Australia on show as Nobel Laureates and young researchers meet

The Australian delegation of young scientists with Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb (centre); Australian Ambassador to Germany Mr David Ritchie (left of centre); Academy Secretary Biological Sciences Marilyn Renfree (left of Mr Ritchie); Emma Johnston (right of centre); and delegation leaders Suzanne Cory and Jerry Adams (far right).

Australian science, innovation, technology, education, food and wine were on show during this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting as, for the first time, Australia hosted the International Day.

The 64th meeting of Nobel Laureates from 29 June to 4 July in the German city of Lindau focused on physiology and medicine. The meeting was attended by 37 Laureates and more than 600 young researchers who were selected on a competitive basis from approximately 20,000 applicants worldwide. Nobel Laureates Professor Elizabeth Blackburn AC FAA FRS, Professor Brian Schmidt AC FAA FRS and Professor Barry Marshall AC FAA FRS represented Australia.

The International Day began with a science breakfast that featured a panel discussion on women in science. The panellists included Professor Blackburn and Professor Schmidt, the Academy’s Immediate Past President Professor Suzanne Cory AC FAA FRS and the inaugural winner of the Academy’s Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science, Professor Emma Johnston. Each shared their own experiences and views on the subject, with the panel moderated by the Ambassador for Science and Mathematics at The University of Sydney, Adam Spencer.

The Hon Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment, welcomed everyone at the evening International Get Together. He was followed by a uniquely Australian musical performance by recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey and harpist Marshall McGuire. Professor Johnston then explained to the audience why she has the best job in the world—as a marine biologist in Australia!

Professor Schmidt, who is also a vigneron, made sure that top quality Australian wines—all made by Australian scientists—were on offer throughout the night.

Another of Australia’s Nobel Laureates, Professor Peter Doherty AC FAA FRS, was not able to attend but appeared via a short video during the evening program. A copy of Professor Doherty’s book, The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize, was given to each of the 1,000 guests.

The International Day was just one day of a week-long program that makes up the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. These meetings give young researchers the opportunity to interact with their scientific heroes, exchange ideas, gain exposure to areas in their chosen disciplines and establish new contacts and networks with their peers. Professor Cory and Professor Jerry Adams FAA FRS led a delegation of 15 outstanding young Australian scientists, all in the fields of physiology or medicine, comprising:

Attending Lindau has reignited my passion for science…[It] brought my perspective back to the thrill of new discovery and the pursuit of science for the benefit of mankind. It has given me a sense of limitless possibility and the confidence to approach anyone (even a Nobel Laureate) that might be able to help me on my way.

Rebecca Segrave, Monash University
  • Michael Bergin—The University of Queensland
  • Nady Braidy—The University of New South Wales
  • Melissa Cantley—The University of Adelaide
  • Ross Hamilton—CSIRO
  • Rae-Anne Hardie—Garvan Institute of Medical Research
  • Sarah Lockie—Monash University
  • Yi Lu—QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • Maria Markoulli—The University of New South Wales
  • Hannah Moore—The University of Western Australia
  • Kate Murphy—The University of Melbourne
  • Rebecca Segrave—Monash University
  • Kirsty Short—The University of Queensland
  • Angela Spence—The University of Western Australia
  • Sónia Troeira Henriques—The University of Queensland
  • Catriona Wimberley—Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

Attendance of the young Australian scientists was funded by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), and the International Day was made possible with the support and sponsorship of:

  • Australian Government Department of Industry
  • Group of Eight Australia
  • Austrade
  • Australian Government Department of Education
  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
  • Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

The meeting attracted local media interest from The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Border Mail and a number of other online outlets. The ABC Science Show also featured a segment on the meeting.

Nominations open for the 2015 Lindau Nobel Laureates’ meeting

The 2015 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting will be dedicated to physics, physiology or medicine, and chemistry and, with SIEF support, Australia will be sending a delegation of up to 15 young researchers to take part in this unique experience.

The Academy invites nominations from Australian-based early career researchers to attend the meeting, to be held in Lindau, Germany, 28 June – 3 July 2015.

Nominations close Monday 6 October 2014, 5 pm AEDT.

More information on applying for this award

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