Events 2013


Professor Harry Messel International Science School 2013

Students looking at the satellite dish

The Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS) 2013 – Nanoscience will be held in the University of Sydney's School of Physics over a two-week period from 30th June to 13th July 2013.

The ISS is a free, biennial science educational program that honours excellence in talented Year 11 and 12 students and encourages them to pursue careers in science. Around 145 ISS scholars attend from over all Australia, China, Japan, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, UK and the USA.

Since 2005 five places for Indigenous Science Scholars have been awarded to encourage Indigenous Australian students in their interest in science. In 2011 eight Indigenous Science Scholars participated in the ISS. Read more about their experience in Sydney Alumni Magazine (SAM) November 2011

The theme of the ISS2013 is Nanoscience: Small Wonders, Big Future. This theme will showcase how the new age of nanoscience and nanotechnology promises a vast array of novel applications, from invisibility cloaks inspired by extraordinary metamaterials, to bespoke medicines fighting disease at the molecular level, to the next generation of optics-based IT technologies that will blow away today's fastest communication systems.

The ISS2013 will bring together top international and Australian nanoscience experts - along with leaders from the breadth of science, including keynote speaker and Nobel prize-winning cosmologist Professor Brian Schmidt. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM, our Julius Sumner Miller Fellow and media personality is also an ISS guest speaker. (As a veteran of the ISS and renowned science communicator, Dr Karl is also one of the most popular!)

The ISS offers a unique opportunity for senior secondary school students to meet scientists working in diverse areas not only from within the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney but from all over the world.

All ISS scholars are chosen on their academic ability and, depending on their country, must compete for an ISS scholarship through either essay writing, an interview or sitting an exam. In the USA the ISS is awarded as a prize in the National Science Bowl run by the US Department of Energy.

ISS scholars live on campus for their two-week stay in the Women's College and for many it is an opportunity to visit Sydney for the first time, as well as to meet like-minded peers from different countries and cultures.

The ISS program reflects the different themes of each ISS and comprises lectures, hands on experiments and challenges as well as social activities. The Physics Foundation within the School of Physics funds the ISS.

For more information contact Dr Chris Stewart, ISS2013 Program Manager

Events 2012


Perpetual Motion - the ISS 50th Anniversary Celebration

Since 1962 the Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS) has been hosted in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. The ISS is the flagship program of the School and the University’s Foundation for Physics.

2012 marked the 50th year since the inception of the ISS and was celebrated at a gala reception in the University of Sydney’s Great Hall and Main Quadrangle on Tuesday 27 November 2012.

The celebratory event was not only run to celebrate this milestone but also with the aim of raising $3.5m to close off the Messel Endowment and ensure the ISS runs in perpetuity, hence the event being entitled 'Perpetual Motion'.

Speakers at the event included the ISS program's patron, HE Marie Bashir, Governer of NSW, The Honourable Robert French, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and ISS alumnus from 1964, and Prof. Greg McRae, Professor of Chemistry at MIT and Executive Director at Morgan Stanley as well as an ISS alumnus from 1965. The MC for the event was Mr Adam Spencer and Mr Jim O'Connor spoke on behalf of the Physics Foundation with Prof. Tim Bedding representing the School of Physics.

As always, Prof. Harry Messel spoke eloquently on his passion for supporting excellent science students and reinforced the message that the ISS program also needs to be supported. The event has already resulted in a number of individuals donating to the Messel Endowment and assurances from others that they would assist in whichever way possible to reach the funding goal.

Chief Justice Robert French also reinforced the impact of the ISS by stating in his speech: "It is a matter of some importance therefore that the International Science School inspires not only new generations of scientists but also a lifelong awareness of the importance and promise of science among young people who may not become scientists but may become leaders in our country - perhaps called upon one day to make the difficult kinds of decisions that science cannot make but which can be informed by an awareness of the relevant scientific issues".

To learn more about Professor Harry Messel view the film of Harry Messel's oral history of his time at the School.

View the image gallery from the event at Perpetual Motion.


Guests at the Perpetual Motion - the ISS 50th Anniversary Celebration