Perpetual Motion - ISS 50th Anniversary

6 December 2012

The Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS) recently reached the major milestone of its 50th Anniversary. A celebratory event was held last Tuesday, 27th November at the Great Hall and almost 500 guests attended including ISS alumni, VIP's and donors.

The celebratory event was not only run to celebrate this milestone but also with the aim of raising $3.5m to close off the Messel Endowment and ensure the ISS runs in perpetuity, hence the event being entitled 'Perpetual Motion'.

Professor Harry Messel talking with Trevor Danos and Development officer Julia Tauber at the International Science School 50th Anniversary event.
Professor Harry Messel talking with Trevor Danos and Development officer Julia Tauber at the International Science School 50th Anniversary event.

Speakers at the event included the ISS program's patron, HE Marie Bashir, Governer of NSW, The Honourable Robert French, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and ISS alumnus from 1964, and Prof. Greg McRae, Professor of Chemistry at MIT and Executive Director at Morgan Stanley as well as an ISS alumnus from 1965. The MC for the event was Mr Adam Spencer and Mr Jim O'Connor spoke on behalf of the Physics Foundation with Prof. Tim Bedding representing the School of Physics.

The formal part of the evening was appropriately concluded by an 'in conversation' with the founder of the ISS, Prof. Harry Messel and with Mr Trevor Danos, the author of the recently published 'The Pursuit of Excellence - the history of the Professor Harry Messel International Science School'. Mr Trevor Danos is a current council member and previous President of the Physics Foundation and also an ISS alumnus from 1974.

As always, Prof. Harry Messel spoke eloquently on his passion for supporting excellent science students and reinforced the message that the ISS program also needs to be supported. The event has already resulted in a number of individuals donating to the Messel Endowment and assurances from others that they would assist in whichever way possible to reach the funding goal.

Chief Justice Robert French also reinforced the impact of the ISS by stating in his speech: "It is a matter of some importance therefore that the International Science School inspires not only new generations of scientists but also a lifelong awareness of the importance and promise of science among young people who may not become scientists but may become leaders in our country - perhaps called upon one day to make the difficult kinds of decisions that science cannot make but which can be informed by an awareness of the relevant scientific issues".

After the formal part of the evening the guests made their way to a grand marquee in the Quadrangle for drinks and canapes and the opportunity to reunite with long lost friends from their ISS cohort. At this point the heavens opened to torrential rain, which in no way dampened the joyous celebratory spirits of the event. The ISS 50th Anniversary was indeed a special event celebrating a truly worthwhile and important program and the program's founder and champion, Prof. Harry Messel.

Images from the event can be viewed at:

Contact: Alex Green

Phone: 02 9036 6188

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