Interviews with australian scientists
Welcome to the Interviews with Australian scientists project. On this site you will find interviews with some of Australia's leading scientists and discover how they change the world we live in.
The Academy established the Interviews with Australian scientists program in 1993 to record interviews with outstanding Australian scientists.The scientists talk about their early life, development of interest in science, mentors, research work, and other aspects of their careers.
Transcripts of the interviews and accompanying teachers notes are available online. Copies of the DVDs may be purchased from the Academy for $15 each including GST, postage and handling.
Interview with Professor Mandyam Srinivasan
Professor Mandyam Srinivasan's early interest in making transistor radios with his father, led to his training as an engineer, which gave him the grounding needed to take off studying fly vision. His work with honeybees helped unravel how they use their vision to successfully navigate through narrow tunnels and make precise landings, later leading to the development of self-navigating robots.
Interview with Dame Bridget Ogilvie
Dame Bridget Ogilvie spent a solitary childhood on a sheep property in country New South Wales pondering farm parasitology and was ‘lucky’ to have an Oxford educated father who at the time was regarded as deeply eccentric for sending his daughter to university. Nevertheless, she went on to receive many awards for her contributions to parasitology and medical research, including 24 honorary doctorates!
Interview with Professor Graeme Clark
Professor Graeme Clark is best known as the ‘bionic ear’ or ‘cochlear implant’ scientist. Somewhat less of a mouthful than ‘otolaryngologist’. But in the beginning, getting research funding for a radical idea like the cochlear implant was always going to be a challenge. Undeterred, Professor Clark took to Swanston Street, Melbourne with a donation can in hand. The rest is history.
Interview with Professor Angas Hurst
Professor Angas Hurst’s wartime recollections of his time commanding a radar base in Papua New Guinea had interviewer and crew enraptured. Moving on from the war, Hurst discusses a life in mathematical physics with frequent, profitable study-leave trips overseas.
Interview with Professor Noel Hush
Atoms are mostly empty space. Quantum reality explains why, despite this empty space, a baby’s hand doesn’t pass through its mother’s cheek. This idea was explained in the interview with theoretical chemist, Professor Noel Hush. When asked about an infant’s first experience of reality, Professor Hush said “If you asked the baby, and he’d read a bit, he would say, ‘I realise why mummy’s cheek is resisting me; it’s because of exchange quantum repulsion’.” Wow, clever baby!
Interview with Professor Jim Pittard
Microbial geneticist Professor Pittard began his working life as a pharmacist and then embarked upon a scientific research career in gene expression. Despite his grandmother’s warning that he was “giving up the substance for the shadow”, Professor Pittard succeeded in providing for his lovely family – even building the roof that was over their heads!
Interview coming soon
Professor Geoffrey Burnstock – neuroscientist