Sunday, May 20, 2012

astounding stories of super science

a few weeks ago, we held the inaugural "astounding stories of super science" symposium in hobart, tasmania, the australian island-state off the south east coast.  a nice venue for a meeting!

under the super science initiative, the australian government funded a one-off program sponsoring 100 young research fellows across three branches of science: space and astronomy, marine and climate, future industries.  as far as i can tell, this initiative is unique among countries around the world and i feel very lucky to take part!  

the research topics among the space science and astronomy super science fellows cover a wide range of topics, from observing the most distant galaxies in the universe, to measuring the shape of earth's surface.   because of this diversity, some of us supers decided it would be a good idea to get together, meet, share our research with each other, network, see a new place in the world, and generally enjoy our science and our fantastic titles! 

while organizing the symposium, we discovered an old science fiction magazine from the 1930s called astounding stories of super science, and our inspiration was found! 

twenty-three super science fellows from astronomy and space science attended the symposium, along with a smattering of other astronomers from around australia.  

Natasha Hurley-Walker discussing the murchison widefield array
the symposium was officially opened by His Excellency The Honourable Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania (yes, the full title is required), who invited us to and evening at the government house!

it was a fancy event and we queued to be properly introduced to the governor one by one as we entered the estate.

he graciously and enthusiastically talked to each of us in turn.  when i commented to him that i thoroughly enjoyed the title of super science fellow and had a cape to go with the persona, he smiled and replied that he was disappointed i didnt wear it for the occasion!   i said i thought it would have been a bit inappropriate for his soiree and he just laughed out loud without responding further.  damn, damn.  i missed an opportunity there! 

 one afternoon several of us walked to the peak of mount wellington to enjoy the view over hobart.

and, of course, a couple of us attended the conference dinner sporting full on, super regalia!  

good times ;)

1 comment:

heroineworshipper said...

You've been doing well against the dirty astronomy, these past few weeks.