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Talks After Noon @ Powerhouse Museum

Written by Marcus Campbell on March 4, 2010

Talks After Noon is a series of illustrated talks held at the Powerhouse Museum each week. Hear behind the scenes stories from Museum curators, keep abreast of topical issues with industry experts, or enjoy a range of special guests. Talks are held Wednesdays, 12.30pm – 1.30pm, and Sundays, 2.00pm – 3.00pm. Free with general Museum admission – $10 adult, $6 concession, $25 family. March and April program includes:

A GENTLEMAN OF THE SPHINXES: THOMAS HOPE AND THE EGYPTIAN REVIVAL SUITE
Melanie Pitkin, Powerhouse Museum
Wednesday 17 March, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Thomas Hope (1769-1831) was a collector, writer, traveller, designer and patron of the arts. He played a pivotal role in influencing British Regency tastes in the late 18th to early 19th centuries through his revival of the classical and antique world. He re-designed the first floor of his London home, the Duchess Street mansion, to showcase his vast collection of Egyptian, Greek, Indian and other related curiosities; opened it the public and later published its contents in Household Furniture and Interior Decoration: Classical Style Book of the Regency Period. Although the house no longer survives, some of Hope’s furnishings are still preserved, including a pair of matching armchairs and settee originally designed by Hope for his Egyptian themed room and now in the Powerhouse Museum collection. This talk will explore the life and legacies of Thomas Hope, with particular focus on the Museum’s suite and its story of acquisition, in the context of early 19th century Egyptomania in Britain.

GLOBAL WARMING: OLD SCIENCE, NEW SCIENCE, CONTROVERSIES, AND SOLUTIONS
Steven Sherwood, University of NSW, Climate Change Research Centre
Sunday 21 March, 2pm – 3pm

Recent events have witnessed growing rifts within society about whether climate change is a real problem, whether greenhouse gas emissions are causing it, and what if anything should be done. Political pressures are presenting grave challenges to the integrity of the scientific enterprise and the methods by which findings are communicated to the public. In this talk Steven Sherwood will describe some of the lesser-known but crucial aspects of the science of climate and what it has to say about global warming, including the historical development of the science, a clear identification of what is now known beyond doubt and what remains uncertain, and some observations on past episodes where scientific findings were “inconvenient.”

RED ROVERS: THE LUNOKHOD LUNAR ROVERS
Kerrie Dougherty, Powerhouse Museum
Wednesday 7 April, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Today we are familiar with sophisticated robotic explorers roving the surface of Mars, but many people are unaware that the first robotic rovers were exploring the Moon thirty years ago. Originally developed for the USSR’s lunar landing program that was racing to the Moon in competition with the US Apollo project during the 1960s, the Lunokhod (Moonwalker) roving vehicle was then used as a lunar explorer in its own right, after the cosmonaut landing program failed to beat Apollo 11. Remotely driven from Earth, Lunokhod 1 was launched in 1970 and covered 10.5km during its operational life. Its successor, Lunokhod 2, was launched in 1973 and roamed over 37km across the lunar surface. Curator of Space Technology, Kerrie Dougherty, will tell the story of the Lunokhod rovers from their origins in the Soviet lunar landing project to the fate of Lunokhod 2 in an auction of Soviet space artefacts. Presented as part of the Yuri’s Night international celebration of space.

APOLLO 13: NASA’S FINEST HOUR
Kerrie Dougherty, Powerhouse Museum
Sunday 11 April, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

The crew of NASA’s third lunar landing mission, Apollo 13, named their Command Module Odyssey; but their ‘odyssey of exploration’ instead became an odyssey of survival when an oxygen tank rupture on the way to the Moon crippled the Command Module and required the crew to use the Lunar Module as a lifeboat. Working in a race against time, with diminishing spacecraft resources and power, NASA’s Mission Control team devised ingenious make-do solutions to keep the crew alive and return them safely to the Earth. In this next instalment of the Powerhouse Museum’s Apollo 40th Anniversary series of talks, Curator of Space Technology, Kerrie Dougherty, looks at the “successful failure” of Apollo 13, a mission rescued from disaster by the courage of the crew and the resourcefulness of NASA’s ground engineers, scientists and technicians.

GEORGE ROSE’S PHOTOGRAPHS OF SYDNEY’S WELCOME TO THE COMMONWEALTH
Geoff Barker, Powerhouse Museum
Wednesday 14 April, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Join Powerhouse Museum Assistant Curator Geoff Barker to discuss the George Rose Federation photographs taken in Sydney in 1901. The Powerhouse Museum has just finished documenting this unique set of Federation images which give a wonderful insight into the celebrations on 1 January 1901 and the subsequent visit by the Duke of York. A limited number of guests can also book for an exclusive basement tour to examine Federation objects acquired by the Museum over the last 100 years. Part of the National Trust Heritage Festival. Basement tour commences at 1.30pm. Places strictly limited.

Bookings essential on 9217 0222. Talk/tour cost $25 adult/concession.

NASA’S NEW FUTURE
Morris Jones, Space analyst and author
Sunday 18 April, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

NASA, America’s space agency, has just undergone its most radical shakeup in 50 years. Plans for landing on the Moon have been scrapped, but a bold new future is emerging. What will NASA do in the decade ahead? Can private companies take us to the Moon and beyond? Dr Morris Jones, an Australian space analyst, author and regular commentator on spaceflight, will shed light on NASA’s new future.

AUSTRALIAN FASHION WEEK: 15 YEARS OF INNOVATION AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
Daniel Hill, General Manager, IMG Fashion, Australia
Wednesday 21 April, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

In conjunction with the Powerhouse Museum’s exhibition, Frock stars: inside Australian Fashion Week, Daniel Hill, General Manager of IMG Fashion, will look back on 15 years of Australian Fashion Week including the event’s impact on the Australian fashion industry, its international reach, and future directions. Don’t miss this great behind the scenes look at the history, highlights, controversies and achievements of the country’s premier fashion event.

EYE ON THE COSMOS: THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
Kerrie Dougherty, Powerhouse Museum
Sunday 25 April, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

On 24 April 1990, NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope, the first and best known of its four “Great Observatories”. One of the most important scientific instruments of all time, Hubble overcame initial technical problems with its mirror to produce a wealth of magnificent images of the cosmos that are both scientifically valuable and breathtakingly beautiful. The space telescope has proved to be vital research tool for astronomers, its discoveries helping to resolve some long-standing questions of astrophysics and revealing new cosmic mysteries to research. Curator of Space Technology, Kerrie Dougherty, presents this talk in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Kerrie will outline the fascinating history of this project, with roots stretching back to the 1940s, and highlight some of its most important discoveries and amazing astronomical images.

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