[ASC-media] Stem cells, father of the Pill and Eintein's legacy

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com
Mon Sep 5 14:58:58 EST 2005

Dear ASC,

I’m writing to give you a heads up on some science stories this week and in the coming weeks.


Has Australia lost the plot on stem cells?
A national review of stem cell rules is happening now but where’s the debate?  In 2020 Australians may have to fly to South Korea for life-saving stem cell treatments. 
Elizabeth Finkel has written two pieces on stem cells and is keen to speak to the media.
The pieces are available at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/stem_cells_opinion.htm

Separating sex and reproduction and the end of the pill
There’s sex, and there’s procreation, and for the last forty-five years they haven’t been the same thing. So where is our society going now, and why aren’t we going to get a male Pill? Carl Djerassi, “father of the pill”, visits Australia  – from Monday 5 September – speaking at Parliament House Canberra on 7 September. Background information at  http://www.scienceinpublic.com/dj.htm, media contact Julia Reynolds 0412 089 778

The keeper of Einstein’s legacy visits Melbourne and Sydney
Einstein left all his intellectual property to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Hanoch Gutfreund is keeper of this legacy and keen to talk about Einstein the man and his profound impact on human society – more below. Media contact Barry Joseph on 0419 247 849

$15,000 physics art prize
A new art prize looks for artworks that express the ideas and concepts of physics, organised by Macquarie University Art Gallery. Head of Physics Professor Deb Kane says “What I personally most wish I could see is something meaningful that I don’t already have the ability to imagine. I’d love to see mathematical ideas represented artistically in a way which would have me as a physicist standing there going ‘Yes, I get it!’.” 
Media Contact: Fiona Crawford, (02) 9850 9658, fiona.crawford at mq.edu.au

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science
The five Prizes will be presented on 4 October – two Prizes for teachers, two to early career achievers and the PM’s Prize itself. The Prizes will be strictly embargoed but please contact me for early access to information – niall at scienceinpublic.com 

Finally, the 13 Fresh Science stories for 2005 have now all been released and are online at www.freshscience.org. Next week we announce the winner. 

I’m in New Zealand today and Sydney tomorrow – so for help with these stories please call Luisa Bufalino (0424 887 887) or email me on niall at scienceinpublic.com – Luisa will be checking my mail. If you need to contact me urgently please SMS on 0417 131 977

If you’ve already expressed interest in the PM’s Science Prize then I’ll get back to you in the next week. 

Here’s more about Einstein’s legacy and about stem cells

The Keeper of Einstein’s Legacy

At age 26 Einstein established himself as a scientist of colossal influence, changing our understanding of everything from the quantum theory of particles to black holes and the structure of the universe on the largest scales. 

Einstein's life is no less fascinating. His story epitomises the entire history of the 20th century - the scientific revolution, the wars, the empires, human rights, pacifism, nuclear weapons, the Holocaust, and Zionism. Einstein, involved and active in all these historically significant events, was Time magazine's ``person of the century'' in 2000 and long ago became a cultural symbol.

In his will, Einstein left all of his intellectual property, including his literary estate and personal papers, to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Professor Hanoch Gutfreund from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the coordinator of these resources and an expert on Einstein's life. Professor Gutfreund's research interests include theoretical Solid State Physics and Computational Neuroscience. 

He is in Melbourne and Sydney this week and available for interview. 

More about stem cells

Australia was a leader in stem cell research. But our lead is slipping away. In 20 years time Australians may have to fly to South Korea for life-saving stem cell treatments. 

Australia's laws on stem cells and human cloning are under review. A committee headed by Federal Court Justice John Lockhart has called for public submissions by 9 September. But there's little sign of public debate. 

Elizabeth Finkel feels strongly that opportunities are slipping away. So she's written two opinion pieces. 

The first looks forward to 2020 and describes the treatments that will be available through therapeutic cloning (but perhaps not in Australia). It is 1,000 words but can easily be cut back by deleting one or two examples. 

The second takes a broader look at the stem cell debate and is 820 words.
Both are available at http://www.scienceinpublic.com/stem_cells_opinion.htm. Elizabeth is also available for interview, but as she and her family are on Heron Island for the week, it may take up to 24 hours to book her in. 

Elizabeth is a former medical researcher, and is now a science writer. She has written for the Age, the Science Show, the journal Science, Cosmos amongst others. Her book "Stem Cells - controversy at the Frontiers of Science" was published earlier this year by ABC Books. 

Kind regards,



Niall Byrne
Science in Public
Ph +61 3 5253 1391
email niall at scienceinpublic.com
PO Box 199, Drysdale Vic Australia





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