For the official launch of National Science Week 2020, leading STEM experts who have contributed to Australia’s Covid-19 successes will reveal how expertise helped Australia to navigate the chaotic first months of the pandemic.
National Science Week will forge ahead with a calendar of over 1,000 events nationally despite the continuing challenges of Covid-19.
Science Minister Karen Andrews will launch National Science Week on Friday 14 August at 11am, in a special online event hosted by Science & Technology Australia in partnership with Questacon.
Then Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert will host an expert panel event – ‘Science Saving Lives: The Stories Behind Australia’s Covid-19 Success’.
The forum will reveal how Australia’s science, technology, engineering and maths experts have helped to save lives – and provided time-critical advice to help contain Covid-19.
Joining the panel are:
- Professor Allen Cheng, Director of the Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology unit at Alfred Health;
- Dr Kudzai Kanhutu, Superstar of STEM, infectious diseases physician, telehealth clinical lead and Deputy Medical Information Officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital
- Professor James McCaw, Professor of Mathematical Biology at the University of Melbourne;
- Professor Paul Young, Professor of Virology and Head of School (School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences) at the University of Queensland who heads the team working on one of the leading contenders for a COVID vaccine; and
- Dr Deb Eagles, Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness at the CSIRO in Geelong.
Ms Schubert said the expertise of Australia’s STEM sector in the fight against Covid-19 has been our best defence in the ongoing battle, drawing on decades of experience and research.
“Our experts in epidemiology, medicine, structural biology, physics, statistics, and other areas of crucial science have spent lifetimes honing the expertise we needed in this crisis,” she said.
“And they swung rapidly into action – and have worked tirelessly ever since – to deploy that deep expertise in science, maths, engineering and technology to save lives and keep others safe.”
“That capability wasn’t built overnight. It’s the product of decades of strategic investment in our scientific workforce, our major science institutions, our universities and medical research institutes.”
“And it reminds us that investment in STEM is crucial to ensure Australia’s preparedness to conquer future threats.”
“In National Science Week, we want to highlight the impact each of these incredible experts – and so many more like them – has had to help the nation and humanity in our hours of greatest need.”
“We cannot thank them enough – along with all the STEM experts who have fought this battle with and for us – for their public service, brilliance and dedication.”
The official launch of National Science Week and the special panel event, Science Saving Lives will be broadcast from Questacon at 11am Friday 14 August. Viewers can join the broadcast via this link. For interviews, please contact STA Communications Manager, Zoya Patel on 0406 249 786.