Collaboration needed to future-proof the planet

October 3, 2014

As a global population explosion puts major strain on worldwide food and water supplies, energy needs and healthcare, a University scientist has warned that international collaboration is needed to address these challenges.

Murdoch academic, Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Professor of Science, Professor Lyn Beazley, says as humans use more land for habitation, industry, agriculture and energy production, we are affecting the whole planet, from the climate and the air we breathe, to the oceans and the limited wild space we have left.

Professor Beazley explained how scientists are faced with global problems requiring large and complex research projects to solve them at the Sir Walter Murdoch Lecture on Thursday October 2.

“With the increasing movement of people, food and products around the world comes the rapid spread of diseases and pests,” Professor Beazley said.

“Scientists can no longer work as isolated researchers, particularly given the size and complexity of tasks ahead.

“Collaborative efforts are essential to share the cost and human effort required and to address the wide extent of issues.”

Professor Beazley believes that by continuing to enhance the skills and knowledge base of our community, progressing our infrastructure and taking advantage of our unique geography and biology in Western Australia, we can be part of helping to future-proof the planet.

“Western Australia is part of a rapidly changing world, with changes to our built and natural environments, to the jobs we do, the way we travel, the way we produce and access the food we eat, the water we drink and the energy we use,” Professor Beazley said.

“Scientists in WA are already playing key roles in significant international research collaborations that are helping to build us a better future.”

BACKGROUND – 2014 Sir Walter Murdoch lecture

Professor Lyn Beazley was the Chief Scientist of Western Australia from 2006 to 2013, advising on science, innovation and technology as well as acting as an ambassador for science.   She has extensive experience serving on advisory bodies, including the Federal Government’s Bionic Vision Australia and the State Government of Western Australia’s Technology and Industry Advisory Council.

The Sir Walter Murdoch Lecture as inaugurated in 1974 to mark the centenary of the birth of the University’s namesake, Sir Walter Murdoch. Murdoch University annually invites a person of standing to deliver the Lecture on a topic of their choice.  Lectures must be thought-provoking, topical and of significant interest.  The Lecture provides a valuable forum for the speakers to express passionately held views, in a setting free from many of the usual constraints which surround them.

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