Wednesday, July 6, 2011

australian national astronomy meeting

i'm currently in adelaide attending the astronomical society of australia's annual scientific meeting. i was flatterend several months ago to be asked to give an invited talk at this meeting, which means i have 30 minutes to talk instead of the typical 15 minutes that most speakers get.

this talk has been in the back of my mind since i accepted the invitation. i was asked to talk about "galaxy evolution" and really wanted to give a broad background to the topic for the benefit of the diverse range of attendees, and also show some of my recent results over the last couple years, and since joining the australian astronomical community as a super science fellow.

i'm pleased to report that i'm proud with the how the talk was received and i think many of you might be amused to know that during the introduction... i put on my bright red "super science fellow" cape and thanked the australian government and the AAO for giving me such a fabulous title :) haha! i figured if i was going to do it, i should really go for it, so i even threw my fist in the air to strike a real super hero pose!! it was the first time that i received spontaneous applause while giving a professional astronomy talk!

since i didnt warn anyone i was going to perform such shenanigans, and since i took the cape off quickly as i wanted people to actually listen to my talk and take me seriously, i dont think anyone got a photo of the event :( oh well - what a thrill!

here are some other bits of news...

  • the decision as to where the SKA telescope will be built (australia or africa) will be made on 29 February 2012.
  • the 1000 groups that submitted proposals during the first call to use ALMA will hear back in september 2011.
  • yesterday at this meeting, sarah brough presented conclusions and realizations from the women in astronomy workshop to the ENTIRE AUSTRALIAN ASTRONOMY COMMUNITY! i think that is fantastic. 
  • there is a new forum for astronomy PhD students (and postdocs, etc... really) with the clever title: astroPhD
  • CAASTRO (ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics) will advertise 35 postdoc positions over the next couple years. they are organizing wide-field astronomical capabilities of next-generation telescopes and the HUGE data sets they will provide. CAASTRO has a noteworthy policy: they offer all positions with a part-time option to help support parenting and other real life situations. excellent!
  • the suburu telescope in hawaii is currently shut down after an unfortunate coolant leak occurred above the telescope, spilling coolant (ethylene glycol) on the primary mirror, other optics, and surrounding areas.

hopefully i'll get back into my regular blogging schedule soon, but if you want to read about the lastest astronomical developments, follow along on the twitter hashtag: #asa11


C W Magee said...

So how has astronomy managed to avoid the general ARC defunding of non-applied research?

Unknown said...

its a good question, chuck, and i havent been able to find a sufficient answer. must be a combination of keen members of govt and well-organized, vocal members of the aussie astro community.

Rik Gern said...

Aw, c'mon, you're teasin' us! Was your talk filmed?
Can we see it? If it wasn't filmed, can you post the text?PLEASE????????? Even if we don't get to see your super hero get-up, I'm sure the talk is plenty interesting in it's own right! (The cape sounds hilarious, though; I hope someone's got pictures!)