Talks coming up in Sydney
Professor Brian Cox is heading back to Sydney as part of a global tour, educating and entertaining audiences with his knowledge and deep understanding of the cosmos. Cox will use state-of-the-art graphics and imagery from telescopes on Earth and space probes to present reports from the latest space missions, as well as discussing the Big Bang, black holes and the origin and fate of life in the Universe. He’ll also address questions about the value of science, how we acquire scientific knowledge and why we should trust it. Brian will be joined by co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage Robin Ince.
Budding Sydney photographers can network with industry greats at the second iteration of this photography conference. TV journalist Ray Martin will be back on hosting duties, bringing his own enthusiasm for the art of photography to live talks, workshops and intensive panel discussions with six well-known Australian and international photographers. Panelists and speakers at this year’s event include National Geographic photojournalist Ami Vitale, who has travelled to more than 100 countries to capture profound natural beauty and shocking tragedy, and Jasin Boland who’s worked on the set of movies like The Matrix and Mad Max as a film still photographer. They’ll be joined by Australian landscape photographer Christian Fletcher, ocean image capturer Ray Collins, digital photographic artist Tamara Dean, and Stephen Dupont, who captures the human dignity behind peoples and cultures experiencing conflict and marginalisation. They’ll be sharing their artistic war-stories, photography processes and answering questions at the Sydney International Convention Centre. Tickets for the two-day event cost from $495-$900, so you’ll want to come prepared with questions to make the most of it. For a little extra incentive, this year the conference is also offering one keen amateur photographer the chance to win a career-boost from Aperture Australia in the form of a free double pass to the conference and the opportunity to chat with Ray Martin on stage as they present their work. They’ll
Canadian TV chef and hat enthusiast, Matty Matheson, is coming to Australia for a national run of talks. Matheson is taking the stage solo to chat about his life and career as a chef and host of show's like It's Suppertime, Dead Set on Life, and regular segments on Vice's Munchies. Given his no holds barred style of presenting, you can expect a night where there are no scripters or ad breaks to go to some interesting places. Sure, you might be more used to heading to Oxford Art Factory for a gig of shredding guitars or pulsing electro, but on Sunday June 23, it'll be standing room only as 500 people cram in to hear from the gregarious chef. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Tue May 21 for $49 a pop.
There’s probably a lot you don’t know about jellyfish. These blobby beauties are one of the most successful organisms in the world, having casually floated through the oceans for more than 500 million years. There’s also some big questions about the species you probably want answered. Do they actually have a brain? Can a little vinegar cure a sting from a jellyfish, or is wee the answer? If you’d like to learn more about these ethereal creatures and bust some jellyfish myths, head to this after dark event at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. The evening will include an interactive presentation of moon jellyfish, blubber jellies and upside down jellyfish by the aquarium’s jellyfish expert Patrick Noble; a chat with Greg Neely, the lead researcher of the team who discovered the antidote to the deadly box jellyfish sting; and a myth-busting Q&A info session. Nibbles and a drink are also included in your ticket. The hour of talks will be led by science communicator and environmentalist Laura Wells, and visitors will have full access to the aquarium’s Jellyfish Garden and all the other exhibits from 6pm.
With bots becoming Instagram influencers and being featured in scandalous Calvin Klein campaigns, it’s clear that we now share our media space – and the wider world – with bots. The sex tech industry is big business, and you can bet this multi-billion dollar sector is taking advantage of technological developments in robotics. And as it moves forward, the likelihood of stumbling upon a sexbot in your friend wardrobe is becoming more likely. Sex robots come equipped with soft silicone skin and human-like features. Being completely customisable, you can choose the colour of the eyes, skin, hair and even nipples. Many have the ability to talk, read poetry and some can even recall memories. But of all these futuristic qualities, the most worrying is a robot’s inability to say no. British author, sex robot expert and computer scientist Dr Kate Devlin will share her knowledge of the advancement of robotics at this free conference. She will explore how ethics, sexuality, gender and politics come into play when artificial intelligence and robotics are used for sexual gratification.
The UNSW Centre for Ideas has planned this series of investigative talks about artificial intelligence (AI) as part of the international robotics and technology competition, RoboCup. While designers and engineers show off their AI creations and their skills on the robot-only soccer field (this competitive league is the centre of RoboCup), curious minds will head to these three talks. The first is RoboEthics, which will look into how we should regulate our brave new robotic world, and if it isn’t already too late to set boundaries around the development of AI and its proliferation in general society. It will consider the development of sentience and the ethical rights of robots in some big-question discussions between UNSW AI expert Toby Walsh, researcher Kate Devlin, philosopher Matthew Beard and legal ethicist Justine Rogers. Next up, RoboWarfare will investigate the relationship between the tech industry and military, and what autonomous lethal weapons might mean for the future of conflict and public safety. Law professor Lyria Bennett Moses and autonomous weapons systems researcher Jai Galliott will join Walsh to deliberate over the potential benefits and ethical quandaries. The final talk, RoboReveal, will see a collection of academics and experts discussion the future of AI, and what we can expect beyond Siri and self-driving cars.
He was once focused on teaching the world how to eat for a healthy body, mind and planet, but now Michael Pollan has his mind on something else: drugs. LSD, to be precise. In his talk at the Sydney Opera House, he’ll be tackling the taboo and recounting his own recent experience with psychedelics and the science and history surrounding these drugs. The evening will be based on the science writer’s 2018 publication, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. Within the impressively long-titled book, you’ll find Pollan’s own experiences with and musing on hallucinogenic drugs, a history on the personal and societal effects of such substances, and their subsequent suppression and recent re-emergence. Can psychedelics treat anxiety and help people deal with trauma? Could these drugs really have taken down social hierarchies in the 1960s and changed the face of modern global society? If you’re ready to open your mind, banish some skepticism, and get past the hippie stereotypes associated with drugs, then figuring out the answers to these questions is sure to be an illuminating experience.
Brené Brown has spent 20 years unpacking courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy within social and professional contexts, becoming one of the world’s most recognised voices in a social research and leadership. She has shared her work through empirical studies, five best-selling books, and hugely popular TED Talks. Her 2010 TEDxHouston talk, the Power of Vulnerability, has reached over 37 million views with its message of emotional risk in belonging, professional development and imperfection. Now, she is headed to Sydney share her seven years of research into brave leadership. This half-day seminar, based on Brown’s latest qualitative study and subsequent book, Dare to Lead, will teach audiences skills in identifying and breaking down barriers to courageous leadership, maintaining self-awareness in an effort to lead more honestly, garnering trust through connection and empathy, and growing from failure. Within a rapidly evolving technological and economic environment, these ideas will prove invaluable to anyone wanting to up-skill or advance within their industries. Register now to ensure your spot for the Sydney talk at International Convention Cention on July 31, 2019.
Each year during National Science Week, Sydney research institutions, cultural centres, museums and universities present a massive program of events exploring the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics for the Sydney Science Festival. The 13-day program will play out across multiple venues, with major hubs at the Australian Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The full program of talks delivered by leading researchers, hands-on activities for families, performances and film screenings hasn’t been announced yet, but the festival has revealed a few highlights for the 2019 festival. They include an evening of stargazing and music in Centennial Parklands (Aug 17), a day in the research lab of PlantBank at the Australian Botanic Garden (Aug 16), and a discussion about the future of the Australian Space Agency (Aug 10). Some events in the full line-up will be free, but you’ll need to book in advance for other paid activities and talks.
You probably know his face from his Chef's Table episode where he made the crunchy bit on top of the lasagne sound like the most incredible thing a human could ever eat. You might also recognise Massimo Bottura as the head chef of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, which has regularly graced the top spot in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Now the jovial, charismatic chef is coming to Australia for a national tour of live shows. Massimo Bottura, the World's No.1 Chef Live on Stage is a major theatre event happening in Winter 2019 where Bottura will discuss his life, career, and achievements, including his non-profit association Food for Soul, designed to fight food waste and social isolation in community kitchens called Refettorio. We're expecting a lot of discussion around the culinary traditions of Italy, and the way the chef remixed them for his famous degustations, like in a dish of parmesan at five ages presented in different textures and temperatures. Bottura will appear at the State Theatre in Sydney on Thursday August 8, and tickets go on sale on Wednesday April 3, so this is one to mark in your diaries for food nerds.