Blogs

Bio21 Director’s Message - 10 June 2020 - Research and Reconciliation

Reconciliation begins when we recognise and sincerely show remorse for the harm we’ve inflicted, perhaps unknowingly or even with good intention. Science has also caused harm. In the name of science, 19th century researchers, particularly anthropologists, took sacred ceremonial items and even remains of the deceased from Aboriginal tribes. To mark the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s first voyage to Australia in 2019, Manchester Museum became the first UK institution to return ceremonial items to Aboriginal groups. The repatriation project run by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), said it had identified more than 100,000 sacred items in 220 institutions across the world. Rather than being the object of research, indigenous people are being empowered to conduct their own research.

Bio21 Guest Message - 22 May 2020 - Professor Phil Batterham

Speaking at a dinner to mark the opening of the Bio21 Institute the then Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Ian Renard AM, drew parallels between the quality and diversity of research activities to be conducted in the new Institute and the joy of taking in the culinary delights of the many great cafes lining Brunswick Street.  This comparison prompted me to smile knowingly because, even in those very early days, the point that Ian was making was already resonating with my experience.  Walking the corridors of Bio21, I sensed the creativity and energy emanating from the great labs that populate the Institute. Back then it was a new and fresh experience.  I only knew my colleagues by reputation, but over time I have come to understand the quality of the research upon which those reputations are based.  More than that, I have reaped the benefits of generous collegiality.  

Bio21 Director’s Message - 12 May 2020 - The challenge of STEM education during the COVID-19 pandemic

The warning ‘Don’t try this at home’ has become partly obsolete in the Covid-19 era, as we are all doing our best to work and to make it work from home. Some things like writing grant applications and papers, reading and reviewing or consuming coffee can be done from home. Experiments and field work not so much. Meetings, events and conferences, possibly? Lectures and pracs, STEM education and school engagement – it’s a challenge! 

Bio21 Director’s Message - 24 April 2020 - Looking after ourselves and others..…

Scientific teams are diverse, international and comprised of younger and older members. For some of our team members working from home will be much more isolating than for others. In particular, we need to support our colleagues, who are far away from their home country and family and may be worrying about family members in countries that are currently experiencing a high number of cases and fatalities, such as Iran, Korea, Italy, Spain and the US. At times like these, we realise how interconnected we all are.

Deputy Director's Blog - 10 April 2020 - 'Grounded'

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, like many colleagues and peers, my former science globe-trotting lifestyle has dramatically ground to a halt. Since mid-March, work-related travel is not permitted by the University and most other organisations.

Bio21 Director's Message - 1 April 2020 - Announcing the Ruth Bishop Building & Ian Holmes Imaging Centre

As the new coronavirus Covid-19 spreads across the globe, the importance of vaccines and the scientists who develop them, has become increasingly apparent to society.

Director's Blog - 31 March 2020 - Bio21 'doing our bit' for SARS-CoV-2 research

As a scientific community that includes academic and industry members, as well as platform technology facilities run by expert teams, we are in unique position to make a valuable contribution to our society and world during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. As problems solvers our work can provide hope and purpose.

Director's Blog - 27 March 2020 - Women's lot improving, but let's be more inclusive!

Bio21 celebrated International Women’s Day with a morning tea Wednesday, 11 March. Bronwyn Kingwell, Senior Director, Research Therapeutic Lead, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, CSL was keen to impart a positive and hopeful message: “There is no better time to be a woman in health and biomedical sciences!”

Director's Blog - 28 February 2020 – Australian Honours and Bio21

It’s one of the highest honours you can receive as an Australian, awarded in recognition of service to the community. The ‘Order of Australia’ is steeped in tradition and for many this ‘royal’ reward may seem out of place in the modern day. Yet, it is the concept of ‘service’, that in my view never dates.

Director's Blog - 31 January 2020 - BioMedVic Story – Inspiring optimism for the future...

The year 2020 has commenced and we are already at the end of January, many of us working on grant applications. The very exercise of writing grant applications requires a modicum of optimism! As professional problem-solvers, we need to be optimists.

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