The Royal Society Southern Highlands branch is set for an occasion that is out of this world.
The branch will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Royal Society of NSW at the Mittagong RSL Club on June 17.
The theme for the evening is "Reach for the Skies" with a popular return to the presenter's stand by internationally acclaimed scientist Professor Ken McCracken AO.
He will also introduce outstanding young scientist Max La Galle.
In introducing Max, Ken will reflect on the pervasive role of scientific societies in the development of science in the past, including in his own career in space research and in applied science in the CSIRO. Ken has just been awarded the senior medal of the international space research body, COSPAR, with only 70 such awards in the 64 years of space research.
His award included naming Minor Planet 8258 in his honour as Minor Planet (8258) McCracken.
In so many ways, Ken has literally "Reached for the Skies".
In retirement, Ken and his wife, Gillian, operated a cattle raising property in the Southern Highlands. He is still actively involved in space research, and the promotion of science as a generation of new students head for the STEM subjects at school and University.
The future in science continues to look bright with Max, who in 2019 attended the National Youth Forum and was then selected to represent Australia at the London International Youth Science Forum where he visited both the joint European Torus and CERN.
He will discuss how science is finally on the verge of cracking the "Holy Grail" of energy production in its advances in hydrogen fusion.
As the Royal Society of NSW starts to look ahead at the next 200 years, this is an event not to be missed.
It is also a chance to reflect on an organisation that was the first scientific society in the then British Colony of NSW. The newly appointed Governor of NSW at the time, Sir Thomas Brisbane, who succeeded Governor Lachlan Macquarie, was offered and accepted the position of president on his arrival in Sydney in 1821 - exactly 200 years ago.
Science has progressed beyond most people's wildest predictions in these 200 years and it is no wonder that young aspiring scientists these days are now walking in the footsteps of the eminent scientists who have done so much to advance science, philosophy, and medicine before them.
The June 17 Royal Society presentation will be held in the Carrington Room at Mittagong RSL Club from 6.30pm.
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