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Academic Events
 August 2012
Friday 10
10:00 - EVENT - PIVOT Presentation : Introducing PIVOT - the new online research opportunities database @ UWA More Information
On the 1st of July 2012 UWA switched its online research opportunities database from COS (Community of Science) to PIVOT. PIVOT quickly and easily allows you to customise your online research profile so that you will be among the first to hear about relevant grant and funding opportunities. Also, PIVOT provides a feature to define ‘saved searches’ for automatic alerts on new funding opportunities corresponding to your research strengths. To introduce you to the functionalities of the system and also to show you how you can ‘claim’ your own profile, Mark Wilson from ProQuest will visit UWA and present PIVOT to the wider UWA research community.

13:00 - SEMINAR - Ireland: Church, State and Society, 1800-1870 : Seminar Series More Information
"The Irish Catholic Community and the State in the 19th Century: Setting the Scene"

Professor Oliver Rafferty SJ, the 2012 St Thomas More College Chair of Jesuit Studies, will present the first in a series of six lectures on nineteenth century Irish history.

The Chair of Jesuit Studies is jointly recognised by the the University of Western Australia and the University of Notre Dame Australia, and aims to bring a leading academic from the worldwide Jesuit community to Perth each year.

Professor Rafferty is visiting from Heythrop College, University of London, where he specialises in Irish and Ecclesiastical history. He will present the remaining five seminars in the same locations, and at the same time, on Fridays 17th and 24th August, and Fridays 7th, 14th, and 21st September.

14:30 - SEMINAR - Asian Studies Seminar : Cultural Heritage in China: Shaxi, a world heritage designated historic town on the Ancient Tea Horse Road at the cross-roads of development More Information
In the last few decades, China's rapid economic growth and large-scale development of the tourism industry put enormous pressure on the country’s physical, political, economic, social and cultural environment. This often led to valuable tourism resources being adversely affected at tourist destinations. In particular the pursuit of short-term economic benefits in tourism development raises questions of ethics in terms of fairness of distribution, cultural integrity, alleviation of poverty, and sustainability. While the present political climate regarding cultural heritage protection in China appears encouraging and positive, the reality at the local level seems more complex. This paper is concerned with these issues and examines the implications of recent and potential tourism development on the rich natural and cultural heritage of a small village – once an important stop-over on the Ancient Tea Horse Road - located in a beautiful and remote valley in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.

Sunday 12
10:00 - EVENT - 2012 Open Day : Experience what's on offer at UWA Website | More Information
UWA opens up the whole campus to the public.

Come and find out about the courses on offer, career options, scholarship opportunities, our valuable research, community programs and facilities.

There's also residential college tours, hands-on activities, live music and entertainment, and plenty of fun activities for the whole family.
Monday 13
13:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - A life course approach to understanding ethnic differences in health - insights from the DASH study : Raine Visiting Professor Seeromanie Harding More Information
The overall aim of Professor Harding research programme is to focus on how the timing and duration of social exposures are related to ethnic differences in health and health related behaviours over the life course. Professor Harding established the first large scale cohort study of ethnic minority children in the UK, designed to examine the contribution of social, biological and economic influences on health. The Determinants in Adolescent Social well-being and Health (DASH) study has created a unique longitudinal social-epidemiological resource that can be used to examine ethnic specific effects, particularly in relation to the effects of deprivation and family life on cardiovascular, mental and respiratory health. About 6,000 children aged 11-13y took part in the baseline survey in 2002/3, 80% of whom are ethnic minorities.
Tuesday 14
12:00 - EVENT - "What Matters to me and why" : Conversations with UWA Academics about what really matters More Information
Lunch time talk: What Matters to Winthrop Professor Cheryl Praeger AM FAA

When: Tuesday 14th August 2012, 12pm to 1.30pm

Where: Science Library – 3rd Floor Seminar Room

'What Matters to me and why' is a series of lunch time talks and conversations with UWA Academics. The talks explore personal stories of family, place, formative influences and how these things continue to shape people's lives and academic work.

The next conversation is with Cheryl Praeger, who is the Director of the Centre for the Mathematics of Symmetry and Computation at UWA.

Cheryl will share some of her story and then there will be the opportunity for questions/conversation. BYO lunch. Tea/Coffee is available in the meeting room (at the request of the Science Library, please do not carry coffee through the library).

The Science Library is towards the southern end of the campus just past the Chemistry and Psychology buildings.

13:00 - PUBLIC TALK - Blue Stockings in the Cultural Precinct : Panel Discussion More Information
For Blue Stockings Week this year (13-17 August), the Berndt Museum is presenting a panel discussion on the important role of women within the UWA Cultural Precinct. Blue Stockings Week is a commemoration of the Blue Stockings Society, an 18th century club for 'clever ladies and their gentlemen friends'. The club encouraged women to discuss intellectual topics over a cup of tea, thereby bucking the trend of succumbing to the frivolous topics and endeavours expected of women during that time. The name emerged from the habit of dressing down during the club's meetings, whereby the women wore blue woolen legwear, as opposed to the silk stockings traditional to evening meetings.

The panel will consist of Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares AO, Professor Sandy Toussaint and Curator Lee Kinsella.

13:00 - SEMINAR - Groups and Combinatorics Seminar: Spreads of symplectic spaces of small order More Information
Groups and Combinatorics Seminar

Sylvia Morris (UWA)

will speak on

Spreads of symplectic spaces of small order

at 1pm on Tuesday 14th of August in MLR2

Abstract: Spreads of symplectic spaces are used to construct translation planes, Kerdock codes and mutually unbiased bases. Several families of infinite symplectic spreads are known but these are far from covering all symplectic spreads. In particular, there is little known about symplectic spreads which create a non-semifield translation plane. For q=2 there is a unique spread of W(5,q) and for q=3 the symplectic spreads have been classified by Dempwolff. For q=4 there is a connection between symplectic spreads and the unique ovoid of Q^+(7,4). I have been using linear programming methods to find spreads in W(5,4) and W(5,5) which have non-trivial stabiliser. I will present my methods and results thus far, focussing on some interesting new examples of non-semifield symplectic spreads and their stabilisers.

15:45 - VISITING SPEAKER - Interferometry with Bose-Einstein Condensates in Microgravity – Science and Technology More Information
Inertial sensors based on interferometry with ultra cold matter waves are a valuable tool for many experiments. The spectrum of applications covers a broad area from metrology through gravimetry and geodesy up to addressing fundamental questions in physics, such as testing the validity of the Einstein equivalence principle (EEP) in the quantum domain. QUANTUS is a collaboration aiming at the implementation of such sensors on a space platform in order to perform precision measurements. The performance of such a device is mainly limited by the unperturbed evolution time of the wave packets in the interferometer. Here, microgravity conditions offer extremely long interrogation times and ultra low temperatures of the quantum object, which substantially increase sensitivity to levels not obtainable on Earth.

The successful observation of Bose-Einstein condensation in microgravity at the drop tower in Bremen (ZARM) was an important result towards realizing coherent sources for atom interferometers under extreme conditions. This talk will present the progress that has been made since then in implementing various interferometry schemes and analyzing the long-time coherence properties of the macroscopically separated wave packets. It will furthermore outline the ongoing activities towards dual species atom interferometry with Rubidium and Potassium (in order to perform quantum tests of the EEP), which will be performed in advanced drop-tower experiments as well as in the context of sounding rocket missions commencing as soon as fall 2013. The technology developments necessary to operate precision experiments in such challenging environments will also be discussed in detail.

Professor Peters is visiting UWA from Humboldt-University Berlin & Ferdinand-Braun-Institute.

18:30 - EVENT - The Shakespeare Songbook Website | More Information
A public lecture and performance by Julianne Baird, Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University and Internationally Acclaimed Early Music Scholar-Performer.

What can we learn from Shakespeare’s use of music and from musical references in his plays? In this lecture-performance, renowned soprano Julianne Baird will discuss and perform music from Elizabethan and Jacobean times conceived for performance in the plays of the great Bard. William Shakespeare alludes to or includes the texts of well over 160 songs in his plays.

Music in Shakespeare’s time ran the gamut of lute songs by the famous contrapuntalist, John Dowland, madrigals and fa la’s (ballets) by Morely and, of course, the great polyphonies and verse anthems by William Byrd. But extant Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre music is much more simple and vivid, often almost ballad-like in style and the playwright seems to have had a genuine fondness for honest English popular and traditional songs. The poignancy of having Desdemona sing the Willow Song in her fatal hour shows his full commitment to music’s emotional power.

The audience of Shakespeare’s time would have expected each drama to have included at least one song per play, (with the exception of tragedies which usually contained only the heraldic and militaristic sounds of trumpets and drums.)

Not only are the musical references far more numerous, but Shakespeare defied this orthodoxy and wrote poetry for the tragedies which movingly uses musical reference as dramatic device.

Among the Elizabethan pieces performed at the lecture-recital will be “The Willow Song”, “Farewell Dear Heart” “O Mistriss Mine”, and “Ah Robyn, Gentil Robyn.” A number of pieces written for the Jacobean revivals of Shakespeare’s plays composers John Wilson and Robert Johnson will also be discussed and performed.

Cost: free, however RSVP is essential to [email protected] or 6488 1340.
Wednesday 15
12:00 - SEMINAR - Accomplished Education Researcher Seminar Series : Reflecting on how education researchers are tackling some of Australia's pressing issues Website | More Information
The Graduate School of Education invites you to participate in this inaugural Seminar Series.

With a focus on sharing personal insights into timely and relevant topics in education research, these seminars will engage participants in a lively discussion of some of the pressing issues affecting Australia’s academics, schools and society today.

Speakers and topics for 2012

15 August

Winthrop Professor Grady Venville

“Choosing science comes more from the heart than from the brain (or the pocket)”: A retrospective study of why scientists chose to study science.”

26 September

Winthrop Professor Stephen Houghton

“Are the seeds of antisociality and psychopathic traits sown early in life?”

10 October

Winthrop Professor and Chapple Chair David Andrich

“Sliding Doors in Academe: Idiosyncrasies of autobiography and controversy in psychometrics”

31 October

Winthrop Professor and Faculty Dean Helen Wildy

“NAPLAN Data: Improving student learning OR doing the work of the Devil?”

14 November

Winthrop Professor Thomas O’Donoghue

The primary school’s invasion of the privacy of the child: Unmasking the potential of some current practices

Venue Details

RSVP to Ms. Alyce Green, Administrative Assistant, GSE [email protected]

Abstracts and additional details will be distributed closer to the event date.

12:00 - SEMINAR - Choosing science comes more from the heart than from the brain (or the pocket) : A retrospective study of why scientists chose to study science Website | More Information
The ‘science pipeline’ in Australia is under threat because not enough budding scientists are moving through from school to university to science-based jobs. The aim of this research was to retrospectively survey current Australian and New Zealand scientists to ascertain why they chose to study science. The quantitative data from 722 respondents showed that, unsurprisingly, the main reasons were that they were interested in science and they were good at science. Secondary school science classes and one particular science teacher also were found to be important factors. Of more interest are their anecdotes about the challenges of becoming a scientist, some of which will be shared in this presentation.

16:00 - SEMINAR - “When Steroid Receptors Meet Molecular Chaperones” Website | More Information
Tom Ratajczak received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Western Australia in 1972 and joined Roland Hähnel as Saw Medical Research Fellow in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, where he established an affinity chromatography-based method to isolate the intact estrogen receptor-Hsp90 complex. In 1989-90 he pursued further postdoctoral studies with Gordon Ringold, Institute of Cancer & Developmental Biology, Syntex Research, Palo Alto, California and after returning to Perth in 1991 joined the Department of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he is now Senior Medical Scientist in Charge. He holds a Lab Head position in the Centre for Medical Research, Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, UWA. His group is credited with the discovery of cyclophilin 40, a cyclosporin A-binding cochaperone associated with the estrogen receptor. In addition to his major research focus on the role of Hsp90 molecular chaperone machinery in steroid receptor function, he has special interests in the role of sequestosome 1/p62 in Paget’s disease of bone and in calcium-sensing receptor genetics in parathyroid dysfunction.

16:00 - STUDENT EVENT - TICHR Prospective Postgraduate Student Evening : Postgraduate research and scholarship opportunities at TICHR, SPACH and PMH Website | More Information
Each year the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research hosts a Prospective Postgraduate Student Evening to inform potential students about the postgraduate opportunities available at the Institute, the School of Paediatrics and Child Health and Princess Margaret Hospital.

If you are interested in any of the 2013 projects https://www.childhealthresearch.org.au/study-with-us/become-a-student.aspx, we suggest you attend the prospective student evening or contact the relevant researcher indicated in the booklet. The listed projects are a guide only and not a definitive list.

18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - The Frontiers of Ethics Website | More Information
A public lecture by Dale Jamieson, Director of Environmental Studies, New York University.

Climate change presents us with problems of utmost complexity. In particular, climate change poses the largest-scale and most difficult collective action problem that humanity has ever faced. Considerations ranging from our biological nature to facts about our political institutions all bear on the explanation of why we have failed to act.In the face of such problems, two broad families of considerations are sometimes effective in motivating action. Economics can sometimes succeed in showing that particular solutions appeal to our interests. Ethics can sometimes show that particular responses accord with our moral ideals. Economics is severely limited in demonstrating that aggressive responses to climate change are in our interests because it is permeated with ethical considerations. Our hope for motivating action on climate change must therefore to a great extent turn on ethical concerns.

In this lecture Dr Jamieson will explain why this hope largely has been disappointed. Just as the problems of climate change overwhelm our cognitive and affective systems, and our ability to do reliable economic calculations, so they also swamp the machinery of morality, at least as it currently manifests in our moral consciousness.

The choice we face is whether to remain complacent in the face climate change, or undertake the challenge of revising our morality.

Cost: Free, RSVP your attendance to [email protected] .

This lecture is a part of the Institute of Advanced Studies 2012 lecture series ‘Global Transformation and Public Ethics’. This series of free public lectures aims to stimulate considered debate about urgent issues in public ethics and policy as well as reflecting on ways we can improve public discourse about such issues.
Thursday 16
13:10 - CANCELLED - PERFORMANCE - Free Lunchtime Concert: : UWA Clarinet Quartet Website | More Information
Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.



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16:00 - SEMINAR - Trawling for barcodes: environmental DNA analysis of fish plankton : SESE and Oceans Institute Seminar More Information
Understanding how the physical, chemical and biological attributes of the ocean interact is important because it provides a way to forecast fisheries productivity and the ecosystem effects of climate change. Yet, obtaining high-resolution and accurate taxonomic data on microscopic plankton species over large spatial scales remains a challenge. In this seminar I will illustrate how we are combining DNA analysis of mixed zooplankton samples with particle tracking modelling to map the distribution of the eggs and larvae of dhufish (Glaucosoma hebraicum) in real time. Our approach provides unprecedented efficiency and sensitivity in sample processing, and has the potential to provide new insight into the recruitment dynamics of this at-risk species. I will also discuss how this approach can be extended to simultaneously mapping entire fish and other plankton assemblages at high taxonomic resolution, and to providing species-specific estimates of plankton biomass.

16:00 - VISITING SPEAKER - RNA editing and DYW-type PPR proteins as specificity factors in mitochondria of the moss Physcomitrella patens and the protist Naegleria gruberi : Numerous cytidines are converted into uridines by site-specific RNA editing of mitochondrial and chloroplast transcripts, which corrects genetic information in land plants. More Information
In flowering plants, mitochondrial transcriptomes contain some 300–500 RNA editing sites and chloroplast transcriptomes approximately 30 editing sites. In lycophytes, RNA editing is particularly abundant with more than 2100 editing sites in mitochondrial mRNAs and rRNAs of the spikemoss Selaginella moellendorffii. In contrast, only 11 sites are identified in mitochondria of the model plant Physcomitrella patens, making this moss an attractive model for functional studies. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins with unique carboxyterminal extensions (E/DYW) encoded by extended nuclear gene families in plants have previously been characterized as specificity factors recognizing editing sites. PPR proteins with the DYW domain in particular were shown to perfectly correlate with the presence of RNA editing in evolution. Our DYW-PPR gene knockout studies in Physcomitrella will contribute to identify the full set of nuclear specificity factors addressing all editing sites in a plant mitochondrial transcriptome. Most surprisingly, we recently also identified DYW-type PPR proteins in the heterolobosean protist Naegleria gruberi. Interestingly, we were now able to identify C-to-U editing in the mitochondrial transcriptome of this protist, which is phylogenetically separated from the plant lineage by more than 1 billion years of evolution.

18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - More Powerful than Politicians? The Media in Australia Today Website | More Information
A public lecture by Sally Young, Associate Professor and Reader, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.

For those who work in the news media, power is usually viewed as something that happens outside of the walls of their media organisation. “We scrutinise power,” journalists and news media organisations frequently proclaim, but there is a strange failure to recognise that the media, as a collective, are just as influential (and arguably, much more so) than the hundreds of individual politicians sitting in parliaments across Australia. And, while politicians are elected, regularly scrutinised by journalists (and others) and held to account at the ballot box at elections, none of these mechanisms apply to media organisations or to their reporters.

In Australia today, we know quite a lot about politicians and how they govern but we still know worryingly little about the media and how they operate. In this lecture, Dr Young will argue that this is an urgent problem and that, of all the much-lamented problems with media reporting, the biggest is that the media do a poor job of scrutinising and reporting on their own role. She will look at this in terms of an interesting paradox. How is it that news journalism in Australia is said to currently be in ‘crisis’ - with declining revenues/ratings, job losses and a broken business model – yet, as a collective, the Australian media remain so powerful?

Cost: This is a free public lecture, RSVP to [email protected]

18:00 - PUBLIC LECTURE - Public Lecture: A/Prof Louise D'Arcens: 'Reception, Recovery, Recreation: The Singular Story of the Middle Ages in Australia' : This talk will explore the varied, surprising, and persistent afterlife of the Middle Ages in Australian culture. More Information
This talk will explore the varied, surprising, and persistent afterlife of the Middle Ages in Australian culture. As the late eighteenth century was the foundational period of British settlement in the Australian colonies, High Enlightenment ideals have had an indisputable impact on Australian public life. Yet the story is not so simple. A growing recognition of the greater complexity of colonial Australia’s relationship with the European past has led to a more nuanced account of its distinctive engagement with a cultural legacy stretching back to the medieval period. A picture is now emerging of a colonial culture in which medievalism — the creative modern response to the Middle Ages and adaptation of medieval concepts — has existed as a major aesthetic and cultural presence in Australian literature, architecture, political ceremony, theatre,art, and even sport. This thriving but often unacknowledged subculture, with its preoccupations with either romance and chivalry and folklore, or irrationality, disorder, and Gothic gloom, has been far more formative of settler Australia’s cultural identity than has been recognized. Looking at examples from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this talk will explore just some of the large body of medievalism Australia has produced, and will discuss some of the ways we can understand its highly localized interpretations of medieval motifs, narrative forms, legends, and personages.

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