The president

Current president

Professor Andrew Holmes

Professor Andrew Holmes AC PresAA FRS FTSE (1943–)

Professor Andrew Holmes is a Laureate Professor of the School of Chemistry at The University of Melbourne. In October 2004 he was appointed ARC Federation Fellow and inaugural VESKI Fellow at the Bio21 Institute at The University of Melbourne and at CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies. Professor Holmes has been recognised for his groundbreaking work on light-emitting polymers. He has also been the recipient of a long list of awards including the Royal Society’s Royal Medal and the Descartes Prize. He was elected to the Academy in 2006 and served as Foreign Secretary from 2010 to 2014. He became President of the Academy in May 2014.

Past presidents

There have been 17 Presidents of the Academy since its founding President, Sir Marcus Oliphant AC KBE FAA FRS FTSE was elected in 1954.


Professor Suzanne Cory

2010–2014

Professor Suzanne Cory AC FAA FRS (1942–)
Molecular Biologist

Cory is one of Australia's most distinguished molecular biologists. She was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute from 1996 to 2009 and is Professor of Medical Biology and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Cory is also Honorary Professorial Fellow at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Her research has had a major impact in the fields of immunology and cancer and her scientific achievements have attracted numerous honours and awards.


Kurt Lambeck2006–2010

Kurt Lambeck AO FAA FRS (1941– )
Geophysicist

Lambeck has been professor of geophysics at the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University since 1977 and Head of the School since 1984. His work is on "glacial rebound", which studies how the sea responds to changing levels, its impact on civilisations and the future.


William James Peacock

2002–2006

William James (Jim) Peacock AC FAA FRS FTSE (1937–
Molecular Biologist and Geneticist

Peacock was Chief of the Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO, Canberra, 1977–2003 and Australia’s Chief Scientist 2006–2008. He is interested in molecular plant science, genomics and gene technology. He established the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Canberra and founded a number of agribusiness companies including the Gene Shears Company.


Brian David Outram Anderson

1998–2002

Brian David Outram Anderson AO FAA FRS FTSE (1941– )
Engineer

Anderson was Professor of Systems Engineering 1981–94 and Director, Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering, Australian National University 1994–2002. He then moved to the newly formed National ICT Australia as inaugural CEO and later Chief Scientist. His areas of expertise are control systems, signal processing and telecommunications.


Gustav Joseph Victor Nossal

1994–98

Gustav Joseph Victor Nossal AC CBE FAA FRS FTSE (1931– )
Medical Scientist and Immunologist

Nossal was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 1965–96 and Professor of Medical Biology at the University of Melbourne. He is distinguished for his contributions to the fields of antibody formation and immunological tolerance. In 1996 he was one of the founders of Foursight, a company providing advice on R&D and science to companies, investment institutions, academics and government.


David Parker Craig

1990–94

David Parker Craig AO FAA FRS (1919–2015)
Chemist

Craig was Professor of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at the Australian National University 1967–84, having previously held professorships at the University of Sydney and University College, London. He has published in the fields of quantum chemistry, and the chemistry of liquid and molecular crystals.


David Roderick Curtis

1986–90

David Roderick Curtis AC FAA FRS (1927– )
Pharmacologist and Neurobiologist

Curtis was Professor of Pharmacology, Australian National University 1966–88 and Director and Howard Florey Professor of Medical Research, John Curtin School of Medical Research 1989–92. He is interested in the identification and pharmacology of central transmitters in the mammal.


Arthur John Birch

1982–86

Arthur John Birch AC CMG FAA FRS (1915–1995)
Organic Chemist

Birch, known as the grandfather of the contraceptive pill, was Professor of Organic Chemistry, Australian National University from 1967. Earlier he was at Oxford 1938–48, at Cambridge 1948–52, and Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Sydney 1952–55 and Manchester University, England 1955–67.


Lloyd Thomas Evans

1978–82

Lloyd Thomas Evans AO FAA FRS (1927–2015)
Agricultural Scientist and Plant Physiologist

Evans worked for the Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO, where he was at one stage the biologist in charge of the establishment of CERES, the controlled environment research facility known as the phytotron. He was Chief of the Division from 1971 to 1978.


Geoffrey Malcolm Badger

1974–78

Geoffrey Malcolm Badger AO FAA FTSE (1916–2002)
Organic Chemist and Science Administrator

Badger spent most of his career at the University of Adelaide, where he was Professor of Organic Chemistry, 1955–64, then Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, 1966–77. He was the first Chairman of ASTEC (Australian Science and Technology Council) 1977–82. He studied cancer-producing compounds and examined chemicals from plants for their biological activity.


Bob Robertson

1970–74

Rutherford Ness (‘Bob’) Robertson AC CMG FAA FRS (1913 –2001)
Botanist and Biologist

Robertson was Director of the Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University 1973–78. Earlier he was Professor of Botany, University of Adelaide 1960–69 and Master of University House, ANU 1969–73. He studied respiration and the energy cycle in plants.


Dorothy Hill

1970

Dorothy Hill CBE FAA FRS (1907–1997)
Geologist and Palaeontologist

Hill, the first woman elected to the Academy, spent most of her career at the University of Queensland, where she was Research Professor of Geology 1959–72. She also served as a Second Officer in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) during World War II. She was known for her work on palaeozoic coral.


Dr David Forbes Martyn

1969–70

Dr David Forbes Martyn FAA FRS (1906–1970)
Physicist

The Academy’s first Secretary physical sciences, Martyn was one of four research officers selected to join the Australian Radio Research Board, established under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (now CSIRO) in mid 1929, Martyn moved to Australia where it became obvious that his real strength was in the theoretical side of science. Transferring to Stromlo in 1944, he was appointed officer-in-charge of the RRB station in Camden, NSW.


Frank Macfarlane Burnet

1965–69

Frank Macfarlane Burnet OM AK KBE FAA FRS Nobel Laureate (1899–1985)
Medical Scientist and Biologist

Burnet was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne 1944–66 and in 1960 was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine with Peter Medawar for demonstrating acquired immune tolerance.


Thomas Cherry

1961–65

Thomas Cherry FAA FRS (1898–1966)
Mathematician

Returning from a very successful time in Trinity College, Oxford, where he was elected a Fellow, Cherry took on the role of Professor of Mathematics at Melbourne University, where he stayed from 1929 to 1952. Interested in science education, during this time, Cherry was Chairman of the mathematics standing committee of the University’s Schools Board (1929 – 1963) and was responsible for two major reforms of the mathematics syllabi of Victorian schools.


John Carew Eccles

1957–61

John Carew Eccles AC Kt FAA FRS Nobel Laureate (1903–1997)
Physiologist

Eccles was Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York, Buffalo 1968–75. Earlier he was Professor of Physiology at the Australian National University 1951–66 and was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1963 (jointly) for his work on the synapse of the peripheral nervous system.


Marcus Laurence Elwin Oliphant

1954–57

Marcus Laurence Elwin Oliphant AC KBE FAA FRS FTSE (1901–2000)
Physicist

Oliphant was Director of the Research School of Physical Sciences, Australian National University 1950–63 and continued as professor at the Australian National University 1964–67. There he initiated the design and construction of the world's largest (500MJ) homopolar generator. He later served as Governor of South Australia 1971–76.

© 2017 Australian Academy of Science

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