2019 shaping up as outstanding time in Convergence Science
2018 marked the end of a decade, engaging the community with advances in biomedical science. We started with an almost-full Plenary at the Convention Centre to hear Jennifer Doudna, co-discoverer of the CRISPR-Cas9 enzyme that has revolutionised biology these past few years, in her first public appearance in Australia, sharing the stage with Kevin Esvelt of MIT.
Professor Paula Hammond of MIT delivered an outstanding Graeme Clark Oration, showing scientists – those of long-standing and those looking to a long future in the field – how to present complex ideas in a way that was accessible to a general audience, a masterclass in science communication. Those who attended the Women in STEM Lunch were inspired by her personal journey as a woman of colour who became the first woman to head the department of chemical engineering at MIT, judged to be the top in its domain among world universities.
We ended the year becoming familiar with mitochondrial disease, through a personal account of how this debilitating disease is impacting lives and families across Australia. The account was a powerful reminder of why so many scientists dedicate their career to improve the lives of so many suffering from disease and medical conditions.
It also brought into sharp focus the important role an responsibility of elected officials in implementing policies that allow new technologies to deliver better health outcomes.
Reflecting on the lessons of ten years of service to the community, the Convergence Science Network is really one big partnership – between institutions and corporate supporters, the scientific community who share advances so that we are all better informed about the reality of progress in returning people to health, and the community, people like you, who show your interest to be informed and inspired by creating an audience for our events. I am looking forward to continuing this partnership as we enter a new year and share with you many amazing developments taking shape in our city and beyond.
Enjoy our final newsletter for the year! A special thanks to my expanded team of interns this year – Catriona Nguyen-Robertson, Felicia Bongiovanni, Katherine Pragastis, Cameron McKnight, Beth Davey and Christina Gangemi – for their enthusiasm, and commitment to science communications. May I wish you a thoroughly enjoyable time with family and loved ones over the festive season and good tidings for the New Year.
Director, Convergence Science Network
We Engage with the community to share developments in convergence science and how these advances impact medicine and health care. We Inspire the research community, start-ups, existing businesses, government agencies and schools to take advantage of the opportunities offered by convergence science. We Create the environment and opportunities for new ideas, knowledge and resources across different science disciplines to come together to improve health.
Our programs include presentations from science thought leaders and practitioners, events where we explore topical issues in more depth and we'll be presenting some of our brightest scientists who will share their exciting work in convergence science.
Convergence Science Network
The University of Melbourne
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Carlton Victoria 3053
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