizal, on the western border of Cagayan Valley, lithic materials and faunal fossils with cutmarks have been dated from this site to 709,000 years ago (Ingicco et al. 2018). However, previous research has shown that no comprehensive cultural resource management plan exists for the Cagayan Valley sites.

Mylene’s ongoing project is to develop a system for cultural heritage management applications for these two archaeological sites in the Cagayan Valley, Philippines, that will create value and relevance for the prehistoric heritage to the general public, and, which will serve as a foundation upon which implementation of other CHM plans and projects in the Philippines will be based.

In this lecture, Mylene will discuss some of the methods she and her colleagues are employing to achieve this goal, including studying how other countries of comparable socio-economic contexts with the Philippines have addressed their sites of similar characteristics.
Wednesday 30
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Struggles with scale, strategy, and stewardship: fifty years of environmental activism Website | More Information
A public lecture by Graeme Wynn FRSC, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia and 2019 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

By common account, environmentalism has had three major concerns: beauty, health, and permanence. Roughly translated these terms mark abiding preoccupations, shared by large numbers of citizens, with issues such as wilderness protection, environmental justice, and sustainability. In one way or another, such concerns are threaded through the recent histories of most parts of the world. They are at the heart of many of the most pressing issues of our times, and they have been the focus of great debates, epic confrontations, and no small amount of political reaction. But the question remains: has half a century of environmental activism made a difference? In working towards a response, this talk considers scale, strategy and stewardship as potential snags upon which the environmental movement has snarled these last few decades.

Graeme Wynn (FRSC, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia) trained as an historical geographer, but has had a career-long fascination with and involvement in environmental history. His early work explored forest exploitation, conservation, preservation and management in Canada and New Zealand (Timber Colony, 1981), but Wynn has also published widely in rural/ agricultural, and urban studies, written on the histories of geography, environmental history, and environmentalism, and contributed broadly to Canadian Studies (most recently The Nature of Canada, co-edited with Colin Coates, 2019 and Canada and Arctic North America: An Environmental History, 2007). He was the Brenda and David McLean Chair in Canadian Studies at UBC (2011-13), and general editor of the Nature|History|Society monograph series with UBC Press (currently at 33 volumes).

18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Porn Down Under: The Politics of Consumption, Pleasure and Regulation Website | More Information
Join us for this special panel discussion that will consider the role of pornography in contemporary Australia.


Associate Professor Paul J. Maginn, Urban/Regional Planning, The University of Western Australia - '“Gagging for It”: Geographies of ‘Straight’ and ‘Queer’ Online Porn Consumption in Australia'

Professor Alan McKee, Associate Dean (Research and Development), University of Technology Sydney and IAS Visiting Fellow - 'We Went Looking for Pleasure but we Found Satisfaction'

Dr Zahra Stardust, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales and IAS Visiting Fellow - 'Alternative Pornographies, Regulatory Fantasies and Resistance Politics'
Thursday 31
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Experiences of migrant women in contemporary Taiwan More Information
A public lecture by Tiffany Hsu and Yow-Jiun Wang, National Cheng Kung University, 2019 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellows.

This lecture has been cancelled. Apologies for any disappointment caused.

Dr Hsu and Dr Wang will give a masterclass on 'Women’s Migration and Carework in Asia' on 30 October.

Details: https://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/masterclass/hsu-wang

18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519): enigma and genius Website | More Information
A public lecture by Costantino D’Orazio, Art historian and writer, Rome.

This lecture is part of a year-long series that celebrates the 90th Anniversary of Italian Studies at UWA

2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the teaching of Italian language and culture at The University of Western Australia.

In 1929, Francesco Vanzetti, an idiosyncratic and popular Venetian, offered the first courses in Italian. This was the first appointment of a lecturer in Italian in any Australian university.

This lecture series, supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies and by Italian Studies in the UWA School of Humanities, celebrates aspects of Italian language and culture, past and present.

 November 2019
Monday 04
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Physics in the Fight against Cancer Website | More Information
A public lecture by Professor Thomas Bortfeld, Medical Physicist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Even though cancer is far from being universally curable, there has been significant progress in its treatment over the past few decades. In the Unites States, for example, the five year survival rate after diagnosis of cancer, has increased from 50% in the 1970s to 67% in the 2010s. This improvement is not only due to advances in clinical research, cancer biology, and pharmaceutics, but largely also due to advances in physics.

Over the past decades, physicists have developed three-dimensional anatomic imaging (e.g., computed tomography) and functional imaging (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography), which have revolutionized cancer diagnosis as well as our ability to target the disease with various treatment modalities such as surgery and radiation. In radiation therapy physicists have made particularly important contributions. For example, the development of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows doctors today to focus radiation on the tumor and spare surrounding healthy tissues to a degree that has been previously unachievable. Yet another level of “conforming” radiation dose to tumors while avoiding surrounding organs is achievable with proton beams and heavier ions (see figure). The first proton therapy center in Australia is currently under development in Adelaide.

In this lecture Professor Bortfeld will review some of these contributions of physicists to medicine through his own lens as a physicist working in a hospital and at a medical school, based on his experience with the development of IMRT and proton therapy. He will also give an outlook into the future role that physicists may play in the search for a cancer cure. This should go beyond imaging and radiation therapy and be driven by grand challenges and provocative questions, which are being defined in collaboration with Professor Martin Ebert at The University of Western Australia. It should focus on the understanding of physical mechanisms underlying the evolution, growth, spread, and treatment of cancer. It should include the modelling and optimization of combinations of treatment modalities, and the probing of the patient’s dynamic response to the treatment for individually optimized treatments.

Professor Bortfeld’s visit is gratefully supported by an Australia-Harvard Fellowship, provided by the Harvard Club of Australia Foundation.
Tuesday 05
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Surgical robots – What they can and can’t do, what are they for, and the future Website | More Information
A public lecture by Kiyoyuki Chinzei, Deputy Director of Health Research, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan and 2019 UWA Robert and Maude Gledden Senior Visiting Fellow.

Surgical robots are one of the top hi-tech medical gadgets of the day. Developed in early 1990s, the world market now reaches 4 billion USD/year, expanding 10-20 % annually. Followers of the dominant ‘da Vinci Surgical System’ are increasing as the patents of the Silicon Valley based giant Intuitive Surgical expire. Subsequently many new types of surgical robots are appearing, moving us from research to enterprise.

However, the truth is that virtually all of the current available gadgets are not in fact robots - in the sense that they do not do surgery on their own - and no new surgical techniques have been made possible by the introduction of surgical robots. Large numbers of research studies about clinical outcomes are published – some are positive, some are not. Given this situtation, what then are surgical robots for? And, what is their attraction for surgeons and patients?

This lecture will give an overview of the current state of surgical robots, describing currently available systems that use robotic technology, as well as some ongoing R&D projects in multiple medical fields. Professor Chinzei will review clinical papers on the impacts of surgical robots, and outline some of technical challenges faced by the research community.
Saturday 09
10:00 - EVENT - Declaration of Climate Emergency, Australia? **Cancelled** Website | More Information
Presented by Holmes à Court [email protected] No.10 in association with the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies.

Unfortunately, due to a change in circumstances, this event has been cancelled. We are sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment that arises from this decision.
Tuesday 12
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Leading the Rebellious with Empathy: a new paradigm for (STEM) education Website | More Information
A public lecture by Dr Johannes Strobel, Information Science & Learning Technologies, University of Missouri and 2019 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) education has seen a huge renaissance in the USA with several new initiatives: integrated models of instruction; new science school standards incorporating engineering and a focus on design and system thinking.

In the context of renewed STEM, we communicate to our students that we value innovation, creativity, “outside the box thinking”, “pushing boundaries”, “challenging paradigms” and “coming up with new solutions”. And yet when we see these behaviors in our young learners, we try to shut them down. Many teachers, for example, value compliant originality and conforming behavior over independent thinking. Unfortunately, a large number of students, who are defiant and don’t have the tools to adapt to the expectations in school, will disengage, lose interest and drop out of school or STEM fields. There seems to be a clash between valued STEM attributes and what is considered a student and a shift is needed in how we define “good student”, the mindset we want to foster within our schools and how to support student-teacher interaction in classrooms. This lecture will provide an overview of STEM initiatives in the US, research on student-teacher dynamics and existing frames of behavioral management, and the sketch of a new paradigm for (STEM) education based on empathy for the rebellious.
Wednesday 13
18:00 - TALK - Artistic Diaspora : An Exploration of the Italian Cultural Legacy in WA Website | More Information
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the teaching of Italian language and culture at The University of Western Australia.

In celebration, join us for a panel conversation exploring the contribution of artists with an Italian heritage who have lived and worked in Western Australia. Featuring historian Dr Robyn Taylor and artists Galliano Fardin, Patrizia Tonello and Caterina Franz. Moderated by Professor Ted Snell AM CitWA.

Refreshments provided. Co-organised by the Institute of Advanced Studies, Italian Studies in the UWA School of Humanities and the UWA Cultural Precinct.
Tuesday 19
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Perils of Fornicating on the Beach : Reproductive constraints in a keystone fish may underpin collapse of the Northwest Atlantic foodweb Website | More Information
A public lecture by Dr Craig Purchase, Associate Professor of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland and a UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

Keystone species hold critical roles in the functioning of foodwebs. About 30 years ago, the Northwest Atlantic Ocean foodweb was uprooted with the collapse of cod stocks, and continues to undergo substantial change. Capelin are the most important fish in the region, converting zooplankton protein to forage for larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Major shifts in life history characteristics of capelin occurred in the early 90s concomitant with a biomass collapse, which has not recovered. Capelin are well known for their unusual sex lives, where extremely high densities of fish spawn together in the surf zone of beaches. In this talk, Dr Purchase will discuss his research on capelin reproduction, and how evolutionary constraints may underpin the observed changes in ecosystem functioning.
Wednesday 20
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Astrochemistry Website | More Information
A public lecture by Professor Dahbia Talbi, Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, University of Montpellier, France.

A surprisingly rich chemistry occurs in space, as evidenced by the discovery so far of nearly 200 different molecules in the interstellar medium and in stellar atmospheres. How do astronomers identify molecules in space? In which environments are they found? How are these molecules formed? What does this tell us about the places where they are found? How does astrochemistry connect to astrobiology?

In this public lecture, Professor Talbi will provide answers to these intriguing questions.

Dahbia Talbi is a theoretical chemist, who began her career in 1988 with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). She was introduced to astrochemistry during her PhD thesis and has since continued in this field, conducting her research at the interface of chemistry, physics and astrophysics.

After 12 years in the Astrophysics Laboratory of the “Ecole Normale Supérieur de Paris”, she moved to the University of Nice to initiate and develop astrochemistry research. In 2004 she joined the Cosmochimistry Group of the Museum of Natural History of Paris and in 2006 decided to create her own group of astrochemistry in the Stellar Physics laboratory of Montpellier. She was promoted CNRS Senior Investigator (Directrice de Recherche au CNRS) in 2009 and took the head of the Stellar Physics research group of Montpellier in 2010 for four years.

Her first visit to UWA was in 1998, at the invitation of Professor Graham Chandler. Her current visit is her eighth, within a collaboration that includes (since 2013) Dr. A. Karton and Dr. D. Spagnoli from the UWA School of Molecular Sciences. Her interest in interstellar and stellar chemistry includes gas-phase processes, ice catalyzed reactions and grain formation mechanisms.
Thursday 21
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Engineering Empathy Website | More Information
A public lecture by Professor Philip Gerrans, Professor of Philosophy, University of Adelaide and 2019 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

In a near future the most basic and intimate of human needs from infancy to end of life will be met by artificial intelligence and robotics. Can such systems care for us without feeling for us? Does this matter? Clearly it does because a vast field of social robotics tries to implement human emotion and empathetic concern in artificial systems. However, despite spectacular improvements in AI, emotional feeling remains a last frontier. At the same time the neuroscientific study of emotion has made rapid advances in understanding the relationship between bodily states and emotional feelings. This suggests that there are lessons for AI here. Professor Gerrans will discuss the prospects for a genuine artificial intelligence of emotion based on neuroscience. He then discuss whether emotional AI is a worthwhile goal, even in fields such as child and aged care that intuitively require empathy.
Tuesday 26
18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Technology and the Future of Work: an international perspective in the shadow of the competition for talent Website | More Information
A public lecture by Gordon L Clark, Professorial Fellow, University of Oxford; Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Banking and Finance, Monash University and 2019 UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

It is widely believed that technology – automation, AI, and the Internet of things and people – will make many people redundant and transform labour markets around the world. It is also believed that machines will replace people, and the future is now.

In this lecture, Professor Clark offers a rather different perspective, grounded in multi-year, international study at Oxford University on workers’ concerns for the future and the challenges facing employers competing for talent in an increasingly crowded marketplace. He identifies commonalities and differences on these issues around the world.

His view about “technology and the future of work” is cautiously optimistic arguing that there may well be a significant premium for talented individuals willing and able to adapt to changing conditions. As well, he suggests that employers already face significant challenges in holding key personnel and that these challenges are likely to grow rather than be ameliorated by technological change over the coming couple of decades.

Being cautiously optimistic about the future is not the same as seeing the world in ‘rose-tinted glasses’! He reports on recent research regarding workers’ fears about the future, their willingness to retrain, and their likely flexibility in the face of getting older, maintaining family and community relationships, and generally living a good life.

He draws implications for the roles and responsibilities of individuals, communities, employers, and governments given the threat of increasing inequality in labour markets – local, regional, and global. And he also emphasises that technological change can work hand-in-hand with population-ageing to redistribute the benefits of economic prosperity.
Wednesday 27
13:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Heat Therapy: An ancient practice to target modern diseases Website | More Information
A public lecture by Christopher T. Minson, PhD, Kenneth and Kenda Singer Professor, and UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

Chronic heat exposure, in the form of saunas, hot water baths, and sweat lodges have been utilized in many cultures for thousands of years. While repetitive bouts of heat exposure is generally believed to be healthy, it is only recently that we are beginning to understand the full benefits of ‘heat therapy’ across the spectrum of human health. Passive heating results in a rise in body temperature and changes in cardiovascular hemodynamics, including altered shear patterns of blood flow. There is growing evidence that these responses to acute heat stress combine over repetitive sessions to provide a stress-resistant profile to counter inflammation and oxidative stress, as occurs with aging and chronic disease, as well as from acute damaging events such as ischemia-reperfusion injury. There is also growing evidence heat therapy can be used to target metabolic dysfunction in obesity and diabetes through improvements in insulin signaling in fat and muscle cells. This ancient therapy needs broader application to treat modern diseases, particularly in those not able to obtain the full benefits of exercise.

Dr Christopher Minson is the Kenneth and Kenda Singer Professor of Human Physiology. His research focuses on topics related to integrative cardiovascular physiology in humans. His lab investigates how we can use exposures to extreme environments to gain a healthy and resilient physiology. He is also involved in projects related to endocrine function in women, biomarkers of aging and the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and finding novel ways to improve thermal comfort and safely in work environments. He also works with elite athletes in the use of environmental stressors to improve performance.

Dr Minson is a 2019 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

This public lecture is presented by the UWA School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science).

18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Re-presenting Islam and Muslims Post 9/11: Images, Words and Refusals : Public talk by Zulfikar Hirji, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, York University, Toronto Website | More Information
In a Post-9/11 world of evermoving words and images, how do we respond to negative and stereotypical representations of Islam and Muslims? Zulfikar Hirji discusses the perennial challenge of decolonizing and deorientalising portrayals of Islam and Muslims by drawing upon and theories of ‘recognition’ and ‘refusal’ articulated by Indigenous scholars in North America, and by reflecting upon his journey through academia and experience of producing 'Islam: An Illustrated Journey' (2018), a book that explores the diverse histories of Islam and Muslims over more than 1400 years.

Zulfikar Hirji (DPhil, Oxford) is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University, Toronto. Professor Hirji’s scholarly interests are on Islam and Muslims in historical and contemporary contexts and on issues of knowledge production, representation and identity, visual and material culture, and critical pedagogy. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in South Asia, East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Europe and North America.
Thursday 28
18:00 - EVENT - The Unseen Archive of Idi Amin Website | More Information
A public lecture by Richard Vokes, Associate Professor in Anthropology, The University of Western Australia.

Over his eight years as president of Uganda, Idi Amin was the subject of hundreds of thousands of photographs. A team of photographers under the Ministry of Information followed Amin around, taking pictures of the many occasions when he appeared before the public. For decades it was thought that the photographs taken by the men of the Ministry had been lost. However in 2015 Richard Vokes, working with Winston Agaba and Malachi Kabaale at the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation in Kampala, uncovered a filing cabinet with over 70,000 of their photographic negatives. In 2018, UBC in partnership with Derek Peterson of the University of Michigan, and UWA, launched a project to digitize the archive. The first major exhibition of these images is now showing at the Uganda Museum.

In this lecture, Richard Vokes will narrate the social biography of the archive, and explore what it reveals about Idi Amin the man, about the nature of his regime, and about everyday life in Amin’s Uganda. It will argue that although the archive has provided extraordinary new insights into the Amin years, so too its discovery and exhibition have raised complicated questions regarding the politics of memory in post-colonial Uganda. The lecture will describe how the project team have sought to engage with public discussions on this subject, in partnership with our many Ugandan collaborators – who include survivors of Amin’s torture chambers, and the relatives of his 300,000 victims.

 December 2019
Tuesday 10
10:00 - WORKSHOP - Quantum Simplicity: Introduction to Complexity Science in a Quantum World : A masterclass with Assistant Professor Mile Gu, Nanyang Technological University and UWA IAS Visiting Fellow. Website | More Information
Complexity and quantum science appear at first to be two fields that bear little relation. One deals with the science of the very large – seeking the understand how unexpected phenomena can emerge in vast systems consisting of many interacting components. Quantum theory, on the other hand, deals with particles at the microscopic level and is usually considered limited to the domain of individual photons and atoms. Yet, different as they appear, there is growing evidence that in interfacing ideas from quantum and complexity science, we may unveil new perspective in either both fields.In this masterclass, Mile Gu will first give a tutorial on computational mechanics, a branch of complexity science captures structure by building the simplest causal models of natural observations. He wll then illustrate how many processes that require complex classical models may be simulated by remarkably simple quantum devices and describe recent experiments to test this laboratory conditions. He will survey the potential consequences these developments, highlighting how the indicate that fundamental notions of structure, complexity, and even the arrow of time, may change when the quantum properties of information are taken account. He will then review recent experiments in, where many of these consequences are illustrated through photonic systems.

Mile Gu currently leads the quantum and complexity science initiative - which seeks to explore how quantum technologies can help us understand the science of complex systems (www.quantumcomplexity.org) and holds appointments with the Complexity Institute at Nanyang Technological University and the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. Gu’s past research span the areas of quantum information, complexity theory and optical quantum computation, and has been featured in Science and Natural suite Journals. Prior to his current appointment, Gu obtained his PhD at the University of Queensland, and spent three years as faculty at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences Tsinghua University under the China 1000 talents program.

18:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Medical Image Computing (MIC): we are living in interesting times Website | More Information
A public lecture by Dr Ron Kikinis, Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

During the last decade, results from basic research in the fields of genetics and immunology have begun to impact treatment in a variety of diseases. Checkpoint therapy, for instance has fundamentally changed the treatment and survival of some patients with melanoma. The medical workplace has transformed from an artisanal organization into an industrial enterprise environment. Workflows in the clinic are increasingly standardized. Their timing and execution are monitored through omnipresent software systems. This has resulted in an acceleration of the pace of care delivery. Imaging and image post-processing have rapidly evolved as well, enabled by ever-increasing computational power, novel sensor systems and novel mathematical approaches. Organizing the data and making it findable and accessible is an ongoing challenge and is investigated through a variety of research efforts. These topics will be reviewed and discussed during the lecture.

Dr Kikinis is the founding Director of the Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and a Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. This laboratory was founded in 1990. Before joining Brigham & Women’s Hospital in 1988, he trained as a resident in radiology at the University Hospital in Zurich, and as a researcher in computer vision at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. He received his MD degree from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in 1982. In 2004 he was appointed Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. In 2009 he was the inaugural recipient of the MICCAI Society “Enduring Impact Award”.

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