Message from the President—June 2020

June 29, 2020

The Academy, as always, is meeting its challenges head-on. I’m particularly proud that we are building on our already extensive communications capabilities with the recent launch of ‘Global Science’, a unique and exciting global video partnership with the International Science Council that will connect the world’s greatest scientists and thinkers with a whole new audience.

The springboard for Global Science has been our success over the past few years in creating engaging and trustworthy science content accessible by everyone. Our audience growth on social media has shown us that there is a rich appetite for science content of this nature. With the Academy’s communications expertise and the International Science Council’s extensive membership including science academies worldwide, we are ready to take on the big questions of our time.

The first Global Science episode in early June set the scene: former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, and President of the International Science Council, Daya Reddy, discussed the ability of the world to mobilise in the face of a pandemic crisis—but questioned why we haven’t seen the same type of response on climate change. Since then, Global Science has explored subjects as varied as the universe’s missing matter, the Great Library of Alexandria, prejudice, racism, and technology predictions for the future. I look forward to further episodes.

Also internationally, this week we hosted an expert webinar on COVID-19 vaccine research in Australia and Germany. Two panellists, Academy Fellow and Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty and leading German infectious diseases specialist, Professor Doctor Marylin Addo, were welcomed by Her Excellency Lynette Wood,  Australian Ambassador to Germany, and Academy Fellow Professor Hans Bachor. And in July, Israel’s Professor Aaron Ciechanover, a Nobel Laureate who has changed the way cancer and other degenerative diseases are treated, will join the Academy’s Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia online in conversation. 

These are just a few examples of our many international activities. Such initiatives would not be possible without the involvement of our partners and we thank them for providing the opportunities. By working with others, the Academy is able to contribute globally to science becoming stronger, more adaptable and more resilient to future challenges. We are also able to share the best of science—which is a very rewarding experience.

John Shine

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science