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8th Rotary Melbourne Thomas Baker Oration 2024

Price $65 AUD + BF Get tickets

Event description

Thomas Baker Oration - 24 April 2024

Speaker:  Dr Doug Hilton AO, CEO of the CSIRO

Topic: 'If Science is to Save Us'.

Time 12.30 for 12.50-2.00pm

Venue Level 1 Latrobe Dining Room Sofitel Melbourne on Collins (in person only event)

Price $65 (2course lunch @ Sofitel)

The Oration looks to commemorate Thomas Baker, Philanthropist and our 9th President by showcasing Australians who have demonstrated leadership and innovation in the fields of medicine/science/technology/industry and philanthropy. His legacy as an entrepreneurial industrialist with a concern for humanity has been emulated through many distinguished Australians.

Born in the UK, Dr. Doug Hilton AO was appointed CSIRO CEO in September 2023, after 14 years as Director of the renowned Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. 

He built his distinguished research career focusing on cytokines, signal transduction pathways and the regulation of blood cell formation (haematopoiesis). He was the President of the Association of the Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) from 2014-16.

Dr Doug Hilton AO

Dr Hilton has been active in many impactful research initiatives and recognised with many Awards and honours , including  being made Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medical research and education, particularly in the field of haematology, as a molecular biologist and author, to gender equity, and as a mentor of young scientists.

So many extraordinary forces are today in play – from climate change to the loss of biodiversity to the threat of pandemic to the rapid rise of technologies like AI and quantum. 

Also in play are corrosive threats to the nuance of social discourse, conspiracy theories and alternative facts that can mean it’s only acceptable to hold one of two polar opposite views, where doubt is seen as weakness, and where changing your mind is considered a broken promise.

Navigating these challenges, and making the best decisions, depends on public attitudes, so it’s critically important the community understands why science – built on a bedrock of facts, good governance, ethics and integrity - is different from religion or politics or opinion or social media.

Trust in science isn’t just a theoretical issue. It matters profoundly because science is the compass we need to navigate humanity's greatest challenges and the key to a world full of meaning, discovery, intensity and wonder.

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