The research of Australian scientists forms the foundation on which we build our future. It’s vitally important that we capture their stories and preserve and digitise their research — but we need your help.
Listening to the past to understand the future
From 1995 to 2012, the Australian Academy of Science documented the remarkable stories of Australian scientists through our Conversations with Australian Scientists program.
We recorded interviews with nearly 150 researchers, but there are still so many fascinating and essential stories yet to be told, and who better to tell them than the scientists themselves?
We are committed to reinvigorating Conversations with Australian Scientists in audio (podcast) format. Join us to support this project recording stories that will enrich and inspire the next generation of exceptional scientists and provide a unique and personal insight into the challenges and progress of science.
“It’s investing in our future,” says Academy Fellow Professor Robyn Williams AM, ABC science journalist and broadcaster. “When you hear these stories about how things can be transformed, you are both inspired and excited.”
The importance of taking the time to document our scientists’ amazing lives cannot be overestimated, says Williams. “The number of science media publications and broadcasts is getting smaller and smaller, so if we don't do it, no one else will.”
Breathing life into our valuable archives
Alongside our Conversations with Australian Scientists sits the Academy’s unique and valuable archives. These archives include the collections of some of Australia’s most famous scientists, including Academy Fellow Professor Frank Fenner. The Frank Fenner manuscript collection was added to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register in 2019.
“The Academy is the only place in the world that holds these scientific collections, and we continue to receive strong global interest to access the archives, with historians and researchers visiting Canberra to access them,” says Academy Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia.
Even with the best of care, the archives are at risk of damage and degradation over time. Digitisation of the collections will protect and preserve them for many generations and open them up to the world for scientific and historical research.
“The Academy has been fundraising to have the archives digitised and made available online, but we have not yet met our target to achieve this. There is a wonderful opportunity to make history with us,” she says.
Donations from organisations and individuals are welcome and will contribute toward the costs of preparing for and conducting the interviews of Fellows of the Academy, and the very significant cost of digitising the archives.
Make History with Us - #SaveScienceArchives
If you would like more information about these projects, please contact our Philanthropy Manager today by calling 02 6201 9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Archives of the Australian Academy of Science work with DigiVol, an initiative of the Australian Museum and Atlas of Living Australia, to harness the power of online volunteers. Opportunities exist to transcribe and extract vital information locked within the nationally significant history of science collection. Interested volunteers should contact the archivist at email@example.com
Read our Conversations with Australian Scientists