Successful “Pintxos of Science”

Some days ago we hosted the event PINTXOS OF SCIENCE at the Basque Club ‘Gure Txoko’ in Darlinghurst. Professor Massimo Piccardi (Professor of Machine Learning, Computer vision and natural language processing at UTS) & Professor Blanca Gallego (Center for Big Data Research IN Health at UNSW and SRAP member) expounded on the challenges of Artificial Intelligence in medicine and other areas in the near future. They gave a brief presentation about what 2040 could look like and the ethical implications of some of the technology that it is currently being developed. After the talks and the interesting discussion the participants enjoyed some pintxos!

It was a sold-out event with close to 60 people took place in partnership with Gure Txoko at the Pintxo of Science, this past Friday 16thof August.

Our two panellists were:

  • Massimo Piccardi, who is a Professor of machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and,
  • Blanca Gallego Luxan, a SRAP member and an Associate Professor at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW, leading a research unit in Clinical analytics and machine learning.

Both presentations induced a hot and interesting debate with the audience, who was fully engaged with the topic. Machines that can build buildings, machines that take medical decisions better than any other human… This is just the beginning of a technological revolution that is transforming every single aspect of our lives.

It was very constructive to discuss opposite opinions in the debate. Some people in the audience recommended to embrace this change, and take benefit from the advantages and the potential of this new technology. However, others raised significant concerns about privacy loss and the misuse of their personal data.

This exciting debate took place in the unique environment that only Gure Txoko can provide, while savouring the most representative flavours from the Basque gastronomy – pintxos.

Everyone also had an opportunity for networking. The relaxed atmosphere facilitated to get to know each other; the SRAP and Gure Txoko members; and our special invitees and friends from La Cámara, Instituto Cervantes, the Spanish Language and Culture Program in Australia (ALCE), the Spanish Consulate in Sydney, and the Spanish Embassy in Canberra.

Article written by Ana Rubio-Zuazo and Joaquín Valderrama.


About Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Macquarie University (MQ) in Sydney (NSW, Australia). His research is focused in the analysis of star formation phenomena in galaxies of the Local Universe, especially in dwarf starbursts and spiral galaxies, using multi-wavelength (UV, optical, IR, radio) data. He presented his PhD Thesis at University of La Laguna and the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain) in 2006. In 2007 he joined CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (Sydney) with a postdoctoral position. He then joined the AAO (formerly the Australian Astronomical Observatory) and MQ in 2011. In July 2018 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at AAO-MQ. He has been providing instrument and observing support at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT, Siding Spring Observatory, NSW) since 2011, being the instrument scientist of several instruments: the multi-fiber spectrograph 2dF+AAOmega and the near-infrared imager and spectrograph IRIS2. He also has large experience with integral-field spectroscopy (IFS), being a very active member of the SAMI collaboration at the AAT and part of the HECTOR Science Team. He currently is the Instrument Scientist of KOALA+AAOmega at the AAT, and leads the international astronomy survey "HI KOALA IFS Dwarf and irregular galaxy Survey" (Hi-KIDS), that is getting unique, high-quality IFS data of a sample of 100 nearby dwarf and irregular galaxies for which 21cm H I interferometric data is available He has large experience teaching undergraduate and PhD students and giving lectures and classes about Astronomy. Dr. López-Sánchez is passionate science communicator who continuously gives talks and public lectures, writes popular science articles and organizes science communication events and stargazing activities. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.