8 June 2008
A cocktail reception was held on the evening of Thursday 22 May in the University's historic MacLaurin Hall to pay tribute to the achievements of the staff of the Faculty of Science.
More than 250 guests took the opportunity to meet science staff at the event and enjoy talks by guest speakers Deborah Smith, Science Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald, and Professor Margaret Sheil, CEO of the Australian Research Council.
Deborah Smith talked about her own studies in chemistry at the University of Sydney, her early research career, and how she got her first job as a science journalist. Giving the audience an insight into the hectic world of the newsroom, she listed some of the Sydney University science stories which had made a particular splash in the news. Deborah thanked the many scientists in the Faculty whose work she had written about over the years.
Professor Margaret Sheil congratulated the Faculty on its innovative and dynamic approach to research and teaching, and said it was no coincidence that the Faculty had received such a high proportion of Australian Research Council grants in the past year.
Professor David Day, Dean of Science, welcomed guests and congratulated the Faculty's staff, listing some of the great achievements from the past year. Dr Clio Cresswell, Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, was Master of Ceremonies for the night, entertaining guests with amusing research anecdotes.
Dr Michael Spence, who will be Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney from July 2008, attended the event.
The Science Revue Band, made up of students who will perform in the annual Science Revue sketch show in September 2009, provided jazz music for the night, while guests mingled and tried hands-on activities provided by the different science disciplines in the Faculty.
Guests were entertained with ten stands offering activities such as the chance to meet the new species of algae recently discovered by scientists from the School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, make different wave patterns in sand with the School of Physics, see native and European bees at work in beehives and taste honey with the School of Biological Sciences, and extract DNA from strawberries with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology.
Winning entries from the 2007 University of Sydney Sleek Geeks Eureka Prize - a competition where high school students made entertaining short films about a science topic - were played on a large-screen TV.
Sleek Geek, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, also donated an autographed set of his books for the business card draw prize, drawn by Professor Merlin Crossley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research.
"The whole evening had a really fun and celebratory feel, while recognising the important achievements in the Faculty of Science over the past year," said Professor David Day, Dean of the Faculty of Science.
"In previous years, we had held celebratory events recognising excellence in the Faculty of Science just for staff, but this year, we decided to invite external guests such as science teachers, science alumni and science journalists.
"It was a great success and a wonderful opportunity for others to learn more about what we do here, as well as for our staff to connect with the wider scientific community within the University and out," said Professor Day.
Contact: Katynna Gill
Phone: 02 9351 6997