Afternoon Tea for the National Youth Science Forum 2018 Queensland Cohort
It is wonderful to see so many young people today, alongside Professor Byrne, and senior representatives from the National Youth Science Forum and Rotary.
I welcome you all to historic Government House, which dates back to 1865.
I mention the date because, in that year, the ring structure of benzene was first proposed, Joseph Lister first experimented with antiseptics, and Gregor Mendel (pron. Men-dle) presented his first paper on genetics.
Some of these pioneering scientists had to struggle to forge careers in science. Certainly, none would have had the encouragement of a marvellous program like the National Youth Science Forum.
The Forum conducts a whole suite of programs that aim to inspire Australia’s young scientists.
The students here today will participate in the Year 12 program in 2018. I heartily congratulate them on being selected. Well done to you and your families!
In 2018, my alma mater, The University of Queensland, will join the Australian National University in hosting the Year 12 program. This will markedly increase Australia-wide participation to 600 students. Thank you ANU. Bravo UQ!
The NYSF program has already been exceptionally successful, encouraging 85 percent of participating Year 12 students to take up science at University.
Next year’s program will build on that success, encouraging yet more students, including more young women, we hope, into science careers.
It would be handy to have more science communicators among them too. Then we might be able to convince the community that scientists don’t have to be like characters from The Big Bang Theory.
I thank the long and impressive list of supporters and sponsors of the NYSF.
I thank Rotary for its wonderful, long-standing partnership with the Forum and for the example it provides to these young people of community service.
I thank the NYSF Board, council, executive, staff and volunteers for their dedication to this exciting program.
Taken together, your support and generosity represent a crucial investment in the study of science in our country.
I wish all student participants an exciting and productive time, and urge them to take full advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.
I spoke earlier of 19th century scientific pioneers. Thanks to the encouragement of the NYSF, there may well be great pioneers of 21st century science in this room today. Thank you.