Afternoon Tea for Queensland Students attending the 2017 National Youth Science Forum
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome Queensland’s National Youth Science Forum participants and organisers to Government House this afternoon.
I take this opportunity to thank Rotary for its unflagging support for the National Youth Science Forum since its inception, and further thank Rotarians for investing in the next generation of scientific minds.
To our guests of honour – the students selected to participate in this unique program – I extend my sincere congratulations.
The program of events you will navigate during your visit to Canberra is very exciting.
You will be exposed to cutting-edge research spanning the frontiers of modern science, and you will meet scientists who are expanding the realm of human knowledge.
How exciting it must be to embark on a career led by your curiosity, for that is the life of a scientist, and that is the life you will be exploring in Canberra.
And you never know where that life will take you.
I was reflecting on that when I learned that today is the 60th anniversary of the death of Clarence Birdseye.
As a field naturalist in Alaska, Birdseye noticed that freshly caught fish, when placed onto the Arctic ice and exposed to the icy wind and frigid temperatures, froze solid almost immediately.
He learned, too, that the fish, when thawed and eaten, still had all its fresh characteristics.
He concluded that quickly freezing certain items kept large crystals from forming, preventing damage to their cellular structure.
Birdseye became known as the father of the frozen food industry.
(Our Government House chefs were horrifiedwhen I suggested serving fish fingers in his honour today. Though they did point out a lot of food chemistry is involved in creating the afternoon tea we will shortly enjoy – so we have incorporated some science into today’s event.)
As Governor, I have the privilege of serving as Patron or Official Visitor to many of our State’s premier scientific research organisations.
Our State is home to world-leading institutions conducting research on an incredibly diverse range of subjects, and I hope that one day some of you will take your place in these great scientific institutions.
But before then, you have the excitement and challenges of the National Youth Science Forum.
You are about to embark on a voyage of discovery, and on any journey, it is good to have likeminded friends to accompany you.
Kaye and I hope that today’s reception will help to foster enduring friendships among you, and we wish each of you a most fulfilling National Youth Science Forum and every success in your future endeavours.