Academy represented at first Commonwealth Science Conference in 47 years

Left to right: Dr Cathryn Trott (Curtin University); Dr Susan Wardle (Macquarie University); Dr Amanda Doughty (University of New England); Dr Richard Bradbury (Central Queensland University); Dr Anna Coussens (University of Cape Town); Dr Marie Elliott (McMaster University); Dr Lucy Jack (University of Otago).

The Royal Society of London initiated the holding of the first Commonwealth Science Conference in 47 years in Bangalore, India from 25‒28 November.  

Academy President Professor Andrew Holmes AM PresAA FRS FTSE, former President Professor Suzanne Cory AC FAA FRS, Secretary for Physical Sciences Professor Chennupati Jagadish FAA FTSE, and Fellows Professors Bob Williamson AO FAA FRS, Tam Sridhar FAA FTSE and Peter Colman FAA FRS FTSE were among 300 invited scientists attending the conference. The Academy selected a total of 30 doctoral and postdoctoral participants from Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji to attend.

Organised by the Royal Society and the Indian Government, the conference aimed to celebrate excellence in Commonwealth science, provide opportunities for cooperation between Commonwealth researchers, inspire young scientists, and build scientific capacity in developing nations within the Commonwealth.

The conference was formally opened by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, with a message from Her Majesty the Queen delivered by HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York KG FRS.  

The format involved plenary lectures as well as parallel sessions in the areas of global health, mathematics, computation and complex systems, materials and biomolecular assemblies.  Special sessions were devoted to entrepreneurship and innovation in India, and scientific advice across the Commonwealth.

Feedback from the young researchers selected by the Academy who attended indicates that this meeting provided a unique oversight of science within the Commonwealth and that the scope and breadth of the research presented in the lectures was inspiring.

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