David Black delivers lectures aimed at younger researchers

June 25, 2018
Professor David Black delivered nine lectures across Australia as part of the David Craig Medal and Lecture.

The 2017 recipient of the Academy’s David Craig Medal and Lecture, Professor David Black AO FAA, has delivered nine lectures across Australia as part of his award.

Professor Black, who will step down as Secretary-General of the International Council for Science in July, is recognised as one of the world's leading heterocyclic chemists, having made major contributions to organic chemistry in the general fields of heterocyclic chemistry, coordination chemistry and natural products.

His lectures were aimed mainly at graduate students and younger researchers, were very well received, and encouraged stimulating discussion.

‘I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and discuss chemistry with many academics, especially the younger early- and mid-career researchers. Organic chemistry research in Australia is in a very healthy state and the future is in excellent hands,’ Professor Black said.

As the David Craig award relates to long-term career research, Professor Black selected a theme that had run through his research for many years and only recently achieved the desired outcomes. Interestingly, the work uncovered new issues that were not predicted at the start of the research. In many instances, according to Professor Black, the success of the work depended on the ability of graduate students to pay careful attention to unexpected observations. He also encouraged graduate students to try unusual experiments on the off-chance of success—although these usually fail, occasionally there are some important outcomes.

The David Craig Medal and Lecture is made in honour of the outstanding contribution to chemical research of the late Emeritus Professor David Craig AO FAA FRS, and recognises contributions of a high order to any branch of chemistry by active researchers.

© 2020 Australian Academy of Science

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