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This month I was privileged to be a keynote speaker at the Australian Institute of Physics Congress and to give the ‘Science Stars of Tomorrow’ Public Lecture at the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra.

I am also in training for the ANZAC Ultra, a 6-day 435 km foot race on the Canberra Centenary Trail in April 2015.

Lisa Harvey-Smith



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I am an astronomer at CSIRO’s Astronomy and Space Science division in Sydney, Australia and the Project Scientist for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. My research spans several areas of Galactic astrophysics including the birth and death of stars and astrophysical masers.

As the ASKAP Project Scientist I am an active member of the ASKAP commissioning team. I also provide scientific oversight to the design process to ensure that the telescope meets the required specifications. As the primary interface between ASKAP and the astronomy user community I lead the development of the ASKAP early science program. I also take part in international science activities for the SKA including a science advisory role to the Australian Government.

As Chair of the Astronomical Society of Australia’s Chapter for Women in Astronomy, I advocate best practice towards a level playing-field for everyone working in astronomy. My work with this chapter has culminated in the launch of the Pleiades Awards - a national accreditation scheme for employers of astronomers in Australia that take steps towards achieving best practice in equity and diversity.

I am passionate about communicating science to non-specialists. My recent outreach activities include filming a 3D movie  about the ASKAP telescope for the CSIRO Discovery Centre, writing articles for The Conversation and featuring in articles in Women’s Health, The Age, The Weekend Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun Herald and The Sunday Telegraph.

I have appeared on radio and television including ABC Splash for World Space Week, Al Jazeera English, SBS News, ABC News 24, ABC 702 Radio in Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle, Hobart and Mid-West, Breakfast with Adam Spencer and The Science Show with Robyn Williams. In December  2012 I was named in the(sydney)magazine’s list of Sydney’s 100 most influential people.

I take part in regular educational outreach work through the Scientists in Schools and other mentoring schemes. My partner schools are located in metropolitan Sydney and a remote aboriginal community in Western Australia.

As a keen recreational athlete I enjoy the adventure and challenge of ultra-marathon and multi-day races.

Image: Philip Gostelow

Speaking at the Australian Academy of Science Public Lecture Series