John Furphy Memorial Lecture 2018 - Silicon Valley meets Goulburn Valley

Event status:

Within a decade the latest trends in Silicon Valley technology will make their way into rural regions like Shepparton, making fundamental changes to agriculture, industry, and education of the next generation. Will these technologies reverse the drain of our best and brightest from country towns to cities, or will they accelerate the trend?

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Thursday 23 August 2018 06:30 pm until Thursday 23 August 2018 07:50 pm (Add to calendar)
Christina Tait
Presented by:
Associate Professor Alan Duffy
Type of Event:
Public Lecture

J. Furphy & Sons Pty Ltd in partnership with La Trobe University are delighted to present the 2018 John Furphy Memorial Lecture, delivered by popular science communicator Associate Professor Alan Duffy.

Silicon Valley meets Goulburn Valley

Regional Australia is not often associated with the most dynamic centres of technological innovation on Earth but within a decade we will see the latest trends in Silicon Valley technology make their way into the Regions.

This exciting new era will see agriculture, industry and education in rural regions like Shepparton fundamentally changed. A space agency will facilitate nanosat fleets to bring space-based observations to each and every farmer, autonomous drones will replace dogs in shepherding livestock, and multimaterial 3D printing in local industry will make time of delivery more important than per unit cost of manufacture.

All of these technologies are linked through the Internet of Things and powered by a blend of distributed renewable energy sources. These changes will mean the next generation need to be more familiar with science and engineering than ever before, potentially a significant challenge to rural schools but also aided by the very technologies themselves to bring the latest ideas and lessons to each student with digital classrooms.

Will these next technologies reverse a drain of our best and brightest from country towns to cities worldwide, or will they in fact accelerate the trend as job losses result from greater efficiencies? Ultimately this outcome will be decided by the regions themselves as they inform themselves of these upcoming changes and steer the adoption of technologies to the best interest of communities and industries alike.

Associate Professor Alan Duffy

Associate Professor Duffy is an astrophysicist at Swinburne University, creating baby universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies like our Milky Way form and grow within vast halos of invisible dark matter.

He is attempting to find this dark matter as part of SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere at the bottom of a gold mine in Stawell, Victoria.

He is also an Associate Investigator in two ARC Centres of Excellence investigating the origin of matter (ASTRO3D) and seeing the Universe with gravitational waves (OzGrav).

When not exploring simulated universes Alan lectures in physics as well as science communication at Swinburne University of Technology.

Every fortnight Alan tries to explain breaking science from UFO sightings to the latest NASA discoveries on his space segment with ABC Breakfast News TV, ABC Radio Sydney with Robbie Buck and ABC Radio Melbourne with Clare Bowditch. He is also a regular on Ten’s The Project, Nine’s Today Weekends as well as TripleJ’s Hack show. Most recently Alan presented an episode of ABCs Catalyst and has another episode being released in 2018.

You can hear Alan on ABC Radio National Cosmic Vertigo, see him the in Todd Samson science show Life on the Line or catch him at any number of public speaking events. Everything from the Sydney Opera House with TEDx Sydney, to opening in front of 5000 Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s fans. He’s even toured Australia with the BBC’s Science of Doctor Who show.

He was the Ambassador for the Sydney Science Festival 2016, and host for Famelab showcasing science talent across Australia.

Alan wrote and starred in a science show about dark matter, Dark, shown in 148 planetariums in 25 countries worldwide.

His other writing pursuits include his own column in The Conversation and Australia’s most popular science magazine Cosmos.

He was named one of Men’s Style Magazine’s Men of Influence, WA Sunday Time Magazine’s Best and Brightest as well as a finalist for the National Eureka Award for Promoting Understanding of Australian Science Research, Victorian State Finalist in the Fresh Science Award for science communication and Commbank’s Australian of the Day.

In his spare time, you can find Alan speaking around the country at various conferences and corporate events.

He is in high demand for his simple explanations of complex scientific theories.


Learning Space 3

La Trobe University, 210 Fryers Street Shepparton



18th Feb 2019 3:10pm

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