On Monday I attended a 'speed-dating' night between business and students from across the ACT. More than 30 businesses first pitched to the students and the 100-plus students then pitched for one of more than 40 jobs on offer. A big thanks to all involved for a successful night. From all accounts, everyone had a fantastic time. I encourage students to read more about ribit and the support they can give in connecting graduates to industry leaders.
On Tuesday we welcomed delegates from 16 African nations onto campus who are studying a six-week course on mineral and energy economics policy. While here in Australia, they'll also tour some sites to see how our mineral and energy sector operates. For many of the participating nations, learning about how Australia's energy and minerals sector works (including the renewable energy sector) can give them the tools to help their own respective industries. The delegates are here through the support of Pretoria University, ANU and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Also earlier this week ANU hosted the 2017 IARU Presidents' Meeting. Represented were ANU, ETH Zurich, National University of Singapore, Peking University, University of California Berkeley, and the Universities of Cape Town, Copenhagen, Oxford, Tokyo and Yale. A key topic of discussion was the challenges facing universities by populist trends. We agreed that it is incumbent for us to continue to have academic freedom and independent, critical analysis and thought. We also agreed that we must remain connected and relevant to society while at the same time not being afraid to take risks in the research space.
Several of our colleagues are currently working at Siding Spring Observatory a week into the global search for planet 9 by citizen scientists from around the world. The project was launched by Professor Brian Cox during a special BBC Stargazing Live broadcast from the Observatory. Since Monday there have been more than four million objects classified by about 60,000 citizen scientists as potential candidates for the new planet, indicating the widespread interest and wonder that exists in what lies beyond. Join in the fun and have a go at finding what could be the next planet in our Solar System via the www.planet9search.org website.
One of next week's highlights involves ANU hosting the Women in National Security conference, where we will hear from a number of high-profile women in the national security area. These women help to advance Australia's interests in a number of areas including foreign policy, women's rights, peace and security. In line with the University's commitment to being a national pathfinder on gender equity, we are proud to be hosting such an event, in an area of traditionally poor female representation.