Academy Fellow and renowned immunologist and pandemic expert Professor Peter Doherty didn't mince his words when asked about climate change recently.
“Climate change is the greatest threat that humanity has faced in the modern era. Each and every one of us as a human being needs to do what we can both on the COVID front, and on the climate change front,” he said.
So how can we design the best possible future in the face of the great challenge of climate change?
Professor Doherty was one of the keynote speakers discussing this question at the recent Sustainable Shine Dome Symposium titled ‘Possible Futures’. It was the final event in a series of three symposia on heritage values and sustainability. The event focused on broad challenges and practical issues in the Australian response to climate change, lessons for a carbon active future, and specific findings and recommendations for the Shine Dome.
The event aimed to spark further inspiration for sustainable cultural heritage research in response to the climate change crisis.
In conversation with the Academy's Secretary Education and Public Awareness, Professor Hans Bachor, Professor Doherty explained how climate change and future pandemics are connected.
“There are many aspects to it as we have issues with, for instance, food production, in particularly developing countries, with climate change. That means people turn more to wild animals as a source of food … and people are moving more into forested areas and into areas where you can be at greater risk of contacting wild animals, which will carry novel pathogens,” Professor Doherty said.
It’s evident that human health and the health of the environment are connected in so many ways. Projects like the Sustainable Shine Dome enable people to focus on ways to improve lives by drawing on lessons from the past.
Ross Harding from Finding Infinity spoke about the potential for future buildings and cities, framed around work his company is doing overseas and in Australia.
Catherine Forbes from GML Heritage and May Ngui from GHD also reported on the discoveries, recommendations and next steps arising from the research carried out as part of the Sustainable Shine project.
The Sustainable Shine Dome is a joint project of the University of Canberra and the Australian Academy of Science and the object of an Australian Heritage Grant 2019–20 to preserve and promote the Shine Dome’s national heritage values. Find out more about the Sustainable Shine Dome project.
Watch the video below of the Possible Futures symposium, part of the Sustainable Shine Dome series.
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