CAASTRO student mixing with best and brightest in Lindau

Jun 27, 2016

Joseph Callingham (USyd), 2015 CAASTRO RetreatThis week CAASTRO PhD student Joseph (Joe) Callingham will encounter more Nobel Laureates than most of us would in a lifetime, at the 66th Lindau Meeting in Germany (26 June – 1 July).

Every year since 1951 between 30 and 40 Nobel Laureates in science have met with young researchers in the lakeside town of Lindau in southern Germany, to exchange ideas and discuss issues that affect scientists worldwide. This year CAASTRO member, new Vice Chancellor of the ANU and 2011 Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt is among them.

Four hundred young researchers from 80 countries are attending this year’s meeting. Joe is the only participant from the University of Sydney, and one of just eight nominated and financially supported by the Australian Academy of Science.

This year’s discussions focus on physics, and will range over topics from general relativity and atmospheric neutrinos to quantum information theory and the future of energy.

Joe is excited by the prospect of meeting scientists from all over the world.

“Attending the Lindau meeting is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.

“Not only will I get rub shoulders with Nobel Laureates but I’ll also get to network with the next generation of scientists, people who’ll be the movers and shakers of the scientific world in the years to come.”

Following the meeting Joe and three of the other Australian researchers will be treated to a study and industry tour in the town of Hannover, visiting institutions such as the the quantum laboratory at Hannover University, the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), the GWO Gravitational Wave Detector, and Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (Germany’s national meteorology institute). The tour is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Joe is in the final stages of his PhD with CAASTRO at the University of Sydney, where he has been studying the formation and evolution of young galaxies.

He’s had a passion for science and astronomy for as long as he can remember.

“I was always inquisitive and curious about the world around me. For example, if I drop a rock into a pool, what makes the waves happen? Why do stars shine? ”

Joe originally enrolled in a double Bachelor of Science and Arts at the University of Sydney. “I always loved history as well”, he said. “If you had asked me at the end of year 12 what I was going to do when I was 25, I would have probably said likely a chemist, maybe a history teacher.”

But the way physics was taught at university made him fall in love with it.

“Physics at university wasn’t about going through the motions with mathematics anymore. It was about ideas. It was about trying to understand the world around us. That’s exactly what I always wanted to do as a job.”

More information
Joseph Callingham

Helen Sim (media assistance)
M: 0419 635 905

Joe’s research

Joe Callingham: @AstroJoeC
Lindau meeting: @lindaunobel and #LiNo16