4th Annual Hawke Lecture

Medical Science and Human Goals: a challenge for Australian research

With Sir Gustav Nossal

Tuesday 4 September 2001

Published copies of the Annual Hawke Lecture series are available from the Hawke Centre.


"Gustav Nossal delivering the 2001 Annual Hawke LectureBeing a guest of The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre occasions reflections on society and development; on leadership in ideas and knowledge generation; on Australia's role in the world in the search for global social justice. It is easy to be gloomy about the trajectory of spaceship earth since the end of the cold war, humanity's darker side being manifest in so many parts of the world including our own. In our cynicism about the political process, we must not succumb to the temptation of democracy fatigue. There is a legitimate major role for governments but this requires leadership. The fact that leadership in a country like Australia is diffused is a source of strength, not weakness, and our tall poppies in so many fields must be cherished, not cut down. In asking whether science can be a tool for achieving human goals, I am buoyed up by the excellence of Australia's youth - so many seeds of hope. Well-trained, courageous, ambitious, pragmatic, they punch beyond their weight in international circles. If leadership can harness their collective wills, the lucky country's future is bright. Bob Hawke has a unique gift of distilling and reflecting what it means to be Australian. In his darkest moments, he never doubted that he could help to make Australia and the world a better place. Neither should we."


Sir Gustav Victor Joseph Nossal, AC, CBE is a distinguished Australian research biologist. He is famous for his contributions to the fields of antibody formation and immunological tolerance.

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