[ASC-media] Gov-Gen presenting ANZAAS Medal to Prof David Blair

Peter Pockley scicomm at ozemail.com.au
Tue Feb 1 09:32:06 EST 2005

[Circulated to ASC Media List by Peter Pockley at request of ANZAAS Committee]

His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery, AC CVO MC (Retd)
Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
and Patron of ANZAAS, will present Professor David G. Blair of
the University of Western Australia with the 2005 ANZAAS Medal for
his work on the detection of gravity waves.

The presentation ceremony will take place on WEDNESDAY
2nd FEBRUARY in Llewellyn Hall at the Australian National University
at 1.30pm. Present at the ceremony will be Nobel Physics Laureates
Anthony J. Leggett [2003] and Stephen Chu [1997]

The presentation ceremony is part of the Australian Institute of
Physics 16th Congress.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to world science through
his pioneering research work on gravity waves, the Council of the
Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science
[ANZAAS] has awarded the 2005 ANZAAS Medal to Professor David G. Blair.
Professor Blair, from the School of Physics at the University of Western
Australia, is a high profile scientist who has researched gravity
waves for more than 25 years. Gravity waves were predicted by Einstein's
General Theory of Relativity, first published in 1915.

This research has led to the development of the world’s most accurate clock 
and to the
development of a new form of astronomy - gravitational wave astronomy - the 
of which is awaiting discovery. When harnessed, gravitational waves
will offer a powerful new probe of the universe.

This research has received much media attention and captured the 
imagination of the public at large.

Professor Blair is Director of the Australian International
Gravitational Research Centre at Gingin, approximately 80 km north
-east of Perth, in Western Australia.

The Centre involves collaboration between Australian and international
scientists and incorporates one of the largest astronomy centres in the
southern hemisphere, the Australian International Gravitation

The public arm of the Observatory is the Gravity Discovery Centre which
features science education and tourist displays designed to stimulate
and enhance interest in science.

Professor David Blair’s commitments to the advancement of science and
to the promotion of science for secondary and tertiary students make
him an outstanding role model for young and aspiring scientists and a worthy
recipient of the ANZAAS Medal in 2005.

The ANZAAS Medal was first awarded at the 38th ANZAAS Congress
in Hobart, Tasmania, on August 16, 1965.

The ANZAAS medal is awarded for services in the advancement of
science or administration and organisation of scientific activities,
or the teaching of science throughout Australia and New Zealand
and in contributions to science which lie beyond normal professional

The ANZAAS Medal is ONLY presented to the recipient at a suitably
prestigious scientific gathering or event.

Past recipients
1965 Prof John Rustin Alfred McMillan
1967 Dr Lionel Batley Bull
1968 Prof Rutherford Ness Robertson
1969 Dr Edward Holbrook Derrick
1970 Dr Arthur Bache Walkom
1971 Sir John Crawford
1972 Dr Charles Alexander Fleming
1973 Sir Ian William Wark
1975 Sir Frederick William George White
1976 Prof Eric John Underwood
1977 Dr Herbert Cole Coombs
1979 Sir Marcus Laurence Elwin Oliphant
1980 Prof Frank John Fenner
1981 Sir Geoffrey Malcolm Badger
1982 Sir Gustav Joseph Victor Nossal
1983 Em Prof Dorothy Hill
1984 Dr John Paul Wild
1985 Prof Mollie Elizabeth Holman
1987 Em Prof Robert Hanbury Brown
1988 Prof Derek John Mulvaney
1990 Prof Arthur John Birch
1991 Prof Ralph Owen Slatyer
1992 Prof John Robert De Laeter
1993 Prof Benjamin Klaas Selinger
1994 Prof John Melvin Swan
1995 Prof Harry Messel
1996 Sir Arvi Parbo
1997 Prof Graham Johnston
1999 Professor Donald Watts
2004 Professor Peter Raven
2005 Professor David Blair

ANZAAS, or the Australian and New Zealand Association for the
Advancement of Science, to use the full title, is one of the
oldest scientific societies in Australia.

The year 2005 sees ANZAAS complete its 117th year since its foundation.
Past-presidents of the Association read like a "who's who" of
Australian science and progress: Professor Sir William Bragg;
Professor Sir Douglas Mawson; Professor Sir Mark Oliphant;
Dr. H.C. "Nugget" Coombs; Professor Sir Gustav Nossal, etc., etc.
Science is the bedrock upon which the prosperity of Australia will be
built in the twenty-first century, and ANZAAS still provides the ONLY
forum in Australia where scientists of differing disciplines, and
non-specialists can meet leading scientists across the disciplines
and have important discoveries discussed and explained.
ANZAAS organises symposia, meetings, lectures and talks covering all
aspects of science and technology, with attendance and membership
open to all.

ANZAAS has an extensive programme of scientific activities designed to
inform and inspire young people. This programme includes not just
evening meetings but the hugely successful annual Youth ANZAAS Science Forum
which features speakers of international repute.

ANZAAS welcomes all who are interested in the promotion and advancement of
science and the integrity of the scientific method. By becoming, or
remaining, a member of ANZAAS an individual not only derives a great
deal of personal benefit and enjoyment, but also the satisfaction of 
helping to
support the unique contribution made to our society, a contribution
which will ensure that Australia has the scientific resources and 
technological expertise
necessary to provide an internationally competitive base in research,
education and industry. In the political and public arenas, the
popularity of science is at its lowest this century; we are living
in an age of poll-driven governments and if science does not regain widespread
public support then in the long term it will not enjoy the essential 
financial backing of

ANZAAS policy is to encourage an active Divisional base and structure in
each State and Territory which will ensure the continuation of the award
of the ANZAAS and Mueller Medals; the presentation of the Liversidge,
Giblin, and Joyce Allen Lectures, and the organisation of an annual
Youth ANZAAS conference.

The traditional ANZAAS objectives continue to be pursued, namely:

• to promote communication and interaction between scientists of
different disciplines
• to promote public awareness of the role of science and technology
in everyday life
• to encourage the curiosity of young people in science
and while the role of the traditional ANZAAS Congresses remains under
review, the Annual Youth ANZAAS Science Forum is continuing, with
the broader aims of ANZAAS being achieved through the following
• the support and sponsorship of symposia and meetings where
current scientific research is presented to other scientists and to
the public
• the organisation of special science and technology programmes for
school students
• the organisation and presentation of public meetings and forums
to discuss scientific issues of national importance or interest
• the timely publication of accurate, informative commentaries on
science and technology issues and policies
• co-operation with other organisations in staging joint
activities or events which will enhance the aims and objects of ANZAAS

There are currently six categories of Membership in ANZAAS:
Ordinary [$45 annually]
Concession [$35 annually] [Retired or Disadvantaged]
Student [$20 annually]
Corporate [$360 annually]
Life [by Council Resolution]
Fellow [by Council Resolution]
Membership application forms can be obtained from:
Hon. Secretary, ANZAAS,
The University of Adelaide, ADELAIDE, SA 5005
tel: [08] 8303 4965
e-mail: secretary at anzaas.org.au

Robert Perrin
Hon. Secretary and
Executive Officer
The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005
tel: +61 8 8303 4965
mob: +61 0407 742 203
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